Sharpen your nostalgia goggles and be ready for earworms that won't leave you until the next day's hangover, because this movie literally is every finnish kids childhood, compressed in a less than 70 minutes!
Moomins, or Muumit, like we call them here in Finland, are these little gritter-like creatures - size-wised somewhere around a hedgehog - who live in a not-so-magical and almost-realistic-like world, called the Moomin valley, spending their days mostly just... well, pretty much in a same manner, like I used to spend my summers when I was a kid. Originally created by Tove Janson, Moomins weren't originally ment especially to be mainly for kid's entertainment, since the original strips contained pretty heavy adult themes, like drinking, life and death, once place in a world, loneliness and fear. The original Moomins even looked pretty creepy, and the characters tended to be way more adult-like, than how I used to know them as a child! But, since Japan showed an interest to turn this dark, mysterious finnish creation into a slice of live- formula-based tv-show for kids, it's only natural, that in a prosess, the movie was also made! And, here it is! Moomins the Movie: the Armageddon!
So, what's the story then? The story begins on a events even earlier than the actual tv-show. Moomin family is settleing down in a peaceful Moomin valley - how it was called, before this little convenient naming, I wonder? - and building up their vairly marketable blue round house, when one stormy night, a shady character under a bridge tells them, that something bad is on it's way, and there's absolutely nothing they should, or could do. After a heavy rain of soot, Moomin trollen, accompanied by couple of his friends, decide to travel all the way to the Lonely Mountains, in a search for a observatory, and on the way, they meet many friends and enemies, like Snuffking, the travelling but world-wise hermit, crystal-obsessed lizards, dangerous bug-eating Angostura-tree, Hemulen, Octopus, and of course, know-it-all Snorken and his sister Snorkfröken, who becomes Moomin trollens immiedate love-interest. Together they learn, that a dangerous Comet is on it's way to the Moomin valley, and it's only about two days time to evacuate, and save whatever there is to save - funny thing is, that the astrologists have absolutely no idea, what will hapen when the comet hits!
The story is indeed exceptional, considering the sourcematerial, but oddly enough, it really actually works to it's favour! It's not overly complex, and it's thus easy to follow, but it gives constantly that odd yet curious vibe about something unknown approaching, not exactly knowing what it is or what'll does, and if the worst possible hapens, what's left after - rebuild, death, or search for a new home? Seeing how this steadily approaching threat from beyond the stars, with no name, personality or motive, simultaneously destroys everything on it's way and causes bot panic, terrors and sadness to those, who're about to loose everything, but also exitement and joy for those, who won't understand the real danger and are just waiting in a amazed awe, is both terrifying and dark, that wouldn't so easily fly in many other franchise, especially aimed for kids. And, since this movie was partly made in Japan, the music is of course a top notch, since every single piece and note fits and plays perfectly in every scene, complimenting the beautiful landscapes and emotions, so that the overused exposition is almost completely left out. This movie doesn't hold any hands, or doesn't try to make something "less frightening" that it should be. It's a story about a world, that's about to end - how much sugar coating there really can even be?!
That all being said, I really can't say, whom I can recommend this to, other than all the fellow finns, and those rare individuals abroad, who know the original Moomins. You don't need to know all the characters, or their stories, since most of the characters are actually met first time in this movie, as their own debute to the viewer. This movie was Finland's seventh most watched movie in it's time, but still, it never saw a light of day in any country outside of Japan and Scandinavia, and sadly, it was never dubbed in english - not in my knowledge, anyway. If you even happen to find it from the ether, I'm pretty sure it's either on finnish, or swedish, and since not so many people actually really understand any of these two languages... yeah, good luck watching this movie, if you're at all interested. My condolences.
Overall, this movie is great. It starts of the whole premise for the tv-series, introducing many of our favourite characters and even some of the actual world and it's wonders and dangers, without being too overwhelming, and even tough it is mostly suitable for kids, even adults can still enjoy watching it with them. If I could, I would translate this whole movie into english subs, since I know Finland is gaining popularity on abroad, as a relatively interesting country and culture, but because I myself don't own this movie in DVD... yeah, I'm not that smart!
Enjoy this movie, those of you who can, and keep the spirit of Moomins burning bright! And that theme music... omg what a earworm that is!