Biography: Bob Givens

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Birth/Death

Occupation/Title

Layout artist, writer, production designer, animator, and character designer.

Bio Summary

“I went to Chouinard, mostly nights, and then I went to Bistram School, New York Art Students League and Jepson in Los Angeles. Quite a bit of art training then and over the years…Drawing is the basis of all this business. You can’t get too much of it.”

Early Life/Family

Education/Training

Career Outline

Givens got his start when Hardie Gramatky and Don Graham got him a job at Disney. This was when they were hiring for Snow White. He started as a checker on The Old Mill, after that he started to work on Snow White. While working at Disney he mostly worked on pieces concerning Donald Duck.

After leaving Disney, Givens went to work at Schlesinger’s/Warner Bros. It was here that he worked with Chuck Jones and Tex Avery. Givens boasts that in his time at Warner Bros he boarded some 500 features. “The boards were pretty close to the finished product, at least in the expressions. Mel Blanc recorded from those damn things!”

Givens has also worked with many other studios, including Hanna-Barbera and UPA.

Comments On Style

Givens may be best known for his designs done on Bugs Bunny. His early ideas for the rabbit have him with a fairly oblong head. One might say that this take is actually more life like than the character designs that came later.

That being said, Givens’ style is one of adaptation. He can draw anything basically, depending on what is required of the layout. He uses reference material but is also capable of “winging it,” when appropriate.

Chuck Jones on Bob Givens and their art styles: “I didn’t draw terribly well at that time. Bob Givens had come over, and he drew beautifully; he was about nineteen years old, and he was fantastic.”

Influences

Givens worked along side the greats at a young age, and if anything he could be thought of as an influence on later character designers, though his early work is along the lines of Charlie Thorson Disney type work.

Personality

Anecdotes

Givens worked on the first batch of Raid bug commercials in the 1950s. “We sent them into the agency and figured that’s the end of it. They loved it and we did them for 17 years.”

Miscellaneous

Filmography

The Old Mill (1937)
Snow White (1937)
Tom Thumb in Trouble (1940) (character designer) Mighty Hunters (1940) (character designer)
A Wild Hare (1940) (character designer)
Ghost Wanted (1940) (character designer)
Stage Fright (1940) (character designer)
Tortoise Beats Hare (1941) (character designer)
Hiawatha’s Rabbit Hunt (1941) (character designer)
Rhapsody in Rivets (1941) (character designer)
The Draft Horse (1942) (character designer)
Hoppy-Go-Lucky (1952) (layout artist)
The EGGcited Rooster (1952) (layout artist)
The Super Snooper (1952) (layout artist)
Rabbit’s Kin (1952) (layout artist)
Fool Coverage (1952) (layout artist)
Upswept Hare (1953) (layout artist)
Muscle Tussle (1953) (layout artist)
A Peck o’ Trouble (1953) (layout artist)
There Auto Be a Law (1953) (layout artist)
Plop Goes the Weasel (1953) (layout artist)
Cat-Tails for Two (1953) (layout artist)
Easy Peckin’s (1953) (layout artist)
Of Rice and Hen (1953) (layout artist)
Cats A-Weigh! (1953) (layout artist)
Wild Wife (1954) (layout artist)
Design for Leaving (1954) (layout artist)
Bell Hoppy (1954) (layout artist)
No Parking Hare (1954) (layout artist)
Little Boy Boo (1954) (layout artist)
Devil May Hare (1954) (layout artist)
The Oily American (1954) (layout artist)
Gone Batty (1954) (layout artist)
Quack Shot (1954) (layout artist)
Feather Dusted (1955) (layout artist)
Beanstalk Bunny (1955) (layout artist)
All Fowled Up (1955) (layout artist)
Lighthouse Mouse (1955) (layout artist)
Past Perfumance (1955) (layout artist)
Jumpin’ Jupiter (1955) (layout artist)
Dime to Retire (1955) (layout artist)
West of the Pesos (1960) (layout artist)
Crockett-Doodle-Do (1960) (layout artist)
The Dixie Fryer (1960) (layout artist)
“The Bugs Bunny Show” (1960) TV Series (layout artist)
I Was a Teenage Thumb (1963) (animator) (layout artist)
Transylvania 6-5000 (1963) (layout artist)
Dumb Patrol (1964) (layout artist)
Bartholomew Versus the Wheel (1964) (layout artist)
The Iceman Ducketh (1964) (layout artist)
False Hare (1964) (layout artist)
Love Me, Love My Mouse (1966) (layout artist)
Filet Meow (1966) (layout artist)
The A-Tom-inable Snowman (1966) (layout artist)
“The Super 6″ (1966) TV Series (layout artist)
Merlin the Magic Mouse (1967) (layout artist)
Fiesta Fiasco (1967) (layout artist)
Hocus Pocus Powwow (1968) (layout artist)
Big Game Haunt (1968) (layout artist)
Skyscraper Caper (1968) (layout artist)
Feud with a Dude (1968) (layout artist)
See Ya Later Gladiator (1968) (layout artist)
Flying Circus (1968) (layout artist)
“The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour” (1968) TV Series (layout artist)
Chimp & Zee (1968) (layout artist) (as Bob Givens)
Bunny and Claude: We Rob Carrot Patches (1968) (layout artist)
The Great Carrot-Train Robbery (1969) (layout artist)
Fistic Mystic (1969) (layout artist)
Rabbit Stew and Rabbits Too! (1969) (layout artist)
Shamrock and Roll (1969) (layout artist)
Bugged by a Bee (1969) (layout artist)
“Here Comes the Grump” (1969) TV Series (layout artist)
Injun Trouble (1969) (layout artist)
“Doctor Dolittle” (1970) TV Series (layout artist)
The Cat in the Hat (1971) (TV) (layout artist)
The Egg and Ay-Yi-Yi! (1971) (layout artist)
Fastest Tongue in the West (1971) (layout artist)
Pink Tuba-Dore (1971) (layout artist)
Cattle Battle (1971) (layout artist)
Pink Pranks (1971) (layout artist)
“Help!… It’s the Hair Bear Bunch!” (1971) TV Series (layout artist)
“The Pink Panther Laugh and the Half Hour and Half Show” (1976)(animator)
Bugs Bunny’s Easter Special (1977) (TV) (layout artist)
“Baggy Pants & the Nitwits” (1977) TV Series (design)
The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie (1981) (layout artist)
Daffy Duck’s Movie: Fantastic Island (1983) (layout artist)
“The Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour” (1985) TV Series (layout artist)
“The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show” (1986) TV Series (layout artist)
The Duxorcist (1987) (layout artist)
The Night of the Living Duck (1988) (layout artist)
Daffy Duck’s Quackbusters (1988) (layout artist)
“Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends” (1990) TV Series (layout artist)

Honors

Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 2001

Related Links

IMDB(http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0321454/)
John Cawly’s Cataroo.com Interview(http://www.cataroo.com/hgivens.html)
Michael Barrier.com Chuck Jones interview (http://www.michaelbarrier.com/Funnyworld/jones/interview_chuck_jones.htm)

Bibliographic References

All direct quotes were taken from interviews provided in the above links.

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