Babar: The Classic Series: The Complete First SeasonFall 2012 DVD
Babar: The Classic Series: The Complete First Season is a two-disc set based on the classic children's book series started by Jean de Brunhoff and continued by his son Laurent de Brunhoff. The animated television series inspired by the books made its debut in 1989 and was resurrected again in 2000. Here, Entertainment One Home Video has compiled the entire first season, offering 13 episodes in all for a total of 293 minutes of viewing.
The series follows elephant king Babar, his adventures with family and friends, and the challenges he negotiates with neighboring jungle kingdoms. The animation is the simplistic and muted kind many parents will recall from their own childhoods, but 21st century preschoolers won't be put off. Storylines are easy to follow and teach lessons about character development, such as working together and accepting responsibility.
A word of warning, though: In the series' first episode, Babar's First Step, Babar's mother is killed by a hunter. It is a plot device necessary to launch Babar's storyline forward, but it's a tense and extended sequence little viewers could find very upsetting. After that, expect lighter fare as Babar is befriended by a kindly old woman who enrolls him in school. He takes up wearing a natty green suit and later returns to lead his herd as the Elephant King in storylines filled with traditional family values and reassuring lessons about growing up and getting along.