Yendor: The Journey of a Junior Adventurer

Suppertime - Yendor, Mother and Father

Yendor may be small, but his dreams are big and his courage is mighty. Longing to be an adventurer like his father, he sets off into the wild country, alone.

Little does he know that his chosen path is a perilous one, filled with fantastical beasts that even the most seasoned adventurer would fear to cross - a Grumposaur, a Grabsting, a Killwing and the nastiest of them all, the Marauding Scrawnies!

To survive, he is going to need both skill and wit. To make it home again, is another matter altogether!


Available in Paperback, as an Audiobook and on TV!

Classified Universal - the animation is streaming on Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube Movies and more!

Watch the trailer here:

The Making of an Adventurer

In 1973, Rodney, with a loose plot in his mind, painted thirteen watercolours, depicting a small boy, Yendor, on an adventure. His concept was put into words by musician and lyricist Graham Smith and then, in 1978, Big O published the first edition in hardback.

In 2020, Rodney and Sarah, as Rodney Matthews Studios, published a second edition in hardback, along with a colouring book and sticker sheet. They gave the layout a fresh new look and Sarah edited the text for a modern audience. Also that year, they released the story as an audiobook on CD. Sarah narrated the tale, which was was accompanied by an original score by musician Oliver Wakeman (Yes keyboardist and composer).

Following a successful, 105%-backed, Kickstarter campaign, Rodney and Sarah enlisted the help of animator Matt Henry and animation consultant Jon Rashid to create a 17-minute 2D animated short. It was release in 2021 to critical acclaim; it was officially selected for screening at 43 film festivals internationally and won 30 awards!

Yendor's Film Festival Wins
When the hardback sold out, Rodney and Sarah decided, in 2022, to publish the first paperback edition.
In 2023, Rodney completed the artwork for the next Yendor animation, which the couple are working on now in 2024.

- FUN FACT: The name "Yendor" is "Rodney" spelled backwards! -

Animation reviews 

"Yendor - The Journey of a Junior Adventurer is different than anything I've ever seen before! What makes this stand out is the type of animation. It is more like a story turned into a short film. The storyline follows a young boy named Yendor who longs to be an adventurer like his father. He feels that he is old enough, strong enough and mature enough to do it. So, he finally decides to take action and go out to explore. However, what he doesn't realize is that the path he takes is very dangerous. Everywhere he goes there is some kind of beast or challenge. He has to find a way to get past all of these obstacles and make his way home.

What I like about the film is that it's a common scenario, but unique. In this film, beasts and mythical creatures emphasize each obstacle, which makes it stand out. The animation is not full range animation, but it has pretty good movement. What impressed me is how well it tells the story. The drawings are very well detailed and beautiful. The background music is very well suited for the film, enhancing it a great deal and timed to perfection. The music crescendos to coincide with the intensity of the conflict. My favorite part of the film is the narration by Sarah Matthews. She is British I presume, since the film is from the UK.

The message of this film is that you will grow into who you are, you don't need to rush. Yendor needed to realize that he would eventually become the adventurer his dad was. He just needs to be patient and everything will fall into place. Be aware that it does show kids doing risky things that kids might imitate and we see Yendor disobeying his parents by running away. However, as an animated film, these things don’t necessarily elicit imitation.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8. I recommend it for a youth or family film festival because has a great story and message."

- Maica N, Film Critic, KIDS FIRST! 

"Rodney & Sarah Matthews' Yendor: The Journey of a Junior Adventurer's an Infectiously charming animated film. This visual spectacle could quickly be commissioned into a pre-school children's series, with a unique style of 2D animation that's aesthetically gorgeous and irresistible. At times Yendor's aesthetic wonder begs for a faster tempo-rhythm and more interactive script that brushes past the passive and limited spectatorial experience a narrator condemns this story to, to the immersion that a fully-fledged character-dimensional script and ensemble voice cast would offer Yendor. Aside from those executed choices on a scriptural and auditorial level, Yendor's vibrant world-building and character design make this an extraordinary animated odyssey; this is first-class 2D animation that's gripping, sophisticated, and utterly magical. A visual spectacle. Grade B+"

- Adrian Perez, CEO & Founder, Lonely Wolf Film Festival

"‘Yendor–the story of a junior adventurer’ is a short, animated film by Directors Rodney Matthews and Sarah Matthews. The film amazes right from the word go, with its charming colour palette and the exotic wonderland it creates. Narrated as a bedtime story, the film uses the spoken word to add layers to its imagery. It builds the dangerous fantasy world that Yendor explores from the ground up, adding menacing characters complete with unique traits and fantastical superpowers, while standing clear of unnecessary violence and gore. The film is child-safe and has the thrills to give the satisfaction of having completed an eventful adventure in person.

‘Yendor–The story of junior adventurer’ is a charming creation that kindles the imagination of young minds and brings out the adventurer in every heart, young and old."

- Bollywood Indies Film Festival

"That was amazing, i've just sat and watched it with my little one (he has autism and never sits for anything) and it's kept us both transfixed, we'll be watching this so many more times over the next few days."

- Brian B, Kickstarter Backer

"Gorgeous! I hadn't read the book so completely new to me. What a lovely story and so gently narrated by Sarah. Beautiful artwork and I really liked the animation style too. Many congratulations! Hope it's well received."

- Yvonne B, Kickstarter Backer

"Charming visuals and a delightful musical score. The narration fits it perfectly."

- Neil H, Kickstarter Backer

"Wow. Thoroughly enjoyed my first viewing. The music, Sarah's wonderful narration and the artwork were fantastic. I hadn't read the book so wasn't familiar with the story at all. What brilliant names the creatures were given. Sarah and Rodney you should be very proud of this work and the musical score outstanding. I will be watching again for sure!"

- Beryl W, Kickstarter Backer

"Absolutely brilliant! The music, the art, the reading...... I actually know some of those creatures...."

- Bill S, Kickstarter Backer


The animators have perfectly emulated the look and charm of the original illustrations… and made them move!

Although this style is more “naïve” than Rodney Matthews’ more famous pieces, almost every frame is a work of art due to the interesting shapes and gorgeous colour palette.

Add Sarah Matthews’ spirited narration (subtly complemented by Oliver Wakeman’s soundtrack) and you’ve got a great little animated feature which I’m sure fantasy fans young and old will enjoy.

I certainly enjoyed it and can even imagine cuddly toys or miniature figures based on the characters and monsters.

In any case, all the best with the project and here’s to Yendor continuing his adventures in the future!

I've only just realised that "Yendor" is "Rodney" backwards! Or did everyone know that already?"

- Tariq B, Kickstarter Backer

"Very good. Loved the narration Sarah. The music fitted so well and as ever the artwork stunning and brought to life is just fabulous."

- Elaine C, Kickstarter Backer

"Wonderful! We watched with my daughter Thalia and her husband (she's not little anymore) and we were all impressed. It's a great combination of image, voice and music. Sarah, we love your voice! The book is nice but this is a much more emersive experience. Congratulations and success with the distribution."

- William S, Kickstarter Backer

"Very nice. Everything worked so well together. The visuals, the music and the narration are spot on!"

- Danny B, Kickstarter Backer

"The artwork, the narration, the music, the animation...all worked wonderfully, and a great story to boot. Well done!"

- Andy E, Kickstarter Backer

"That's beautiful. I love the textures of the illustrations and it's wonderful to see the pictures brought to life. All the elements fit together perfectly and it's an absolute joy. Lovely work all round."

- Oz H, Kickstarter Backer

"I really only backed this because Matthews' Musings are an entertaining read, so it would have been rude not to.

It turns out that I like this too, so best wishes on finding a broadcaster or distributor who is on the same page. Failing that, let us know when the next crowdfunder is!"

- David, Kickstarter Backer

"This is so gorgeous. Thank you so much Sarah and Rodney!"

- Paul M, Kickstarter Backer