Five years ago Will Mobberley was running a successful computer animation business, having worked on the James Bond film GoldenEye and pop promotions for Diana Ross and Ricky Martin.
For 16 years the happily-married father-of-four had been producing graphics content for television documentaries shown worldwide, working from a specially-converted garage at his Gaywood home.
“Life was good,” he said.
But then the recession hit hard and Will’s life was thrown into turmoil.
Not only did his business suddenly collapse, but he found a tumour in his arm and was hospitalised with diabetes. Then his family home was repossessed and his marriage broke down – leaving him owing £40,000 to the tax man, facing bankruptcy and even contemplating suicide.
Now, thanks to a dogged-determination and support from those around him, Will has made his own computer-animated cartoon in his garage in a last-ditch bid to turn his fortunes around.
The 40-minute children’s DVD, called The Magic Bucket (The Scarecrow and Snowman Show), has taken around two-and-a-half years to make and became available to buy online last week.
He said: “I am actually rejoicing at what has happened because my dream had always been to make my own cartoon and most people in the industry are too busy earning a living to do their own stuff.”
It was shortly after Will was diagnosed and hospitalised with diabetes, and had the benign tumour removed from his arm, that he made a short, animated film out of “desperation” to find work.
It featured dancing safety pins and was so painstakingly-detailed, it took three months to produce the three-and-a-half-minute sequence .
The record producer for Swan Lake was so impressed with the masterpiece, he allowed Will to use the orchestral soundtrack, Dance of the Cygnets, to accompany it free of charge.
Sadly it didn’t bring any work, but Will decided to expand the film into a full-scale DVD show.
Living in a single-room in a shared house at the time, Will managed to borrow enough money to get his family home and converted garage back, and he set to work “like a man possessed”.
“Few can know the blood, sweat and tears which went into making it, but eventually the DVD was completed and it is now, at last, available to buy online.”
“I feel so happy that my DVD is out, I feel like a millionaire already.”
The cartoon, which features loveable characters including a scarecrow, a wizard, a snowman and two birds, is jam-packed with music, dance, fun and adventure.
It contains educational content, and encourages children to read, and introduces youngsters to ballet.
To buy your copy of The Magic Bucket, costing £7.35 with £1.25 UK delivery, visit: www.wilmobberley.com