Surly the squirrel (Will Arnett) has always had it rough as a small animal. However, he thinks he's caught a break when the neighborhood nut shop has been closed down, leaving the basement full of nuts for him and his other animal friends. Meanwhile, Surly's girlfriend Andie (Katherine Heigl) wants the younger squirrels to learn how to forage for food in the wild, but they prefer free nuts.
As Andie goes to protest to Surly, he assures her "It's not like the nut shop is gonna blow up!"...at which point, it does blow up. The fault lands on Mole (Jeff Dunham), who did not shut off the boiler like Surly instructed him to. Surly and his best friend Buddy (Tom Kenny) go around the city to look for more food, such as a restaurant, movie theater, and doughnut shop, but they are chased out everywhere. The animals have no choice but to return to Liberty Park.
Greedy Mayor Percival J. Muldoon (Bobby Moynihan) meets with his other rich friends to discuss how every place in the city is generating profit, except for Liberty Park. He claims he has bigger plans for this piece of land.
The next day, as Surly mopes about the park, Muldoon unveils to the town his plan for the park - he wants to mow the whole place down to make room for Liberty Land, a brand new amusement park. Almost instantly, bulldozers starts running through the park, scaring away the animals. After Surly and Andie argue about the situation, Surly resolves that he and the other animals should fight back against the humans, despite knowing it could get them all killed.
As soon as the bulldozers and other construction vehicles get close, the animals charge and start tampering with the machinery. They also mess with the construction workers to terrify them. They even go as far as to destroy some of their money and launch a beehive at them. The workers all run away scared out of their wits. One of the men goes to report to Muldoon. He looks at the park with his binoculars and sees Surly, knowing who to target first.
Surly is still upset with the way things turned out, being forced to return to the park. Andie seizes the opportunity to get the other animals to use their basic instincts to find food on their own.
Muldoon hires an exterminator named Gunther (Peter Stormare) to handle the animals in the park. They make it clear they want to do things as inhumanely as possible. Muldoon's more psychotic daughter Heather (Isabela Moner) gets in on the action by sending her dog Frankie (Bobby Cannavale) out to get the animals, but Frankie only ends up falling in love with Precious (Maya Rudolph). Surly tries to get Precious to go along with this for their benefit. Gunther then gets his team to chase after the animals, forcing them to hide. He nearly gets Mole with a stick of dynamite. Eventually, Muldoon's demolitions guys come in and start blowing things up to make room for the construction guys to come in and start building Liberty Land. Muldoon drives home with Heather, who has taken Precious with her.
In the Muldoon home, Precious is forced to listen to Heather or else she won't be fed. Frankie is used to how crazy Heather is. Both dogs must perform tricks in order to get treats.
Surly and Buddy travel into the city to find Muldoon's car to rescue Precious. They end up in an alley overrun by a pack of mice led by Mr. Feng (Jackie Chan), who hates being called cute (Surly finds out the hard way). Surly and Buddy run back into the streets and get away from the mice.
The two manage to make it to Muldoon's house and find Precious. As they make their getaway, Frankie is heartbroken as Precious is leaving him behind. Muldoon grabs his rifle to shoot Surly, but he misses and hits the balcony that Buddy is standing on. It crumbles and sends Buddy falling to the the ground.
Surly and Precious bring an unconscious Buddy back to the park. Surly is sad for his friend, and he tells Andie how the two of them met. They were children when a vicious hurricane was sweeping through their home. Surly and Buddy ended up saving each other from being blown away. Precious goes to lick Buddy and he twitches. She licks him enough times to get him to wake up, and everyone is happy again. The animals then stand behind Surly as they vow to take the park back from Muldoon.
Liberty Land opens up to the public, and all the animals decide to crash the opening by attacking Muldoon and his guests. Muldoon calls Gunther to round up his exterminator buddies to get the animals. Andie and all her friends end up in cages while Surly manages to get away.
In desperate need of reinforcements, Surly runs back to Mr. Feng and the mice for help. Feng wants nothing to do with the park since he and his family were run out of there by the humans, and then they spent time watching a kung fu video to learn martial arts. The mice are ready to kill Surly, but he says he doesn't care what happens to him if he loses the park.
Feng eventually relents and gets all the mice to help Surly. They break out his friends and proceed to sabotage the park's rides, including the ferris wheel that runs over nearly everything. Precious and Frankie reunite when she breaks him out and he forgives her after she tries to puke up something for him to eat (seriously). Gunther tries to shoot the animals with a dart, but they cause him to shoot Heather in the butt. The rest of the humans are run out of the park, but Muldoon tries to escape in a hot air balloon. Surly goes after him by hopping off a roller coaster and fights him on top of the balloon. Muldoon is defeated when he falls from the balloon and lands on the bouncy house. Muldoon, Heather, and Gunther are all arrested, and Liberty Land is shut down after being deemed hazardous.
After a while, the city chips in to rebuild the park to its former glory. The animals have moved back, and so have the mice. Surly is ready to go be a normal animal, until he sees that a nut cart has pulled up to the park. He asks Andie for permission, and she joins him and Precious to go rob the cart.
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
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Surly the squirrel and his friends are forced to fight back against greedy Mayor Muldoon as he tries to tear down the park to build an amusement park.
With help from a pack of mice led by Mr. Feng, Surly and his friends run the humans out of the park and fight Muldoon, defeating him, his crazy daughter Heather, and exterminator Gunther. The theme park is also shut down after being deemed unsafe.
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