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The adventures of a cute little hippo-like troll and his friends and family, based on the series of children's books written between 1945 and 1971 by the Finnish author Tove Jansson (1914-2001) and Jansson's comic versions of the same characters, written for the London Evening News. The relationship of the anime series to Jansson's original, however, has been the subject of some controversy, since the original anime adaptation from Tokyo Movie Shinsha introduced anachronisms such as motorcars, much to the author's annoyance. Consequently, production was moved to Zuiyo (later known as Nippon Animation) for the second season, New Moomins (Shin Moomin, 1972). While the author was reportedly more satisfied with the designs and stories of the new series, it is the TMS version that remains preferred by most of the Japanese audience. Episode seven of the first series and episode two of the second were also screened in cinemas as part of Toei anthology events in 1971 and 1972 respectively. Hence, they also show up as 25-minute "movies" in some sources.

Tove Jansson's brother Lars, who was responsible for drawing and writing much of the Moomins comic strip in the 1960s and 1970s, became one of the producers of a third anime version, Happy Moomin Family (Tanoshii Moomin Ikka, 1990), in a remake by Hiroshi Saito screened on TV Tokyo. It is this version, made during the heyday of the video era and with far closer ties to merchandising, that established the "Moomin Boom" in Japan-an obsession with plush hippo-troll toys that endures to this day and ensures surprising numbers of Japanese tourists in Finland. The directors changed to Takeyuki Kanda and Tsuneo Tominaga, and the series was renamed Happy Moomin Family Adventure Diary (Tanoshii Moomin Ikka Boken Nikki, 1991) for episodes 79-104. Jansson's Comet in Moominland was brought to the screen as Hiroshi Saito and Masayuki Kojima's Moomin Tani Suisei (1992), a movie edition that was later released on video with ten minutes of extra footage. Twenty-eight episodes of the most recent series were dubbed in the U.K. market by the BBC, and subsequently broadcast on Hawaii's K5 channel as Tales of Moomin Valley.

Although Jansson had Finnish nationality, she was one of a large ethnic minority of Swedish-speaking Finns, and wrote all her original books in a dialect still sometimes called "Moomin-Swedish," as it invariably reminds native Swedish listeners of Jansson's characters. The Moomins is often erroneously listed as one of the World Masterpiece Theater anime, since it is based on a foreign work and made by the studio that would become known as Nippon Animation.

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Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Moomins
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Romaji: Moomin
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Start Year 1969
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