The Show Must Go On is the 10th episode of season 1 as well as the 10th episode overall
While the Triplets are putting on a show and Julian is being difficult. Babar tells the children when he once dealt with a difficult prima ballerina, Mademoiselle Soretoza.
At the school auditorium, the triplets are practicing the play "Rapunzel” with their friends. Julian however does not like the name Rapunzel, even saying, "Either the name goes or I go!" They take a break and Flora tells Babar that Julian won't listen. Babar tells her that the show must go on, no matter how difficult a performer is. Babar tells them about the time he worked with someone very difficult as well, the greatest ballerina in the world, Mademoiselle Soretoza.
Back when Babar was younger, he asked her to come to Celesteville to perform, however this took a lot of persuading to get her to come, but she eventually agrees. When she arrives, she throws her cape onto Pompadour, Babar welcomes her and introduces her to Celeste who will be her understudy. She very gracefully greets them but throws the bouquet Celeste gave her into Pompadour's face and goes upstairs to get some sleep. With the rehearsals beginning tomorrow, Celeste is honored to be dancing with her. That night, the Mademoiselle had a difficult time sleeping, she complained about her bed, Chef Truffles's meal, and the Spring Waters. They were starting to realize that she was not going to be easy to please. Babar is happy that all the shows were sold out, telling Pompadour this will be a great show. Suddenly there is a shout coming from the Mademoiselle's dressing room, Babar comes in and finds her head buried in a sandbox and won't come out until Babar deals with the director. They won't see eye to eye and the Mademoiselle declares that either he leaves or she does, fed up the director quits right on the spot. Babar becomes worried who will take his place, the Mademoiselle tells Babar he is more than capable of being the director, as long as he follows her directions. Cornelius and Pompadour see if Babar is all right and he tells them he is now the show's director.
Over the next few days, rehearsals were in progress, but with all of the Mademoiselle's outbursts, many of the company had already left and Babar was stuck in the middle. Even when the make-up person made a small mistake, the Mademoiselle sends her away. Meanwhile, word has spread to Rhinoland about Mademoiselle Soretoza's performance. Lady Rataxes was a big fan of hers and asks Rataxes to attend with her, but he prefers fencing over ballet. She tells him that if he does see a ballet performance, he would be known for having some culture, and it would do him justice. While hesitant at first, he agrees as to not let his wife believe she married a barbarian. Back in Celesteville, with time running out, rehearsals were in full swing, even though half the company was gone. Lord and Lady Rataxes along with Basil attend the rehearsal, the Mademoiselle is pleased to have a fan of hers in her presence. Babar tries to tell Lady Rataxes that these are closed rehearsals, but the Mademoiselle asks Babar to make an exception for a "patron of the arts," he agrees. Lady Rataxes is enjoying the show, but Lord Rataxes is bored. Meanwhile, a blue spotlight appears over Mademoiselle Soretoza which makes her scream. Babar says he'll ask the lighting man to change it, but she says they should just change the lighting man, as a sign of him quitting, the lighting man dims the lights, one at a time, much to Celeste's dismay.
With the days wearing on, everyone's patience is growing thin. The slightest offense caused her to go to her dressing room causing the rehearsals to be put on hold. He asks Celeste to fill in for the Mademoiselle, when she shows the Mademoiselle how hard she has been working, the Mademoiselle insults Celeste by telling Babar not to waste his time, saying if she herself can't make it, there is no show. This hurts Celeste's feelings to the point where she runs offstage crying. Babar is starting to get fed up with the Mademoiselle for how she is treating others. Cornelius tells Babar that the show must go on, but Babar says that at the rate the Mademoiselle is going, there won't be a show.
Babar goes to check on a brokenhearted Celeste, and he finds her crying backstage. He comfortingly tells her that she is a wonderful dancer, but Celeste feels that it isn't good enough for the Mademoiselle. Babar assures her that no matter what the Madamoiselle says, she should ignore her. Celeste stops crying, but Babar tells her is ready to cancel the show. Celeste tells Babar that they are working so hard and that the audience is looking forward to the show. She therefore promises that she'll practice harder if Babar lets the show proceed. Hugging her with his trunk, Babar accepts the deal. After a rehearsal, they decide to run it again from the top, but before they start, Rataxes snores very loudly which annoys Lady Rataxes.
With only three days left until the show, the remaining cast and crew practiced at every opportunity, then one day, the inevitable happens. A small mistake happens, as the conductor apparently miscues her, and the leading man Felipe fails to catch her, and she blames the conductor and Felipe, even insulting them to the point where they quit. She even tells off Lord Rataxes for his snoring, this deeply hurts Lady Rataxes who leaves to go and stay with her mother. The show now has absolutely no cast or crew aside from Babar, the Mademoiselle and Celeste. Babar wishes they had something to help and Celeste then tells Babar that they have their friends and staff, this gives Babar an idea. Basil tells Babar that Rataxes wants the show to go on, Babar tells Basil the show will go on.
The day before the premier, Babar calls everyone to the theatre for an emergency meeting, they are all going to put on the show themselves, they all have some theatre experience and talent themselves. Pompadour will do the lighting since he helped pick out the chandeliers for the palace, Zephir will do the curtain and backdrop, Cornelius, who once filled in as a conductor for a marching band, will be in charge of the orchestra, Madame will take care of the costumes, Arthur would be in charge of the props and Celeste will dance for the Mademoiselle and fill in as make-up person. Rataxes has an idea of who could be the leading man, Babar says they'll deal with that later. They start practicing and there are some troubles during rehearsal, from Cornelius losing his baton, to Arthur and Zephir having troubles with the sets, to Celeste having trouble getting into character. After a night's worth of rehearsals, they were able make it through a successful run through, and were ready for the premiere that night. All they needed was a leading man for the performance. They were all proud of their achievement and are ready.
That night, everyone was arriving, but there is no sign of the leading lady, Zephir tells Babar to come with him. Lady Rataxes is worried that she would be humiliated by her husband. Backstage, Babar tells her that everything is ready but the Mademoiselle won't work with any of them simply for being amateurs (compared to those they are replacing). Babar insists that they have been working very hard and there won't be a show without them. She tells Babar that she is the show and that she will perform solo. Babar, now officially fed up with her attitude and insults, not only refuses this idea, but tells her off. She leaves and everyone is proud of Babar for standing up to her. He says that they will perform the show without her. Instead, they have Celeste replacing her as the leading lady, and Babar says that Rataxes is their leading man. Like they are to have a leading man, he is desperate to win his wife's heart back.
During the show, Babar becomes worried when he doesn't hear a sound from the audience, he looks out and after Rataxes catches Celeste, the audience roars. They all bow and the show is a complete success.
Celeste recalls Rataxes was able to dance so well, thanks to his fencing skills, which he had always prided himself on. Julian, who overheard the story, comes out and says to forget about changing the name Rapunzel. Flora is thrilled to hear that and calls places. Celeste says that this will be a great show even without Rataxes. The rehearsal goes on well.
- Lord Rataxes
- Lady Rataxes
- Mademoiselle Soretoza (only appearance)
- Julian (only appearance)
- Other girl as Rapunzel (only appearance)
- In this episode, we find out Celeste took ballet.
- This episode is based on one of Babar's books.
- Lady Rataxes is a big fan of ballet and even tells Rataxes the people like a cultured king.
- The book version reveals the lion conductor's name to be Leon.
- Julian does not appear in the book version. Instead, it is Alexander who plays the prince there.
- It is never mentioned who was playing Rapunzel in the show, but it must have been a friend of Flora's
- A plothole in a future episode had many fans wondering, in "All Played Out," Celeste says that she has dreamed about being on the stage since she was little, but she performs in this episode, she may have forgotten about the events.
- The scene where the paper hanger hangs the signs of the countdown to the performance is recycled.
- Lord and Lady Rataxes wouldn’t have been able to get tickets at the point of their appearance as the show was already sold out.