6 Fabulous Short Films from Children’s Books

When earlier this year AJ discovered the short film of Room on the Broom (based on the book by Julia Donaldson) it was love at first sight. And her love of the movie led to a love for the book and then a whole lot more love for all things Julia Donaldson. For us, as a family, it also opened up the world of short films for children. I am now a bit of a lover of small films, especially for children who are not yet ready for a full length feature film. There are some great short films out there and this collection showcases six wonderful movies based on fabulous children’s books. One thing I love about these films, is that while they are bite sized (each film is between 15 and 30 minutes), they are engaging enough that both my 3 year old and my 7 year old are fascinated by them. I would love to hear if you have a favourite short film to add to our collection!

6 Fabulous Short Films from Favourite Children's Books. A great selection for preschoolers and early elementary aged children.

1. Room on the Broom

Room on the Broom follows a witch and her cat as they encounter various animals who would love to join them on their travels on their broomstick. The friendly witch is welcoming while her cat is more than a little skeptical. The story also features a dragon who wants to eat the witch. She is saved thanks to the ingenuity of her collection of animal friends but the dragon may be a little scary for sensitive children or those not familiar with the storybook version.

Duration: 27 minutes

Watch the trailer:

Get the book: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

Get the movie: Room on the Broom DVD

2. The Gruffalo

A very clever mouse outwits three separate predators – a Snake, an Owl and a Fox, as he walks through the forest, telling them that he is on his way to meet a Gruffalo – a terrible, imaginary creature that he is shocked to discover actually exists! Mouse proves to the Gruffalo that he is the fiercest creature in the forest by using the frightenened predators to trick him too!

Duration: 30 minutes

Watch the trailer:

Get the book: The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

Get the movie: The Gruffalo DVD

3. The Gruffalo’s Child

In this sequel to The Gruffalo, the Gruffalo’s daughter sets off into the forest to find the Big Bad Mouse that her father has warned her about. On her travels she meets Snake, Owl and Fox and then discovers that the mouse of her father’s tales is not in fact at all big or bad! The little mouse has to think quickly to devise a plan to scare her off.

Duration: 30 minutes

Watch the trailer:

Get the book: The Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson

Get the movie: The Gruffalo’s Child DVD

4. Lost and Found

A boy discovers a penguin on his doorstep and figuring the penguin must be lost sets out to find the penguin’s home. As no one seems to be missing a penguin, the boy determines that the penguin must be returned home to the South pole, beginning a journey of determination and friendship that asks the question whether everything that is lost indeed needs to be found.

Duration: 24 minutes

Watch the trailer:

Get the book: Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

Get the movie: Lost and Found DVD

5. The Snowman

A magical Christmas adventure that is enjoyable at any time of year, a snowman comes to life in the middle of the night to enjoy an adventure with the young boy that made him. Their adventures begin exploring the wonders of the boy’s home at night and then the two head outdoors for a magical flight over the snow to enjoy a festive gathering with Santa and a gathering of snowmen. The story is told through picture and sound, with no speaking or narration at all.

Duration: 27 minutes

Watch the trailer:

Get the book: The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

Get the movie: The Snowman DVD

6. The Lost Thing

The Lost Thing tells the story of a boy who discovers a strange creature one day while out collecting bottle tops. The boy realises the creature is lost and when he attempts to find its owner he is met with indifference by everyone around him. This captivating story invites us to reflect upon society’s tendency to become so involved and busy with our own lives to notice the small details in the world around us.

Duration: 15 minutes

Watch the trailer:

Get the book: The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan

Get the movie: The Lost Thing DVD

Does your family have a favourite short film?

Get every post via email Get the monthly newsletter


  1. Kevin Frampton says:

    G’day Christie,
    We too have recently fallen in love with these short films, also starting with Room on the broom, which we watched on ABC Kids one Sunday afternoon. Our 3yo Lil loves the Gruffelo’s child, Lost and found and Stick man.

Leave a Comment