We’re here to give Black creatives in the animation industry their flowers. So many moving pieces contribute to a successful animated show or movie. This month, Dream Con wants to highlight the Black creatives thriving in the animation industry and beyond.
Preston Mutanga may not yet be a household name, but odds are you are familiar with his work. Mutanga is a 15-year-old animator responsible for the LEGO universe portion of epic Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023). Last year at the age of 14, Mutanga recreated the entire trailer for Across the Spider-Verse in LEGO format. His recreation was so impressive, that the Across the Spider-Verse writer-producers and directors for the The Lego Movie decided to add a LEGO universe element to the movie and wanted him to animate the segment.
Recently, on Mutanga’s Instagram, he has shared scenes from Breaking Bad, Oppenheimer, and even original content he recreated in his signature LEGO style.
Mutanga is still in high school but is closer now than ever to achieving his goal of becoming a full-time animator, and we can’t wait to see what he does moving forward.
Did You Know? Mutanga spent two months planning and completing his portion of the Spider-Verse sequel. He even worked over his spring break!
Ayo Edebiri, a multi-talented force in the entertainment industry, has made an indelible mark with her creative prowess and infectious passion for storytelling. As a writer, comedian, and actress, Edebiri has captivated audiences with her unique voice and insightful commentary on contemporary issues.
Outside of Edibiri’s standout role on The Bear on FX, her resume includes many animated shows and movies. One of her most notable animated roles is Missy Foreman-Greenwald on the critically acclaimed series Big Mouth, where she also contributed as a writer, showcasing her versatile skills. She also voiced roles in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, Kiff, and Clone High.
Ayo Edibiri’s love for animation shines through in her work, seamlessly blending humor with poignant social commentary. She stands as a trailblazer, using her talent to reshape the industry and leave an enduring impact on animation and comedy alike.
Did You Know? Edebiri is slated to star in the A24 horror film, Opus, centering an iconic pop star returning after disappearing for decades.
Matthew A. Cherry
Matthew A. Cherry is a multi-talented visionary whose mark on the entertainment industry is characterized by his enthusiasm for storytelling, particularly in the realm of animation. As an accomplished director, producer, and former professional athlete, Cherry seamlessly navigates diverse spheres of creativity.
His notable achievements include winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2020 for Hair Love, a heartwarming and culturally resonant tale that he wrote and directed. He also created the television spin-off Young Love on Max starring Kid Cudi, Issa Rae,Brooke Monroe Conaway, and Loretta Devine. Cherry is also credited as a director for episodes of Abbott Elementary and Swagger.
Cherry's dedication to elevating underrepresented voices in animation has been instrumental in fostering inclusivity within the industry. He is a vocal advocate for diversity, using his platform to champion marginalized communities, and is a beacon of inspiration for aspiring storytellers worldwide.
Did You Know? Cherry is credited as a director on over 20 music videos. He has worked with Jazmine Sullivan, Chloe X Halle, Kindred The Family Soul, and many others!
Check out the Black Creatives who have shaped the entertainment industry.