Gentle Finnish animation Moomins on the Riviera (opens in new tab) will appeal to lovers of Tove Jansson’s children’s books and comic strip about a family of hippo-like trolls, but its low-key charms will probably elude anyone who didn’t grow up with the tales. Setting sail for the French Riviera, the Moomins hobnob with aristocrats and playboys on the Côte d’Azur, their naïve innocence getting them into all sorts of mild scrapes. The placid hand-drawn animation makes a refreshing change from the frenetic pace of some CGI kids’ films, but the lacklustre British voice cast lets the film down.
Certificate U. Runtime 74 mins. Directors Xavier Picard, Hanna Hemilä.
Moomins on the Riviera is released on digital and DVD by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.
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