Teaching children how to develop a close relationship with nature, as well as learning them about the significance of environmental conservation has never been more important than today. In order to change the future for the better, we must introduce our children to these problems while they are young, and teach them how to think green early. Earth Day is the perfect time to gather the family and open up this subject with amazing Earth Day movies for kids. Here are eight suggestions for your watchlist:
The Lorax is based on a children’s book with the same title, written by Dr. Seuss. The story was transferred to the big screen in 2012 and its main point of focus is trees and their extremely important role in the environment. The story begins when a 12-year old boy meets the Lorax, guardian of the forest who fights to save his world from deforestation. He is a grumpy, mean-spirited, yet charming character voiced by Danny DeVito. Lorax speaks for the trees, and he will learn you a thing or two about deforestation.
This all-time hit from 2008 takes place seven centuries in the future; Earth is a deserted, garbage wasteland with only one sentient being living on it – a robot named WALL-E. Humans have fled after they made the planet inhospitable and now live in huge space ships which hover in outer space. One day, a space ship lands on Earth, carrying a robot named Eve that was sent to estimate if the planet has become a livable place again. WALL-E is stunned by Eve and falls in love with her. When it was time for her to return, WALL-E decides to follow her to outer space. His incredible adventures will lead him to convince humans to get back to their terrestrial home and take good care of it. Brooding scenes of Earth as a desolate wasteland stand as a reminder of what will happen in reality if we don’t change our ways today.
This animated classic from 1942 tells a story of a fawn whose mother was killed by hunters. With the help of his friends from the forest, Bambi learns how to live without his mom and grows up into a beautiful deer. Roaming through the forest, he meets Faline, another deer, and falls in love with her. Everything goes smoothly until the next day when a big forest fire started to consume trees and animals that didn’t manage to get away. Feline is attacked by hunting dogs and Bambi attempts to save her. They manage to escape from the dogs and the fire and settle down on a beautiful island. They found peace there and lived happily ever after. This evergreen kids’ animated movie tells a sentimental and heart-warming story, while also opening a small window into the cruel ways of humans and Mother Nature. Heartbreaking scene of Bambi’s mother getting shot can make even the most stone-hearted hunters think about putting down their guns.
March of the Penguins
This 2005 French documentary, narrated by Morgan Freeman, depicts the incredible annual journey of Emperor penguins to their ancestral breeding sites in inland Antarctica. Considering that penguins are monogamous, their quest begins with finding a perfect mate. At the end of summer, lovers will start their journey through one of the most inhospitable environments in the world. This documentary follows their arduous journey and depicts it with intense peril. Beautiful camera work along with breath-taking scenes and realistic depiction of life in Antarctica made this documentary so legendary and unforgettable.
Arctic Tale is a documentary movie from 2007 that studies polar bears and walruses and depicts the inhospitable environment in which they live. Breathtaking cinematography mostly follows two characters – Nanu the polar bear and Seela the walrus. Compared to classic documentaries, Arctic Tale has a different approach; instead of being presented as fearsome, wild beasts, the animals are personalized. Polar wasteland is presented as lively and full of family warmth, and Queen Latifah’s narration adds to that “We Are Family” feeling. Besides presenting everyday life and interpersonal relationships of the animals, Arctic Tale also talks about how are those species losing their home due to global warming. This heart-warming, sentimental, but also very informative documentary is a perfect pick for introducing the youngest members of the family with climate change issues.
This outstanding French nature documentary from 2009 explores Earth’s marine environments and wildlife while reflecting on various negative effects human activity has on them. This ecological drama was filmed all over the globe and shows our effect on numerous marine species found in all five Earth’s oceans. From smallest sea worms to gigantic blue whales, the underwater kingdom is full of life which is mutually dependent. The filmmakers successfully drew a parallel between the ways of the subaquatic world and the larger universe, reminding us that we are all connected on this beautiful planet called Earth. The message of the movie is clear – we need to stop these remarkable ocean wonders from disappearing by changing our current ways of waste management and exploiting marine resources.
This 2006 movie is based on the book “Hoot” written by Carl Hiaasen and depicts the adventures of three young teens who try to protect an endangered breed of owls. A greedy company owner wants to build a pancake restaurant on a lot where the endangered owls live, and the gang tries to stop him. Adventures of the three middle school students inspire love and passion for nature in the youngest members of the family.
The main character of this 2006 Disney animated comedy is Mumble, a young Emperor penguin that doesn’t know how to sing and has no Heartsong like the rest of his species. However, Mumble has a unique talent that no other penguin has never seen before – tap dancing. The main message of this movie is that it is okay to be yourself and appreciate your uniqueness, but the story also touches the subject of human activities that have depleted penguins’ food supply. If you liked this one, make sure to also watch the sequel; the story returns with a new threat – melting icebergs that are endangering the home of Emperor penguins.