Babar: King of the Elephants

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Babar: King of the Elephants Movie Poster Image
Delightful story, with one scary moment for younger kids.
  • G
  • 1999
  • 80 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

While intended to entertain, the story does impart lessons on working together and shows the tragedies caused by poachers in the wild.

Positive Messages

Working together, great things can be accomplished. Instead of going to war, it is better to try and resolve differences through discussion and owning up to past mistakes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Madame takes in Babar when everyone else is scared of him and gives him a quality education. Babar is a kind and patient leader who treats everyone around him with respect.

Violence & Scariness

Early in the film, Babar's mother is shot and killed by a rifle-toting poacher. Some discussion of war.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Babar: King of the Elephants is a terrific introduction to this classic pachyderm from children's books. The one cause for concern is a scene early in the film where Babar's mother is shot and killed by a rifle-toting poacher. Beyond this scene though, the story teaches lessons through the examples of the characters on kindness, consideration, respect, and apologizing for one's mistakes. For parents who grew up with Babar books and kids experiencing Babar for the very first time, this movie is a positive experience to share.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLavendel April 14, 2015

Very heart-breaking.

There are a lot of wonderful lessons, feeling of loving families and playful elephant children. Lovely music. Beautiful stories. It's a great show. There a... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old May 18, 2020

What's the story?

When Babar's mother is shot and killed by a poacher, Babar wanders lost through the jungle until he comes into a city. There, he meets Madame, who tries to tame him by taking Babar to school and dressing him in the finest clothes. While Babar loves Madame and everything she has done for him, he misses the jungle, so when Babar's friends come to the city to find him, Babar leaves with them. Upon returning, Babar must make peace with the rhinos who are angry with the elephants over a childish prank. Upon being crowned king, Babar begins to put into action his dreams of building a city -- Celesteville -- with the help of his friends in the jungle.

Is it any good?

For parents, this is a delightful revisiting of the classic French children's story, replete with the distinct drawing style and unforgettable characters like Babar, Madame, and Queen Celeste. For kids, this movie is an entertaining introduction to the stories and characters who inhabit Babar's world filled with creative approaches to imparting valuable life lessons on kindness, consideration, and cooperation.

The stories and events within the movie are easy to understand and enjoyable for both kids and adults. A word of warning though: Early in the film, there is a scene where Babar's mother is shot and killed by a poacher. This might be too much for younger or more sensitive viewers, but on the whole, Babar: King of the Elephants is a delightful and sweet story from one of the most memorable characters from children's books.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Babar in the city. Before he meets Madam how do the different people in the city react to Babar?

  • Why do the rhinos want to have a war with the elephants, and how do the elephants avoid and ultimately make peace with the rhinos?

  • How does this movie compare to the books? What's similar and different? Do you prefer one format over the other?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love good stories

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate