Moomins on the Riviera (Muumit Rivieralla) by Xavier Picard (Finland/France, 2014, 80 min.). Sixty years ago, when Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson launched the Moomin comic strip, little did she know it would reach 20 million daily readers in more than 40 countries. French director Xavier Picard brings Jansson’s carefree and adventurous Moomin family to life, with delicately animated characters and the comic’s storylines translated to the screen with just the right amount of absurdity and humor. As the story opens, a sinking pirate ship encircled by sharks momentarily disrupts the tranquil world of Moominvalley. To recover from these high-sea shenanigans, the Moomins decide to take a trip to the French Riviera for some much needed rest. Upon their arrival, they are taken to the fanciest hotel in town, where they are treated like royalty. Exposed to the luxurious life for the first time, Moomintroll’s beloved Snork Maiden becomes seduced by fashion and celebrity, while Moominpappa begins to hobnob with high-society art collectors. Less impressed by this superficial world, the rest of the family longs to return home. In English.
Recommended for ages 5 to 10.