Nelvana & Clifford Ross Celebrate Babar’s 80th Anniversary

(BRAND LICENSING EUROPE — London, England) — This year, Babar celebrates his 80th anniversary, and Nelvana Enterprises and The Clifford Ross Company are pleased to announce a number of activities to honour the world-famous elephant in the legendary green suit.

A second season of the CG-animated TV series, Babar and the Adventures of Badou , with a further 26 half-hour episodes (52 x 11 minutes), is being produced with international delivery beginning this month. The first season airs on many international broadcasters, including Disney Junior in the U.S. and TF1 in France where it captures 28%* average market share of Kids aged 4-10 in its morning slot on Tfou .

From December 8, 2011, to September 2, 2012, Babar will be featured in the Toy Gallery at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The history of the Babar books will be presented through a selection of 100 original illustration boards from prestigious institutions including the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and The Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. Along with photo archives, the exhibition will display items such as plush toys, games, action figures and toys on wheels from as early as 1930, along with contemporary licensed products. It will pay tribute to Babar author and illustrator, Jean de Brunhoff and his son, Laurent, who took over from his father in 1941. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France have partnered on the publication of a catalogue for the exhibition. A selection of “classic” Babar items will be available for sale at the Musée’s gift shop.

Other notables for Babar’s anniversary year include:

•  In August, Abrams Books for Young Readers released the latest book from Laurent de Brunhoff, Babar’s Celesteville Games . Throughout 2011 Abrams will reissue Laurent de Brunhoff’s classic Babar books in a new format as the 80th anniversary celebrations continue.

•  In France, a line of books based on the new TV series has been introduced by Hachette Jeunesse and the company plans to publish 50-60 titles over the next 3 years.

•  Licensed products based on the new TV series hit the market this year. TF1 Licences is the agent for the brand in France and Benelux. Major licensees onboard include Lansay, Bayard, Hatier, Sun City, CTI, Dujardin, Vilac and Smoby.

•  Kids will also have the opportunity to share unforgettable moments with Babar during their holidays in 16 Hôtels-Clubs Nouvelles Frontières around the world.

The legacy of Babar began when Cécile de Brunhoff invented a bedtime story for her two sons: a tale of a little elephant living in the jungle whose mother was killed by a hunter. Her husband, Jean de Brunhoff, saw how enraptured their sons were by the story, and decided to create an illustrated book about it and name the elephant “Babar.” The first book was published in 1931 by Editions du Jardin des Modes. Hachette Jeunesse added Babar to its catalogue in 1936, and, to date, over 75 books have been published in 27 different languages with more than 13 million copies sold worldwide.

Note: Babar and the Adventures of Badou is a Canada-France co-production from Nelvana Studio and TeamTO , in association with The Clifford Ross Company and TF1.

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