Honorary Unsubscribe

Randy Cassingham’s Honorary Unsubscribe Recognizes the Unknown, the Forgotten and the Often Obscure People who Had an Impact on Our Lives.
These are the people you will wish you had known.


Bob Givens

An artist, Givens graduated from high school in southern California and, after working for a year as a freelance artist, got a job lead — at the Walt Disney Studios. The year: 1937. He started as an “animation checker” to ensure Donald Duck cartoons were coming out right, and then was assigned to work on the studio’s first feature-length film: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. After a few years there, he moved to Warner Brothers to work with Chuck Jones and Tex Avery — on their Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies staff. In 1940, Avery brought Givens a new character to design; his earlier sketches were “too cute,” Avery said, and wanted Givens to fix it: a rabbit character which wasn’t quite well defined, and didn’t even have a name yet. Once Givens got the character designed (pictured below), it was given a name: Bugs Bunny — who would grow into the studio’s biggest star. That first Bugs Bunny cartoon, A Wild Hare, was released on July 27 of that year, with Mel Blanc voicing that line: “What’s up, Doc?” Givens also designed Elmer Fudd’s look, but his career was interrupted when he was drafted for World War II. He got a good assignment: he made military training films with a fellow Warner animator. After the war, Givens continued to jump around a bit, working at Warner, Hanna-Barbera, UPA, DePatie-Freleng, and others, and returned to Warner for the last original Bugs short, False Hare (1965 — poor Bugs didn’t work again until Box Office Bunny in 1991). Givens was the last of the major players involved with the production of A Wild Hare; he died at a hospital in Burbank, Calif., on December 14, at 99.

Givens’ original Bugs Bunny designs: note it’s not named yet, just “Tex’s Rabbit”.

From This is True for 17 December 2017

Honorary Unsubscribe Books

HU BooksThe Early Writeups from This is True's popular Honorary Unsubscribe feature are now available for your Kindle (or Kindle software for your smartphone, tablet, or computer) as low-cost ebooks.

See details on Volume 1 (covering 1998 through 2000), Volume 2 (2001 through 2003), Volume 3 (2004 through 2006), and Volume 4 (2007 through 2009).

The honorees truly are the people you wish you had known.

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