Gargamelle and Grangousier, Lord and Lady of a medieval manor, await their son Gargantua's birth. He has been in his mother's womb for eleven months. Finally, at the sound of church steeple bells, he is born into the world a giant.
Now they must raise and educate their son with a fantasy that Gargantua will conquer the world. However, Grangousier has been called to war in the Canary Islands by the Pope, leaving Gargantua's education to Gargamelle and Ponocrates, a pompous classical teacher.
Gargantua proves to be a challenging child and student, and Ponocrates is soon fired for his incompetence and perverse nature.
The job now falls on Page, the primary servant of the manor. Page's approach in teaching proves to be extraordinarily unconventional, but he and Gargantua develop a strong bond. Six years later, when Gargantua is turning seven, Grangousier returns from the war and tries to connect with his son. Things don't go well, as Gargantua has grown into a relentless narcissist. He has also stolen all the church bells in the area and refuses to return them. In the end, Gargantua momentarily feigns remorse but remains an abhorrent child.