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Moomin Characters makes Gutsy investment

Moominvalley’s voice cast includes Kate Winslet and Taron Egerton

Moominvalley studio Gutsy Animations has received investment from a range of partners, including the company that owns the Moomins IP, in return for minority stakes.

Moomin Characters and Bulls Holding AB, parent company of Bulls Press & Rights & Brands, are taking minority stakes in Gutsy, as are other private investors. Financial details were not disclosed.

Moomin Characters, the official copyright holder of all the Moomin characters, is run by the family of Tove Jansson, who set up the company with her brother Lars in the 1950s after creating the Moomins.

International content agency Bulls, meanwhile, has worked with the Jansson family since the 1950s, assisting in building the Moomin brand globally.

Commissioned by YLE in Finland, Sky in the UK and NHK in Japan, Moominvalley is based on Jansson’s well-known novels and comic strips featuring the Moomin characters.

The 26×22′ series features an all-star voice cast, including Kate Winslet, Rosamund Pike, Taron Egerton and Matt Berry, and has been sold internationally to a host of broadcasters.

The investment comes as Gutsy broadens its slate into non-kids’ scripted live-action and new 2D animated kids’ series, both of which will have a strong emphasis on nature and bold female characters, the producer said.

Marika Makaroff, CEO and creative director at Gutsy Animations, said: “Our slate has broadened to include both high-quality drama and charming original animation. This exemplifies Gutsy’s approach and focus on bold, female-led work which draws on the magic and mythology of the natural world to challenge and inspire viewers across generations.”

Roleff Kråkström, CEO of Moomin Characters, added: “Gutsy Animations is a great fit to our cultural ecosystem, which has been developed around Moomin characters over the years.

“The award-winning Moominvalley is naturally one of our greatest interests but we are also looking to develop a co-operational model which would be able to scale to the authors, illustrators and other IP owners that we represent in the competitive market.”

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