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Pikku Myy

Little My (Finnish: Pikku Myy, Swedish: Lilla My, Japanese:ちびのミイ(Ritoru Mai)) is a character in the Moomin series of books by Tove Jansson. She first appears in the fourth book, Moominpappa's Memoirs. She is a small, determined, and fiercely independent Mymble. When she wants something done, she does it immediately. She is very aggressive, mischievous to a fault, and oftentimes disrespectful, but she can be a good friend when she wants to. She has a brash and abrasive personality.

She is Snufkin's older half-sister and the Mymble's Daughter's younger sister but spends most of her time at Moominhouse with the Moomins, who consider Little My part of their family.

The name Little My originated from the Greek alphabet μ (Mu); in Swedish, [my] is the phonetic pronunciation of the word "my".

The popularity of the character has led to the personal name My being borne by more than 3000 women and girls in Sweden.[1]

Physical Description

Little My is a small girl with green eyes, fair skin, and ginger hair that is styled into an onion-like top knot. Her usual attire consists of a red button-up smock dress and grey/magenta trousers, with a pink bow tie, black gloves and black boots.

Appearances

Little My appears in the following books:

  • Moominpappa's Memoirs (Book 4) - Little My is born on a Midsummer's Day during Moominpappa's youth, and is referred to as the smallest and youngest of all the Mymble's children; so small, in fact, that you can hardly even see her. She doesn't play a very large part in the book but does on occasion display her fondness for mischief and a cheerfully morbid fascination with disaster and destruction.
  • Moominsummer Madness (Book 5) - In this book, Little My has grown enough that she can take a more active part in the plot, though she is still small enough that Snufkin can carry her in his pocket. She is now in the care of her older sister, The Mymble's daughter, who unsuccessfully tries to teach her good behavior, but is separated from the others during the course of the plot and ends up being rescued by Snufkin, whom she accompanies for most of the rest of the book as he battles a rule-obsessed Park Keeper and ends up unwittingly "rescuing" a group of other children as well.
  • Moominland Midwinter (Book 6) - Little My is the only character, apart from Moomintroll, who wakes from hibernation and gets to experience winter for the first time. Unlike him, she immediately finds this "new, ice-cold world" to be great fun, especially after she discovers winter sports.
  • Tales from Moominvalley (Book 7) - This book consists of several short stories, three of which feature Little My: A Tale of Horror, where she tells tall tales of terror and doom to the -Next-to-youngest-Whomper, The Last Dragon on Earth, in which she basically plays the nosy, sarcastic and insensitive younger sibling to Moomintroll, and The Invisible Child, where she demonstrates her own ideas about how to help the invisible Ninny become visible again.
  • Moominpappa at Sea (Book 8) - Here, Little My accompanies the Moomin family to the lighthouse island and is a constant presence in the book. Again, she is the only character who instantly takes to the new life and remains cheerful throughout.

In addition, Little My plays major roles in the picture-books The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My and An Unwanted Guest, has a brief speaking role in The Dangerous Journey and makes a silent (and unmentioned by the narrative) cameo in one of the illustrations in Who Will Comfort Toffle? She's also mentioned a number of times in Moominvalley in November, but since this book takes place roughly at the same time as the trip to the lighthouse island in Moominpappa at Sea, she doesn't actually appear in person.

Little My also shows up as a major character in most Moomin-related media, comics, movies, and TV series. She is one of the protagonists in the Moomin anime series from 1990-92.

Actors

Trivia

  • Little My's implied age seems to vary drastically with each adaptation, often ranging roughly between early youth and adolescence. In some adaptations it is also reflected by her behavior.
    • In the original novels' continuity, it can be presumed that Little My is in her mid to late teens; she was born during the events of Moominpappa's Memoirs, while Moominpappa was still a young adult. As a result, her birth predates that of both Snufkin (her half-brother) and Moomintroll, though she looks younger due to apparent stunted growth. This seems to also apply to her depiction in the 1977 polish stopmotion series, Opowiadania Muminków.
    • In the comic strip's continuity, Little My is much younger than her novel counterpart, due to her origin story lacking any connection to that of Moominpappa or Snufkin, and is the youngest of the Mymble's children. Despite this, her characterization remains very similar to that of her novel self, though her age compared to that of Moomintroll is uncertain.
    • In the 1969 live action series Moomintroll, Little My is portrayed by Elina Salo, an adult woman. This likely implies very little about her age in this particular adaptation, and may be just a casting limitation.
    • In the 1969 anime Mūmin and it's 1972 continuation Shin Mūmin, Little My seems to even younger and more immature than any other interpretation of the character. Unlike many previous portrayals of her in television, she has a very high pitched, whiny and childish voice, and tends to go into tantrums and cry. This contrasts heavily with her more level-headed and cunning predecessors.
    • In the 1990 anime Tanoshii Mūmin Ikka, Little My's age is at its most ambiguous. Like her 1969 self, she has a higher pitched voice in the japanese dub, though it is notably lower and less whiny, and her characterization is closer to that of her comic counterpart. Unlike in the comics, however, she is the second oldest of her siblings, the first being her older sister Mymble.
    • In the 2019 CGI television series Moominvalley, Little My is a combination of her comic and novel counterparts. Like in the novels, she seems to be older than what her size may imply, having a deeper, more adolescent sounding voice, and is even loosely implied to be Snufkin's half-sister like in Moominpappa's Memoirs. Much like in the comics, however, her own age in relation to that of the rest of the cast is ambiguous, though it can be presumed that she is in the same age bracket as Moomintroll and Snufkin, who are both in their teens in this adaptation.
  • In various adaptations of the Moomins, Little My's color scheme and clothing design often varied significantly. It wasn't until later that her more iconic red smock, pink bow tie and magenta trousers would be depicted consistently.
    • A rather common trend in various portrayals of Little My was the presence of a more stylized smock with vertical stripes.
      • In 1969's Moomintroll, she had a white smock with vertical green stripes and black sleeves, as well as a black bow tie, black gloves and white trousers. Unlike many other incarnations, this smock buttoned up at the front instead of the back.
      • Opowiadania Muminków's clothing design for My was very similar to that of the above, albeit with additional red stripes, striped sleeves, and black trousers.
      • In the 1996 computer game Fest i Mumindalen, Little My wore a red smock with vertical black stripes and black sleeves, loosely resembling a recolored version of the smock worn in Mumintroll. She also wore a white bow tie, black trousers, dark brown boots, and wore no gloves.
    • The color scheme and design of Little My's outfit also varied within the canon of Tove Jansson own books.
      • In The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My, Little My wears a white smock with small black dots, and a black bow tie. In some variations of the cover, the dots are red, and one variant gives her a blue smock with larger white polka dots, and an even darker blue bow tie.
      • In the book Who Will Comfort Toffle?, Little My wears a yellow smock with a black bow tie. In the 1980 animated adaptation of the story, however, she is given a white smock with vertical black stripes, and a black collar instead of a bow tie.
    • In the 1969 anime Mūmin and its 1972 sequel Shin Mūmin, Little My wore a yellow smock similar to the one seen in Who Will Comfort Toffle?, albeit with a red bow tie and without gloves. Unlike all other incarnations before and after, she wore white bloomers instead of trousers.

Gallery

References

  1. My on SvenskaNamn (Swedish)
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