Nils (Neels) Holgersson is a young lad, who likes to sleep, eat and cause mischief among the animals on his parents farm. He enjoys to cause the animals pain. He captures a tomte (which is a small mythological creature, akin to a gnome, brownie or hob). The tomte proposes to give Nils a large gold coin in exchange for its freedom, but Nils declines. The tomte turn Nils into a tomte and is hunted by the farm animals seeking revenge. At the same time a farm goose attempts to join a swarm of wild geese, Nils jumps on the goose and escapes the wrath of the farm animals. He, the farm goose and his pat hamster then go on having adventures across Sweden, the farm goose learning to adapt to a life as a wild goose, and Nils trying to better himself so he will be accepted by the group of geese but also in hope that the tomte might be appeased and will return him to normal size.