15 Fabulous Short Movies from Children’s Books

Inside: Fifteen fabulous short movies from children’s books – awesome kids short films that every age will love!

When our three year old first 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 kids. I am now a bit of a lover of these small movies as they are especially wonderful  for children who are not yet ready for a full length feature film but the great ones are enjoyable for all ages to watch.

Short movies from kids books

15 Fabulous Short Movies from Children’s Books

There are some great short films out there and this collection showcases fifteen wonderful bite sized movies (each film is between 7 and 35 minutes) based on FABULOUS children’s books.

Each book and movie listed below is linked to an Amazon or similar store page – these are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no cost to you.

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

Get the book: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

Get the movie: Room on the Broom

Watch the trailer:

2. The Gruffalo

A very clever mouse outwits three scary 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

Get the book: The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

Get the movie: The Gruffalo

Watch the trailer:

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

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

Get the movie: The Gruffalo’s Child

Watch the trailer:

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

Get the book: Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

Get the movie: Lost and Found

Watch the trailer:

5. Hair Love

This Oscar-winning animated short film tells the heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time.

Duration: 7 minutes

Get the book: Hair Love by Matthew A Cherry

Watch the Movie:

6. The Most Magnificent Thing

When she receives her very own tool kit, a little girl sets out to make the most magnificent thing for her best friend – but it’s not as easy as she thinks! A great lesson in perseverance and hard work, the power of love, and selflessness.

Duration: 22 minutes

Get the book: The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

Get the movie: The Most Magnificent Thing

Watch the trailer:

7. Harry the Dirty Dog

Harry hates bathtime so he buries the bathtub scrubber and runs away from home. When he returns home, Harry is so dirty that his family does not recognize him. How will he get them to realize it is him?

Duration: 10 minutes

Get the book: Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion

Get the movie: Harry, the Dirty Dog

8. Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Well, hello. And welcome to this Planet. We call it Earth. Let’s explore what makes our planet and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your journey!

Duration: 35 minutes

Get the book: Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers

Get the movie: Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Watch the trailer:

9. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

This beautiful production of the classic tale of a family headed off on a bear hunt is just as engaging as the wonderful prose we have enjoyed for generations.

Duration: 25 minutes

Get the book: We’re Going On a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

Get the movie: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Watch the trailer:

10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

A newly hatched caterpillar with a voracious appetite eats his way through the days of the week before changing into a beautiful butterfly.

Duration: 25 minutes

Get the book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Get the movie: The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories

Watch the trailer:

11. Stick Man

One day Stick Man is carried away from home by a mischievous dog who wants to play. Things go from bad to worse as Stick Man is carried farther and farther away from home. How will he ever make it back to his family?

Duration: 27 minutes

Get the book: Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

Get the movie: Stick Man

Watch the trailer:

12. Corduroy

A small, soft toy bear named Corduroy is left on the shelf by a discerning buyer due being mistaken as ‘used.’ That night Corduroy decides to search the store to find his missing button in the hope that he can be repaired and find a forever home.

Duration: 18 minutes

Get the book: Corduroy by Don Freeman

Get the movie: Corduroy

13. The Smeds and the Smoos

Alien Smeds and Smoos are absolutely not allowed to play with each other, so what happens when Janet the Smed becomes friends with Bill the Smoo? A wonderful story exploring difference, kindness, acceptance, friendship and teamwork

Duration: 27 minutes

Get the book: The Smeds and the Smoos by Julia Donaldson

Get the movie: The Smeds and the Smoos

Watch the trailer:

14. 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

Get the book: The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

Get the movie: The Snowman

Watch the trailer:

15. 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 realizes 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

Get the book: The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan

Get the movie: The Lost Thing

Watch the trailer:

For even more movie suggestions based on children’s books, be sure to check out our lists of full length feature films – 50 Kids Books That Are Movies and 50 Tween and Teen Books Made Into Movies.

For more book based activities for kids, be sure to check out these related articles;

Free printable Three Little Pigs Puppets for Storytelling
We're Going On a Bear Hunt story sensory bin
Brown Bear sensory play book activity


  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.

  2. Flo Bowles says:

    I recently came across Room on the Broom, on Netflix. My grandchild is 1 year old loves to watch it before she falls asleep. It seems to relax her, the music is wonderful, and she always reacts to the hatching birds.

  3. Hi Christie, thank you very much for the list. We were looking for Gruffalo’s style short movie and we have been served. Thanks

  4. The short film of ‘going on a bear hunt’ is so beautiful and the music is lovely too 🙂

  5. We’ve been watching Room on the Broom, Gruffalo and Gruffalo’s child for 4-5 years and my girls are 9,7and 2 years old.. it’s our thing..we stopped for a while and started again with the last baby.. that’s how she goes to sleep 🙂 thanks for the recommendations!!!

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