Bob GivensOccupation / Title:
“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.”
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.
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.”
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.
Honors and awards
Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 2001