Synopsis by Hal Erickson
French artist-writer Jean de Brunoff's Babar the Elephant first saw the light of the animation board in this 1968 TV cartoon special. Peter Ustinov narrates the story of the little pachyderm who eventually became king of Elephant Land. De Brunoff's implicit approval of French colonialism (in disturbingly racist fashion; Babar's subjects are mostly subservient monkeys) is soft-pedalled in favor of the whimsical elements of the Babar ouevre. Mendelson-Melendez productions, already famous for its Peanuts TV special, admirably transfers de Brunoff's distinctive artistic style to the small screen. The first of several prime time Babar specials (and the forerunner of the Canadian-produced weekly cartoon series of the late 1980s), The Story of Babar the Little Elephant originally aired October 21, 1968.
family, civilization, elephant, etiquette, king, orphan, return