Initial delight that Laurent de Brunhoff's elegant, courtly and very European cartoons have been rescued from the elephants' graveyard soon turns to horror: this Americanises both characters and setting beyond recognition. The premise is a staple of successful kids' movies from Bambi to ET: separation from Mommy. Babar, boy king of the elephants, must help Celeste rescue mother from the evil rhinoceros Rataxas, picking up help on the way: Zephir the monkey and a vegetarian crocodile. Somehow the precocious pachyderm overcomes all odds, indulges in some Indiana Jones-style swashbuckling, and single-handedly defeats the rhino army before his decadent and bureaucratic generals can muster so much as one soldier. Hooray! The odd good wisecrack and a cracking pace help gloss over flat and unimaginative animation, and teeny tots will adore it.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Peter Sauder, JD Smith, John De Klein, Raymond Jaffelice, Alan Bunce|