Babar: King of the Elephants

 
Delightful story, with one scary moment for younger kids.
  • Review Date: October 18, 2012
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 80 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

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?

QUALITY
 

For parents BABAR: KING OF THE ELEPHANTS 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.

Families can talk 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

DVD release date:December 21, 1999
Cast:Ellen-Ray Hennessy, Philip Williams, Wayne Robson
Director:Raymond Jafelice
Studio:HBO Home Video
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Book characters, Wild animals
Run time:80 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Babar: King of the Elephants was written by

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

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byLavendel April 14, 2015
age 12+
 

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 are subjects explored and depicted which are very hard to watch even for an adult. Terrifying scenes of a child losing their mother to hunters(murder). I don't think that it's good to make little children so sad as they will be when they see Babar's mom shot, and Babar split away from his herd, lost and alone. It is just too sad. If you let your young children have the opportunity to watch this beautiful series, please skip the first episode at least.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass