Friday, December 15, 2017

RIP Robert Givens

News From Me
Mark Evanier
December 15, 2017

Bob Givens got out of high school in 1936. In 1937, he went to work for the Walt Disney Studio, mostly as animation checker on Donald Duck cartoons and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In 1940, he moved over to the Warner Brothers cartoon studio where one of his first jobs was doing the redesign of a rabbit character who would henceforth by known as Bugs Bunny.

In 1942, he was drafted into the army and spent most of his tour of duty working on military training films with animation director Rudolph Ising. After the war, he returned to Warner Brothers working for all their directors but mainly as a layour artist for Robert McKimson and Chuck Jones. He also began moonlighting for Western Publishing, drawing for their childrens books and comic book line.

In the decades that followed, he worked on and off for Warners but could occasionally be found at the U.P.A. studio, Jack Kinney's studio, Hanna-Barbera, DePatie-Freleng, Filmation, Film Roman and maybe a few other places. He more or less retired from working in animation around the start of the twenty-first century but taught well into his nineties. As you can see, he had what may well be the most impressive résumé in the history of the cartoon business.

Robert Givens died yesterday less than three months before he would have celebrated his hundredth birthday. We lost not only an important figure in the world of animation but a much-loved, unanimously-respected man who was always willing to talk to anyone about his work and to encourage others.

I was honored to talk with him now and then when he worked on Garfield and Friends, and to be invited to participate in a gang interview of him on the Disney lot last April. He was an amazing man.

GIVENS, Robert
Born: 3/2/1918, Alhambra, California, U.S.A.
Died: 12/14/2017, Burbank, California, U.S.A.

Robert Givens westerns – layout, background artist:
Quick Draw McGraw (TV) 1959-1962 (layout, background artist)
Fistic Mystic – 1969 (layout artist)
Injun Trouble – 1969 (layout artist)
Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa (TV) 1992–1994 (layout artist)

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