While Porky's Hare Hunt was the first Warner Bros. cartoon to feature a “Bugs Bunny-like” rabbit, A Wild Hare, directed by Tex Avery, was released on this day in 1940 and is widely considered to be the first official Bugs Bunny cartoon. It is the first film where Bugs is voiced by Mel Blanc (who would continue to voice the rabbit for many years) and the first for the hare to utter, “What’s Up Doc?” A huge success at the box office, the short also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Cartoon Short Subject.
Prince’s American rock musical drama, Purple Rain, debuted on this day in 1984. Playing a version of himself in his first acting role, Prince had originally wanted the story to be darker in tone and have a more coherent storyline. Instead, many of the scenes shot for the film were cut giving more room for many concert sequences. Purple Rain won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score but was also nominated for two Razzies for Worst New Star (Apollonia Kotero) and Worst Original Song (“Sex Shooter”). The soundtrack of the film sold over 25 million copies worldwide. Prince died on April 21, 2016 and both MTV and VHI showed edited versions of the film as a tribute. Special screenings of the film were also shown in theaters the following week.