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Babar is a wildly popular French children's character created by Jean de Brunhoff for the story Histoire de Babar. In the book, his mother is killed by a hunter, but Babar escapes to the city. After some time, he returns to the community of elephants, where he becomes King of the Elephants and marries his cousin Celeste.

History with the Macy's Parade

As a Float

Babar's history with the parade dates back to 1938. When a push-and-pull float version of him appeared in the 1938 parade, The float featured him riding a horse, The float re-appeared in 1940 But was retired after the parade, When the parade returned from hiatus, The float was transferred to the Bamberger's parade where it stayed until the late 1940s.

As a Balloon

Babar made his grand return in the 65th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1991, where he was the only new balloon to debut that year and was the grand finale due to him being the Macy's Holiday Ambassador, and with that, an animatronic version of him stood atop the Macy's Herald Square marquee, and a plush toy was released to Macy's stores. Babar returned as the second to last character balloon in the 1992 Parade. Babar was the last balloon to make use of the large sphere balloon which had been used for many years and characters, such as Elsie the Cow, Smile, and the Alvin and the Chipmunks Falloon. He was retired after the 1992 Parade, and with Babar's fade into obscurity and Nelvana's severe lack of Parade representation, it is unlikely he will ever appear again in any balloon form. As of today, it still survives and is kept at the Parade Studio Float Warehouse.

As a Walk Around

In 1991, walk-around versions of Babar and Celeste rode on Macy's REO Delivery Truck, but not near the balloon. In 2011, Babar, alongside a horde of retired balloon characters, appeared on the Hats Off To Our Heritage float, with a new costume based on his appearance in Babar and the Adventures of Badou.

Gallery

Gallery: Babar the Elephant

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