Gutsy Animations is looking to recharge the popularity of the Moomins overseas having secured a national broadcaster for its upcoming series Moominvalley in Japan.
The territory’s own NHK has revealed that it will begin airing the new animated series on its BS4K channel this April, just five months after the channel’s official launch in the country.
BS4K channel uses an ultra-high definition 4k image system and is described as ‘the gateway channel for ultra-high definition visual images’. It features images and audio that exceed the levels used in conventional high definition broadcasting.
Meanwhile, Moominvalley is based on the Moomin stories by Finnish-Swedish author and artist Tove Jansson. Each series will consist of 13 x 22-minute-long episodes. It is directed by Academy Award winner Steve Box (Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) and is true to the values of the original Moomin stories.
A Finnish-British co-production, it is produced by Gutsy Animations in association with Yle and Sky. Season One premieres in Finland on Yle on Monday 25th February 2019 and in the UK on Sky One and Sky Kids at Easter 2019.
Marika Makaroff, CEO of Gutsy Animations and executive producer of Moominvalley, said: “The Japanese have always been greatly taken with Moomin, thanks to Tove Jansson’s beautiful artwork and her kind and courageous characters, but there’s been an explosion of interest in the past seven or eight years in particular.
"Given the size and dedication of the fanbase, securing the right broadcast partner in Japan was a big priority for us and we’re delighted to be working with NHK to ensure Japanese fans will be able to enjoy our homage to Tove’s creations in such incredibly high definition.”
The world’s first Moomin theme park outside of Finland is soon to open in Japan.
Moominvalley Park, situated in Hanno in the Saitama prefecture of the Greater Tokyo area, will open to the public in March 2019.
It is part of a park facility called Metsä comprising of two areas: Metsä Village, which allows visitors to experience the Scandinavian and Nordic atmosphere and lifestyle and to enjoy the rich nature, and Moominvalley Park, where visitors can discover the world of the Moomins.
Together, they form a unique Nordic hub in Japan, where visitors can learn about the Nordic way of life and the Moomins at the same time.