Want to write an animated feature film? I'm going to reveal the Easy as Pie three-step formula, no charge. First I'll give you a clue. Here are the stories of three animated features (the first one hasn't been released yet):
PLANES: A small-town plane dreams of one day competing as a high-flying air racer. However, he has two strikes against him: He's not built for racing, and he's terribly afraid of heights.
TURBO: A snail dreams of winning the Indy 500, but he has two strikes against him…he's slow and he's not a race car.
RATATOUILLE: A rat dreams of becoming a chef, but he has two strikes against him…he's a rat and…actually, being a rat is enough.
See the pattern?
Step One: choose an animal or object that could be turned into merchandise kids will want.
Step Two: Give them a goal totally incompatible with their nature and abilities.
Step Three: Have them achieve the goal. (In other words, the little plane shouldn't crash and burn, the snail shouldn't be stepped on, and the rat shouldn't end up in a rat trap.)
You need more? OK:
Give them a mentor (who might kick the bucket along the way in a scene that will bring a tear to the eye, but not before passing on his/her/its wisdom)
Put them through a bunch of harrowing obstacles (harrowing in a funny way, of course)
Have them nearly give up at some point, but then be inspired to redouble their efforts (this could be a pep talk from the mentor, alive or dead, or the goading of an opponent, or seeing the disappointment of a love interest).
Porkie--the little piglet that dreams of becoming the Prime Minister of Israel
Finny--the little shark that dreams of being a lifeguard at the kiddie pool
Bristle--the little toilet brush that dreams of being the President's moustache.
Watch for them at your local cinema!