What are some movies that have environmental messages in them (that are not documentaries)?


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    “Avatar” is one that recently came out and was a huge blockbuster success. There is “Happy Feet”, an animated movie about penguins, and “Fern Gully”, a children’s animated film.

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    So many, let’s see: Erin Brochovich, WALL-E, Koyaanisqatsi and sequels, Medicine Man, Princess Mononoke, Once Upon a Forest, The Lorax, Gorillas in the Mist.

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    Some more movies include Chinatown (1974), Soylent Green (1973), China Syndrome (1979), A Civil Action (1998),  Silkwood (1983), Hoot (2006), and Over the Hedge (2006).

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    Some of these are more up front about it than others. Disney has a few: Pocahontas, Bambi and Tarzan. There’s also King Kong, The Day After Tomorrow, 9 (the one with Elijah Wood’s voice), and Children of Men. And maybe Water World–I only ever saw it in the theaters.

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    Definitely The Day After Tomorrow, Water World, March of the Penguins and others.

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    Steven Seagal has made a number of reasoanbly Steven Seagal-esque environmental movies.

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    The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) was one that I think had a pretty clear environmental message, behind all the action and aliens. 


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    Great question, lovetheearth!  WALL-E had a huge environmental message.  It inspired me so much I wrote a review of it.  If you like you can check it out here:  http://www.themovieshaman.com/wall-e-a-road-map-for-2011/

    Peace, The Movie Shaman

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    One of my favorites from growing up is FernGully: The Last Rainforest. It’s about a race of fairies living in a rainforest called FernGully. They have never been in contact with humans, until one day one particularly adventurous fairy, Crysta, explores outside of the rainforest and meets a human named Zack, who is there to cut down the trees of the rainforest. Crysta accidentally shrinks him down to her size, and helps show him the beauty of the rainforest and the plants and animals that live there. Zack starts to realize the wrongness of his ways and is just beginning to truly appreciate FernGully when he and Crysta discover that Zack’s co-workers have released Hexxus, an evil creature who begins to use the logging equipment to further destroy the rainforest. Zack, Crysta, and the other fairies have to devise a plan to save their home from Hexxus and the loggers. It’s kind of a B-grade movie from the early 90s, but has sentimental value—I watched it a lot as a kid.

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    Many of Hayao Miyazaki’s films have environmental themes. Some examples are Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. These themes are most apparent in Nausicaa and Mononoke, though they all address living in harmony with nature and the consequences of abusing it to some degree.   

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    Fern Gully is my favorite!

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    This source highlights environmental themes in several movies, listing them by categories such as: agriculture/farming, air pollution, animal welfare, etc. 

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    I’m surprised 2012 wasn’t mentioned yet.

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    Isao Takahata’s Pom Poko is similar to Miyazaki films. This one is about shape-shifting (tanooki) that are losing their forest home to development. They try all different methods to try and stop the humans, including intimidation, violence, practical jokes, and pleading.

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    Wow, I’m surprised the movie Wall-E hasn’t been mentioned yet. Not only is it an adorable movie with an amazing graphics and characters, the plot is very environmental. However, the creator – Andrew Stanton – claims he didn’t create Wall-E with an green message in mind. He said he centered everything around the love story between two robots. Either way, I still find the movie to have an environmental message about protecting our planet.

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