Just in time for the holidays, the DVD Babar and Father Christmas includes three shorts featuring the wonderful Babar the Elephant and his family.
[Babar teams up with Father Christmas]
The first story, “Babar and Father Christmas,” is based on the book of the same name and features Babar and his wife Celeste, who are the king and queen of Celesteville. Their children Pom, Flora, and Alexander write a letter to Father Christmas. They have heard how he brings presents to humans — now they would like him to ask him to come to Celesteville with presents on Christmas Eve. But sneaky rhinoceros Rataxes, leader in Rhinoland, steals their letter, thinking that he can get all of the toys instead. Babar decides to find Father Christmas himself, and get him to pay a visit to his country.
The animation style is very much in line with the original drawings by Jean De Brunhoff. Laurent de Brunhoff, Jean’s son, who wrote and illustrated the Babar books after his father’s untimely death at the age of 37, actually narrates the tale, which was originally created for television in 1986.
[Babar goes in search of a mysterious figure from his childhood]
Two bonus episodes, from the Babar animated television series, are also included on the disc. In the first, “A Child In the Snow,” from 1991, Babar takes his family on a winter vacation in the mountains. But he has a secret agenda — to find a giant creature that he first saw in the same place when he was a child.
The second, an episode from 1989, “The Gift,” Babar is in search for the perfect present for the Old Lady. He wants to get her a feather from the tail of the “Way Out Bird.” But there’s only one place to find that, on the extremely dangerous “Way Out Peak.”
Both additional episodes also reflect de Brunhoff’s lovely watercolor illustrations and gentle characters. The DVD, which has a total run time of 70 minutes, also includes an eight-page Holiday Coloring Book that children will love. Viewers also have language selection options of English, Spanish, or French.
[Babar always looks great in his green suit]
Kids familiar with the Babar books will love these three stories. Babar and all of his friends are on hand, including the monkey Zephir, and elder elephant and counselor Cornelius. Babar and Father Christmas is a nice way to familiarize children with this classic character, and sure to become a holiday tradition.