5 Interesting Details about the History of Babar the Elephant


Babar the Elephant is such a cherished children’s story, but how did it become so beloved? The story of Babar has such a beautiful beginning. You might be surprised to learn a few interesting facts about the treasured story. Here are 5 interesting details you’d be happy to learn about the history of Babar.


  1. The story actually begins with the original author’s son, Laurent de Brunhoff. Laurent was 5 years old when his mother began to create stories of Babar. His mother made the story up to help distract his younger brother from feeling sick. As time went on, the stories continued to be a part of their childhood.
  2. However, his mother didn’t want to take credit for the creation of Babar the elephant. It was actually his father, Jean de Brunhoff, who began taking over with the adventures of Babar. Jean would paint the elephant and is even credited for adding the bowler hat and bright green suit. At only 37 years old, Jean passed away leaving behind 7 books about the beloved elephant.
  3. It seemed like the story was going to end as well. Later on, Laurent would go to Paris to attend Acedémie de la Grande Chaumière. There he studied abstract art. During his studies he began doing abstract paintings, while being inspired by elephants. That lead him back to the character he had grown to love. With that inspiration in mind he decided to write his own book; Babar’s Cousin, That Rascal Arthur.
  4. His mother was not too keen on continuing the story after Jean’s death. However, after seeing the success of Laurent’s first book, everyone in the family supported the idea of continuing the legacy of Jean’s drawings and the classical character of Babar. Laurent was 21 when he wrote that first book that would lead him to write many more throughout the years.
  5. The stories of Babar have not only becomes books but there was also a cartoon version, that lasted for six seasons. It was broadcasted in 30 languages in more than 150 countries. Those credentials make the series one of the most widely distributed animated shows in history. Not only has it crossed so many borders but it has also been shared at the White House Easter Egg Roll for many years.

The story of Babar has lasted for over 85 years and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Laurent continues to write stories, but now with the help of his wife, Phyllis Rose.


If you’re interested in keeping a piece of history, there is a poster available to buy.