A Brooklyn-based artist, 32-year-old Kelly Denato of Park Slope, is suing an animated cartoon studio in the city. The Animation Collective, Inc. and three other defendants are named in her suit, which alleges she is owed royalties for designing a character who has since become the namesake of a Cartoon Network show, Ellen's Acres. Denato says they have all profited from the cartoon, yet have denied the artist her contractual share of the royalties. She is allegedly supposed to receive 25% of all revenues from book sales, merchandising, animated motion pictures and television shows.
Denato told the Wall Street Journal she signed the contract in 2002, and at the time Animation Collective "flat out said, 'You shouldn't have been given that contract—it was a mistake,'" and tried to get her to renegotiate it, giving her less of a cut. Since that time, Denato has only received $9K, and is claiming the company has broken their contract with her. Ah, we always knew there was a dark side to the cartoon industry.