Happy Earth Day, Awe Inspiring Nature Documentaries

by urbanemovies | created - 03 Apr 2016 | updated - 14 Feb 2017 | Public

April 22nd is Earth Day, a day devoted to raising awareness and appreciation of the planet Earth and its ecosystems. Earth Day 2016 marked the signing of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate protection by some 125 countries. In the spirit and tradition of Earth Day, a poll dedicated to movies that celebrate awareness and appreciation of the Earth.

Which nature documentary best raises your awareness and appreciation of the planet?

Cast your vote here or Discuss the topic here.

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1. Planet Earth (2006)

TV-PG | 538 min | Documentary

Emmy Award-winning, 11 episodes, five years in the making, the most expensive nature documentary series ever commissioned by the BBC, and the first to be filmed in high definition.

Stars: David Attenborough, Sigourney Weaver, Huw Cordey, Doug Allan

Votes: 152,856

2. Life (2009)

TV-G | 473 min | Documentary

David Attenborough's legendary BBC crew explains and shows wildlife all over planet earth in 10 episodes. The first is an overview of the challenges facing life, the others are dedicated to... See full summary »

Stars: Oprah Winfrey, David Attenborough, Doug Allan, Barrie Britton

Votes: 35,010

3. Frozen Planet (2011)

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary

Focuses on life and the environment in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

Stars: David Attenborough, Alec Baldwin, Chadden Hunter, Ted Giffords

Votes: 23,291

4. Human Planet (2011)

TV-PG | 50 min | Documentary

Like all life forms, humanity partially adapts to types of natural environment, yet also tends to change them. Each episode examines how life differs for men and nature in some type of ... See full summary »

Stars: John Hurt, Roger Munns

Votes: 21,271

5. Africa (2013)

360 min | Documentary

Africa, the world's wildest continent. David Attenborough takes us on an awe-inspiring journey through one of the most diverse places in the world. We visit deserts, savannas, and jungles and meet up with some of Africa's amazing wildlife.

Stars: David Attenborough, Simon Blakeney, James Aldred, Katrina Bartlam

Votes: 12,159

6. Madagascar (2011– )

240 min | Documentary

Over 80% of Madagascar's animals and plants are found nowhere else on Earth. Discover what made Madagascar so different from the rest of the world, and how evolution ran wild there.

Stars: David Attenborough, John Brown, Rainer Dolch, Jonathan Linus Fiely

Votes: 1,851

7. Wild Pacific (2009– )

353 min | Documentary

A documentary series on life in and adapted to the conditions of the Southern part of the Pacific Ocean, a vast aquatic region with an unequaled number of islands. Both wildlife and human ... See full summary »

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Mike Rowe, Richard Wollocombe, Mark Brownlow

Votes: 2,125

8. Nature's Most Amazing Events (2009– )

49 min | Documentary

This is a documentary series looking at the most dramatic wildlife spectacles on our planet. We see the impact of the melting of the arctic ice in the summer, the annual return of the ... See full summary »

Stars: David Attenborough, Joe Stevens, Tom Fitz, Mike Holding

Votes: 2,851

9. Wild China (2008– )

60 min | Documentary

An in-depth look at some of China's most impressive natural sites such as the ancient Han kingdom, the Mongol steppes, the Silk Road and the Tibetan Plateau.

Star: Bernard Hill

Votes: 2,491

10. Yellowstone (2009– )

50 min | Documentary

Filmed over the course of a year in Yellowstone, this documentary tracks the area's wildlife as they grapple with life and death within one of America's last remaining wilderness regions.

Stars: Peter Firth, Jeff Henry, Dick Powell, Mary Beth Schwartz

Votes: 1,585

11. Life on Earth (1979– )

702 min | Documentary

David Attenborough's groundbreaking study of the evolution of life on our planet.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 2,449

12. The Blue Planet (2001)

TV-G | 389 min | Documentary

Mammoth series, five years in the making, taking a look at the rich tapestry of life in the world's oceans.

Stars: David Attenborough, Pierce Brosnan, Jason Roberts

Votes: 29,441

13. Life in the Undergrowth (2005– )

50 min | Documentary

David Attenborough's ground-breaking exploration of a group of organisms that are vast in number, yet often too small to be noticed: the invertebrates.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 3,296

14. The Life of Mammals (2002–2003)

50 min | Documentary

David Attenborough's comprehensive study of how a remarkable group of animals evolved - a group that includes ourselves.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 3,647

15. Earth: The Power of the Planet (2007– )

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary

In each episode, geologist Dr. Iain Stewart explains the effects and importance of a specific force of nature, such as wind or volcanism. He also examines the various ways in which it ... See full summary »

Stars: Iain Stewart, Victor Baker, Phil Bland, Bernadette Carrion van Rijn

Votes: 1,867

16. Home (I) (2009)

Not Rated | 120 min | Documentary, Drama, Family

47 Metascore

With aerial footage from fifty-four countries, 'Home' is a depiction of how Earth's problems are all interlinked.

Director: Yann Arthus-Bertrand | Stars: Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Glenn Close, Jacques Gamblin

Votes: 20,658

French

17. Winged Migration (2001)

G | 89 min | Documentary

82 Metascore

Documentary on the migratory patterns of birds, shot over the course of three years on all seven continents.

Directors: Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud, Michel Debats | Stars: Jacques Perrin, Philippe Labro

Votes: 11,191 | Gross: $10.76M

18. March of the Penguins (2005)

G | 80 min | Documentary, Family

79 Metascore

In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family.

Director: Luc Jacquet | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Charles Berling, Romane Bohringer, Jules Sitruk

Votes: 53,793 | Gross: $77.44M

19. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Music

72 Metascore

A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.

Director: Godfrey Reggio | Stars: Marilyn Chambers, Lou Dobbs, Ted Koppel

Votes: 32,390 | Gross: $1.72M

20. Beautiful People (1974)

G | 92 min | Comedy, Documentary

Hilarious documentary on the wildlife of the Namib Desert.

Director: Jamie Uys | Star: Paddy O'Byrne

Votes: 3,454

21. The Last Lions (2011)

PG | 88 min | Documentary, Family

69 Metascore

Fifty years ago there were close to half-a-million lions in Africa. Today there are around 20,000. To make matters worse, lions, unlike elephants, which are far more numerous, have ... See full summary »

Director: Dereck Joubert | Star: Jeremy Irons

Votes: 3,855 | Gross: $0.64M

22. Wonders of the Universe (I) (2011– )

TV-G | 59 min | Documentary

Professor Brian Cox visits some of the most dramatic parts of the globe to explain the fundamental principles that govern the laws of nature - light, gravity, energy, matter and time. With ... See full summary »

Stars: Brian Cox, Steven Mackintosh

Votes: 3,558

23. Born to Be Wild (2011)

G | 40 min | Documentary, Short, Adventure

66 Metascore

This heartwarming film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them-saving endangered species one life at a time.

Director: David Lickley | Stars: Birute Galdikas, Daphne Sheldrick, Morgan Freeman, Chris Fries

Votes: 2,863 | Gross: $25.89M

24. Bears (I) (2014)

G | 78 min | Documentary, Family

68 Metascore

A documentary that follows an Alaskan bear family as its young cubs are taught life's most important lessons.

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey, Adam Chapman | Star: John C. Reilly

Votes: 5,990 | Gross: $17.77M

25. Monkey Kingdom (2015)

G | 81 min | Documentary

72 Metascore

A nature documentary that follows a newborn monkey and its mother as they struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a dynamic group of monkeys who ... See full summary »

Directors: Mark Linfield, Alastair Fothergill | Star: Tina Fey

Votes: 3,455 | Gross: $16.43M

26. Chronos (1985)

Not Rated | 43 min | Documentary, Short

Carefully picked scenes of nature and civilization are viewed at high speed using time-lapse cinematography in an effort to demonstrate the history of various regions.

Director: Ron Fricke

Votes: 2,958

27. Chimpanzee (2012)

G | 78 min | Documentary, Family

57 Metascore

A 3-months-old chimpanzee is separated from his troop and is then adopted by a fully-grown male.

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield | Star: Tim Allen

Votes: 5,590 | Gross: $28.97M

28. Encounters at the End of the World (2007)

G | 99 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Scott Rowland, Stefan Pashov, Doug MacAyeal

Votes: 16,280 | Gross: $0.94M

29. Microcosmos (1996)

G | 80 min | Documentary

A documentary on insect life in meadows and ponds.

Directors: Claude Nuridsany, Marie Pérennou | Stars: Kristin Scott Thomas, Jacques Perrin

Votes: 10,293 | Gross: $1.57M

30. Chasing Ice (2012)

PG-13 | 75 min | Documentary, Biography

75 Metascore

Follow National Geographic photographer James Balog across the Arctic as he deploys time-lapse cameras designed for one purpose: to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers.

Director: Jeff Orlowski | Stars: James Balog, Svavar Jónatansson, Louie Psihoyos, Kitty Boone

Votes: 7,823 | Gross: $1.33M

31. Atlantis (I) (1991)

TV-PG | 78 min | Documentary, Music

Atmospheric soundtrack follows this compilation of nature footage that focuses on the ocean and various life forms that live, mate and die in it.

Director: Luc Besson

Votes: 1,679 | Gross: $0.14M

32. Under the Sea 3D (2009)

G | 40 min | Documentary, Short

77 Metascore

An underwater look at the diverse coastal regions of Southern Australia, New Guinea and the Indo-Pacific areas and the impact of global warming on the oceans.

Director: Howard Hall | Star: Jim Carrey

Votes: 1,674 | Gross: $36.15M

33. Planet Earth II (2016)

TV-G | 298 min | Documentary

David Attenborough returns in this breathtaking documentary showcasing life on Planet Earth.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 79,292

Added 10 January 2017



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