The Moomins are from Finland!

I was introduced into these sweet characters through a friend who loves Iceland and I assumed they were from there. Then seeing some Japanese merchandise, I though Oh! they are Japanese. But nope they are the creation of a woman from Finland called Tove Jansson.

Tove Marika Jansson was born on August 9th of 1914 in Finland. She was an author, novelist, painter, illustrator and comic strip author. She studied art from 1930 to 1938 in Stockholm, Helsinki and Paris. She had a very productive career as an artist, but the work she became famous for world wide is the Moomins.

The Moomins were introduced to the world in children’s books. She first wrote The Moomins and the Great Flood in 1945. Then she wrote the books, Comet in Moominland and Finn Family Moomintroll, published in 1946 and 1948 respectively. They were succesful in sales.

This is what she looked like:

Cr. The Wall Street Journal

HERE you can see a nice graphic of her life and the creation of the Moomins.

About the Moomins

The word “moomins” was created by Jansson. She came up with an ad hoc Swedish word mumintrollet, because, in her opinion, the consonant sound of m in particular conveys a sensation of softness. As an artist, Jansson gave the Moomins a shape that also expresses softness. (1)

The moomins look a lot like hippos, but they are trolls! They live in a place called Moominvalley. There are 9 books in total, 5 picture books and a comic strip that was released between 1945 and 1993.

HERE you can see a nice graphic of her life and the creation of the Moomins.

Characters

Moomintroll, also referred to as “Moomin” in some of the English translations: The main protagonist, the little boy of the family, interested in and excited about everything he sees and finds, always trying to be good, but sometimes getting into trouble while doing so; he is very brave and always finds a way to make his friends happy.

Moominpappa: Orphaned in his younger years, he is a somewhat restless soul who left the orphanage to venture out into the world in his youth but has now settled down, determined to be a responsible father to his family.

Moominmamma: The calm mother, who takes care that Moominhouse is a safe place to be. She wants everyone to be happy, appreciates individuality, but settles things when someone is wronged. She always brings good food as well as whatever else may be necessary on a journey in her handbag.

Little My: A mischievous tomboyish little girl, who lives in the Moomin house and has a brave, spunky personality. She likes adventure, but loves catastrophes, and often does mean things on purpose. She finds messiness and untidiness exciting and is very down to earth when others are not.

Sniff: A creature who lives in the Moomin house. He likes to take part in everything, but is afraid to do anything dangerous. Sniff appreciates all valuables and makes many plans to get rich, but does not succeed.

Snork Maiden: Moomin’s friend. She is happy and energetic, but often suddenly changes her mind on things. She loves nice clothes and jewelry and is a little flirtatious. She thinks of herself as Moomin’s girlfriend.

Snufkin: Moomin’s best friend. The lonesome philosophical traveller, who likes to play the harmonica and wanders around the world with only a few things, so as not to make his life complicated. He always comes and goes as he pleases, is carefree and has many admirers in Moominvalley. He is also shown to be quite fearless and calm in even the most dire situations, which has proven to be a great help to Moomintroll and the others when in danger.

The younger Mymble, also referred to as “the Mymble’s daughter“: Little My’s amiable and helpful big sister, and half-sister of Snufkin. She often has romantic daydreams about the love of her life, particularly policemen.

The Snork: Snorkmaiden’s brother. He is an introvert by nature and is always inventing things. The residents of Moominvalley often ask Snork for help solving tricky problems and building machines. Snorks are like moomintrolls, but change colour according to their mood.

Too-Ticky: A wise woman, and good friend of the family. She has a boyish look, with a blue hat and a red-striped shirt. She dives straight into action to solve dilemmas in a practical way. Too-Ticky is the one of the people in Moominvalley, who does not hibernate, instead spending the winter in the cozy sauna building of the Moominhouse.

Stinky: A small furry creature that always plays jokes on the family in the house, where he sometimes lives. He likes pinching things, is proud of his reputation as a crook, but always gets found out. He is simple and only thinks of himself.

Moominland

Here are some images of land of the Moomins: Moominland created by its author:

And there is Moomin World Theme Park in Finland! HERE is the interactive map. A second Moomin Park Opened in Japan in 2019.

These are some photos of the one in Finland:

HERE is a link to search for the closest Moomin Experiece near your home. For me it is really far away:

And last but not least, here is a video of the first book of the Moomins: “The Moomins and the Great Flood”

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