The Moomins Discover the Island is the fourth episode of the 1990 television series Moomin.


After finding and fixing up a wrecked ship, Moomin and his family have decided to go for a trip in it. The narrator tells us that they don't know where they're going and think it will be much more fun that way.

Moominpappa tells Moominmamma that they're not going away forever, since she's taking loads of pots and pans. Moominmamma believes that it's best to be prepared at sea, as Moominpappa will complain if he doesn't get a hot meal. She also reminds him of how hungry the sea air made everyone last time they went on a boat. Moominpappa tells her that she has to "rough it a bit if she wants an adventure", to which Moominmamma replies that it will be with coffee and pancakes.

Little My asks them if they're ready yet.

As Moomin climbs down his ladder, Snorkmaiden greets him. As Moomin greets her back, he almost falls off his ladder. As he finishes his descent, Snorkmaiden asks him if he must use that ladder, and that he will hurt himself one day. Moomin replies by saying, "It's good practice." Snork hasn't got time for sailing boats. As he and Snorkmaiden go inside, Moomin says that he'd prefer a sailing boat to a paper flying ship.

Little My tells Moomin and Snorkmaiden that Moominpappa and Moominmamma seem to be packing up half the kitchen. Moominpappa is having difficulty closing a box filled with Moominmamma's supplies, so he has to tie its lid down. Snorkmaiden asks Moomin where they're going. Moomin tells her that they haven't decided yet, and Moominpappa tells her to wait and see.

The Moomins and Little My make their way to the boat. Along the way, Mr. Hemulen is studying yellow flowers, when he sees the Moomins. Moomin asks Mr. Hemulen if he's found any rare plants for his collection, which he hasn't. Most of the ones he has found are in Moomin Valley. Moominpappa tells him that they're going sailing. Mr. Hemulen asks if he can come when he helps them load the boat, to which the Moomins agree.

On the boat, Sniff appears to be playing Pirates. Snufkin asks Sniff if the Moomins have showed up, and then says that it's a great day to go sailing. Sniff confesses that he doesn't like sailing. Even though he doesn't get sick, he can't swim, and he gets scared if the waters are rough. Snufkin reassures him that the weather will be calm.

When the boat is loaded, Moominpappa orders everyone to get on board. Moominmamma is first, then Little My. After her, Snufkin and Moomin go on. Snorkmaiden is helped onto the boat by Moomin, followed by Mr. Hemulen. Sniff wonders if Mr. Hemulen is old for adventures, but Mr. Hemulen tells him that Moominpappa has promised to find a deserted island with rare plants on it. While getting on the boat, he falls onto Moominpappa, much to Snorkmaiden's amusement.

Moomin tells Sniff to get on board, but Sniff tells him there's no room. Moomin tells him that there is room, but Sniff is worried that the boat could sink. Sniff decides that he'll join them next time they go sailing. Little My tells Moominpappa that he's just scared. Sniff tells him that he will guard Moomin House, much to Moominmamma's delight. She tells him that he can have the pancake she left on the kitchen table for lunch, and they sail off as Sniff bids them farewell.

Moomin is disappointed that Sniff didn't join them, to which Little my replies by telling him that he's a big softie. Snorkmaiden tells her that he's not a good swimmer and he eats a lot. Snufkin decides to pass the time by playing his harmonica, soothing Moominmamma and Moominpappa. A shoal of flying fish swim by the boat. Moominpappa tells his wife that sailing on a boat is the life, and she agrees with him.

The wind seems to stop suddenly. Moomin and Snufkin decide to row, at a very slow pace. Little My believes that they would be useless as galley slaves, to which Moomin replies by telling her that it's a good thing that he and Snufkin are not galley slaves. Rowing against the tides is not an easy job. After hearing that Mr. Hemulen will be lucky to find a single rare plant, Little My tells him that he can always collect seaweed. Moominpappa tells him of a tale that the people who perished at sea will send you a wind if you whistle.

Little My sees what looks like an island, but is actually a large rock with a tree on it (and a couple of mermaids on it). After this, the tide turns and the wind starts up again, directing them to an island. Mr. Hemulen hopes that the island has some rare plants on it. Moominpappa tells him to be careful as there could be wild animals on the island. Moominmamma tells someone to go and get some wood so she can start a fire to heat up the coffee and pancakes. Moomin decides to swim to the island so he can pull the boat ashore.

After mooring the boat up to a rock, Moominpappa thinks that Moominmamma was right when she said that the teapot will come in handy. Moominmamma reminds him that it's always better to rough it with some luxury. Moominpappa wonders if they're the first to set foot on the island. Moomin and Snorkmaiden bring the firewood over. After Moominmamma says that there's nothing else she needs them to get, Moomin asks her if he can explore the island, to which Moominmamma happily agrees. Snorkmaiden decides to help Moominmamma with the cooking. Moominmamma is even more delighted when Little My and Snufkin bring more firewood over.

In the forest, Moomin is accompanied by Little My and Snufkin. Moomin believes that nobody lives in the island, but Snufkin thinks they may be hiding in the bushes. Little My tells them that she's seen something who wasn't very big, just about her size. They looked white, ghostly and not very friendly. Moomin assumes that she thought she saw something. When Little My snaps that she DID see something, Moomin tells her that he's no saying that she didn't see something.

Elsewhere, Mr. Hemulen is studying flowers and collecting samples of them, unaware of some strange white creatures following him. Eventually, he comes across a pole with what looks like a barometer on it. He figures that it must be broken since it's showing rain and storm. It's then that he finds the white creatures behind him. Eventually, he is surrounded. He tries to act friendly and then realizes that the barometer is theirs. Unfortunately, the creatures advance on him.

Snufkin believes that Little My saw a Hattifattener, which look like ghosts (which is what Moomin thinks they are) but they're harmless enough. The trio hears Mr. Hemulen calling for help and find him climbing up the pole to avoid the Hattifatteners, which is what Little My saw. Snufkin asks Mr. Hemulen what he did to them, and Mr. Hemulen answers that he just tapped on the post and asked the Hattifatteners to be careful. Snufkin states that they look pretty angry. Mr. Hemulen answers that he tapped the barometer and they ran towards him. Snufkin believes that they thought he was trying to steal their barometer. Mr. Hemulen yells out that they can keep it as he's collecting flowers not barometers. As he's beginning to lose his grip, Snufkin tells him to shake the pole as they're sensitive (even though they can't see or hear very well). Mr. Hemulen does so and it works! The Hattifatteners run away from the pole (knocking down Moomin, Snufkin and Little My in the process) and the trio run over to the pole, from which Mr. Hemulen falls. Angered, Mr. Hemulen decides to take their barometer, despite Snufkin's protests. Mr. Hemulen proves that it's not working as it's a beautiful day and the barometer says that it should be raining.

Later, Moomin, Snufkin, Little My and Mr. Hemulen are back with the others, eating pancakes. Snorkmaiden believes that real home cooking is the way to explore. Moominpappa says that it only takes a little thought and Moominmamma says that Moominpappa is always prepared. The barometer says double zero, which means there would be a terrible storm if it was working.

The barometer is proven to be working when Moominpappa spots dark clouds gathering nearby. Snorkmaiden says that they'd better go before the storm hits, but Little My states that they'll be shipwrecked if they try to leave the island. Moomin tells Snorkmaiden that they've only explored half the island and they never know what they might find. Little My yells that she wanted to get her hands on a Hattifattener, which Mr. Hemulen doesn't want. As he's the captain, Moominpappa sniffs the sea air, checks the wind and holds his hat up. Snorkmaiden is spooked by a lightning flash and a thunderclap. Moominpappa decides that they'll stay on the island, much to Moomin's delight, but they must put up the tent. "Always be prepared" says Moominpappa, to which Moomin replies that he's very clever to think of everything as Moominmamma is putting all the stuff back in the bag.

The first thing to do is to lower the sails and pull the boat up so she's out of harm's way. They start pushing the boat ashore and when it's far enough from the tide, Moominpappa tells everyone to put up the tent and Mr. Hemulen to rest near the boat. but he must also tie the boat to a nearby tree before he joins the others. Just as he's about to tie the boat up to the tree, he notices a patch of black flowers nearby and begins studying them.

Just as the storm reaches the island, Snufkin watches it on a small cliff. Moomin hurries to the cliff to tell Snufkin to get to the tent before they get wet, but Snufkin is excited by the rain approaching the island and that he can't do anything about it. Snufkin tells Moomin that he has to time running for shelter just right. As they wander back to the tent, Moomin inquires what the Hattifatteners are doing. Snufkin answers that they're waiting for the storm because they get energy from the lightning. As the rain hits, Moomin and Snufkin dash back into the tent.


Sniff: [Imitating a pirate] Captain a-bridge! Man the yard-arm! Anchors away! Sailors beware! Splice the [??]! All hands on deck! Full speed ahead!

Behind the Scenes

  • The first appearance of the The Hattifatteners in the series.
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