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Babar Turns 80 With New TV Episodes, Licensed Goods & Paris Exhibit

his 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.

Babar and the Adventures of Badou

Press Release from Nelvana Enterprises

(October 12, 2011 – 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.

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.

(*Source:  January-June 2011 – Médiamétrie)

About Nelvana EnterprisesNelvana Enterprises is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc., a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, television broadcasting, children’s book publishing and children’s animation. The Company’s multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon (Canada), W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada), CosmoTV, Sundance Channel (Canada), Movie Central, HBO Canada, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and radio stations including CKNW AM 980, 99.3 The FOX, Country 105, 630 CHED, Q107 and 102.1 the Edge. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (CJR.B). Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.

About The Clifford Ross CompanyFounded in 1985 by artist/photographer Clifford Ross, The Clifford Ross Company focused on three classic properties during its early years: the works of Edward Gorey, Tom Swift and Babar.  After optioning the rights to Babar in 1986 directly from Laurent de Brunhoff and the de Brunhoff family, CRC entered into a working relationship with Nelvana on all aspects of the property.  For over 20 years, the companies have worked together producing both television and feature length movies featuring the Babar characters and developing a worldwide licensing program. Ross recently completed “Harmonium Mountain”, an animated, computer generated landscape video, with an original score by Philip Glass, which was an original selection of the Tribeca Film Festival.

About TeamTOBased in Paris and in la Cartoucherie de Bourg-les-Valence (Drôme), TeamTO is an animation studio, who produces innovative TV series and movies, with a dedicated treatment for each production, that make them distinctive and original. The team has developed and produced different projects with Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Nelvana, Disney, TF1, France Televisions and Canal+ and has won several rewards for its productions, including prestigious International Emmys® Awards and Pulcinella Prize at Cartoon on the Bay Festival – as well as European Producer of the Year at Cartoon Tributes, and French TV Producer (category Animation) in 2010.

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