Help your child appreciate the environment and the planet by watching these nature films with them. This list was compiled based on suggestions from ParentsCanada staff.
Dolphin Tale (2011): The human-animal bond is featured in this true-life story about a dolphin who was injured by a crab trap and the boy who saved him.
Wall-E (2008): Based in the distant future, Wall-E stars a garbage-collecting robot who has been left to clean up the mess after mankind abandoned their garbage-crowded planet.
Arthur and the Invisibles (2006): In a bid to save his grandfather’s house from being demolished and turned into a block of flats, 10-year-old Arthur sets out to find a much-fabled treasure hidden in a land where tiny people live in harmony with nature.
Gorillas in the Mist (1988): Dian Fossey, a scientist who came to Africa to study the vanishing mountain gorillas, fights to protect them. Her efforts helped to save them from extinction. Maybe better for tweens/teens but it definitely has an important message about poaching and extinction. Assistant editor Amanda Bloye watched this movie when she was a kid and definitely hasn’t forgotten about it since.
Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest (1992): The magical inhabitants of a rainforest called FernGully fight to save their home that is threatened by logging and a polluting force of destruction called Hexxus. A great film to introduce to our next generation of eco-conscious individuals.
Happy Feet (2006): Full of dancing and fun, Happy Feet has a great message about the effect human activity is having on the Emperor Penguins’ food chain. It also deals with captivity in a way kids can understand and can think about next time they’re at the zoo. If you love this movie, Happy Feet Two was released in 2011.
Two Brothers (2004): Two tigers are separated as cubs and taken into captivity, only to be reunited years later as enemies by an explorer (Pearce) who inadvertently forces them to fight each other. Directed by Jean-Jacque Annaud, starring an even younger Freddie Highmore and Guy Pearce.
Fly Away Home (1996): Based on Ontario’s own Father Goose, artist and environmentalist Bill Lishman, this movie fictionalizes his attempt to teach a flock of Canada Geese how to migrate. Features Anna Paquin before her True Blood days, fresh from her Oscar win for The Piano.
Duma (2005): By the same director as Fly Away Home, this movie set in South Africa is about the bond between an orphaned cheetah and a young boy.
Free Willy (1993)
: The tough kid actually has a heart of gold when he befriends a captive whale and works with aquarium staff to set it free. Still holds up.