Three-year-old Jake is kidnapped by his grandparents and great aunt, who don't believe that he is safe in his father's care. Five years pass and Jake, more mature now, wants to know why his father has not returned for him. He fills the void with fantasy, drawing upon some 1930s encyclopedias and an old stereoscope. The characters in the stereoscope cards occupy his world, offering friendship and advice in his search for his father. When Jake attempts to turn a photograph of his father into a stereoscope card, he hopes to conjure his dad out of the card and into his life; instead, a detail in the picture provides a clue as to his father's whereabouts, reuniting Jake with his his dad and ending his grandparents' flight.