As part of a school project to promote understanding and co-operation, the children convince Babar and Rataxes to change places for the day. Forced to deal with the other's problems, Babar and Rataxes learn it isn't easy to walk a mile in somebody else's shoes.
Pom, Flora, and Alexander left school by taking the school bus. Shortly after they left for school, Zephir came to the palace and asks Babar for help. Zephir explained about the frosty cone machine and how the Rhino red tape (from rhino custom's office at Rhinoland) has it. Zephir was mad that he did not even have the machine after he made an advertisement about it. Babar gladly helps Zephir.
Meanwhile at school, Madame was teaching students about tackling the problem. Victor used strength, Pom used wits, and Flora used cooperation with Alexander. After class, the students were doing homework for finding how neighbors find way to understand to improve cooperation. Pom, Alexander, Flora, and Victor started working on the homework right away.
At Rhinoland, while Lord Rataxes is boxing at the sandbag, he is angry about Royal Homage day (the day when everyone is supposed to love him), because nobody gave him any presents. When Babar called Rataxes about the Frosty Cone Machine, he said that he had no idea about it. While he was asking Basil about his popularity, he suggested Lord Rataxes about free frosty cones for everyone to boost Rataxes' popularity. After Basil's suggestion (the one Rataxes has actually forgotten about it), they started working right away immediately.
Meanwhile at Celesteville, Pom, Alexander, Flora, and Victor started working on homework right away; Pompadour helped them finding neighboring kingdoms for in the way how neighbors can learn from each other. Just then, Babar and Zephir passed by and were talking about Rataxes. Alexander and Victor just came up with the idea for the homework.
Back at Rhinoland, Lord Rataxes was giving away free frosty cone, with the help of his guards. Basil gave the report about the popularity, how his popularity has gone up and is 2 points more popular than a rattle snake bite. Victor came home from Celesteville and explained the project that he is working on at school for homework, after Rataxes told Basil to put in the paper that his son loves him.
Alexander and Flora and Pom were discussing the same thing at Celesteville. Pompadour and Cornelius were of course shocked to hear it. They asked them if Babar and Rataxes trade places for one day to promote understanding and how they each face the problems they need to face. Rataxes called Babar about it and soon they both decided to trade places in the end. The kids were excited so that they can work on their homework when Rataxes arrives, while obviously Pompadour and Cornelius knew that this would be a big disaster. Both Rataxes and Babar got themselves ready to trade places and soon each arrived at the palace they needed to head to. Babar left, as Rataxes arrived at Celesteville. Immediately, Rataxes made orders to Cornelius and Pompadour to wash his car and bring his things to Babar's office. He then ordered the chefs to make food, a banquet. Cornelius and Pompadour knew that this would not end well.
Meanwhile at Rhinoland, Babar inspected Rataxes' royal guard but the guards were angry. Basil told Babar that he forgot to yell at them because without it make the guards an anger. At first Babar thought it was absurd but later gave them a shout. Basil then asked him to wrestle one of the guards and win as a rhino tradition and in order to remain the respect. Babar refuses to wrestle and head to Rataxes' office.
Back in Celesteville, Cornelius explained about a paper work which is Babar's normal and important duty. Rataxes refuses of course, claiming that he is a ruler and not a clerk and ordered Cornelius to fetch his golf clubs. Zephir comes in wanting to talk to Babar about Zephir's machine and is surprised to see Rataxes taking place instead of Babar. Pompadour and the children explained to him about the situation. When Rataxes asked Zephir what he can do for him, immediately, he burst out an anger and demand him to bring back his machine. Cornelius was surprised and tried to warn Zephir but he continue to anger. After Zephir was done, Rataxes told him that he needs to go to a dungeon and said "Clap him in irons!". Rataxes ordered Cornelius and Pompadour to build one, after Pompadour told Rataxes that they do not have a dungeon. Rataxes decided to go out and see what made Babar so well loved. The children began to understand what Madame was saying about different solutions to the same problem, while Zephir was still frightened after Rataxes said "Clap him in irons".
At Rhinoland, while one of the other guards teased at him because of the fact that Babar did not wrestle one of them, Babar was shocked to see that another guard is using Zephir's frosty cone machine, after Basil explained to him about popularity boost. He ordered Basil to stop using the machine and put it back where it was because it is not a right thing to do and it is theft. This in turn made all rhinos angry and made a big mess on Basil. Later that day, General Premier came. When Babar asked the general to sit down, the general said that is for sissies and said that he goes on task while standing up. He ordered Babar for a sneak attack on the elephants, but of course Babar refused.
Meanwhile at Celesteville, Rataxes tried to be polite as Babar but did not seem to work it out, even if he did said please. He asked the milk delivery man for a banana split, but changed his mind. He walked around Celesteville trying to admire the people around him but could not fit in. He asked for answers to find out why Babar is so popular but still could not find it or did not understood when he received an answer that Babar is courteous and thoughtful. When a truck driver got into an accident because of Rataxes, he told the driver that Kings have right away. This angered the people of Celesteville and began to throw pie and some other objects at him. He said to Pompadour and Cornelius to throw all of them them in the Dungeon, before a pie landed on his face.
Back at Rhinoland, Basil was finished with the orders that Babar ordered him, though Basil suggested that a day off for the people of Rhinoland (populous) is a bad idea. There were also scheduling conflict that Babar needed to face for them. Things turned out to be worse not just a day off for populous but also for the rest too. People of Rhinoland wanted Lord Rataxes and protested in front of the castle. Babar and Basil and Victor escaped through the back way.
While Victor was finishing his homework and Basil was driving Babar's car, Babar was hiding in the back seat. They later saw Rataxes with Cornelius and Pompadour along with Babar's children in Rataxes' car. The children, Alexander and Pom and Flora and Victor were done with the project. Even though Babar and Rataxes did learn something new, Rataxes still wished that he could have learned more about popularity. The elephants went back to Celesteville in Babar's car, while the Rhinos took Rataxes' car and went back to Rhinoland.
The next day (the Royal Homage day), while Rataxes was still not cheered up, Basil came to Rataxes with a surprising and good news. The people of Rhinoland gave Rataxes gifts and shout out "We love Rataxes!" Rataxes cheered up joyfully.
Later at Zephir's ice cream shop, while Babar took a rest from working at Rhinoland for a day and the children were celebrating their victory for the project they have done, Rataxes came and thanked Babar for boosting popularity. He announced that he cut through the red tape and brought Zephir's frosty cone machine. The children shouted with excitement and Zephir was surprised. Rataxes ordered Zephir a triple banana split and then said "please". Zephir still remembered what Rataxes said to him about "Clap him in irons". As Rataxes and Babar were talking about understanding from neighbors, Zephir was done making order for Rataxes and gave it to him. Zephir pushed the order that Rataxes ordered and soon it made Rataxes a mess. Zephir walked back and said "That'll show him clap him in irons!" Finally Babar told Rataxes that Rataxes can please some of the people some of the time but not to get Zephir angry with him. The children laughed at Rataxes' funny face at the end.