Most people know Babar. Some remember watching this sophisticated elephant in school during French class, some read the storybooks, and others may remember the Canadian TV series. One thing is certain, Babar was a staple in most people’s childhood. And this newly released DVD, Babar and Father Christmas, is a perfect way to introduce not just Babar, but the Christmas season and Santa Claus, to your little ones.
Babar tales take place in the land of Celesteville, where an elephant king (Babar) wears a green suite, a diabolic rhinoceros has a French accent, and a friendly monkey wears a beret. In this classic adventure (originally aired on TV in 1986), Babar’s children hear a legend about an old man with a long white beard, who travels through the sky giving presents to all the children on Christmas Eve. It is up to King Babar to bring the spirit of Christmas and a visit from Father Christmas to his children and the rest of the kids in Celesteville.
I enjoyed when Babar travels to “Man’s Country,” also known as Paris, France (in this particular episode). Once there, he mistakes a white-haired-and-bearded man — who hangs out by the river as a model for artists — as Father Christmas. Oh, Paris!
The bottom line
Sometimes it’s a nice break from today’s generation of animated series to spend time with a oldie but a goodie. Yes, the pace of Babar is a lot slower than what most children are used to today. But Babar’s lessons resonate, as he introduces children to different cultures, languages and presents a very civilized world model through the use of jungle animals. This DVD also contains two bonus episodes: A Child in the Snow and The Gift, which feature Babar and his monkey pal Zephir as young children, running around and getting into their fair share of trouble.