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DVD Review: Babar: Best Friends Forever

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Babar: Best Friends Forever is a sweet new DVD compilation of four episodes from the Canadian animated television series. The animation is well done, very much in the style of the classic children’s books by Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff. In many of the episodes an older Babar, King of the Elephants, tells stories of his youth to his four children — Pom, Flora, Alexander, and Isabelle.

The four included episodes focus on friendship and learning to cooperate. In each story Babar and his friends must find a way to either cope with a new situation or settle a squabble. The lessons are never presented in a preachy way, and young children will enjoy watching how Babar helps everyone become friends again.

The episodes are as follows:

“City Ways” — A very young Babar runs away from the dangerous jungle and the Hunter to the big city. There he meets the Old Lady, who wants to protect him as well as help him adjust to a new life. Babar must try to fit in, and his big test comes when he attends a fancy party introducing him to the Old Lady’s friends.

“Between Friends” — Celeste and the monkey Zephir are feuding after an accident and want to take their argument to court. Babar tries to get a crossing guard to keep everyone safe in Celesteville, as well as act as the judge in the case.

“Friendly Agrement” — Pompadour and Cornelius are having a disagreement about — just about everything. But disagreements are not only annoying, but can be dangerous. Will the pair learn to put aside their differences when it is most important?

“An Elephant’s Best Friend” — Babar tells his children a story about how a dispute over pomegranates with Lord Rataxes, the King of Rhinoland, caused problems early in his reign. A little warthog that Babar wanted to keep as a pet also becomes central to their struggle.

The DVD runs a total of 90 minutes and features episode selection, three languages (English, French and Spanish), and an eight-page coloring book. Babar: Best Friends Forever is an entertaining DVD for both children and their parents to enjoy together.

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