Reviews

The Book

Bought Yendor book for my grand daughter. Lovely book, great quality and delivered quickly. Hours of fun reading it and looking at the pictures. My grand daughter loves it.

- Angela (Rodney Matthews Studios Customer)

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The story is full of the most wondrous creatures. Yendor is a likeable young fellow. The illustrations are nothing short of fantastical. And that spot uv cover is something else. Buy it. Immediately.

- Katie A. (Rodney Matthews Studios Customer)

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I got my book as a present my auntie and uncle. I love it very much - the pictures are cool and the monsters are amazing. I'd like to go on an adventure like Yendor. I like the grumposaur who eats too much slime and my sister thinks the flying frogs are funny. She also likes to Yendor a lot. Mummy got me to write my name in it too and that was fun!

- Rafferty, age 4 (Yendor fan)

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I love the Marauding Scrawnies and the book is so lovely and colourful!!!

- Tabitha, age 3 (Yendor fan)

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Yendor Review in Cotswold Life
 
- Candia McCormack (Cotswold Life)
 

The Audiobook

Have you ever heard of Marauding Scrawnies? They’re nasty, ghastly even – yet you’ll likely to like the critters because they’re a part of an unlikely hero’s trip into the Great – at least for him, as he’s only a little boy – Unknown. Who’s he? The name’s Yendor; the position’s the small one in the middle. He’s the protagonist of Rodney Matthews’ old book – aimed at kids but, given the illustrator’s prog-rock credentials, also interesting to adults that should cherish this slim tome as if it was a classic record’s sleeve. Revised recently to include more details – verbal and pictorial – the story became a record, too, released on paper as well as on CD, where the narration by the artist’s wife Sarah is spliced with a soundtrack from Oliver Wakeman, with an option to consume spoken word and music both together and separately, to a great effect.

It’s worth the effort because, while the fable and the music create a well-rounded experience on a single track, quasi-orchestral passages stressing certain moments of the story to complement it, on their own the two media are possessed with nuances which can be lost in such a blend. Still, if Matthews’ words come simply better enunciated, though much drier, as a standalone cut, Wakeman’s variety of tunes – rolled into one 17-minute piece – form a non-oral, albeit not entirely independent, fairy tale. As a result, episodes like the lad’s encounter with the Grabsting, wrapped in solemn stereo and often sporting a memorable riff, scope a special space when synthesizers stage a spectacular little epic. A riveting listen and a prompt to get the book per se, “Yendor” – named after Rodney’s son – is genuinely endearing.

Matthews briefly checks in at the disc’s end to expand on the background of it all, which is a nice gesture, akin to an artist’s signature: consider it a sincere bonus and call your children to sit and savor the reverie.

- Dmitry M. Epstein (Rock Journalist )

 

The Animated Short 

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. (KIDS FIRST! Film Critic)

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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)

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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)

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

- Neil H. (Kickstarter Backer)

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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)

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

- Bill S. (Kickstarter Backer)

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Fantastic!

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)

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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)

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

- Danny B (Kickstarter Backer)

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

- Andy E. (Kickstarter Backer)

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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)

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

- Paul M. (Kickstarter Backer)