Gentle, shy Mr Hoppy (Dustin Hoffman) is retired and lives alone, with only his beautiful balcony garden for company. But Mr Hoppy has a secret. He is hopelessly, passionately in love with the lovely, effervescent Mrs Silver (Judi Dench) who lives downstairs. But unfortunately for Mr Hoppy, Mrs Silver is more interested in her beloved pet tortoise, Alfie. When Mrs Silver confides in him that she wishes Alfie would grow, Mr Hoppy hatches an intricate plan to win his true love's heart... with a little help from Alfie and 99 of his fellow tortoises.