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8 things to look out for for Earth Day

Happy Earth Day, fellow Terrans. We wanted to celebrate our love for this planet by sharing some of the best movies and TV shows that highlight environmental issues. The earth is our home and we must take care of it. This list can inspire you to take action and make change. Here are eight things to watch to celebrate Earth Day.

Wall-E

A robot clings to the outside of a spaceship and touches the glowing space particles they fly past.A robot clings to the outside of a spaceship and touches the glowing space particles they fly past.

The future depicted in Wall-E is quite depressing, now that the Earth is no longer habitable and looks like one giant garbage dump. When curious little robot Wall-E finds a sprout and shares it with his girlfriend Eve, he goes on an unexpected journey. He discovers that humanity is lost and stuck without their home planet.

Through Wall-E’s courage, he helps robots and people find a better future and build a new, livable environment. Wall-E is super cute, the story is emotional and the plant is a representation of how there is always hope.

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The Lorax (2012)

Although you can’t read the original story of Dr. Seuss or watch the 1972 TV special, we recommend the 2012 film: The Lorax. This version still tells the story of corporate greed destroying all the trees, but does so with less grim pessimism and bright animation and catchy tunes.

Unlike the older versions, Universal Pictures managed to convey the message of environmental responsibility without using fear or anxiety as motivators. When making a children’s film, it is probably best to abandon the fear that everything is doomed.

FernGully: The last rainforest

A fairy holds a bat in her arms to comfort him.  The fairy has black hair and pink translucent wings.  The bat has a kind of antenna that sticks out of its head.A fairy holds a bat in her arms to comfort him.  The fairy has black hair and pink translucent wings.  The bat has a kind of antenna that sticks out of its head.

If you still want to see a cartoon that deals in darker shades when it comes to the environment, then FernGully: The last rainforest is a good option. Humans are destroying the rainforest and this is affecting the magical creatures that live there. The people also free Hexxus, the spirit of destruction, from his captivity in a tree.

Sacrifices must be made to save FernGully, and the ending is bittersweet, leaving the audience with the feeling that even if it works this time, it won’t stay that way forever.

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Princess Mononoke

Studio Ghibli Film Festival 2022Studio Ghibli Film Festival 2022

Now if you want a more complex plot, along with the darker tone surrounding environmentalism, Princess Mononoke is a nice choice. With Studio Ghibli’s beautiful animation and storytelling, you’ll become entangled in Ashitaka’s struggle to save the forests and free himself from his curse. Environmental issues are combined with spiritual and magical elements to not only advocate for conservation efforts, but also to call on people to connect with nature.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (S03E03)

Another offering of spiritualism and nature mixed with environmentalism is Avatar: The last airbender. There are a few examples of this in the animated series, but one of the most overt happens in “The Painted Lady” (S03E03). When a fishing village is poisoned by a factory that dumps toxic waste into the river, Aang and his friends don’t want to be left behind. Katara uses a local legend to her advantage to help close the factory and save the village.

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Doctor Who (S12E06)

A man and a woman stare in horror at a parasitic entity covering the man's hand.A man and a woman stare in horror at a parasitic entity covering the man's hand.

Doctor who is another TV show with a lot of examples of environmentalists. After all, the Doctor is Earth’s protector and defender. Sometimes the earth needs protection from its own inhabitants. An example of this is in “Praxeus” (S12E06).

What starts as a new alien threat to humanity evolves into a horror story about what will happen to Earth if nothing is done about all the plastic waste in the oceans and landfills. This episode is especially relevant because the theme of Earth Day 2024 is “Planet vs. Plastics’.

Star Trek: Voyager (S05E01)

There are so many examples of environmentalism as a whole Star Trek franchise because that is one of the main themes. Looking to a future that is peaceful and beautiful because the earth is cared for is woven into the very idea of Star Trek.

That said, the crew of Voyager discovers that there are still some very significant toxic waste disposal problems in the Delta Quadrant. In “Night” (S0501), Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) cannot convince the Malon to give up their business, even after providing a perfect solution to clean up the theta radiation that is making people sick and disfigured.

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Disney nature films

Black background with the title 'Tiger' and Disneynature logo above the title.Black background with the title 'Tiger' and Disneynature logo above the title.

Every year, Disneynature releases an Earth Day documentary. With famous storytellers and cute baby animals, they share what life is like for the non-human inhabitants of the earth. This year’s documentary is Tigerand it is narrated by Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

There are some films from previous years like Polar bear, elephantAnd Dolphin Reef. If a documentary is more your style, these are definitely worth checking out on Disney+.

Do you have any other environmental films or TV shows that help you celebrate this planet? What small steps can you take to create a brighter and more beautiful Earth? Let us know in the comments and wish you a happy Earth Day.

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