Screencap of Elmer Fudd and Bugs Funny in 1940's 'A Wild Hare', with designs by Bob Givens, December 26, 2017 - Warner Bros. Home Entertainment/Youtube Channel
CAIRO – 26 December 2017: Bob Givens, a veteran of the animation golden-age who helped design Bugs Bunny, has passed away at the age of 99 from respiratory failure.
Born on March 2, 1918, Robert “Bob” Givens got his start working for Disney on “Snow White”, which he considered to be excellent training, allowing him to learn valuable skills, such as working alongside the camera. He then went on to work in animating Donald Duck’s cartoons before moving to Warner Brothers in 1940. There he was asked by director Tex Avery to help redesign the look of Bugs Bunny, making him less “cute” and more fitting to the character’s trickster nature.
His redesigned Bugs Bunny first appeared in 1940’s “A Wild Hare”, which also saw Givens help redesign the look of Bugs Bunny’s goofy hunter enemy, Elmer Fudd. Thanks to Given’s first reworking, Bugs Bunny became massively popular and is now one of the world’s most beloved cartoon characters.
World War II saw Givens drafted for the war, though he would still collaborate with workers from the animation industry to produce training films, allowing him to continue drawing. Returning from the war, Givens would work across a wide variety of studios and projects, including advertisements, feature films, animation studios such as Hanna-Barbera Productions and UPA, and even a stint with NASA, where he helped to design promotional material for the lead up to the moon landing, designing suits, capsules and more.
He also lent his hand in working on the layouts for Daffy Duck, Popeye, Tom & Jerry and more. Givens was also an early pioneer for animated advertising, such as with Raid’s pest control adverts.
With a career that spanned over 60 years, Givens was one of the last surviving notable members of the animation golden age, and he had been highly valued as a teacher for his wisdom and experience within the industry.