The best kids movies with an environmental theme

Need some inspiration to by less/used? Try:

The Lorax (2012) – ∗∗∗∗∗

I love this movie. Based on a book by the fabulous Dr Suess and beautifully animated this movie tells the story of a young man who is so busy chasing profit that he doesn’t realise the consequences of thoughtlessly using up the worlds natural resources. It points some very cute fun at our consumeristic society with my favourite moment where Ted’s mother show’s him all the buttons on the remote for their new tree, the Oak-a-matic – ‘summer, winter, autumn and… disco!!!

It also goes against Cartoon Hollywood’s standard stereotypes, with a fat old lady being instrumental in saving the day. But the most important message this movie has to impart is to empower people to take action for the things they believe in:

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.’ – Dr Suess, The Lorax


Wall-E (2008) – ∗∗∗

Set thousands of years in the future when humans are living in a giant shopping mall in space and the only thing on Earth is Wall-E, a somewhat romantic robot who’s directive is to compact the disgusting piles of rubbish that cover the entire Earth. Then EVE arrives , a very career oriented lady-bot who looks like a flying tampon and has an inbuilt arsenal which she is not afraid to use. Wall-E is instantly smitten.

EVE’s directive is to scan the Earth for any signs of plant-life and to return it to the mothership, signalling that Earth is ready for recolonisation. When EVE and her new shadow Wall-E arrive at the flying shopping mall hilarity ensues as their actions cause humans to slowly realise that there is more to life than social media and junk food, and that although saving the Earth may be hard work, it’s totally worth it.


Happy Feet (2006) – ∗∗∗∗

This is a tale that warns of the dangers of both trash and resource depletion in a much more present context. Mumbo is a penguin who is born dancing into a conservative religious species who do not approve. When Mumbo refuses to repent for his toe-tapping ways he is banished. His subsequent adventures lead him to believe that ‘aliens’ (humans) are the cause of a major food shortage and the near death of his friend Lovelace who’s magical necklace (the plastic loops from a six-pack of cans) begins to choke him.

Enraged by the thoughtless destruction that has been visited upon the Antarctic, Mumbo swims all the way to the US to try and educate people about the consequences of their actions. Funny, cute and incorporating some great mash-up musical numbers, this movie has the added bonus of the message that it doesn’t matter how much of a freak people think you are -you can still change the world.


Pocahontas – ∗∗∗∗

Less of a cautionary tale, and more a reminder of just how awesome our natural environment is. The main character is not white, which is a refreshing change, and what’s more is a kick-ass heroine who is not afraid of love, but is careful not to trust her heart to the wrong person. A great role model for little girls everywhere. Although horribly historically inaccurate the most powerful message of this movie is wrapped up in its most famous song – Colours of the Wind: ‘You can own this Earth and still, all you’ll own is earth until you can paint with all the colours of the wind’ (or just generally learn to appreciate nature).


Now I recognise the irony in suggesting you consume a movie to inspire you to consume less, so of course I encourage you to source these movies second hand, or buy digital copies wherever possible.

One thought on “The best kids movies with an environmental theme

  1. I live Fern Gully too. The magical inhabitants of a rainforest called FernGully fight to save their home that is threatened by logging and a polluting force of destruction called Hexxus.

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