- Directors: Matthew O Callaghan
- Producers: Ron Howard, David Kirschner, Bonne Radford, Jon Shapiro
- Writers: Robert L Baird, Dan Gerson, Karey Kirkpatrick, Michael McCullers, Clare Sella, Joe Stillman
- Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family
- Actors: Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, David Cross, Eugene Levy, Joan Plowright, Dick Van Dyke, Ed O Ross, Frank Welker, Phil Hayes
A clumsy, mischievous, and curious chimpanzee named George (voiced by Frank Welker) lives in the jungles of Africa. His behavior amuses the other young jungle animals, but angers their parents; therefore George is left sad and alone.
Meanwhile, at the Bloomsberry Museum, Ted (the “man in the yellow hat” of the earlier book series) (Will Ferrell), a museum employee, teaches schoolchildren about natural history, not realizing that his lectures bore them. Afterward, he has a talk with Maggie (Drew Barrymore), the school teacher, who admires him and for whom he has strong feelings. Later, Mr. Bloomsberry (Dick Van Dyke), the owner of the museum, tells Ted that he is pressed to close the museum by his son, Bloomsberry Junior (David Cross), who wishes to build a parking garage in its stead. This upsets Ted, who suggests, to revive the museum’s popularity, that they obtain a statue called the Lost Shrine of Zagawa. Excited, Mr. Bloomsberry thinks to go himself as he had been prevented from doing by his son’s birth, but finds that he is too old. Without thinking, Ted quickly volunteers to make the expedition. Mr. Bloomsberry accepts the idea and Ted prepares to leave for Africa. Junior, frustrated, modifies his father’s map of Africa to prevent Ted from finding the Shrine.
Upon the exhibit’s re-opening, Ted redesigns the entire museum to be more interactive, thereby igniting the children’s interest in history. The museum now includes a dinosaur rib cage, where the children can learn of the skeletal system, a space where they can learn about the solar system, a paint area, where the children can paint for and other exhibits. Junior is set to work parking customers’ cars, somewhat to his chagrin, but by fulfilling this task, however, he earns his father’s praise, which he has much coveted. Ted and Maggie are about to become sweethearts in earnest when George again interrupts them by hijacking a nearby spacecraft (The empty fuel tanks were filled by Clovis, accidentally). Ted and George orbit the Earth in this craft, which is itself a reference to the book series on which the film is based. The film concludes as they make their second and third orbits at a comically exaggerated speed.