12 Movies & Documentaries to Watch for Earth Day 2024

12 Movies & Documentaries to Watch for Earth Day 2024

It’s the place we all call home – no matter where you live, what language you speak, or what you believe, this Earth is the one thing that binds us all together. And while we think you should celebrate the Earth and all it provides for us all year long, April 22 is our yearly reminder to give thanks.

So, for those wondering how to best celebrate Earth Day, look no further! This post will provide some ideas on ways to give back to the world, as well as a list of Earth Day movies to watch afterwards.

Ways to Give Back for Earth Day 2024

There are countless ways you can give back this Earth Day. For instance, organizations and nonprofits may be hosting volunteer events in your local community. But you can just as easily make a real difference on your own, or with a group of friends. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Pick up litter around your neighborhood
  • Participate in a park, river, forest, etc. clean up
  • Plant a tree, or two, or one-hundred
  • Educate yourself on how to better reduce, reuse and recycle
  • Donate money to a climate fund
  • Watch a movie related to Earth Day, climate change, or anything else Earth-related! (that’s where we come in)

Movies About Climate Change to Watch on Earth Day

First up, here are a few different films – both documentary and fictional – that have themes around the importance of collective action in the fight against climate change.

‘An Inconvenient Truth’ (2006)

An Inconvenient Truth Movie PosterOne of the first mainstream climate change documentaries ever, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth sheds light on the dire impact of global warming. In this thought-provoking film, Al Gore presents a compelling case for urgent action to combat the irreversible damage of the climate crisis.

With a mix of scientific evidence (detailed graphs and flow charts, galore) and personal anecdotes, he emphasizes the need to address this global crisis for the sake of future generations.

‘The Day After Tomorrow’ (2004)

The Day After Tomorrow MovieThis fictional disaster film paints a gripping picture of the environmental consequences of unmitigated climate change. As extreme weather events devastate the planet, a group of scientists, led by Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal, must find a way to save humanity.

While the film takes some creative liberties, it serves as a cautionary tale about the potential dangers of climate change.

‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ (2008)

The Day the Earth Stood Still Another sci-fi movie with themes of climate change, environmental degradation and the fate of humanity is The Day the Earth Stood Still.

A remake of a classic 1951 film of the same name, the 2008 version strays from its predecessor’s theme of nuclear warfare and instead focuses on yet another impending human-made disaster: climate change.

‘Before the Flood’ (2016)

Before the Flood Movie PosterLongtime activist and actor Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the role of an environmental activist in this documentary, traveling the world to witness the effects of climate change firsthand.

Through interviews with experts and policymakers, DiCaprio explores the interconnectedness of our actions and the planet’s survival, and the potential solutions that may save us, and the Earth.

‘Don’t Look Up’ (2021)

Don't Look Up Movie Poster The 2021 satire Don’t Look Up takes yet another stab at bringing to light the dangers of ignoring something until catastrophic events make it so we can never go back. In this film, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play two astronomers who discover a world-ending comet shooting towards Earth.

Rather than do anything about it, though, the general public is under the impression that ignorance is bliss, and that asteroid is one inconvenient truth they aren’t willing to engage with (get it?).

Earth Day Movies for Kids

For those looking for more family-friendly or kids movies to watch for Earth Day, we have a few of those as well. Check them out below.

‘WALL-E’ (2008)

Pixar’s Wall-E is a blend animated film that combines rich visuals and science fiction to tell a heartfelt story of loneliness, love and environmental stewardship through the eyes of a solitary waste-collecting robot. Set in a future where Earth has been abandoned due to the negative impact of climate change brought about by rampant consumerism and environmental neglect, Wall-E’s encounter with the sleek robot EVE sets off an epic journey through space.

Directed by Andrew Stanton, the film is notable for its minimal dialogue, relying instead on expressive animation to convey its message of the importance of building a sustainable future.

‘The Lorax’ (2012)

The Lorax is a family-friendly movie with a strong environmental message about the way we treat our Earth. Based on Dr. Seuss’s book of the same name, it tells the story of a little orange creature who speaks for the trees and fights against corporate greed and environmental destruction.

David Attenborough Documentaries for Earth Day

Next up, we have a list of some of the best nature documentaries featuring the natural historian, David Attenborough. If you’re passionate about preserving Earth’s natural wonders and its diverse wildlife, these films showcase the beauty and importance of conservation efforts, and the best part is, they’re good for any age group!

These films all contain scenes that illustrate the beauty of nature, from marine life and coral reefs to the mysteries of animal behavior and more. And while we love all the cuteness, it would be remiss for these documentaries to not touch on the impact of humanity and climate change on the global environment.

With a message of conservation, Attenborough educates us and provides action for viewers to take. Here are a few to watch this Earth Day.

‘Blue Planet’ & ‘Blue Planet II’

The original Blue Planet and its sequel, Blue Planet II dive into our world’s oceans and the creatures that live in it and around it.

‘Planet Earth’

Planet Earth takes viewers around the world to different habitats in an effort to share the beauty of nature while spreading information on the importance of protecting our planet.

‘Planet Earth: Life’

Planet Earth: Life takes a more in depth look at the flora and fauna all around us.

‘Planet Earth: Frozen Planet’

As you may have guessed, Frozen Planet takes a deep dive into some of the world’s coldest and harshest climates.

Whether you’re looking for something to watch with friends, family, students or anyone else on Earth Day, or are just in the mood to appreciate this Earth we call home, this list of movies for Earth Day has something everyone can enjoy.

Plus, you can watch these movies and more through your DIRECTV account! If you aren’t a customer, find out how you can save today.

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