Derek of the Jungle is a new film and prequel to the original George of the Jungle. It features about Derek, a guy who goes on a wild adventure back and forth.
The film begins with an animated introduction showing a plane crash in which Derek, then an infant, is lost in a jungle in "the Heart of Africa". 25 years later, Derek (Zac Effron) is a Tarzan-like man, the "King of the Jungle". His friends include a sophisticated talking wolf named Wolf (voiced by Cheech Marin), along with a toucan named Scunchy, a small capuchin monkey, and an African elephant named Shep, whom he calls his "dog" (all voiced by Frank Welker).
The live action begins as heiress Nicole Benson (Julie Benz) explores the jungle near George's home with the help of her guide, Mr. Kwame (Richard Roundtree) and some native porters. She has traveled to Africa alone, but she is joined by her wealthy fiancé, Nick Rande Groot (Owen Wilson), who has found her with the help of two poachers (Greg Cruttwell and Abraham Benrubi) who are posing as trackers. That evening, Mr. Kwame recounts the legend of the White Ape, said to be a huge, super-strong primate who rules the surrounding jungle.
The next day, Nick almost causes the death of one of the porters, and he abandons Nicole when he and she are attacked by a lion. Derek saves Nicole and takes her to his treehouse home, and Nick returns to the camp, claiming to have been attacked by the White Ape. While the exploration party searches for Nicole, Derek entertains her and teaches her to swing on vines. He also falls in love with her, so Wolf advises him to woo her by making faces and beating his chest, as gorillas do. This fails to impress Nicole, but Derek wins her over with his charm, and they enjoy an evening of dancing around a campfire.
On the third day, the explorers discover Derek's treehouse, and Nick shoots Derek as Derek tries to prevent the poachers from shooting Wolf with a tranquilizer gun. While Nick is jailed for the shooting, Nicole flies Derek to her home in San Francisco for medical treatment and buys clothes for him, and Derek explores the city and saves a hanglider's life. With Derek's help, Nicole finds the courage to tell her parents that she no longer wants to marry Nick, but her mother (Holland Taylor), who is intent on marrying her to a man of wealth and prestige, threatens Derek with castration unless he gives Nicole up.
Meanwhile, the poachers have captured Wolf, and Wolf has sent Scrunchy to San Francisco to ask Derek for help. When Scrunchy finds Derek, Derek returns to Africa, and, after realizing she loves Derek, Nicole follows. Derek finds the poachers at the treehouse, with Wolf in a cage, and he defeats them after an extended battle, with help from Nicole and his animal family. However, Nick appears, having escaped from prison and joined a cult, and kidnaps Nicole with help from several mercenaries. Having been made a minister by his cult, Nick intends to marry himself to Nicole immediately. After escaping the mercenaries with help from his gorilla friends, Derek chases Nick and Nicole as they float into some river rapids on a raft, then saves Nicole while Nick enters a dark tunnel. After performing his wedding ceremony and exiting the tunnel, Nick discovers that he has just married a gorilla.
After admitting their love for each other, Derek and Nicole are married in a jungle ceremony, and they eventually have a son, whom Derek holds at the top of a rock outcropping in a scene derived from The Lion King. The film ends in Las Vegas, where Wolf performs a song-and-dance act using the poachers as stage props.