Monday, April 25, 2011

A Conversation with Bob Givens -- Part I

Bob Givens' long and storied career began at Walt Disney Productions, where Bob found himself (right out of high school), assisting on a long-form cartoon entitled Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ...

TAG Interview with Bob Givens

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Find all TAG Interviews on the TAG website at this link

Mr. Givens departed assistant animation work for design, storyboards, and layout at Leon Schlesinger's studio in Hollywood. After World War II interrupted his cartoon career, he returned to Warner Bros. and resumed what became more than a half-century of television and theatrical cartooning. Bob not only worked on the first animated television commercial (in 1947) but thousands more afterward.

Our conversation took place in the Guild's conference room. (Animation veteran Art Leonardi, whose TAG Blog interview was posted on March 21 and March 22, was also in attendance. The "Snow White party" that Bob talks about is this one.)

You can find Bob's video interviews with ASIFA here.


Chris Sobieniak said...

A few afterthoughts...

- Although Bob didn't seem to recall Magoo's popularity, saying he didn't catch on with the public, between the decade or so UPA was making theatrical shorts, there was a total of over 50 theatrical Mr. Magoo cartoons that were released between 1949 to 1959 (and not counting the feature film "1001 Arabian Nights" that concludes that period well). The character would also go on to TV avenues where he sold light bulbs to beer, and appeared in yet-more animated adventures for another couple decades. So I wouldn't say he didn't catch on, though today's Politically Correct standards have practically made him impossible to see all too often.

- I believe he mistaken "Heckle & Jeckle" for Fox and Crow, previous stars in a number of cartoons that were produced by Columbia's Screen Gems in the 1940's. When UPA got the contract to produce cartoons for Columbia, they had to make some with those characters, so the first UPA cartoon to be released in 1948 was the Oscar-nominated "Robin Hoodlum". Two more Fox & Crow cartoons would follow until they retired the characters entirely and moved on with their newcomer Magoo and other projects. They pretty much wanted to get out of the "funny animal" thing and into the more artistic pursuits the studio wanted from day one.

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