I always liked Babar when I was a lad. There was something about that French elephant that always brought a smile to my face. A lot of credit goes to the simplistic but lush art style. Unfortunately, as this film hasn't been remastered for HD or anything like that, the colors are a tad dim. It looks like a VHS tape. While this isn't a damning quality, the film is still very enjoyable. It reminds me of the recent Shout Factory cut of Rocko's Modern Life, in that there really hasn't been much done to enhance the quality whatsoever, but the visuals are still strong enough to stand on their own.
There's singing, silliness and sweet messages abound in the film. As a relatively new uncle to twins, I can see passing Babar and the lessons contained in Jean De Brunhoff's material. Personally, I don't prescribe to the criticism that Babar is an example of neocolonialism. I see it as a beautiful and sweet narrative that espouses gems of wisdom for little ones while at the same time containing some neat visuals. Its often easy to forget how sumptuous animation was back in the day. There was something about pieces that were hand-drawn on cells as opposed to on a computer that just radiates personality and life. I'm not a snob, mind you, I just feel like the fluid motion in Babar - The Movie is something that's lacking a bit in modern animated films. While the process of producing an animated film might have gotten simpler, the modern end-results lack a great deal of the heart found in something like Babar - The Movie.
The film is about young Babar's adventure to rescue the future Queen Celeste. Kids should enjoy the film as its loaded with cute sight gags and fun music. The voice work is also pretty fantastic.
DVD Bonus Features
"Monkey Business" episode of Babar's TV series.
"Babar - The Movie" is on sale February 12, 2013 and is rated G. Written by Peter Sauder, J.D. Smith, John de Klein, Raymond Jafelice, Alan Bunce. Starring Elizabeth Hanna, Gordon Pinsent.