Approaching his 111th birthday, the hobbit Bilbo Baggins begins writing down the full story of his adventure 60 years earlier for the benefit of his nephew Frodo. This connects The Hobbit with The Lord of the Rings movie 10 years earlier which had a similar scene. Long before Bilbo's involvement, the Dwarf king Thrór brings an era of prosperity for his kin under the Lonely Mountain, far to the East, until the arrival of the dragon Smaug. Destroying the nearby town of Dale, Smaug drives the Dwarves out of their mountain and takes their hoard of gold. Thrór's grandson Thorin sees King Thranduil and his Wood-elves on a nearby hillside, and is dismayed when they take their leave rather than aid his people, resulting in Thorin's everlasting hatred of Elves.
Thorin and his company are being pursued by Azog and his Orc party following the events of the previous film. They are ushered along by Gandalf to the nearby home of Beorn, a skin-changer who can take the form of the bear. That night, Azog is summoned to Dol Guldur by the Necromancer, who commands him to marshal his forces for war. Azog then delegates the hunt for Thorin to his son Bolg. The following day, Beorn escorts the company to the borders of Mirkwood, where Gandalf discovers Black Speech imprinted on an old ruin. This coincides with a telepathic message from Galadriel urging him to investigate the tombs of the Nazgûl. He warns the company to remain on the path and leaves them. Upon entering the forest they lose their way and are ensnared by giant spiders. Bilbo then sets about freeing the dwarves with the help of his recently acquired invisibility ring. He subsequently drops the Ring and first begins to understand its dark influence after he brutally kills a centipede-like creature to retrieve it.
Bilbo and the Dwarves watch from the Lonely Mountain as the dragon Smaug sets Laketown ablaze, and its people flee. Bard the Bowman breaks out of prison, and eventually kills Smaug with the black arrow brought to him by his son Bain. Smaug's falling body crushes the fleeing Master of Laketown, who was escaping Laketown on a boat laden with the town's gold. Bard reluctantly becomes the new leader of the Laketown people as they seek refuge in the ruins of Dale, while Legolas travels to investigate Mount Gundabad with Tauriel. Thorin, now struck with "dragon sickness" over the vast treasure in the mountain, searches obsessively for the Arkenstone, which Bilbo had previously found but kept hidden. Thorin, hearing that people have come to Dale, orders the entrance of the Lonely Mountain sealed off.
The Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, addresses the wizarding media, stating that the Ministry would remain strong even as Lord Voldemort gains strength. Harry, Ron and Hermione prepare for a journey to find and destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes, with Harry watching Dursleys depart and Hermione wiping her parent's memories of her.
Shrek and Fiona return from their honeymoon to find they have been invited by Fiona's parents to a royal ball to celebrate their marriage, an event Shrek is reluctant to participate in. Fiona talks him into it, and along with Donkey, they travel to the kingdom of Far Far Away. They meet Fiona's parents, King Harold and Queen Lillian, who are surprised to see their daughter as an ogre, with Harold particularly upset. At dinner, Shrek and Harold get into a heated argument over how Shrek and Fiona will raise their family, and Fiona, disgusted at Shrek's behavior, locks herself away in her room that evening. Shrek worries that he has lost his true love, particularly after finding her childhood diary and reading that she was once infatuated with Prince Charming.
Harry Potter dreams of Frank Bryce, who is killed after overhearing Lord Voldemort discussing plans with Peter "Wormtail" Pettigrew and Barty Crouch Jr. At the Quidditch World Cup, Death Eaters terrorise the spectators, and Crouch Jr. summons the Dark Mark, otherwise known as the curse "Morsmordre".
Prince Charming vows that he will become King of Far, Far Away and avenge the death of his mother, the Fairy Godmother. Meanwhile, King Harold is dying and his ogre son-in-law Shrek and daughter Princess Fiona are to succeed him. Shrek, who is having difficulty serving as Regent during the King's medical leave, insists that an ogre as king is a bad idea and that there must be someone else to rule the kingdom. Before dying, Harold tells Shrek of another heir: his nephew, Arthur Pendragon. Prince Charming goes to the Poison Apple tavern and persuades fairy tale villains to fight for their "happily ever after" by appealing to the defeats given in their stories.
A powerful fairy named Maleficent lives in the Moors, a magical forest realm bordering a corrupt human kingdom. As a young girl, she befriends and falls in love with a human peasant boy named Stefan (Michael Higgins), whose affection for Maleficent is overshadowed by his ambition to someday become king. As the two grow older, they become estranged, and Maleficent becomes protector of the Moors. When King Henry (Kenneth Cranham) tries to conquer the Moors, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) commands primeval forces and makes him retreat. Fatally wounded in battle, he declares that whoever kills Maleficent will be named his successor and will marry Princess Leila, his only daughter.
Shrek has grown steadily tired of being a family man and celebrity among the local villagers, leading him to yearn for the days when he felt like a "real ogre". When he takes his family to Far Far Away to celebrate his children's first birthday, a series of mishaps further injure his ego, causing him to lose his temper and walk out in anger.
Five years after the Viking village of Berk made peace with the dragons, they now live among the villagers as helpful companions. Hiccup goes on adventures with his dragon, Toothless, as they discover and map unexplored lands. Now 20 years old, he is being pressed by his father, Stoick the Vast, to succeed him as chieftain, although Hiccup remains unsure if he is ready for this responsibility.
The island of Berk is a remote Viking village, from which dragons periodically steal livestock. Hiccup, the awkward son of the village chieftain, Stoick the Vast, is too small to fight the dragons and instead fashions mechanical devices under his apprenticeship with Gobber the blacksmith, though his inventions often backfire. During one attack, Hiccup believes he has shot down a Night Fury, an extremely rare and dangerous dragon. Hiccup later finds it in the forest trapped in his bolas, but finds that he can't bring himself to kill the dragon and instead sets it free. Stoick assembles a fleet to find the dragons' nest, leaving Hiccup in a dragon-fighting class taught by Gobber. Hiccup returns to the forest to find the Night Fury still there, and realizes it is unable to fly properly because of its crippled caudal fin. Hiccup gradually tames the dragon and gives it the name "Toothless", for its retractable teeth. Hiccup makes a harness and prosthetic fin that allows him to guide the dragon in free flight. By studying Toothless' behavior, Hiccup becomes proficient in subduing the captive dragons during training. Stoick's fleet arrives home unsuccessful, but he is cheered by Hiccup's unexpected success.
Shrek, a green ogre who loves the solitude in his swamp, finds his life interrupted when many fairytale characters are exiled there by order of the fairytale-hating Lord Farquaad. Shrek tells them that he will go ask Farquaad to send them back. He brings along a talking Donkey who is the only fairytale creature who knows the way to Duloc.
After the Huns, led by the ruthless Shan Yu, invade Han China, the Chinese emperor begins to command a general mobilization. Each family is given a conscription notice, requiring one man from each family to join the Chinese army. When Fa Mulan hears that her elderly father Fa Zhou, the only man in their family, is once more to go to war, she becomes anxious and apprehensive. She decides to deal with this herself by disguising herself as a man so that she can go to war instead of her father. When her family learns of Mulan's departure, they all become anxious. Grandmother Fa, Mulan's grandmother, prays to the family ancestors for Mulan's safety. The ancestors then order their "Great Stone Dragon" to protect Mulan. The ancestors are unaware that the statue of Great Stone Dragon failed to come to life, and that Mushu, a small dragon, is the one to go and protect Mulan.
Perseus (Sam Worthington), a son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), lives as a fisherman after the death of his wife, Io (portrayed by Gemma Arterton in the previous film), with his young son, Helius (John Bell). Zeus visits Perseus and asks for his help, saying that humans are not praying to the gods and as a result the gods are losing their power and becoming mortal. Perseus realizes the walls of Tartarus are crumbling and Zeus informs him that the imprisoned Titan Kronos will soon be free. Perseus, valuing his family's safety, refuses to get involved.
Ten-year-old Chihiro Ogino and her parents are traveling to their new home when her father takes a wrong turn. They unknowingly enter a magical world that Chihiro's father insists on exploring, believing it to be an abandoned amusement park. Her parents sit at an empty, but seemingly-operational, restaurant stall, and begin to devour the fresh food in a piggish manner; meanwhile, Chihiro discovers an exquisite bathhouse across a bridge, where a young boy named Haku warns her to get out before the impending sunset. Frantically, Chihiro returns to her parents, only to discover that they have literally transformed into pigs. She attempts to escape, but the way by which they came has since become submerged. Frightened and alone, she observes as the world she ventured into reveals itself as a luxurious retreat for spirits to revitalize themselves.