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Elmer's Pet Rabbit is a 1941 Merrie Melodies cartoon. The short was released on January 4, 1941. starring Elmer Fudd and, ostensibly, Bugs Bunny. It is the first cartoon in which the name Bugs Bunny is given (on a title card, edited onto the end of the opening title following the success of A Wild Hare), but the rabbit is also somewhat the same as the one seen and heard in Elmer's Candid Camera and other pre-Bugs shorts. It was directed by Chuck Jones and written by Rich Hogan. Voices are provided by Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan. It was produced by Leon Schlesinger.
Elmer buys Bugs Bunny in a pet shop (for 98¢). When they get home, Elmer builds an enclosure for Bugs, and then serves him dinner (a bowl of vegetables) which Bugs acts awfully towards. Then Bugs is seen grumbling in the night and he eventually takes Elmer's bed as his own. Throughout the short, Bugs irritates Elmer in various ways—from dancing to attempts getting in the shower, etc.—which culminates when Elmer severely attacks Bugs (in a dark room with humorous fireworks exploding) and sends him out of the house. However, Bugs manages to get back inside and reclaim Elmer's bed.
Evolution of Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny's voice is pitched noticeably lower than in later incarnations of the character. His character is also very different from the more familiar version of himself (and even the earlier prototype versions), having a much more aggressive, arrogant, almost thuggish personality rather than his usual fun loving and comic relief personality. This short is the only one where Bugs has yellow gloves instead of white and no visible front teeth and claims to not eat carrots (yet he eats them and other vegetables while complaining).
The music in the cartoon includes a variation on "While Strolling Through the Park One Day," arranged by Carl Stalling, performed by Elmer and the rabbit. Elmer, of course, has trouble with many of the words, due to his "rounded L and R" speech impediment.
The rumbling on the other side of Elmer's bedroom was reused in a later cartoon, The Wabbit Who Came to Supper.
Bugs yelling "Turn off that light!!" was a reference to World War II's Air Raid Precautions.