Genre: Animal / Drama / Humor
Year Published: 1986
Year Read: 2007
Series: Storybook Classics
Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books
“The Elephant’s Child” is the first “Just so” story introduced in the Rabbit Ears Storybook Classics series and is easily one of Rabbit Ears’ finest videos since it won a Grammy Award in the late 80s. Jack Nicholson’s silky narration, along with Bobby McFerrin’s harmonic music and Tim Raglin’s colorful illustrations makes “The Elephant’s Child” a worthwhile treat for the whole family to enjoy.
Jack Nicholson’s narration is extremely silk and sarcastic as he narrates an Elephant’s Child’s efforts to find out what the crocodile has for dinner. Jack Nicholson’s best vocal performance would have to be for the Elephant’s Child and the Bi-Colored-Python-Rock Snake. With the Elephant’s Child, Jack Nicholson uses a high pitched and childlike voice to reinforce the adolescence of the Elephant’s Child’s nature and with the Bi-Colored-Python-Rock-Snake, Jack Nicholson makes a snake sound each time he reaches a word that contains the s-syllable. Bobby McFerrin’s music is lovely as he makes harmonic sounds using his voice and his ability to create various sounds from his mouth to make music. Bobby McFerrin’s music creates a mesmerizing atmosphere to the story as his voice sounds like it is so far off the distance. Tim Raglin’s illustrations are brilliant and colorful, especially of the forest where the Elephant’s Child lives in as the trees are green and pink. The illustrations that stood out the most was the illustration of the Elephant’s Child having no trunk as his nose looks like a little stub on his face.
Parents should know that there is quite a bit of violence on this video, mainly of the Elephant’s Child being spanked throughout the video. There is also a bit of violence when the Elephant’s Child encounters the crocodile, but you probably can guess what is going to happen without me spoiling the ending for you. Parents should reassure their children that violence is not always the answer to solve your problems and you should not spank your child just because he or she is curious about the world. Just try to explain to your child about the trials of the world in terms simple enough for your child to understand.
The Elephant’s Child” is a great piece of work from Rabbit Ears Productions and it surely has enough humor and action that will satisfy any child for many years to come. I would recommend this video to children ages eight and up due to some advanced vocabulary that younger children might not understand and some violence that might worry some small children.
1986 New York International Film and TV Festival – Finalist Certificate
1986 Parents’ Choice – Honor Certificate
1987 Grammy Award – Best Recording for Children
1987 Action for Children’s Television (ACT) Award
1987 American Video Conference (AVC) – Finalist
1987 Parents’ Choice – Gold Seal for Recording
Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog