The Mouse and his son are the two parts of a single small wind-up toy, which must be wound up by means of a key in the father's back. After having been unboxed, they discover themselves in a toy shop where they befriend a toy elephant and toy seal. The child mouse proposes staying at the shop to form a family, which the other toys ridicule. After falling from a counter and becoming broken, they are thrown in the trash. Outside, they become enslaved by Manny the Rat, who runs a casino in the city dump and uses broken wind-up toys as his slave labor force. With the aid of a psychic frog, the mice escape and meet various animal characters on a quest of becoming free and independent "self-winding" toys. They rediscover the elephant and seal, who are somewhat broken down, and manage to form a family and destroy the rat empire.