At the outset of the movie, Nanu emerges from the cave where she was born along with her brother, just born as well, and their mother. The two polar bear cubs play in the snow for a while until returning to their snow cave. The next day, the cubs start learning from their mother how to survive in the wild. One of the first things they find out by watching their mother is to stay away from grown male polar bears who are apt to kill them. Seela is shown in the water just after birth with her mother and "Auntie" who helps protect the walrus calf during her early life. For her first life lesson, Seela is taught how to hoist herself onto an ice floe from the water without any help except watching her mother do the same. During this time, Auntie watches for predators. When a male polar bear comes along and starts swimming towards the walruses, Seela and her mother try to get away from him, but must rely on Auntie's help to stave off the polar bear's attack. Next for the polar bear cubs is learning how to hunt for food. Their mother teaches them how to hunt for a fur seal by stamping down on the ice where she can smell the seal in a small cave underneath. After one failed attempt diving into the water, the mother gets the seal by this stamping method, so her cubs and a fox trailing them can eat the meat. Meanwhile, the young walrus feasts on clams for three days with the rest of its herd on a clam bed they might revisit in another five years. The two animals then take similar paths as they have to travel due to the shorter winters and ice that freezes later and melts sooner, making it harder to survive and eat as the Arctic Ocean expands. Interestingly, male polar bears pose a threat to both of the main creatures, as the cubs have to navigate around him and the walruses try to get away from being prey. After Nanu's brother dies, Nanu has to leave her mother earlier than is customary because of the changing climate conditions, but she still has trouble finding food on her own. Eventually, she finds a male bear who has killed a walrus, identified as Auntie, and aggressively persuades the male to let her share on the feast. Finally being attracted to animals of the opposite sex, Nanu finds a mate who she is seen playing with on screen. Seela waits until a particular male walrus's song appeals to her before diving into the water to meet him. Arctic Tale closes with the cycle being complete, as Nanu gives birth to two cubs of her own and Seela births a female calf.