In its ongoing original kids programming drive, UK pay-TV giant Sky has snapped up Gutsy Animation’s forthcoming Moominvalley for broadcast as a Sky Original Production exclusively in the UK and Ireland.
Based on the iconic Moomins novels and comic strips created by the late Finnish author Tove Jansson, the 26-episode family TV drama will bow on Sky One, Sky’s TV streaming service NOW TV, and the Sky Kids app in late 2018.
Set in an idyllic, magical valley untouched by the modern world, the series follows the lives of a family of fantastical creatures including Moomintroll (Taron Egerton), Moominmamma (Rosamund Pike) and Moominpappa (Matt Berry).
The voice cast will also feature Kate Winslet as Mrs. Fillyjonk, Warwick Davis as Sniff and newly announced cast members Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), Edvin Endre (Vikings) and comedian Joe Wilkinson (8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown).
Finland’s Gutsy is producing and recently appointed Nordic studio Anima Vitae is heading up Moominvalley‘s animation, which is being developed in association with the drama wing of Finnish pubcaster YLE.
The series is also supported by Moomins rights owner and manager, Moomin Characters, and its global licensing agent, Bulls Licensing.
Oscar-winner Steve Box (Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) is the series’ director, while other members of the creative team include Gutsy creative director and executive producer, Marika Makaroff, and the Emmy-winning writing duo of Mark Huckerby (Danger Mouse) and Nick Ostler (Peter Rabbit).
Since beginning a digital-centric kids programming drive two years ago, Sky has expanded its on-demand kids library from 700 to 4,500 episodes and racked up more than half a billion views. Its Sky Kids app, which has only been available since March 2016, has more than 500,000 registered users, more than 200 million downloads/streams and is currently available in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Italy.
Sky Kids‘ first original commission—a revamped version of Aardman’s Morph—launched in September 2016. More recent originals include Aliens Love Underpants And…, Big Cats: Wild Files and Kickstarter-funded Labuntina.