Children's TV classics have always held a special kind of nostalgia which can often be difficult to replicate. However, every now and then, their transition to the big screen manages to retain that something special that had us all hooked as children.
To celebrate the home entertainment release of Moomins on the Riviera (on digital platforms from 14th September, and on DVD from 28th September, 2015, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment), we take a look at other films that successfully brought nostalgia to the big screen...
- Moomins on the Riviera (2015)
Based on the beloved Finnish comic strip by Tove Jansson, this delightful animation features the voice talents of Russell Tovey and Tracey Ann Oberman, and sees the Moomins embark on a very different kind of adventure, away from the safety of Moominland.
The Moomins, Snorkmaiden and Little My set sail for the Riviera, where, following a journey fraught with menacing storms and desert island dangers, Snorkmaiden is dazzled by the attentions of a playboy and Moomin learns that jealousy's sting is the most painful of all.
Meanwhile Moominpappa befriends an aristocrat and adopts the name 'de Moomin'. An exasperated Moominmamma retires to the relative calm of their trusty old boat, to wait for her family to come to their senses. For the very first time, the unity of the Moomins is threatened...
The Moomins are an iconic image of many a childhood and this beautiful animation movie is a joy. I remain a huge fan of the hand-drawn animation films and is it always a blast of fresh air when we are treated to one... from start to finish this movie just looks stunning and really is a lot of fun.
- Paddington (2014)
The beloved novels by Michael Bond provided the basis for this live-action film, along with the TV series, and sees an all-star cast come together to tell the story of the young Peruvian bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) who migrates to London. With a passion for all things British, he travels to London in search of a home, and finds himself lost and alone at Paddington Station.
Scared, confused, and realising that city life may not be the dream he hoped for, he is taken in by the kindly Brown family (Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin), who offer him a temporary home. Things seem to be going well for Paddington; until he catches the eye of museum taxidermist Millicent (Nicole Kidman) who realises just how rare this bear is...
Paddington was one of the biggest British film hits of 2014 and it was great to see this terrific character on the big screen for the very first time. While the film did move this character on for a new generation, none of the original charm was lost and was just a much a thrill for adults as well as the kids.
Paddington was a fun family film that was crafted with a lot of respect and care and paid homage to the books and the TV series that many of us had grown up with and loved as children.
- Postman Pat: The Movie (2014)
This debut cinematic outing sees veteran Postman Pat Clifton (Stephen Mangan) enter TV talent show You're The One when auditions hit his home town of Greendale. Presented by Simon Cowbell, Pat - together with cat Jess - proves a knockout sensation, reaching the finals (with a singing voice provided by none other than Ronan Keating).
However, when Chief Executive Officer of the Special Delivery Service, Mr. Brown (Jim Broadbent) plans to put Pat's new-found publicity to good use, his very existence is threatened by the introduction of the Patbot 3000 - robot replicas that take over his postal duties! Can Pat save the day and his job?
Sadly, Postman Pat: The Movie was a film that divided just about everyone - some love it, while other hated it. For me, it did end up going down a path that was a little unexpected.
Of course, kids loved it but perhaps those who had grown up with this character were left a little bit disappointed.
- The Magic Roundabout (2005)
Tom Baker, Sir Ian McKellen, Jim Broadbent, Joanna Lumley, Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams lend their voices to this feature-length adventure featuring the psychedelic favourites from the stop-motion TV series.
Dougal (Williams), the shaggy, candy-loving puppy, embarks on a dangerous journey with his group of friends, including Ermintrude (Lumley) the cow and Brian (Broadbent) the snail, in an effort to imprison the evil ice sorcerer Zeebad (Zebedee's evil twin - voiced by Baker). Zeebad wants to freeze everything there is, putting their world in mortal danger; and it's up to Dougal and his friends to recover the three diamonds that can stop him.
When The Magic Roundabout hit the big screen, it was clear that the animation had been given a bit of an upgrade and all of our favourite characters looked fantastic.
This is a movie that really was a lot of fun and there was plenty there for the adults to enjoy as well as the kids. It is always great when classic children's characters are brought to a new generation.
- Hey Arnold! The Movie (2002)
This cult favourite cartoon hit the big screen while retaining the original voice cast, and its very own brand of off-beat charm. Following the exploits of football-head Arnold and his motley crew of school friends, the film follows the fallout when corrupt developer Schek threatens to buy the run-down urban neighbourhood where fourth grader Arnold lives and turn it into a huge mall.
Arnold and his cooler than cool best friend Gerald decide to hatch a plan to save their neighbourhood from demolition, and with the help of their friends, including Helga, Sid and Eugene, as well as a mysterious beneficent stranger, they recover a crucial document that might help prevent the destruction of their homes...
- Recess: School's Out
TJ Detweiler and his five best friends Vince LaSalle, Ashley Spinelli, Gretchen Grundler, Mikey Blumberg and Gus Griswald have finally finished 4th grade at 3rd Street School and are looking forward to summer vacation. But boredom quickly sets in for TJ as his friends are all off to Summer Camp.
While passing by the school on his bike, he uncovers a sinister plot- ex-principal Phillium Benedict and his gang of ninjas are planning to get rid of summer vacation forever, using his newly-acquired Tractor Beam, stolen from the US Military Base.
It's up to the Recess gang to stop him, and they in help from the other students, Principal Prickly, Ms. Finster and the other teachers to destroy the laser, bring Benedict to justice, and save summer vacation...
At times, Recess: School's Out does feel a little stretched but there's enough witty writing, humour, and great jokes to keep you attention.
Moomins On The Riviera arrives on digital platforms from 14th September, and on DVD from 28th September, 2015, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment.