Hayo Freitag was born in Wilhelmshafen in 1950 and studied Art and Philosophy in Hamburg. He came to animation via book publishing and illustration and his 1985 animated short Mein Bruder won the prize for Best Animation in Zagreb and the 1986 German Short Film Award. Freitag worked on many commercials for cinema and television before moving into feature films as character designer and animator on Werner - Beinhart in 1990. Since then, he has worked in various roles for Michael Schaack's TFC Trickompany on the Ottifanten series (1994), Felidae (1994), Loggerheads (1995), Max und Moritz (1997) before directing Capt'n Bluebear (1999). He also served as designer, author, animator and director on the short Das Pflaumenhuhn (1997) which was awarded the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Prize and nominated for the German Short Film Award in 1998.