John, a veterinarian, volunteers to raise a baby gorilla, which he names Tony. John wants to establish an animal sanctuary, but is blocked by the mayor, Murdoch, who has plans to develop the town and make millions. Years later, John decides to run for mayor, so he can get his sanctuary. The day before the election, an experiment with Tony goes awry and results in a body swap between John and Tony. The next day, in an upset, John (as a gorilla) is elected mayor.
Shortly thereafter, John is asked to use the same flawed experiment to save the life of a dying man, who he turns into a dog. He repeats the experiment and is soon hailed for saving lives. This causes a rush of elderly people to the small town who want to extend their lives by becoming animals.
The population of the small town is soon taken over by people who have switched bodies with animals. These “hybrid” animals are now running the town under John’s leadership. They farm their own food and establish a viable community. John has established the sanctuary he had always dreamed of, although not in the way he thought he would.
There are many scenes of what it would be like to live in a town run by animals and walk in their “shoes.”
Tensions continue to exist as Murdoch, the ex-mayor, sees millions going down the drain. He challenges the local laws John passed that give animals the right to own property, since animals are legally considered to be property themselves. With a friendly county judge on his side, Murdoch wins. The hybrid animals in Animal Town lose their property rights and Murdoch prepares to either kill or cage them.
All is not what it seems, however, as John has a plan to outmaneuver Murdoch.
The story is told as a drama/comedy/fantasy and can be seen as a discussion of human-animal relationships, a dialogue about where animals end and humans begin, and a statement for preserving the quickly vanishing Animal Towns throughout the world. By putting the audience in the shoes of animals, the script carries them to a meaningful conclusion while making them laugh out loud along the way.
P.S., the movie can be made cheaply as body suits and latex masks can be used for the large mammals (e.g., gorillas, bears) without using CGI and the "real" animals just need to be well-trained.