Babar is the
King of the Elephants! The TV series Babar was based on the
children's books by Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff and was created in
stories have been told over the course of six seasons that spanned from
original broadcast year of 1989 to 2000. Each story is an individual
lesson or segment
that can be watched separately without necessarily following the
sequence. These stories can all be viewed as lessons in life that share
thematic elements with young children in a way that can be understood
appreciated throughout life.
central character in many respects (as the title of the program would
imply). Babar is the lovable king elephant with many years of wisdom to
with those who surround him (including his loving children). Babar
married to the
equally enchanting Celeste, who also provides guidance and love to
children and to the people of their peaceful kingdom. Pom, Flora,
Isabelle are their four children who each have wonderful and uniquely
personalities. Madame is a wise, gentle, kind, and loving old lady who
up Babar as a young elephant and she taught the elephant many of the
life lessons he grew to recognize as essential. Other supporting
include the comical monkey Zephir, knowledgeable Cornelius, kingdom
and Rataxes, who leads the kingdom Rhinoland which frequently comes
kind of minor conflict with Babar's kingdom (such as in resolving an
issue of a
pomegranate shortage because Rhinoland has all of the fruit).
has a simple storytelling approach and yet it never addresses simple
The format of the scripts is delicately balanced so as to be
young audiences and at the same time both direct and entertaining. The
addressed on this volume are a great way for viewers to become more
with the Babar educational approach. Some of the themes explored on the
Friends Forever volume include learning about how to be true to
how to cooperate with others when learning to recognize when there are
problems without particular blame on any one individual or friend, how
to agreements, and the importance of both friendship and of helping
animation is sweetly simplistic with a maturity in style that also
an element of sophistication. That description's a good way to examine
carefully nuanced animation, which is constantly beautifully drawn,
animated in every possible way, and brought to life as only truly
animators can accomplish. The character designs are memorable; the
often limited, except when lush briefly displayed detailed
on screen and elevate the material.
Babar was a
marvelous program for young audiences during
the years it was on air as a new television program and it has remained
well-spirited story to share with others. It's one of those children's
that can even be a good series for adults to watch as well. It is so well made and provides so much
educational value that it is no wonder that Babar is now
referred to as The
Classic Series (as the DVD release proudly proclaims over the
is a beloved children's program with worthwhile stories to share with
of all ages.
release contains a sampling of episodes from the series. The included
are City Ways, Between Friends, Friendly Agreement,
Elephant's Best Friend.
presented with a 1.33:1 full frame image that preserves
the original broadcast aspect ratio. The DVD promotes the video as
restored and remastered but this series still seems to have shown some
without an entirely dedicated restoration. Colors are somewhat muted
are interlacing issues that can be a distraction. Inconsistency in
stability is also a minor issue. The overall PQ isn't terrible but
a truly impressive presentation in this department and fans might
somewhat disappointing but still watchable.
are three audio options available (each
presented in 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo): English, Spanish, and French.
subtitles are provided. The sound quality compares similarity to the
quality. There isn't a lot of strength in dynamics or in the range of
clarity, but the dialogue reproduction is still easy enough to follow.
aren't many sounds used as effects but the always soothing and melodic
one of the trademarks of Babar and
sounds reasonably good on this release.
this review are shared with the concurrently released and reviewed Babar volume School Days which contains
an additional four episodes of the television
included extra is an 8 Page Babar themed coloring
book (which is the same version featured in the
concurrently released School Days
wonderful to have select episodes of Babar on DVD and hopefully
generations of viewers can enjoy in the series exuberant creativity and
life lessons. While the PQ/AQ is merely average and the coloring book
going to appeal to kids, this release would still make an excellent
introduction to the series. It is also a proper nostalgic trip for
familiar with the lovable Babar. Hopefully fans can anticipate
more Babar DVD volumes or season sets in the future. Recommended.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.