Kids' Entertainment

20 Movies About Animals & The Great Outdoors To Watch With Your Kids

Consider your Earth Day watch list set.

by Casey Suglia
Originally Published: 

From land to sea, nature is the world’s most precious resource. Nature is the air we breathe, the animals we interact with, the trees that provide us with oxygen. There is so much to appreciate about the great outdoors, and these family-friendly movies about nature do just that.

From observing animals in beautiful places and witnessing natural wonders, it’s just fun to be outside. Go on a hike and appreciate all that nature has to offer in your area. But for those who have limited resources or just simply don’t want to deal with the unpredictable temperatures or pesky bugs, watching movies about nature can still accomplish the same thing. From fun animated movies about insects, like Antz and A Bug’s Life, to documentaries that get you closer to the animals than humanly possible, like Bears and Dolphin Reef, there is a movie about nature for everyone in the family to enjoy.

So get comfy on your couch and put on one of these nature films. It’s almost like camping out under the stars without actually having to sleep outside.


A Bug’s Life

An ant assembles a band of insect warriors to help him defeat the grasshoppers who are threatening his home in this Pixar film from 1998.

Watch A Bug’s Life, rated G, on Disney+.


Adventures of the Wilderness Family

In this movie based on a true story from 1976, a family, bored with living in California, move to the Rocky Mountains to be among the wilderness.

Watch Adventures of the Wilderness Family, rated G, on Tubi.



When a worker ant dreams of winning the heart of the beautiful princess ant, he trades places with his soldier ant friend to get closer to her.

Watch Antz, rated PG, on Netflix.


Arctic Tale

Queen Latifah narrates this 2007 nature documentary about a polar bear cub and walrus pup living in the arctic.

Rent Arctic Tale, rated G, on Amazon Prime Video for $3.99.


Disneynature: Bears

Viewers are transported into the year in the life of a bear family living in Alaska in this Disneynature documentary.

Watch Disneynature: Bears, rated G, on Disney+.


Disneynature: Dolphin Reef

Explore the home of Echo, a Pacific bottle nose dolphin, with the rest of his family members in this 2018 documentary from Disneynature.

Stream Disneynature: Dolphin Reef, rated G, on Disney+.


Dr. Doolittle

Eddie Murphy stars as Dr. Doolittle, a successful physician who rediscovers his talent for talking to animals in this 1998 film.

Watch Dr. Doolittle, rated PG-13, on Starz.


Ferngully: The Last Rainforest

The magical beings that inhabit a rainforest fight to save their home from a logging and polluting force in this animated movie musical from 1992.

Watch Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, rated G, on Starz.


Free Willy

An orphaned boy forms a bond a young Orca whale separated from his family and does everything in his power to protect him.

Watch Free Willy, rated PG, on Amazon Prime Video.


Fly Away From Home

A 13-year-old girl and her estranged father bond when they adopt an orphaned flock of geese and teach them how to fly.

Watch Fly Away from Home, rated PG, on Amazon Prime Video.


Happy Feet

In a world filled with singing penguins, one dancing penguins must find a way to woo his true love through his own unique talents.

Watch Happy Feet, rated PG, on Amazon Prime Video.


Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

Three family pets, scared of being separated from their owners, embark long journey home through the wilderness.

Watch Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, rated G, on Disney+.



When a housing development threatens a fragile species of owls, it’s up to three kids to break some rules and take a stand in this movie based on the bestselling novel by Carl Hiaasen.

Watch Hoot, rated PG, on Tubi.


Ice Age

A group of subzero heroes team up to return a human child to its father while attempting to save themselves from the upcoming Ice Age.

Watch Ice Age, rated PG, on Disney+.



Four animals from a New York City zoo are transported to the wilderness of Madagascar and forced to adjust to living in the wild.

Watch Madagascar, rated PG, on Peacock.


March of the Penguins

This stunning documentary follows the yearly journey of penguins in Antarctica on their quest to find the perfect mate and start a family.

Rent March of the Penguins, rated G, on Amazon Prime Video for $3.99.


The Adventures of Milo and Otis

A dog and cat befriend each other and go on an adventure in this narrated, live action film from 1989.

Watch The Adventures of Milo and Otis, rated G, on Amazon Prime Video.



A determined robot named WALL-E discovers a new purpose in life when he meets a sleek robot named EVE. Together, these robots explore the universe in this 2008 animated Pixar film.

Watch WALL-E, rated G, on Disney+.


We Bought A Zoo

A dad of two gives up his life to move his family to a house with a zoo in the backyard. With the help of the staff and zoo animals, the family embarks on a brand new adventure.

Stream We Bought A Zoo, rated PG, on Disney+.


Xico’s Journey

A girl, her best friend, and a dog set out to save a mountain from a gold hungry corporation in this Netflix original animated film.

Watch Xico’s Journey, rated TV-Y7, on Netflix.

With Earth Day around the corner, any of these movies would make a great addition in your family’s celebrations. Happy watching!

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