Many days after bidding the penguins goodbye, Alex has a nightmare about himself and his friends still being stranded in Africa and finding that they have all gotten old. He then wakes up from his nightmare on his birthday and the animals present him with a miniature model of New York City made out of mud. Alex suggests to his friends and the lemurs that they should go to Monte Carlo to get the penguins and the chimpanzees and fly back to New York City, which they agree to do.
In 1905 Kansas, Oscar Diggs works as a magician in a traveling circus. An inveterate womanizer, Oscar flirts with the circus strongman's wife, and the strongman threatens him. Oscar escapes in a hot air balloon, but is sucked into a tornado that takes him to the Land of Oz. There, he encounters a kind and naive witch, Theodora. She believes him to be a wizard prophesied to destroy the Wicked Witch who killed the King of Oz and take his place; the idea of being an immensely wealthy monarch makes him immediately accept. En route to the Emerald City, Theodora falls in love with Oscar, though he does not reciprocate her feelings. They encounter the flying monkey Finley, who pledges a life debt to Oscar when he saves him from a lion. Oscar reveals his deception to Finley along the way, forcing him to help maintain the lie that he is the 'Wizard', much to Finley's irritation.
Flik, an individualist and would-be inventor, lives in a colony of ants in the middle of a dried creek. They are led by Princess Atta and her mother, the Queen. The colony is oppressed by a gang of marauding grasshoppers, led by Hopper, that arrive every season demanding food from the ants. One day, when the annual offering is accidentally knocked into a stream by Flik's latest invention, a grain-harvesting device, the grasshoppers demand twice as much food as compensation. The ants trick Flik into accepting his plan to recruit "warrior bugs" to fight off the grasshoppers. While Flik actually believes in the plan, the other ants see it as an opportunity to get rid of Flik and save themselves trouble.
Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy run a failing chicken farm in Yorkshire; the chickens are caged in the style of a prison camp with a high fence and barbed wire, with two dogs that patrol the grounds. As their chickens are producing fewer eggs, Mrs. Tweedy comes up with the idea of converting their product from eggs to chicken pies, and orders a large automatic pie maker.
At his son's wedding party, Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) tells the same tall tale he's told many times over the years: on the day Will (Billy Crudup) was born, he was out catching an enormous uncatchable fish, using his wedding ring as bait. Will is annoyed, explaining to his wife Joséphine (Marion Cotillard) that because his father lives in a fantasy world and has never told the straight truth about anything, he felt unable to trust him. He is troubled to think that he might have a similarly difficult relationship with his future children. Will's relationship with his father becomes so strained that they do not talk for three years. But when his father's health starts to fail from cancer, Will and the now pregnant Joséphine return to his hometown in Alabama to visit. On the plane, Will recalls his father's tale of how he braved a swamp as a child after he was dared by a few other children. He meets a witch (Helena Bonham Carter). She shows Don Price and another boy how they were going to die. They run away, frightened. When the witch shows Edward his death in her glass eye, he accepts it without fear. With this knowledge, Edward knew there were no odds he could not face.
In 2011, Charlie O'Brien, the proprietor of a small traveling circus encounters an elderly Polish American man named Jacob Jankowski, who has apparently become separated from his nursing home group, which attended the circus earlier that day. The two strike up a conversation and Jacob reveals that he had a career in the circus business and was present during one of the most infamous circus disasters of all time and the circus owner asks him to share his story.
The film is structured as a largely non-linear series of key events from the life of Édith Piaf. The film begins with elements from her childhood, and at the end with the events prior to and surrounding her death, poignantly juxtaposed by a performance of her song, "Non, je ne regrette rien".
Set in Cambodia during the 1920s during French colonial rule, two tigers; one male and one female, meet and mate. Months later, the tiger couple have given birth to two tiger cubs, who would one day get separated after the ancient temple where they live is disturbed by Aidan McRory (Guy Pearce), who intends to steal and sell the ancient statues at an auction in London.
Charles Duchemin (Louis de Funès) is the editor of an internationally known restaurant guide. After being appointed to the Académie française, Duchemin decides to retire as a restaurant critic and trains his son Gérard (Coluche) to continue the family business. However, Gérard Duchemin is more interested in his true passion—the circus—than high cuisine. Soon, however, Charles' plans to retire are complicated by the arrival of Jacques Tricatel (Julien Guiomar), the owner of a company of mass-produced food. Fearing for the future of high cuisine, Charles and his son strive to ruin Tricatel's company in any way they can. This movie is an allegory of the antagonism between USA culture and French culture as it was seen by French people in the 70s.
In the town of Crescent Cove, California, Farmer Gene Green spies an object fall to Earth. Believing it to be Halley's Comet, he goes to find it, coming across a large circus tent-like structure. He is at first amused by the sight, but he and his dog Pooh Bear are quickly captured by mysterious clown-like aliens. Meanwhile, Mike Tobacco and his girlfriend Debbie Stone also investigate. Coming across the same structure, they discover a complex interior that looks nothing like a circus tent. They discover the old man in a cotton candy-shaped cocoons and are nearly captured by the alien clowns, who coat them with a popcorn gun as they escape. A balloon-animal dog that comes to life gives chase.
Mia, a young woman in a small American Midwestern town goes to a traveling carnival one evening, where she is urged by a silent clown to visit the carnival's circus and see the Aerialist, the show's star attraction. She is entranced by the Aerialist, but during his act he misses a catch and falls to the ground. She rushes to help him, but then the ground beneath them gives way and they fall through into the dreamlike world of Cirque du Soleil. Separated, they travel through the different tent worlds trying to find each other, interacting with the strange and wonderful performers and performances of Cirque du Soleil. Mia and the Aerialist perform an aerial courtship for the grand finale.
Darren Shan and his best friend Steve Leonard visit a traveling freak show. Steve believes a performer, Larten Crepsley, is a vampire. Steve talks to Crepsley after the show and asks to become a vampire. Crepsley initially refuses but is talked into testing Steve's blood, that he spits out telling Steve he has bad blood. Steve furiously swears revenge and leaves. Darren overhears everything because he has been hiding in a cupboard after stealing Crepsley's spider, Madam Octa.
London Hospital surgeon Frederick Treves finds John Merrick in a Victorian freak show in London's East End, where he is kept by Mr. Bytes. His head is always hooded, and his "owner," who views him as retarded, is paid by Treves to bring him to the hospital for exams. He shows Merrick to his colleagues and highlights his monstrous skull, which forces him to sleep with his head on his knees, since if he were to lie down, he would asphyxiate. On Merrick’s return he is beaten so hard by Bytes that an apprentice calls Treves to bring him back to hospital. When Bytes accuses Treves of likewise exploiting Merrick for his own ends, he vows to do what he can to help Merrick.