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Moominsummer Madness is the fourth episode in the first series of the 2019 television series Moominvalley.

Synopsis

When a great flood fills the valley, the Moomins find somewhere new to live - a floating theatre! But is somebody already living there?

Plot

Moominvalley is in full bloom and Moomintroll waves over at Snufkin, who sits on the bridge, fishing, and waves back. Moomintroll says how everything is perfect, and Little My, who is playing with a dragonfly, mocks him. Moominmamma appears and presents the first bark boat of the summer to Moomintroll, who is thrilled. Little My comments that she would be the perfect height to sail in the small boat, but Moomintroll reminds her that Moominmamma gave it to him, "the one she likes most". Little My tells him that things can change, and then sends her dragonfly, named Fido, after Moomintroll.

Moomintroll tries to turn the bark boat in a pool of water, wanting it to turn clockwise, as that is a sign that everything will stay the same. The boat refuses to turn, and Moomintroll sighs, lying down and talking to himself about spending the summer with Snufkin. Little My's dragonfly appears and spins around the boat, starting to turn it anti-clockwise, much to Moomintroll's horror. He tries to use an old oar to spin the boat clockwise, however it keeps turning the other way, sinking down into the pool of water and disappearing. Moomintroll tells himself "who believes in silly old signs anyway", though as he says this, it begins to rain and he sees Snufkin packing up his campsite. Moomintroll asks Snufkin where he is going, looking upset, to which Snufkin replies: "yonder". Moominpappa climbs out of the river with a measuring stick, telling them that the water is rising quite quickly. Snufkin says that higher ground is the answer, tipping his hat in farewell, and sets off on his journey. Moominpappa suggests that he and his family seek shelter in the mountain caves like Snufkin, getting lost in his tales of how their ancestors survived, before Moomintroll suggests that they go inside Moominhouse, which they do. Moominmamma dries Moomintroll's fur, and reassures him that she will still be there the next day, even if the storm doesn't blow over.

Moomintrolls wakes the next morning to see a clear, blue sky outside his bedroom window, and heads downstairs happily. However, when he opens the front door, a tidal wave of water floods the house, and he has to swim upstairs and climb onto the roof, where he finds the rest of his family, Little My and Snorkmaiden having breakfast. Little My sits enjoying the "disaster" while Moominmamma celebrates not having to wash dishes anymore, throwing her crockery into the ocean of water surrounding the house. She greets Moomintroll and asks if he saw the note about not opening the front door, and he reacts awkwardly. Moominpappa sees something floating in the distance through his telescope. Snorkmaiden tries to reassure Moomintroll about their situation and offers him some bread, however it is soggy and he remains unhappy.

Suddenly, the floating object is right in front of them - a large theatre, although they do not recognise what it is. Moominpappa remarks that "the fourth wall is entirely gone". Little My encourages them to "jump ship" and Moomintroll unhappily joins the others in leaving his house behind to sink underwater while they climb aboard the stage. Moominmamma tells him that some creatures never get into dangerous situations, and comments on "how miserable their lives must be". The group wonder what happened to the family who lived in the empty building and are distracted by Sniff, who floats by atop Muskrat, who laments their current situation miserably. Sniff tells Moomintroll that he is going to find the plug to drain the water, hoping to get a medal, or "at least some nuts". He invites Moomintroll, who declines, then steers Muskrat away using an oar as he searches for the plug.

The remaining group decide to search the theatre in search of supplies to set up a new living room. Moominpappa attempts to search upstairs, however the staircase is fake and leads to nowhere, and, after he has fallen, he decides to search elsewhere. Moominmamma and Little My look for food while Snorkmaiden leads Moomintroll to explore with her. Moomintroll assures Snorkmaiden that he will protect her, however he gets spooked and insists that he heard something when she teases him. Snorkmaiden discovers a room full of costumes and clothing, and Moomintroll looks at the various outfits curiously, saying that whoever lived there had "strange jobs". He tries on a hat that Snorkmaiden offers him, then aims a wooden sword in the direction of an unknown noise, with Snorkmaiden thinking that he is merely playing the part of a hero. Moominmamma arrives to tell them that dinner is ready, scaring Moomintroll, and Snorkmaiden laughs at how jumpy he is while he looks around cautiously.

On the stage, a table is laid and full of food, and Moomintroll trips up on a pile of rope on the way to the table, making painted scenery of Moominvalley appear behind them. Moominpappa and Moominmamma remark that it is just like home. The group toasts, however when they try to enjoy their food they find that it is made of wax, surprised and confused. A loud voice echoes around the room, and, when the group turns to see a floating hobby horse that appears to be a "threat", the table and scenery are pulled away by an unseen force, shocking the group when they turn back. The voice calls them "fuzzy interlopers" and Moominpappa tries to communicate with the "spirit", asking how to "banish" it's "tormented soul" so that they can "get on with [their] lunch". While Moominpappa communicates with the voice, Little My pulls back a curtain to reveal the owner of the voice - a tall, slim creature in a feathered cap and glasses, who is speaking into a voice altering machine dramatically, stopping when she realises she has been found. Moominmamma leads the stagehand away while Moominpappa puts their table and chairs back in place, and the stagehand calls them "uncultured swines" when she realises that they don't recognise the building for what it is. She tries to explain what a theatre is to the group, explaining with great dramatics. Moominpappa thinks she is telling riddles, while Snorkmaiden points out that her grand description doesn't match up to their empty surroundings. The stagehand says that there is a reason why the theatre is so lifeless, and goes on to tell her story with little persuasion. She calls out "lights" and a spotlight lands on her. Snorkmaiden asks how she did that, to which Moominpappa replies: "poetic licence".

The stagehand introduces herself as Emma as she dramatically recreates her life story. A misshapen puppet falls from the ceiling, her leading man, Mr Fillyjonk, who she was infatuated with. Emma assisted Mr Fillyjonk while her affections went unnoticed, until one day she wolf-whistled to him. Little My asks what was so wrong with whistling, and Emma tells her that it is bad luck to whistle in a theatre. She explains that she cursed the theatre, and we see Mr Fillyjonk fall into trap door decorated as a grave. After this, Emma blamed herself and vowed to never open the theatre again, resigning herself to staying alone forever, miserably. The group applauds her dramatic performance, and Emma lifts the lights to the stage and tells them that they must leave immediately, leaving to go backstage. Moominpappa tries to set a crate in the water for them to climb into, however it is swept away, and they discover that the theatre, too, is being drawn into a whirlpool. Sniff and Muskrat come into view, and Sniff calls out to Moomintroll, apologetic, explaining that he pulled the plug, and he tells them to "paddle for it" to survive, paddling away in the opposite direction. Moomintroll goes to find Emma, who has shut herself in a room, and tells her that what happened to Mr Fillyjonk wasn't his fault, realising that sometimes "bad things just happen". He dramatically tells her she can reinvent herself, that she can sail through "the whirlpools of life" like a "valiant swan" and she leaves her room to tell him not to "overdo it", then says she will help them get the theatre to safety.

Emma captains their theatre like a ship, wearing a captains hat while Moominmamma rolls out pirate ship scenery into place. Emma commands Snorkmaiden and Little My to hoist the curtains like a sail, as Moominpappa and Moomintroll row the ship with oars. They sail the theatre away from the whirlpool, and the group celebrates as Emma announces that they are "back in business". As the theatre floats down a channel of water, Moomintroll asks Emma if she will open the theatre again and put on plays, however she tells him sadly that her scripts were left in the part of the theatre that didn't float away. Moominpappa calls out to them, saying "have no fear, the bard is here", and Little My pulls back the curtain of a little room to reveal Moominpappa writing his own scripts. The theatre arrives on dry land, and the group wonders where they are. Snorkmaiden pulls open the curtain and Moominmamamma smiles, saying that they are in Moominvalley, and they look outside to see Moominhouse safe and visible on the hill, the water having drained away.

A voice comments that they won't have to clean their windows for a while, to which Moominmamma heartily agrees. Moomintroll excitedly sees that Snufkin is back and they greet each other nonchalantly, downplaying their happiness while Little My rolls her eyes. Snufkin leads Moomintroll away to show him a puddle, looking down at the bark boat and asking Moomintroll if he thinks it shrank during the flood. Moomintroll explains that it is just his boat, and notices that it is still turning anti-clockwise. Snufkin asks if it is a sign, and Moomintroll shakes his head, deciding that it doesn't mean anything. Snufkin takes the boat with him as he follows Moomintroll to see if his campsite is dry, and tells Moomintroll that yonder isn't a place, but "more of a feeling". The rest of the group leaves the theatre and looks around at the dry valley, while a dragonfly flies away.

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