10 best environmentally-focused movies to watch on Earth Day

Amid Earth Awareness Month and Earth Day approaching later in April, many people are speculating about what they can do to protect the natural world.

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There are many ways to honor the Earth, including many things to do year-round, and a great way to get inspired would be to watch films that focus on the environment. Cute animations like Wall-E and Bambi to disturbing tales like Two days later and Interstellarthere is a range of great films that both showcase the beauty of nature and also warn against not protecting the planet.

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Wall-E (2008)

Stream on Disney+


Promotional art for WALL-E from the Disney+ page

While it’s an end of the world movie, Wall-E it is also an adorable love story between robots. In this Disney Pixar film, Wall-E is the only robot left alone on Earth until Eve descends to see if the planet is habitable again.

While it’s a funny and heartwarming tale, it’s also a world in which the earth is so covered in trash that it’s no longer livable. This family-friendly animated film acts as a warning that if people don’t take care of Earth, the future of the planet is pretty bleak.

Bambi (1942)

Stream on Disney+


Bambi and Thumper play together in Bambi

Bambi is an adorable Disney classic about a deer raised by the animals of the forest after the death of his mother, who was shot by a hunter.


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This film acts as both environmental awareness and animal activism. Although there is controversy over which aspect of the film vilifies hunters and the sport, this animated classic draws attention to the lives of animals in the wild. By watching this film, children and adults alike can better understand the importance of protecting the natural world.

The Day After (2004)

Stream on HBO Max


This movie, in turn, isn’t as happy as loving robots and growing deer. Two days later is a sci-fi disaster film that follows the devastation of the Earth after severe climate change.


When the circulation of the North Atlantic Ocean is disrupted, a series of extreme weather conditions ensue, causing a new ice age. This film is a cautionary tale that, by depicting a future in which people don’t care about the climate, shows what can happen to the environment if people don’t care enough to take care of it.

Erin Brockovitch (2000)

Available for rental or purchase on Amazon


In one of Julia Roberts’ best roles, Erin Brockovitch features a young woman who, after forcing herself to work in a law firm, discovers a link between dangerous chemicals in groundwater and illness in several families in the area.

This discovery leads to a lawsuit against the company that knowingly dumped these chemicals into the water despite the risks. Based on a true story, this film acts as a cautionary tale for companies with thin morals and a demonstration of what contaminated environmental resources can mean.


Dark Waters (2019)

Available for rental or purchase on Amazon


This legal thriller is similar to that of the story of Erin Brockovitch. The plot follows Robert Bilott’s case against the DuPont Company, a chemical manufacturing company, after it contaminated a town with unregulated chemicals.

While Erin Brockovitch is the story of someone who connects with people first and foremost to win the case, Bilott is a lawyer who makes great sacrifices to make society pay. This film is ideal for audiences to see the widespread parody of contaminated Earth resources.

I Heart Huckabees (2004)

Stream on Amazon Prime


Throw in I Heart Huckabees.

As this film quickly tackles the complexity of contesting views on the meaning of life, the plot revolves around environmentalists battling a big box store for a new complex being built. .


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This film explores the meaning of life and challenges feelings on how to go about it in a cute, star-studded comedy. Although not the main focus, the fight with the big box office is key at the start of the film and highlights people’s views of department stores ruining the natural landscape that s is already thinning in cities around the world.

Chinatown (1974)

Stream on HBO Max


Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway in Chinatown

This classic 1970s crime thriller is set in the California Water Wars, a time when there were a series of disputes over Southern California water.

In this gripping tale of crime and investigation, a private detective uncovers the truth that the water utility drained land in order to sell it for cheap. Chinese district is still relevant today, showing how companies will go for the money, even if it means harming the environment.

FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

Available to rent on VUDU and Apple TV


Spooky Hexxus in the Fern Gully movie

FernGully: The Last Rainforest is another great animated movie, but it’s way more serious than the others. In this film, the fairies are threatened by a dangerous spirit who gains power thanks to the pollution caused by the machinery of the logging companies.

Although it is a happy ending, the metaphor of this film is clear: if humanity continues to use resources without considering the effects on the environment, dangerous results are to be expected. When a sprout is planted at the end of the film, it encourages the restoration of the damage done to the Earth.

Interstellar (2014)

Stream on Paramount+


In the distant future, crop burns and a bowl of noxious dust spell the end of the planet’s habitability. This film follows a NASA pilot as he works on a plan to transport Earth’s population to a new world through a wormhole.

Although it is a hopeful plot, this story points to a bleak future if the environment is beyond repair. This highly rated apocalypse film shows the world’s outlook if the natural world is not taken care of.

Avatar (2009)

Available for rental or purchase on Amazon


Jake Sully and Neytiri in Avatar

This epic fantasy film explores a future in which the people of Earth travel to the planet Pandora to mine for valuable minerals, disrupting and threatening the way of life of those who already live there.

Although an exciting and action-packed tale, this film begins with the planet’s desperate need for natural resources, which are severely depleted. This much-loved film is a cautionary tale that focuses in part on protecting natural resources while there’s still time.


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