Character Designer Dave Alvarez Wasn’t Credited For Work On ‘Space Jam’ Sequel
Animation, like basketball, is a team effort — something the producers of Space Jam: A New Legacy may need to be reminded of. Industry artist Dave Alvarez, one of the artists who drew character models for the Warner Bros. film, has pointed out that he was not credited for his designs.
The Puerto Rican artist took to Facebook and Twitter to air his grievances: “Last night me and my family sat down to watch Space Jam. My kids were excited to see the movie ‘dad helped make’ only to find out that my name was omitted from the final credits.”
He continued: “I feel devastated. I worked hard in summer 2019 to help the crew with a lot of designs that were actually USED in the final product. When I began my career, one of my goals was to see my name on the big screen, and that moment was taken off from me and it will never come back.”
— Dave Alvarez (@DAlvarezStudio) July 17, 2021
Speaking to Cartoon Brew, Alvarez says this is the first time he has not received credit for work. “Maybe it was an honest mistake from the company,” he says, “but I was asked for my onscreen name for the credits many months ago, so it was a bit disheartening not to see it at the end.”
Alvarez’s tweet has received a lot of engagement, with over 75,000 likes at the time of writing. The hashtag #CreditDaveAlvarez is taking off. The artist says he’s “humbled and grateful” for the support, but notes that others working in animation have suffered the same indignity. He says, “The real hashtag should be #CreditAllArtists.”
“The importance of receiving proper credit is relevant for us artists,” he says. “It’s our evidence for future and bigger opportunities. It can’t be omitted. It shouldn’t.”
Lack of credit is indeed an endemic problem in the industry, with individual animators, designers, and others often left out of the end credits — Warner Bros. Animation’s recent Netflix series Green Eggs and Ham is just one of many examples.
Peter de Sève, who designed characters for films including Finding Nemo and Ice Age, wrote in reply to Alvarez’s tweet: “Very sorry to hear this, Dave. It’s a bitter pill and one I’ve I had to eat more than once. It is painful and frankly infuriating. How hard is it to give credit to whom it’s due?”
Alvarez is a veteran comics and animation artist who has been involved with Looney Tunes characters since the 1990s. Series he has worked on (and been credited for) as a character designer and storyboard artist include HBO Max’s Looney Tunes Cartoons, Cartoon Network’s The Looney Tunes Show, and Boomerang’s Wabbit/New Looney Tunes. He is the creator of the comic strip Yenny.
Space Jam: A New Legacy was released in theaters and on HBO Max on Friday. It opened to an estimated $31.6 million domestically.