As part of our 10 days of climate change we have rounded up the 10 best animated films with climate themes. Surprisingly upon doing some research, there are countless animated films, usually aimed at kids, which hold either an underlying or sometimes very prominent ‘green’ message.
Raising and educating the younger generation to be aware of these issues seems to be an important theme for filmmakers, and for the future of our earth. Hopefully some will be familiar for those of us who also grew up watching these films, or just like a good kids film even now!
- Wall-E (2008)
After planet earth is overrun by rubbish, robot Wall-E is programmed to clean up the mess, one block at a time. While warning us of the problems of poor waste management, Wall-E leaves us with a hopeful message, as the end of the film sees life returning to earth, and humanity restored.
- Happy Feet (2006)
Although not immediately obvious, Happy Feet does present some issues with overfishing and plastic pollution. The green theme was encouraged by the film’s director, and allows there to be a strong environmental message underlying the tap-dancing penguin’s story.
- The Lorax (2012)
The Lorax is set in a distant future where trees are extinct, and oxygen has been capitalized into being sold in bottles. Voices of Youth writes how Seuss’s expectation of the future is ‘unnervingly similar to the state of our current society’, promoting the protection of trees and sustainable production to avoid such a dire reality.
- Moana (2016)
In a more musically inclined genre, Moana follows the story of a young girl who sets out on a mission after an environmental disaster befalls her home island of Motunui. The film highlights issues of climate change affecting natural resources and the importance of environmental balance to provide harmony.
- Over the Hedge (2006)
After a dysfunctional family of animals emerges from hibernation to find all of their habitat built over by a housing estate, they are forced to find food elsewhere. The issues of urban over development causing a lack of resources and habitual change for animals is therefore highlighted as a growing problem.
- Rio 2 (2014)
As the sequel to Rio, in Rio 2 we follow Blu as his family and friends work together to save their home – the Amazon rainforest – from being destroyed by illegal logging activities. This film highlights the problems Brazil is facing with deforestation.
- Bee Movie (2007)
While the whole movie has been turned into a giant meme, Bee Movie actually spreads a critical message about the importance of bees in an ecosystem. Almost 90% of wild plants and 75% of leading global crops depend on animal pollination, without them we would be facing a global disaster.
- FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
Perhaps a film a lot of people may not have heard of, but FernGully was a personal favourite for me growing up. The story follows the magical inhabitants of a rainforest as they fight to save their home which is threatened by a logging and a polluting force of destruction called Hexxus. Themes of deforestation and pollution therefore make it very suitable for climate week.
- The Simpsons Movie (2007)
After Homer pollutes the already toxic Lake Springfield beyond repair, the whole town is forced into quarantine under a giant dome. The movie spreads awareness of the dangers of pollution and its detrimental effect on the environment and on human and animal life.
- Princess Mononoke (1997)
From Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki and animated by the famous Studio Ghibli, Princess Mononoke promotes messages of environmental protection – saving the earth from the evils of deforestation and mining.
This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.
In article trailer courtesy of Movieclips Classic Trailers and Animation Trailers via YouTube.
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