Snufkin (Finnish: Nuuskamuikkunen, Swedish: Snusmumriken, Japanese: スナフキン) is Moomintroll's best friend, who goes south every winter and returns in the spring. He is the son of the Mymble and the Joxter, and is half-brother to the Mymble's daughter and Little My. Snufkin is an adventurer and a vagabond, admired by those who are small and shy.
Snufkin wears old green clothes and a wide-brimmed hat he's had since birth. He lives in a tent, smokes a pipe, and plays the harmonica, although he is shown to play the flute as well. Snufkin also has a great dislike for authority figures such as the Park Keeper, and the many regulation signs and fences he puts up, and as such is often thought of as an anarchist. At one point he sabotages The Park Keeper by planting Hattifatteners in his garden, causing them to grow and drive him out.
Snufkin prefers freely-growing foliage to fenced-in lawns. He keeps as few worldly possessions as possible, seeing them as a burden, and being happier keeping the memory of a thing than the thing itself. This aspect of his personality is contrasted in the character of Sniff.
Official website description
Snufkin is a philosophical vagabond who wanders the world fishing and playing the harmonica. He carries everything he needs in his backpack, as he believes that having too much stuff makes life overly complicated.
Snufkin is easygoing and carefree and enjoys thinking about things. He always comes and goes as he pleases. He has plenty of admirers in Moominvalley, especially among the smaller and more timid inhabitants. Moomintroll is his best friend and Little My is his half-sister. Snufkin is also the son of the Mymble and the Joxter.
Snufkin meets every new person and event with curiosity and a warm heart. He enjoys spending time with the Moomins in Moominvalley, but in November he always goes south for the winter, only returning to Moominvalley in the spring.
The enigmatic Snufkin does not avoid other people’s company, but he does prefer to travel alone. On his journeys, he explores new places and tries his luck at fishing. Snufkin loves to go wandering at night and especially in the moonlight. He never asks the names of the new places he visits, but simply enjoys the journey itself.
Snufkin always wears a dark green hat with a wide brim and a similarly coloured, shabby old coat. He first joins the Moomins on their adventures in the book Comet in Moominland
Snufkin appears in the following books:
- 2. Comet in Moominland - The first appearance of Snufkin. Here he meets with Moomintroll and Sniff on the journey to the observatory in an attempt to prevent the comet hitting Moominland.
- 3. Finn Family Moomintroll - In this book, Snufkin's role as a solitary wanderer is firmly established: While he stays in Moominvalley during spring and early summer, in the late summer and last part of the book he leaves to go off on his wanderings, promising to return next spring.
- 4. The Exploits of Moominpappa - Snufkin plays a minor role in this book, as one of the people who listen to Moominpappa's story, but his family background is also explained as his father, the Joxter, is a main character in the story.
- 5. Moominsummer Madness - Here, Snufkin plays a larger role again. He battles a rule-obsessed Park Keeper, saves Little My when she gets separated from the rest of the family, and briefly (and unwillingly) becomes the father figure to a group of orphans.
- 7. Tales from Moominvalley - This book consists of several short stories, three of which heavily feature Snufkin: A Spring Tune, where a talkative squirrel keeps him from composing the melody he wants, The Last Dragon on Earth, where Moomintroll's newfound "pet" dragon falls in love with him, and Cedric, where he tells Sniff a story about his mother's aunt.
- 9. Moominvalley in November - In the last of the books, Snufkin and several other characters end up in a Moominvalley where the Moomins have left (they've gone to live on an island, as described in the previous book, Moominpappa at Sea) and have to try and live in the valley without their reassuring presence.
Snufkin also has cameo roles in the picture-books Who Will Comfort Toffle?, The Dangerous Journey and also in An Unwanted Guest. He is also generally a prominent character in other Moomin media, such as comics and TV series.
- Günter Knecht - Die Muminfamilie
- Hiroyuki Nishimoto - Moomin and New Moomin
- Håkan Serner - Mumindalen
- Takehito Koyasu (Japanese dub) - Comet in Moominland
- Michael Pizzuto (English dub) - Comet in Moominland
- Takehito Koyasu (Japanese dub) - Moomin
- Peter Stomare - Moomins and the Comet Chase
- John Chancer (English dub) - Moomin
- Dominic Frisby - Moomins on the Riviera
- Issey Takahashi (Japanese dub) - Moominvalley
- Edvin Endre (English dub) - Moominvalley
- Tove Jansson based the character of Snufkin on her friend and one-time fiancé, Atos Wirtanen.
- Snufkin's exact species is ambiguous. In his debut book, Comet in Moominland, he is initially referred to as "a Snufkin", implying that he is referred to by his species name much like the other characters. In Moominpappa's Memoirs, however, it is revealed that he is the son of the Joxter and Mymble, who are an interspecies couple. This very likely means that Snufkin is a hybrid.
- In many of his earlier appearances in the novels as well as throughout most of the comic strip, Snufkin appears to be bald, having no visible hair on his head. Later on in the franchise's run, Tove gave Snufkin short, brown messy hair that is partially visible from under his hat. This design would serve as the basis for many of the more famous incarnations of the character in other media.