We’ve talked about eco-friendly apps, paper-free books, and even travel gadgets for kids. But what about green movies? Movies can be a fun way to educate kids about environmentalism and the importance of living a low-impact lifestyle. And since movies play a big role in keeping our kids entertained while we’re traveling, we try to make our screen time educational as well as entertaining while we’re on the go.
Whether you’re looking for entertainment at home or on the road, here are our favorite top 5 green movies for kids.
5 Great Green Movies for Kids
Hoot (2006, PG):
One of our all-time favorites, Hoot empowers kids to make a difference in local environmental issues, as it follows the story of a tween-aged boy and his friends, who take on developers in a fight to save a population of endangered owls.
Best for school-age kids who can identify with the main characters, Hoot is appealing even to young kids who like to see a kid in the role of hero.
Big Miracle (2012, PG):
Big Miracle will entertain parents as well as kids, so fire it up in the hotel — not the car — so you can see, too! Following the true story of three gray whales trapped under the ice in Barrow Alaska in 1988 (and the local community and world-wide media attention that sought to save them), Big Miracle teaches kids that nothing is black and white as big business, Native American Eskimo tribes, Greenpeace representatives, and even the then-Soviets all come together. Beware: There are sad parts.
The Lorax (2012, G):
Perfect for preschool-age kids and up, The Lorax is a very kid-accessible take on what happens when we misuse our world’s resources. Read the Dr. Seuss book first to get the most out of it!
Avatar (2009, PG-13):
Definitely for older kids and teens, Avatar will not only entertain and inthrall, but offer a poignant message on environmentalism, drawing parallels to industrialization, native people’s displacement throughout history, and scientific advancement. Not one for the younger set, Avatar certainly includes upsetting moments.
Cars 2 (2011, G):
Surprised to see a movie about race cars included in this list? Cars II not only entertains kids and adults with its clever theme of espionage, but puts the use of biofuel into the spotlight. While watching Cars II, older kids can learn about the conflicts between environmentalism and big oil and big business.
Photo credit: MacGuffinPodcast.
As an aside, I am always a big supporter of movies that are G and PG. So many times it seems that producers make what could be kid movies — a G or a PG — into a PG13 movie to attract a larger audience, and teenagers with more disposable income. When The Peanuts Movie came out, we couldn’t run fast enough to support it. Hopefully other production companies will follow suit. We are big supporters of G movies and safe family entertainment.
I love that it has become part of pop culture to go green, recycle, and to use and consume less. Back in my day, we saved and bundled our newspapers for the Boy Scouts and returned our glass bottles to get our deposit back.
We repurposed things out of sheer necessity, not for intentional repurposing. There wasn’t this buy and consume it now culture and easy access to buying things that we have now. It’s great for kids to learn about being green from a younger age.
What are your favorite green movies for kids? How about for adults?