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Babar: The Movie
Babar The Movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Alan Bunce
Produced by Michael Hirsh
Patrick Loubert
Clive A. Smith
Screenplay by Peter Sauder
J.D. Smith
John de Klein
Raymond Jafelice
Alan Bunce
Story by Peter Sauder
Michael Hirsh
Patrick Loubert
Starring Gordon Pinsent
Elizabeth Hanna
Music by Milan Kymlicka
Editing by Evan Landis
Studio Nelvana Limited
Ellipse Programmé
The Clifford Ross Company
Distributed by
  • Astral Films
  • Forum Distribution
  • New Line Cinema
    (United States)
Release date(s) 28 July 1989 (1989-07-28)
Running time 70 minutes
Country Canada
Language English
Money made $1.3 million

Babar: The Movie is a 1989 Canadian-French traditionally animated adventure film based on the characters of Jean de Brunhoff's eponymous children's books. It serves as the season finale to the first season of the TV series, as the second season started airing shortly after.

The film is produced by Canada's Nelvana Limited and France's Ellipse Programmé and distributed by Astral Films in Canada and New Line Cinema in the United States.


On the night of Elephantland's Victory Parade, Babar tells his four children the story of his first days as King of the elephants.

On his first day as king, he is asked to choose a name for Elephantland's Annual Parade. Babar promptly selects one, but is informed by Cornelius and Pompadour that the matter must be thoroughly examined by committee. Babar's cousin, Celeste, then interrupts to tell Babar that her home has been attacked by Rataxes, the rhinoceros lord, and his horde. The chancellors scoff and rebuff her, but Babar, partly to impress Celeste and a strong ruling ethic, orders an elephant army to be called up immediately to defeat the rhinos.

However, due to slow procedures and the cautiousness of his advisors, Babar learns that the muster will take at least three days. Not willing to wait any longer and feeling like he's not keeping his promise to Celeste, Babar tells his cousin Arthur to take care of his job as King while he ventures off on his own into a dangerous jungle. He finds Celeste's village on fire; the rhinos are taking the adult elephants as slaves so that they can work on building a rhino city. Babar tries to intervene, but is attacked, and Celeste is thrown down the town well.

When he regains consciousness by the next morning, Babar rescues Celeste out of the well, and they set off to rescue her mother, and the other pachyderms, from Rataxes' wrath. Along the way, they meet a monkey named Zephir, who gives them the location of Rataxes' lair. Babar and Celeste encounter Rataxes, who plans to invade Babar's kingdom by twilight. After an intense chase through the rhinos' hideout, Babar and Celeste are imprisoned. They both escape along with Zephir, and head back to Elephantland, where they find Rataxes' army camping outside the city.

Sneaking into the rhinos' camp, they disguise themselves as one of the warriors, asking for "special detail" of their plans for attack, but are eventually discovered. They manage to escape on a catapult, landing in a fountain, much to the surprise of Babar's advisors.

Rataxes prepares to launch his attack and proclaims Elephantland will be destroyed in an hour. To buy time, Babar orders Cornelius and Pompadour to distract Rataxes with their "committee" procedure. The elephants, along with Babar, build a giant elephant float, which scares off Rataxes and his soldiers.

At sunrise, Babar's friends congratulate him on saving the day and his town, but are surprised to learn that their very first Victory Parade will be held during the afternoon. It has gone by that name ever since, the older Babar recalls, because the committee could not find any other name for it.

As Babar finishes his tale, he finds that his children have all gone to sleep. His children, once he closes the door, re-enact scenes from the story, until he tells them to go to sleep.


  • Gordon Pinsent - King Babar
  • Elizabeth Hanna - Queen Celeste/The Old Lady
  • Lisa Yamanaka - Isabelle
  • Marsha Moreau - Flora
  • Bobby Becken - Pom
  • Amos Crawley - Alexander
  • Gavin Magrath - Young Babar
  • Sarah Polley - Young Celeste
  • Stephen Ouimette - Pompadour
  • Chris Wiggins - Cornelius
  • John Stocker - Zephir
  • Charles Kerr - Rataxes
  • Stuart Stone - Young Arthur
  • Carl Banas - Old Tusk
  • Ray Landry - Croc
  • Angela Fusco - Celeste's Mother
  • Barbara Mantini - Bird/Elephant/Monkey
  • Christopher Andrande - Additional Voices
  • Christopher Britton - Additional Voices
  • Scott Brunt - Additional Voices
  • Jason Burke - Additional Voices
  • Katie Coristine - Additional Voices
  • Frank Perry - Additional Voices
  • Chris Robson - Additional Voices
  • Norm Spencer - Additional Voices
  • Lea-Helen Weir - Additional Voices
  • Anna Lena Malloy - Additional Voices


The film features five main songs, performed by Molly Johnson, Judy Tate, The Nylons, and by cast members Stephen Ouimette, Chris Wiggins, and John Stocker.

The songs are (in order of appearance):

  • "Elephantland March" - written by Maribeth Solomon; performed by The Nylons, Judy Tate, Debbie Fleming (as Debbie Flemming), John Rutledge, and Neil Donell.
  • "The Committee Song" - written by Philip Balsam (credited as Phil Balsam); performed by Stephen Ouimette, Chris Wiggins, and The Nylons.
  • "The Best We Both Can Be" - written by Maribeth Solomon; performed by Molly Johnson.
  • "Monkey Business" - written by Maribeth Solomon; performed by John Stocker, Judy Tate, Debbie Fleming (as Debbie Flemming), John Rutledge, Neil Donell, and The Nylons.
  • "Rataxes' Song" - written by Kevan Staples, Marvin Dolgay, and Carole Pope; performed by Charles Kerr.
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