Professor Lidenbrock from Hamburg is one of the most respected geologists in the world. The somewhat odd expert on stones, minerals, crystals and layers of earth, who also speaks almost all the languages of the globe, has found a mysterious message in runic writing in an old book, the content of which he is unable to decipher. However, his nephew Axel, who lives as a scientific assistant in Professor Lidenbrock's house, succeeds in doing so. The message contains a hint to a possibility to enter the interior of the earth. A scientific sensation and immortal fame beckon the two scholars if this adventure succeeds. Immediately they set off, and their journey into the underworld becomes at the same time a journey through time, through the earlier epochs of Earth history, in which there were still giant forests and giant lizards such as the dinosaurs.