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Babar (TV series) facts for kids

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Babar title card
Genre Dramedy
Created by Jean de Brunhoff
Written by
Directed by
  • Raymond Jafelice
  • Laura Shepherd
  • Dale Schott
  • Larry Jacobs
  • Gavin MaGrath
  • Gordon Pinsent
  • Dawn Greenhalgh
  • Tara Charendoff
  • Stuart Stone
  • Elizabeth Hanna
  • Stephen Ouimette
  • Allen Stewart-Coates
  • Corrine Koslo
  • John Stocker
  • Chris Wiggins
  • Bobby Becken
  • Amos Crawley
  • Lea-Helen Weir
  • Lisa Yamanaka
Theme music composer Milan Kymlicka
Composer(s) Milan Kymlicka
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 65 (list of episodes)
  • Michael Hirsh
  • Patrick Loubert
  • Clive A. Smith
Running time 23 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Nelvana International
Original network CBC (seasons 1–3)
Global TV (seasons 4–5)
Picture format NTSC (480i)
Audio format Stereo
Original release April 2, 1989 (1989-04-02) – June 5, 1991 (1991-06-05)
Followed by Babar and the Adventures of Badou (2010–2015)

Babar is a Canadian/French animated fantasy television series produced in Canada by Nelvana Limited and The Clifford Ross Company. It premiered in 1989 on CBC and HBO, and subsequently was rerun on Qubo since 2006. The series is based on Jean de Brunhoff's original Babar books, and was Nelvana's first international co-production. The series has been broadcast in 30 languages in over 150 countries.

The series was the first to be based on the Babar books; previously, two Babar specials narrated by Peter Ustinov were produced by Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez for NBC: The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant on October 21, 1968, and Babar Comes to America on September 7, 1971.

In 2010, a computer-animated sequel series spin-off of Babar titled Babar and the Adventures of Badou was launched on Disney Junior. The new series takes place several years after the original and focuses on a majority of new characters including Badou, Babar's grandson and Pom's son.


Based on the books by Jean de Brunhoff and Laurent de Brunhoff, the plot of the first two seasons focuses on the story of Babar as it is told by him to his children. The past Babar is a young elephant who, traumatized by a hunter slaughtering his mother, flees from his home forest in exile to the city, where a kind Old Lady adopts him and teaches him the ways of human life. He returns to his home forest full of ideas for progress and, following the previous elephant king's death from eating poisonous mushrooms, hatches a plan to drive out the unnamed hunter and his men. For his heroism, Babar is crowned king of the elephants, plans and builds Celesteville, and grows up to become a father himself.

While the first two seasons focus on Babar's recollections of his childhood and early years as king, as well as some stories told by his children, the series shifts its focus in the third season to Babar's family life in the present day.

Episodes (original series)

List of Babar episodes


Babar's family

  • Babar: The King of Celesteville. He brought his love of the city back to the great forest and built the beautiful, happy kingdom of Celesteville. However, he is a dedicated ruler and world traveler. His mother was shot by a poacher when he was young, so he is very protective and caring of his family, as well as the elephants and other animals of the kingdom.
  • Celeste: Babar's wife and Queen of Celesteville. She has also travelled the world and has had many great adventures. She has a regal presence, an engaging manner, and a gentle sense of humor.
  • Arthur: Babar's mischief-making brother-in-law. He often gets himself (and one or more of the children) involved with practical jokes and stunts. Although the English and French versions of the official characters page lists him as a cousin, this goes against the canon of the show where he is clearly referred to as Celeste's brother, Babar's brother-in-law, and the uncle of Babar and Celeste's children. The Japanese version also refers to him as Celeste's younger brother. In addition, neither Celeste nor Arthur is ever referred to as a cousin of Babar in the show. In the book, "The Story of Babar," Celeste and Arthur are shown to have two different mothers and we are told they are Babar's cousin and little cousin, respectively. Arthur is prominent in childhood flashbacks in the first two seasons, but his later appearances as an adult are sporadic as he is frequently at sea.
  • Pom: The oldest of the triplets and the leader of the children. He is protective of his brother and sisters though he will gladly join in with Alexander in playfully teasing his sisters Flora and Isabelle.
  • Flora: Flora is fun-loving and strong-willed.
  • Alexander: The smallest of the triplets, is a non-stop ball of entertainment who is disarmingly naive about the commotion he causes.
  • Isabelle: The youngest of the four children. She begins to walk and talk at an early age. Isabelle starts as a baby in the series but eventually develops as a toddler.
  • Babar's Mother is an unnamed elephant that gives birth to Babar. After she is murdered by the hunter he is adopted by Madame. She is Pom, Alexander, Flora and Isabelle's grandmother and Badou's great-grandmother

Babar's close friends and royal court

  • Madame (The Old Lady): A human who adopted Babar when he ran away from the hunter who killed his mother. From their first meeting in the city, the Old Lady and Babar shared a special friendship. She gave him a home and taught him about life in the city. Though she missed him greatly, she understood his decision to return to the forest. Babar built her a home in Celesteville, where she now lives with her elephant friends. Her husband plays a organ who only appeared in "The Phantom".
  • Zephir: A monkey who is one of Babar's oldest friends, and is considered one of the family. He is the first to take off with Arthur and the kids on some crazy adventure, but Babar knows that Zephir can always be trusted to look after the children and bring them home safely. Zephir runs the local malt shop.
  • Cornelius: The oldest and wisest elephant in Celesteville and the prime minister, who takes his job as Babar's chief advisor very seriously, whether accompanying Babar on state visits or organizing numerous Celesteville parades. His catchphrase is "My tusks!"
  • Pompadour: Another advisor to Babar, his finance minister, and the minister of royal protocol, to which he strongly adheres. A high-strung elephant, he often opposes radical ideas and is easily alarmed.
  • Troubadour: Pompadour's assistant, a smaller elephant who does not speak but is very dedicated to helping Babar and his family. He is prominent in the earlier seasons.
  • Chef Truffles: The palace cook, often easily upset by various situations in the palace which concern food preparation. He speaks with a French accent.
  • The Old King: The late King of the Elephant who died after eating poisonous mushrooms. He appears to Babar as a vision in "Ghost for a Day".
  • The old Lady's friends who only appeared in "City Ways".
  • King Tuttle and the animals who only appeared in "Babar's Triumph".
  • The crocodile who only appeared in "The Gift".
  • The Way-Out bird who only appeared in "The Gift".
  • The school children who only appeared in "School Days".
  • The royal judge who only appeared in "Between Friends".
  • The Tortoise Queen who only appeared in "King Tuttle's Vote".

Rataxes' family

  • Lord Rataxes: The king of Rhinoland, Rataxes is typically depicted as a rude, selfish and often incompetent leader. Although he only appears once in the canon of the books, he serves as the main antagonist of the TV series. Rataxes often dreams of dominating the jungle and even claiming the elephant kingdom for himself, but his bumbling schemes to advance those goals generally fall apart or are easily thwarted by the elephants. As Rataxes himself admits, his resentment of Babar is rooted in jealousy of Babar's comparative popularity and the success of the elephant kingdom; Babar, for his part, tends to regard Rataxes mainly as an annoyance, but is not unsympathetic to him. Because Rataxes' dislike of Babar is rooted more in this resentment than any personal grudge, he often helps Babar and friends as an antihero; many of the episodes end with Rataxes listening to reason and accepting Babar's point of view as long as he or Rhinoland can somehow benefit. Rataxes does have some positive qualities, including his fierce devotion to his family and rhinoceros subjects; his forceful leadership is also helpful when various crises threaten the jungle. He appears to remain the same age both in the present and in Babar's stories from the past, as do his wife and advisor Basil.
  • Lady Rataxes: Rataxes' wife. She is very calm than her husband, and is also on friendly terms with Babar, Celeste, and the elephants. Her real name is Louise, but she is normally called Lady Rataxes.
  • Victor: Rataxes' son, who is also in the friendly terms with the elephants. He is friends with Flora, Alexander, and Pom despite the rivalry between their fathers.
  • Basil: Rataxes' chief advisor; he is highly capable, competent, and organized. Like Lady Rataxes and Victor, he is on friendly terms with the elephants, although Rataxes' various schemes occasionally force Basil into antagonizing them. Serving as a chief administrator of Rhinoland, Basil handles most of the paperwork, coordinates security for the rhino palace, and serves as Rataxes' travel agent and spy. He is also a self-proclaimed fitness expert, an advocate of clean living, and a skillful theatre director. He is extremely loyal and humble to Rataxes but not above subtly poking fun at his employer from time to time.


  • The Hunter was the primary antagonist for the first four of the five episodes of the series, the Hunter was introduced in "Babar's First Steps", shortly before he kills Babar's mother. Dressed in a classic colonial-era Africa outfit and sporting a Fu Manchu moustache, the Hunter is portrayed as a particularly malevolent human, who refuses to reason with the animals and sees them solely as a means to enrich himself. The Hunter holds a particular grudge against Babar after he disrupts his hunting expedition, had him fell into a shallow hole and Babar throwing his gun away. Babar had nightmares of him killing his mother in "City Ways". When Babar returns to the forest in "Babar Returns", The Hunter in his jeep and a group of poachers managed to capture all the elephants after foiling their doomed stampede plan. Babar with Celeste and Arthur were able to free the elephants, and with Babar's car managed to push The Hunter off a cliff and into the river. The Hunter returned in force in "Babar Triumphs" with more poachers and the jeep equipped with a plow. They were successful of capturing Lord Rataxes and the Rhinos, and were getting very dangerously close to the newly constructed city. While Babar helped to rescue Rataxes, The Hunter had been spreading crude oil throughout the forest to start a massive forest fire in order to flush the animals out. Teaming up together, the animals successfully fought the fire until the wind changes direction, taking the fire to the Hunter's Camp. The remaining poachers flee, leaving The Hunter yelling in rage, vowing to destroy them all before being engulfed in the flames.
  • Lord Rataxes fulfills the role of anatagonist to Babar in various episodes, albeit normally on a much smaller scale (examples include consistently fighting Babar's attempts at bringing Western-style projects to the forest or unifying the forest). Rataxes' efforts in this regard are mostly portrayed as bumbling and comical.
  • Mademoiselle Soretoza who is the antagonist that only appeared in "The Show Must Go On". He is an ostrich and ballerina dancer of Celesteville. When Babar welcomes Madamemoiselle Soretoza to Celesteville, she entered the playhouse to dance. After teaching how to dance, Soretoza asked Babar if he is setting the stage. Babar forces and retires Soretoza for the greatest pain and somebody else. Babar banishes Soretoza for the retiring and never come back to the playhouse. Soretoza was exiled.
  • The two lackey cheetahs who are the antagonists that only appeared in "Tour De Celesteville". They had a late entry and they still do not win and they use it as a spittoon. The race begins and the cheetahs set a trap for Babar, Arthur, Rataxes and Basil. Babar and Rataxes are gaining at them, but the four shows up for the fight. Arthur and Basil beats and wins them on the Tour de Celesteville, but they're very angry. The moles use the bike to boulder-rolling at them, killing them for good.


  • Gordon Pinsent as King Babar
  • Dawn Greenhalgh as Queen Celeste
  • Lea-Helen Weir as Flora #2 (1990–1991)
  • Stuart Stone as Young Arthur (1989) / Alexander #2 (1990–1991)
  • Lisa Yamanaka as Flora #1 (1989) / Isabelle (1990–1991)
  • Jeff Pustil as Zephir
  • Paul Haddad as Uncle Arthur
  • Stephen Ouimette as Pompadour
  • Elizabeth Hanna as Madame
  • Allen Stewart-Coates as Lord Rataxes
  • Corrine Koslo as Lady Rataxes
  • John Stocker as Basil
  • Chris Wiggins as Cornelius
  • Noah Godfrey as Victor (1990–1991)
  • Benjamin Barrett as Pom (1990–1991)
  • Gavin Magrath as Young Babar (1989)
  • Tara Charendoff as Young Celeste (1989)
  • Bobby Becken as Pom (1989)
  • Amos Crawley as Alexander #1 (1989)
  • Dan Hennessey as Chef Truffles

Home media


All the episodes are available for free on Corus Entertainment / Nelvana's own Treehouse Direct channel and Babar Official channel on YouTube.

DVD releases

In Region 2, Fremantle Home Entertainment released 3 single disc collections on DVD in the UK on May 4, 2009.

On June 5, 2012, Entertainment One released the complete first season on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Babar - The Classic Series: The Complete First Season 13 June 5, 2012


In 1990, the TV series won a 7 d'Or award for Best Youth Program (Meilleure émission pour la jeunesse). In 1989, the TV series won a Gemini award for Best Animated Program or Series (Patrick Loubert, Lenora Hume, Clive A. Smith, and Michael Hirsh). In 1990, the show won a Gemini for Best Animated Program or Series (Patrick Loubert, Michael Hirsh, and Clive A. Smith). It was also nominated for a Gemini award for Best Original Music Score for a Series (Milan Kymlicka). In 1992, the TV series won a Gemini award for Best Animated Program or Series (Clive A. Smith, Patrick Loubert, and Michael Hirsh).


Babar: The Movie

In 1989, New Line Cinema, Nelvana, and Astral Films announced that a film adaption of Babar would be released. This would be followed by a sequel released in 1999, titled Babar: King of the Elephants, and was released by Alliance Films theatrically and HBO Home Video as a direct-to-video film.

Babar and Father Christmas

The 1986 television film Babar and Father Christmas won the 1987 Gemini award for Best Animated Program or Series. It first aired on HBO in the U.S. on December 5, 1986, on the CBC in Canada on December 15, 1986, on the BBC in the United Kingdom on Christmas Eve 1986 and on the ABC in Australia on Christmas Day 1987. The film's DVD title is also known as Babar et le Père Noël in France. The film was made in Canada. The song "Christmas in Celesteville" was featured in the TV film. Gary Morton wrote the music and Merilyn Read wrote the lyrics. John Brough, Geri Childs, Teresa Dunn, and Craig Kennedy are credited as singers.

2000 series

Babar (2000)
Genre Animation
Created by see creator
Starring Dan Lett
Janet-Laine Green
Kyle Fairlie
Kristen Bone
Noah Reid
Philip Williams
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 13 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Patrick Loubert
Michael Hirsh
Clive A. Smith
Dan Danko
Tom K. Mason
Clifford Ross
Producer(s) Andrew Young
Running time 23 minutes
Production company(s) Nelvana
The Clifford Ross Company
Distributor Nelvana International
Original network Teletoon (Canada), KiKa (Germany)
Original release September 23 (2000-09-23) – December 16, 2000 (2000-12-16)

There was a short-lived revival of the animated series in 2000 on Teletoon and KiKa, The production for the company Nelvana Limited, and the Kodansha company in Japan and Germany. Most of the episodes for the revival series have Babar and his family traveling in a hot-air balloon to different Lands of Adventure, such as the Land of Toys. None of the cast from the previous series returned for the revival, though Dan Lett would go on to voice adult Pom in Babar and the Adventures of Badou.


No. Title Original air date HBO air date
1 "The Departure" 23 September 2000 (2000-09-23) 6 July 2002
While being punished for their rowdy behavior, Alexander, Flora and Pom find their father's old magic map in a dusty corner of the attic.
2 "Adventures on Big Island" 30 September 2000 (2000-09-30) 13 July 2002
Babar, Celeste, Zephir and the children arrive at their first destination only to find that everything on the island is bigger than usual. The plants are bigger, the fruit is bigger and even the people are bigger!
3 "Land of Games" 7 October 2000 (2000-10-07) 20 July 2002
After landing their balloon on a giant chessboard, the gang realizes that they have come across a land filled with games!
4 "Land of Toys" 14 October 2000 (2000-10-14) 27 July 2002
Alexander, Flora and Pom are overjoyed when they learn that their balloon has landed in a town inhabited by toys. Everyone appears to be happy until they follow their new friend Dora to a terrible factory for broken toys.
5 "Land of Ice" 21 October 2000 (2000-10-21) 3 August 2002
A large wooden door in the middle of the jungle leads the family to the beautiful Land of Ice. Inside however, things aren't as playful as they had hoped.
6 "Land of Pirates" 28 October 2000 (2000-10-28) 10 August 2002
While on a fishing adventure, Babar and his family get shipwrecked in a terrible storm. A pirate ship led by the Pirate Captain comes to their rescue and brings the family to the Pirate Mansion where a big feast is prepared.
7 "Land of Witches" 4 November 2000 (2000-11-04) 17 August 2002
After following a path lined with flowers, the family finds themselves in a magical land inhabited by witches. The first friend they meet is a Witch-In-Training named Lulu.
8 "Land of Mysterious Water" 11 November 2000 (2000-11-11) 24 August 2002
Babar, Celeste, Zephir and the children, come across a spring filled with mysterious water in this land of adventure. Surprisingly, the water allows them to float in the sky!
9 "Land of The Underground" 18 November 2000 (2000-11-18) 31 August 2002
Looking for the next Land of Adventure, the family balloon crashes and falls into a large crevasse. This time, they find themselves in an enchanted underground city!
10 "The Seabed Land" 25 November 2000 (2000-11-25) 7 September 2002
When the balloon lands on a small island in the middle of the ocean, they come across a giant sea turtle who shows them the way to their next land of adventure.
11 "Land of the Treats" 2 December 2000 (2000-12-02) 14 September 2002
Babar and his family arrive in a town where everything is made out of treats and every store they go into has better tasting delicacies than the last! That is, until they find a bakery with the worst tasting cakes in the land!
12 "Land of the Treasure Hunt" 9 December 2000 (2000-12-09) 21 September 2002
Babar and his family find themselves in the middle of a championship treasure hunt! The children are sure they can win; after all, they go on treasure hunts all the time back home in Celesteville!
13 "Land of Happiness" 16 December 2000 (2000-12-16) 28 September 2002
Once Babar and his family journey through this final land, they should be able to reach the fabled Land of Happiness. That, of course, is easier said than done!


  • Dan Lett as Babar
  • Janet-Laine Green as Celeste
  • Kyle Fairlie as Alexander
  • Kristen Bone as Flora
  • Noah Reid as Pom
  • Philip Williams as Zephir
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