Culture & Art

Feb 1, 2018

"EH... WHAT'S UP DOC?"

Bob Givens, passed away in December 2017 at the age of 99, leaving us the cheeky timeless rabbit with a peculiar personality, Bugs Bunny.

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By SARA LOUP

Bob Givens (1918, Hanson, Kentucky – 2017, Burbank, California) belonged to the generation of creators of the America's animation golden age. He initiated his career at an animation studio in Alhambra High School, where he had the opportunity to be part of the animation team of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Donald Duck, by Walt Disney Studios.

In the 1930s, he joined Warner Brothers' Chuck Jones and Tex Avery, who commissioned him to redesign the rabbit that would become the world's most famous, Bugs Bunny.

Its design had already been designed by Ben Hardaway and Charles Thorson, however, had not exceeded Avery's expectations because he was "too dear." That´s why Givens had the role of re-creating Bugs Bunny, giving it attitude and a unique feature, that perhaps was the key to Bugs Bunny's success and the reason for the choice as a mascot of Looney Tunes.

In 1940, "A Wild Hare", was Oscar nominated for best animated short film, in which Bugs Bunny appeared for the first time to the general public. However, the rabbit-hunter and its arch-nemesis, the hunter Elmer Fudd, did not appear as we know them, suffering some changes in their design.

These two characters' adventures will remain forever in our memory, mainly by the hilarious relation they both had, written by the hand of excellent authors and with the voice of Mel Blanc.

Among the various short films, we can highlight, Space Jam (1996) with basketball player Michael Jordan and Back in Action (2003), with Hollywood stars Brendan Fraser and Jenna Elfman, that made the delirious of everyone by enclosing animation and real life in the big screen.

After World War II (1939-1945), Bob Givens dedicated his career to animation and cartoons for more than 60 years. He worked for several studios like Disney Studio, Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera and Jack Kinney and has taken care of charismatic characters like Daffy Duck, Tom & Jerry, Popeye, Alvim and the Squirrels, Garfield, Ghostbusters, amongst others worldwide cartoon well known. His latest works such as, Timber Wolf and The Mysteries of Silvestre and Tweety, dated back to 2001, the year the designer retired.

Beside the cartoons, Givens was a pioneer in the resource of advertising animation, for example, the ragamuffins, flies and mosquitoes of the Raid product.

In despite of his vast resume, Bugs Bunny still remains as the favorite of many people. Perhaps because of its irreverence or creased personality, of its adventures with its friends Duffy Duck, Porky Pig and Lola Bunny, and enemies, Elmer Fudd and Marvin The Martian, or just maybe because of its comic and friendly image, the gray rabbit couldn't leave anyone indifferent.  

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