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Spotlight : Of, By And For The Children : For Your Pachyderm Pleasure: Babar, The Movie And The HBO Series

October 28, 1990|LAUREN LIPTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Believe it or not, Babar the elephant is pushing 60. The popular pachyderm,created by French artist Jean de Brunhoff, loves to reminisce about his earlyyears as the Boy King of Elephantland-a place you won't find on any map but isthe setting for numerous Babar children's books, which all have charming lessonsabout life and the importance of family and friends.

Babar: The Movie (Saturday 7 p.m. Disney Channel), a full-length animatedfeature making its television premiere, is the story of how Babar came to wearhis crown. It starts with the young elephant witnessing the slaughter of his momby hunters and fleeing his homeland for the city, where he is raised by a kindold lady. He eventually packs his trunk and moves back to his childhood home-with plenty of ideas for peace and prosperity-and is crowned king. For 2- to12-year-olds.

For a more frequent dose of Babar, HBO's Babar series airs on a continual basis.A new installment, "Conga the Terrible" (7:30 p.m. Monday), finds the elephantand his friends stranded on an island inhabited by a gorilla. For 2- to8-year-olds. MORE KIDS SHOWS

Los Angeles Lakers center Vlade Divac will guest-star in an episode of theweekday morning show Wake, Rattle & Roll (Friday at 7:30 a.m. KTTV). In anepisode called "Clean Up This Mess," Divac appears to teach the show's host,Sam, how to play basketball (what else?). For 2- to 11-year-olds.

The Disney Channel is our pick for Halloween treats. Halloween Programming (10a.m. Wednesday-5:30 p.m. Thursday) includes continuous specials and moviesgeared toward boys and ghouls of various ages. Check TV listings for showtitles.

Before Elizabeth Taylor became staple fodder for The National Enquirer, therewas National Velvet (6:30 a.m. Thursday Movie Channel), the classic 1945 filmstarring a youthful Liz as a girl determined to enter her horse in England'sGrand National Race. For all ages.

Showtime airs the 1949 film A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (4 p.m.Friday), the musical version of the Mark Twain classic, as part of its"Familytime" programming. For all ages.

PBS' The '90s (12:30 a.m. Friday KCET) explores the direction of education-fromthe viewpoints of students and teachers. For parents.

A quartet of animated fairy tales on Nickelodeon Saturday have all the rightingredients: wicked witches, evil stepmothers and magic spells. Jorinda andJoringle is about a young woman who is turned into a nightingale (2 p.m.), TheWorn-Out Dancing Shoes (2:30 p.m.) is about three princesses who must dancenonstop. In Brother and Sister (3 p.m.), a premiere, the unfortunate brother isturned into a deer; and The Magic Heart (3:30 p.m.), also a premiere, is abouta hunter who is turned into a donkey. For all ages.

How would you feel if you moved to a new house and found your neighbors hadantennae and green spots? Probably the same way they'd feel about havingfunny-looking Earthlings next door. The animated Aliens Next Door (8:30 p.m.Saturday Disney Channel) tells the story of two very different families whofinally come to accept each other. For 2- to 12-year-olds.

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