The man with the yellow hat named Ted Shackleford worked at a natural history museum that's fallen on hard times. The museum director's son wants to turn it into a parking lot, but Ted offers to bring a mysterious idol from Africa that's guaranteed to pull in the crowds. Unfortunately, the idol turned out to be three inches tall. But Ted accidentally brings a lonely monkey but irrepressible, soon to be named George. They set out on a non-stop action, fun journey through the wonders of the big city toward the warmth of true friendship.