Debuted in 1986
Plot in 3 Sentences: When Zephir the monkey tells the little elephants about Father Christmas, they all want him to come to Celesteville. Babar plans to go looking for him, but Rataxes the rhino overhears him and makes plans to get there first and steal all the toys. Babar and Father Christmas become friends and Father Christmas spends his holiday in Celesteville, even bringing along a present for Rataxes.
Fun Fact: The narrator of this special is Laurent de Brunhoff, the son of Babar’s original author, Jean de Brunhoff.
My thoughts: I have been a fan of Babar the elephant since I was a little girl, so I was predisposed to like this special. The plot of the story is already good and the narration, with the addition of Laurent de Brunhoff’s charming French accent, gives me even more to like about it. While looking for Father Christmas, Babar’s travels take him to several different places, including a visit to a bizarre map professor who seems jarring and out of place with the rest of this sweet and calming special. Santa has never seen a flamingo, which is why Babar invites him to vacation in Celesteville. I love that Rataxes, who has been trying to ruin Babar’s plans the whole time, gets a saxophone from Santa, who seems to recognize that there’s a good guy in there somewhere. I really like this one.
Individual Superlative: Cutest Villain – Okay, I get that this one is just my opinion. But I have always had a soft spot for Rataxes the rhino. Sure, he’s a bad guy. But he’s so CUTE!
Want to Watch it? Babar and Father Christmas is available on VHS, DVD, iTunes and YouTube.