ByRoselyn, writer at
Lover of cinema old and new, connoisseur of wit and style, and seeker of the unusual and extraordinary

Tonko House has recently announced that they will be turning their adorable The Dam Keeper into a feature length movie that already looks as if it will be fantastic. Designed by former animators, The Dam Keeper tells the story of a hardworking pig who operates the windmill keeping the dark fog away from town. However, despite his important work, Pig is constantly being bullied. That is, until the day Fox arrives at school and everything changes.

'The Dam Keeper' [Credit: Tonko House LLC]
'The Dam Keeper' [Credit: Tonko House LLC]

It's beautifully animated and extremely moving, and is sure to translate well to a full movie. However, it's not the only animated short film that deserves this treatment; here are four other shorts that would make terrific feature-length movies:

4. 'The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore'

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a magical story about the transformative power of books, and reminds us that it is more important to enjoy life than to understand it. With delightful animation and an impressive soundtrack, it's unsurprising that the movie won the 2012 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. It was released along with a picture book version and an iPad app, proving it's a concept that can hold up across multiple platforms.

The movie could either expand on the short film, or just take inspiration from the short to create something more creative and original. For example, the story could be set in the future, in a society where everything is strictly controlled. A child would discover a forgotten library and uncover the power of books, helping to transform and reinvigorate society. As in the short film, the first part would be filmed in black and white, with color slowly returning to the world. Regardless, it's sure to be equally magical.

3. 'Lifted'

Pixar's Lifted is a comedic short film about a young alien's first day on the job — abducting humans from a UFO. The pressure to perform a seemingly impossible job in front of a tough boss is something everyone can relate to, and this film takes a humorous look at this fact of life.

Pixar's movies are instant winners, so there's no doubt that this short could be turned into an equally hilarious feature-length movie. There are many questions that can be explored, perhaps most pertinently: What happens to the humans who are abducted? In terms of plot, the film could take many directions. Maybe they accidentally beam up the president and have to get him back home in time, or perhaps the young alien continues to try and fail at many other jobs. With this amusing duo, the possibilities are endless.

2. 'Zero'

Zealous Creative makes wonderfully bizarre and highly creative short animated movies. Their film combines innovative animation with important messages about discrimination and prejudice to produce a film that is both memorable and thought-provoking. Rather than discriminating on the basis of gender or race, it's the number you are born with that makes all the difference. Zero proves that with enough courage and love, even nothing can amount to something remarkable.

With a little over 13 million views on YouTube, the concept has proven it can win over audiences. Ending with the words "the beginning," the short is left open for a sequel, or potentially even a feature-length movie picking up where the short film ends. Can a society like this ever change? Even a prequel, focusing on how the society came to be, could be extremely interesting. Perhaps it was all a social experiment to see how people form a hierarchy when assigned random numbers? Either way, it's bound to be creative and profound.

1. 'Invention Of Love'

Independent filmmaker Andrey Shushkov's brilliant short is a lyrical and touching steampunk film that explores the dichotomy between science and nature and authenticity and artificiality. Part love story, part cautionary fable, it's a modern fairytale that is open to interpretation.

Steampunk romance is a genre rarely featured in movies, so if Invention of Love were to become a feature-length movie it would be inherently unique and creative. The movie could showcase a visually stunning and intricate steampunk world, expanding upon the locations presented in the short. The plot could explore environmental issues or take a close look at the impact of technology and modernization on our daily lives. Or, the film could simply stay true to the short and explore the transitory nature of love and life in greater detail. With this creative short, there are many excellent ideas worth exploring.

What short movies would you add to this list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


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