101 Enchanting Animation Story Prompts
Do you want to write in the animation genre but need help conjuring compelling stories and concepts that fit into the animated platform? Sometimes reading simple story prompts is the easiest way to get those creative juices flowing.
We get our ideas from many sources — news headlines, novels, television shows, movies, our lives, our fears, our phobias, etc. They can come from a scene or moment in a film that wasn’t fully explored. They can come from a single visual that entices the creative mind — a seed that continues to grow and grow until the writer is forced to finally put it to paper or screen.
They may inspire screenplays, novels, short stories, or even smaller moments that you can include in what stories you are already writing.
Why Should Your Script Be Animated?
Too many screenwriters have sent screenplays out to animation studios without the initial intention of creating a story bred for animation. Animation isn't a fallback or secondary option for the marketing of your screenplay.
You need to explore what animation can bring to your screenplays and stories. You need to ask yourself why your script should be animated — and why you should approach animation houses and producers. One of the first things they will ask you is: "Why should this be an animated movie?"
The best genre options for animation include:
- Science Fiction
- Children Book Adaptations
- Comic Adaptations
Animation can bring these types of stories to life in a way that live-action can't, even in this day and age of CGI. The medium allows creative and stylistic visuals and imagery to come to life — visuals and imagery that wouldn't translate as well to live-action. And some that just wouldn't be possible in live-action.
There has to be a reason, though. There needs to be a communicable pitch for why your story is perfect for animation. Animation can't just be a marketing option for your screenplay.
For more guidance on that, Read ScreenCraft's The Simple Guide to Writing Animated Screenplays!
In the spirit of helping writers find those creative seeds, here we offer 101 originally conceived animation story prompts that you can use as inspiration for your next animated screenplay.
Note: Because we’re all connected to the same pop culture, news headlines, and inspirations, any similarity to any past, present, or future screenplays, novels, short stories, television pilots, television series, plays, or any other creative works is purely coincidence. These story writing prompts were conceived on the fly without any research or Google search for inspiration.
101 Animation Story Prompts
1. Two treasure-hunting families of mice set out on a journey that takes them around the world.
2. Canine siblings that lost their parents find a portal to the Rainbow Bridge leading to pet heaven.
3. A gamer finds a portal that allows him to enter his favorite games.
4. A young bear cub searches for his lost father in the mountains.
5. A family of space travelers crash lands on an exotic planet.
6. Siblings discover a series of mysterious tunnels underneath their town.
7. Animals of Africa put on a show for visiting human safari tours.
8. A family befriends a monster discovered living underneath the children's bed.
9. Starving ants fight to infiltrate a seemingly impenetrable suburban home for food.
10. A society of cockroaches inhabits the post-apocalyptic Earth.
11. A canine mother wants to realize her life-long dream to train for the pet Olympics.
12. The hidden canine life of dog show participants.
13. A family of mice is chosen to be the first living being to fly in space.
14. A family of chimps is to be the first to colonize Mars.
15. A little boy begins to develop superhuman strength.
16. A chipmunk that idolizes the Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoons tries to emulate their success.
17. A family is sucked into their favorite TV shows.
18. The cartoons of the 1980s escape into the real world.
19. The first dogs of the Presidential family enjoy life as part of the first family.
20. West Side Story with Cats vs. Dogs.
21. The Wizard of Oz with animals.
22. Dogs and horses travel with their human counterparts to the American Frontier to find their new home.
23. The Kentucky Derby through the eyes of the horses.
24. Dog races through the eyes of the dogs.
25. Siblings learn that their parents used to be international spies.
26. A family on a wilderness retreat stumbles upon a society of talking animals.
27. After a rich and affluent family loses everything, their pet cat and pet dog must adjust to living in the suburbs.
28. Suburban pets are transported back in time and see how their ancestors lived.
29. A family of explorers searches the ocean for the lost city of Atlantis.
30. A family finds a lost city underneath their farmland.
31. A professional dog walker has a magical gift — she can talk with dogs.
32. Two canine brothers do everything they can to ensure that their human family keeps their house.
33. The wildlife on the Mississippi react to seeing white explorers for the first time.
34. An old mansion of ghosts reacts to someone buying the property.
35. A family of mice is shipwrecked on an uncharted island.
36. Small animals partake in a Cannonball Run-like race across the country using RC cars.
37. A teenage bird looking for adventure discovers a strange bird city in the clouds.
38. A robot from the future befriends a family.
39. A family of urban rats is whisked away to the wild during a horrible storm and flood.
40. A civilization of robots discovers their human roots.
41. A bullied boy wakes up as a strong knight in a fantasy world.
42. A boy living in a dangerous neighborhood pretends his family is actually a royal family in a fantasy world.
43. Humans are actually the scary things in the closet of a monster household that lives parallel to the human world.
44. A little boy on a sailing trip he doesn't want to be on discovers a mermaid society.
45. A teddy bear longs to become human after he falls for his owner's best friend.
46. A society of deer prepares for the hunting season.
47. A school of fish is caught up in the Bermuda Triangle.
48. Sea creatures live in the Bermuda Triangle throughout the sunken ruins of ships and planes that disappeared within it.
49. Classic fairy tale characters come to life within an old big-city library.
50. Humans wake up to discover that their world has turned into a living cartoon.
51. An action star of R-Rated movies is transported into the world of television cartoons.
52. An outcast nerd discovers that he's actually a revered prince from another planet, hidden by his royal family to escape an evil space lord.
53. A society of animal wizards must defend their homes.
54. Superhero animals protect a city of animals.
55. A family of toys struggles to find the right human family for them.
56. Puppy siblings separated by pet adoption escape bad homes to find each other.
57. A society of Martian aliens reacts to a strange ship that has landed on their planet.
58. The life of cats during Egyptian times.
59. The life of dogs during the Wild West.
60. A strange family moves into a suburban neighborhood.
61. Black and white cartoon characters are introduced to the world of color animation for the first time.
62. A rich dog and its poor sibling switch places for a month.
63. The story of the world's worst tsunami told through the eyes of the island animals.
64. The cartoon version of a popular movie character meets its counterpart.
65. The society of a dog park told through the eyes of the animals within it.
66. Descendants of Tarzan venture to the jungle he grew up in.
67. A family of international spies moves to the suburbs.
68. Peter Pan's mother tracks him down in Neverland.
69. Ghosts decide to unite and haunt a town with the goal of creating their very own ghost city to live in.
70. A character within a Sim City-like game becomes self-aware and wants to escape to the real world.
71. A family vacationing in Hawaii unlocks a portal that transports them back in time.
72. A society of miniature people live amongst us.
73. A magician escapes into the world of his magical hat.
74. A family is transported back to the time of the dinosaurs only to discover that they weren't like we thought they were.
75. A mouse that's a riverboat captain takes his family down the Mississippi River during the 1800s.
76. A dog whose human family moved away from his puppyhood house returns to see how things have both changed — and not changed.
77. A doctor is shrunk to microscopic size and injected into a human bloodstream to find the cause of a disease threatening humankind.
78. Alien explorers arrive on planet Earth thousands of years after humans became extinct.
79. Animals in a World War II-era city do all they can to support the war effort.
80. A family-owned dog boarding business told through the eyes of the dogs.
81. The life of a dog from puppy to old dog told through dog's perspective.
82. A cartoon becomes self-aware, escapes its toon world, and tries to find its maker.
83. A toy becomes self-aware and tries to find its maker.
84. A family of wolves nurses a lost child back to health.
85. A robot boy wants to become a real boy.
86. A witch curses a group of children, causing them to shrink to the size of ants.
87. The life of circus animals.
88. Suburban neighborhood friends discover that their parents are robots.
89. A creepy old doll collection is actually alive.
90. A family of monsters moves to the suburbs.
91. The life of military or police dogs.
92. A village of wilderness animals tries to survive a raging forest fire.
93. Glacier animals struggle as their home succumbs to the effects of global warming.
94. A talented young artist's drawings come to life one night.
95. A struggling newspaper cartoonist in the 1930s creates an iconic character that comes to life.
96. A portal to another world opens during a sleepover.
97. The roles of humans and pets are reversed.
98. A librarian discovers that each book is a portal into the world featured within.
99. A family of ghosts helps the children of the family that bought their house.
100. City rats decide to leave big city life to live in the country.
101. The life of a snowman.
Share this with your writing peers or anyone that loves a good animated story. Have some prompts of your own? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!
Want More Ideas? Take a Look at Our Other Genre-Based Story Prompts!
Ken Miyamoto has worked in the film industry for nearly two decades, most notably as a studio liaison for Sony Studios and then as a script reader and story analyst for Sony Pictures.
He has many studio meetings under his belt as a produced screenwriter, meeting with the likes of Sony, Dreamworks, Universal, Disney, Warner Brothers, as well as many production and management companies. He has had a previous development deal with Lionsgate, as well as multiple writing assignments, including the produced miniseries Blackout, starring Anne Heche, Sean Patrick Flanery, Billy Zane, James Brolin, Haylie Duff, Brian Bloom, Eric La Salle, and Bruce Boxleitner, the feature thriller Hunter’s Creed, and many Lifetime thrillers. Follow Ken on Twitter @KenMovies