Last year, several Babar DVDs were released that contained random episodes from the run of the show. If you bought these smaller offerings, you may experience an overlap in a couple of episodes as now the Complete Season One is being presented in its entirety.
Season One consists of thirteen digitally restored and remastered episodes as follows:
(1) Babar's First Step, (2) City Ways, (3) Babar Returns, (4) The City Of Elephants, (5) Babar's Triumph, (6) Babar's Choice, (7) Race to the Moon, (8) No Place Like Home, (9) An Elephant's Best Friend, (10) The Show Must Go On, (11) To Duet or Not to Duet, (12) The Missing Crown Affair, and (13) The Phantom.
Will contemporary kids embrace the gentle exploits of Jean de Brunhoff's creation Babar the Elephant as interpreted in this HBO series which aired between 1989 and 1991? It's hard to say. As choices in children's programming have expanded, these moralistic stories told in a simple and straightforward animation style certainly have a pleasing nostalgia factor. I'd like to think that the sweetness and innocence of Babar and his cadre of pals will still have an appeal to modern audiences, but some kids have become jaded by the various alternatives that have flooded the entertainment market. Does Babar lack a certain visual sophistication? Perhaps. But over eighty years of success in books and on television seem to indicate an enduring attraction to this story. Babar, for those unfamiliar with the optimistic pachyderm, is a curious soul who after having traveled to the city brings lessons about civilization to his small tribe of family and friends. There are plenty of adventures and challenges in the stories, but with unwavering fortitude and a positive attitude--all things are possible.
Note of Warning: The first episode of Babar contains a representation of death that may disturb some younger viewers.
I hope your kids love Babar! This is the best animated representation of the lovable elephant so far (the reboot about a decade later was a bit less successful to my mind). Great storytelling, but simple and sweet. KGHarris, 6/12.