WFAC - Waterloo Festival For Animated Cinema 2004 - October 27 - 30, 2004

Y Mabinogi


2003 - Wales, U.K. - 108 mins - North American premiere
English language dialogue
Rated 14A (Adult accompaniment if under 14 years of age)
© 2003, Cartwn Cymru / S4C
Official website: Welsh English


Derek Hayes


Cartwn Cymru
Executive producer - Chris Grace


Born from the mystical and magical Welsh legend of The Mabinogi, Otherworld is a journey of adventure and danger to the distant world of our forefathers - a world in which dreams can come true for those brave enough to confront their failings. Combining live action and animation, the film explores many contemporary teenage problems when three friends, Lleu, Dan and Rhiannon plunge beneath the ocean waters to enter the mystical land known as "The Otherworld."

As the friends swim through an underwater gateway, they travel back in time to the long forgotten world of mythic Britain. Here they are transformed into animated characters, each undertaking a differently dangerous and wonder-filled journey which parallels their contemporary dilemma.

Lleu, a headstrong young man, discovers on his 18th birthday that he is adopted, to his dismay. How can his adopted parents have kept this secret from him? And how can he ever forgive his mother for abandoning him?

Dan, a forgetful and troubled young man, has always lived in the shadow of his elder brother. What can he do to free himself to live his own life? And how will he be able to help his friends when he cannot even help himself?

Rhiannon, an independent and beautiful young woman, realises she may be pregnant from a brief and foolish encounter with someone who was "only after one thing" but she remains confident that whatever the outcome, she can handle it! Will she gain a true understanding of motherhood, and of her co-dependence on those she loves?

As the personal journey of each of the friends is resolved, they return through the underwater gateway, to find that they have changed their views of their own world through their experiences in the Otherworld.

Profile: Director Derek Hayes

Attended Manchester Polytechnic School of Art and Design and Sheffield Polytechnic School of Art and Design, graduating with a degree in Sculpture in 1974. During this time, he began work as an animator in conjunction with fellow student Phil Austin. The fruitful collaboration saw the production of Custard (1973), and while attending the National Film School from 1974-7, Max Beeza and the City in the Sky (1976), Albion (1978) and a Sex Pistols feature in 1979.

Hayes co-founded Animation City with Austin in 1979. Works included pop promos for various stars such as Madonna, Elton John, Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, etc. and other graphics and advertisements. Starting in 1983, he begins working on various Channel 4 commissions, including Sky Whales, The Victor and Binky & Boo. Other films included the documentaries Animation Festival and Tin Toys, Knick Knacks and Algorithms, about then-animator John Lasseter, now the top creative mind behind Pixar and the driving force behind its high-profile animated feature films, such as Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and Monsters Inc.

After completing The Miracle Maker (1999), he started work on Y Mabinogi.

Festival participation

International Film Festival of Wales, Cardiff, U.K.
Science Fiction Film Festival, Trieste, Italy
Fantasy Filmfest, Germany
Edit/VES 2003, Frankfurt, Germany
Anima 2004, Brussels, Belgium
Anifest 2004, Trebon, Czech Republic
International Young Audience Film Festival Ale Kino, Poznan, Poland

World Sales Agent

Cartwn Cymru