On December 14th Bob Givens, the original designer of Bugs Bunny, passed away at the age of 99 due to an undisclosed illness in Burbank, California, according to his family who made the announcement on Facebook.
Before Givens was given the task to redesign Bugs Bunny before his 1940 debut in the Oscar-nominated animated short A Wild Hare, his first professional work was at Disney as an animation checker on 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He enjoyed a career that spanned seven decades in the animation industry, working for Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbara, and others on a laundry list of important movies and shows.
After working as a character designer and layout artist from short to short for the first 30 years of his career, Givens lent his expertise to the original Popeye cartoon, then went on to work across nearly every major series of serial cartoons throughout the ’70s and ’80s. Givens contributed to Heathcliffe, the animated Mr. T show, countless Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoons, Alvin and the Chipmunks, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra, Ghostbusters, Garfield , Tom & Jerry, and many, many more, leading into his final credited work on The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries and Timber Wolf in 2001. He’s a true legend that had seen it all.
Here he is discussing his process and working with the greats of yesteryear like Mel Blanc and Chuck Jones: