It's hard to imagine what the world of animation would look like today without the influence of Bugs Bunny. He's the mascot of the Looney Tunes franchise, a former teammate of Michael Jordan, as well as a former co-star to Brendan Fraser, and it's safe to say all of that may not have been possible had it not been for the efforts of one man. Last Thursday, on December 14, that man, Bob Givens, the original designer of Bugs Bunny, passed away at the age of 99.
Givens passed away while receiving palliative care for an illness at St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank. His daughter, Mariana Givens, reported his death via Facebook (via International Business Times) after saying the day prior his condition had changed. A well-known name in the animation industry, Bob Givens career spanned decades with one of his biggest achievements being the man who gave Bugs Bunny his modern design. The story goes that animation legend Tex Avery asked Givens to look over the character designs for a rabbit character that had appeared in previous Warner Bros. shorts, citing that it was believed the original design was "too cute." Givens would tweak the design and his vision of the modern Bugs Bunny would appear in the animated 1940 short "A Wild Hare," which you can watch below.
"A Wild Hare" wasn't just the first appearance of the modern Bugs Bunny, it was also the first time he would use his trademark line "What's up, Doc," in a Warner Bros. cartoon. The character would prove to be popular, and while there would be some further tweaks to the character over the years, it was Bob Givens that put it all on the right path.
Beyond Bugs Bunny and work with Looney Tunes, Bob Givens contributed to several successful animated children shows throughout the decades. That includes the 1960 version of Popeye The Sailor, Quick Draw McGraw, Alvin & The Chipmunks, Ghostbusters, She-Ra: Princess of Power, and there's a lot more beyond that. Givens worked in the world of animation as far back as the mid-to-late 1930s all the way up until the early 2000s, with his final contribution to animation appearing to be the Chuck Jones project Timber Wolf in 2001.
Those looking to stream Looney Tunes can do so by checking out the Boomerang subscription service. For a look at upcoming television programming due to air before the year reaches its end, visit our fall premiere guide. Those looking to instead see what's happening with television in 2018 can visit our midseason premiere guide. Finally, those who are curious to see which shows in 2017 just couldn't cut the mustard and ended up being canceled should visit our cancellation guide, as there are a lot of shows that were dropped.