Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Babar and the Adventures of Badou: Gone Wild

Babar and the Adventures of Badou: Gone Wild

Fall 2014 DVD
Ages: 3 - 8 yrs.
DVD Price: $12.98

That wise and civilized elephant, created by French authors Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff, is now a grandfather and when he's not ruling Celesteville, King Babar is advising his adventurous grandson Badou.

This DVD release features eight episodes from the TV series Babar and the Adventures of Badou, a CGI-animated program that premiered in 2010 and airs in the U.S. on Disney Junior. In the DVD's title episode Gone Wild, Badou and his monkey pal Chiku get a nature lesson in the Savannah, a storyline that imparts some interesting science facts. In Operation Secret Suitcase, Badou and friends discover the perils of making assumptions. And in the episode Copy Cat, zebra pal Zawadi wants to stand out from the rest of the herd, a well-handled analogy that speaks to appreciating the traits that connect you to others while also recognizing the characteristics that make each individual unique.

Those familiar with the mellower Babar series of the past should be prepared for a snappier pace and more broadly comic characters with a knack for turning everyday activities into adventures. Themes include friendship and respect for others, and fostering a healthy sense of curiosity. Most plots require little Prince Badou to use logic to solve problems or a Celesteville mystery, and occasionally he encounters characters of a nefarious nature and has to resolve a conflict–although those "bad guys" are pretty tame, relatively speaking, and certainly age-appropriate for preschool- and kindergarten-aged viewers. King Babar is always nearby to counsel his grandson and most plots resolve with Badou and friends discovering that cooperation is a key ingredient when confronted with difficulties.

This series is enjoyable enough although it's similar to many other animated series starring animal casts with adventurous spirits. Still, if you've been loyal to Babar in the past, your family will enjoy watching a program with a few familiar characters, and you'll probably also enjoy meeting the new ones now populating Babar's exotic kingdom.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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