French director Xavier Picard combines slapstick humour and witty dialogue in Moomins on the Riviera, a film the whole family will enjoy.
With so many 3D animated films showing on the big screen, it's refreshing to see the endearing hand-drawn characters come to life as they seek a glamourous lifestyle in the south of France. There aren't any bright colours trying to grab your attention; everything feels natural and organic, as befits a film celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Moomin comic co-creator Tove Jannson.
The comedy comes mainly from how completely out of place the eccentric, well-meaning Moomins are in their new home. Because they look so different, they are given the Royal Suite at the hotel, although they have no idea "guests" have to pay. The plot feels random, but everything soon falls into place. Punctuated with spot-on remarks by Little My, the film has no shortage of in-your-face slapstick humour. But it also goes deeper to explore the themes of family, friendship, love and, yes, the meaning of life.
Being away helps you love home more. As Moominpappa says, it's great to just live in peace, plant potatoes and dream.