November 24, 2017

Five for Friday: Animation

These five Finnish animations are taking their show on the road to international acclaim.
These five Finnish animations are taking their show on the road to international acclaim.
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Be sure to place your popcorn within arms’ reach and make yourself comfortable for this animated quintet.

Captivating creations from Finnish animation studios continue to take audiences on new adventures. Side-splitting giggle-fests, Angry Birds sling-shooting to box office bonanzas and life in the Arctic through the eyes of an icy snowman are but some of what’s on offer. And let’s not to forget enchanting journeys to Moominvalley.

Expanding worldwide and reaching new heights as global hits, Finnish animation is increasingly in the spotlight. Here are five movies and series to keep an eye or two on.

Gigglebug

This animation studio created a character with a catchy laugh, spreading positivity via a TV series, apps, books and music. Each step, from idea to delivery, is produced by the compact team.

“The idea of contagious laughter was so simple and profound at the same time, we wanted to explore it further,” CEO and producer Anttu Harlin told us recently. “People are at their happiest when they laugh. If we can give that to kids through a cartoon and the characters we create, it is a great mission: spreading happiness.”

Angry Birds Movie

Mad about birds? Then you are probably already looking forward to the return of the angriest of all, which took off and skyrocketed globallyfrom the United States to China, Russia and Mexico –  with their 2016 big screen debut. Now these foul-tempered fowls are flocking to a screen near you for a second go-round in 2019.

“Rovio is continuing to focus on creating exciting new stories and experiences around our games and we’re eager to take fans back into the vibrant Angry Birds world on the big screen,” CEO Kati Levoranta stated in May.

Royale Sisters

What would it be like to live as a royal in your own home? Finnish game and animation studio Pikkukala tells story of the upper crust moving into decidedly less regal digs, adjusting to change and adapting to their new identity. Pikkukala recently began cooperation with a French distributor and two Irish animation studios to bring their story to European screens.

“Europe is a great place to produce animation with a great diversity of animation studios which mirror its cultural richness,” described CEO Pablo Jordi in October.

Albi the Snowman

Step aside Frosty – word is spreading about this carrot-nosed creation. The eponymous focus of Finnish media company Hima Light’s five-minute episodes, Albi has already generated more than 15 million downloads in China over a short period.

The series is “targeted at school-aged children and follows the escapades of Albi the Snowman who draws and builds different objects from the snow to help pass the time in the middle of nowhere”, we wrote recently.

Moomin

These lovable hippos are hotter than hot property at the moment. Not only are they the focus of a new stop-motion movie about to hit screens in December, mark 2019 in your calendars as they are also the focus of a new animation series coming out that year. The series promises an impressive international cast including Kate Winslet as Mrs. Fillyjonk and Taron Egerton as Moomintroll.

“The new animation series will be made using state-of-the-art 2D/3D hybrid technique to bring Moomin to a new generation – and to screens in a way never seen before,” describes the official Moomin website.

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