The Stooges are choreographers at B. O. Pictures who are assigned to teach island natives how to dance. Seems that the studio's president Mr. Baines (Emil Sitka) has purchased the island of Rarabonga for his next musical extravaganza, but learns that the locals have never heard of dancing.
When the Stooges arrive at Rarabonga, they soon learn that the natives are head hunters under the control of powerful witch doctor King Varanu (Kenneth MacDonald). Shemp makes it clear he does not want the "hair cuts down to my neck!" and try to flee with the help of the King's daughter Luana (Jean Willes). She advises that it would be in the Stooges' best interests to get their hands on a box of surplus World War II hand grenades guarded by a living Kali type four-armed totem idol (Lei Aloha). After getting the daylights beat out of them by the fierce idol, the boys grab the box of grenades, and fool the King into thinking the box houses a living spirit out to destroy his people. The King attempts to "kill" the spirit by slicing it with his huge sword, and the grenades promptly explode, blowing him out of the atmosphere.
With King Varanu gone, the Stooges commence with their choreography lessons and teach the natives to dance.
- Moe Howard
- Larry Fine
- Shemp Howard
- Emil Sitka, as Mr. Baines
- Kenneth MacDonald, as the witch doctor King Varanu
- Jean Willes, as the King's daughter Luana
- Heinie Conklin as The King
- Ralph Volkie as Native henchman
- Lei Aloha, as the four-armed totem idol
Hula-La-La was the only Three Stooges film directed by producer Hugh McCollum, who gave the medium a shot while Edward Bernds was busy directing feature films. Bernds described McCollum's directing style as "gentle and tasteful", like McCollum himself. However, film author Ted Okuda believed this hurt his films, not allowing them to reach their full potential. Hula-La-La was cited as an example of suffering from moments of restraint, resulting in several scenes lacking their comedic punch.