The Magical World of the Moomins
We’ve had the chance to see the exposition of the Mumintroll in Le musée de la bande dessinée in Angoulême – France. Knowing the basic history of The Moomins, we went there with eyes wide opened, ready to see the background story and alternate creations by Tove & Lars Jansson.
For those of you who don’t know what are The Moomins, they are are the central characters in a series of books, and a comic strip by Swedish-speaking Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson. They were created in 1945 after the second World War bringing a fresh, young and happy sight to a devastated world.
In the Magical World of the Moomins, there are some major characters recurrent from books to books. To state a few there are:
- The Hemulens
- Snork Maiden
- The Snork
- Snufkin & much more!
The Moomins came out in original prints and later on they had an animated series with the collaboration of the Japanese called “Moomin” which started in 1990. If you wish to learn more about The Moomins, Click here…
Synopsis from Wikipedia:
“The Moomin stories concern several eccentric and oddly-shaped characters, some of whom are related to each other. The central family consists of Moominpappa, Moominmamma and Moomintroll. Other characters, such as Hemulen, Sniff, The Snork maiden, Snufkin and Little My are accepted into or attach themselves to the family group from time to time, generally living separate lives in the surrounding Moominvalley, where the series is set. It is in this fictional valley, that the Moomin family decides to live at the end of The Moomins and the Great Flood.”
The first thing that struck us in the exposition is the staging. Although The Moomins are generally targeted for kids, we loved the colorful atmosphere once you stepped in; leave your problems at the front door and enjoy this brief breathing moment. As we stepped in, we were expecting a heavy crowd as we went there on a very beautiful Saturday afternoon, but were quite surprised as much 4 other families were in there with us (it left us more time to really appreciate all it has to offer.)
We knew quite what to expect from this expo. Between the original sketches and early development from Tove herself to the artworks published in the Finnish press and storyboards of the animated series developed by the french, you can see The Moomins in all it’s form and format.
Some of the sketches and early boards were a great example of the evolution of design and art itself. The promotion posters for Peace translated in different languages still holds true by today’s standards. The very early sketches shows you a rougher part of development without an art team to backup or even proper construction; there are “just scribbles” on papers. But this is why we liked it so much; it is chronologically accurate in terms of technique and development.
We also had a brief vision behind the mind of Tove Jonasson herself by her personal artworks and collaboration with J. R. R. Tolkien for the cover of “The Hobbit.” As there isn’t any real story development behind the covers themselves, we come to guess that during Tove’s career, she was approached by J. R. R. Tolkien (or somebody that worked with him) to draft some ideas and direction for his book.
Along this line, Tove also did some abstract painting and various characters; some were just plain draft, some other were more evolved with accurate details repeating across all of the sketches. It was a new face for Tove, a new era that she hadn’t embrace.
Even though the exposition was quite short, if you are to find yourself hanging around Angouleme and in need of a quick refreshing break, head down to the Musee de la Bande Desinee, visit the expo and the museum just next to it.
Location: La Cité internationale de la bande dessinée et de l’image – 121 rue de Bordeaux, 16023 Angoulême, France
Musée de la Bande Dessinée – Quai de la Charente, Angoulême
Duration: From 20th of June to 4th October 2015
Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10a.m to 6p.m
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 2p.m to 6p.m
In July and August until 7p.m
Price: Full Price 7 € – Young Price (10-18 y.o) 3 €
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