5 best nature movies for kids

When looking for great nature films for kids, we focus on five areas:

– Appreciation of nature
– “Just say no to drugs” education
– The science of nature
– Spiritual values
– Family values

Here are the best in each of these important categories:

5.¬†Wet Hot American Summer (2001) – It’s about having fun at a summer camp in a place where it’s quite warm and probably rains a lot.

4. Alice in Wonderland (1951) – Good warnings for kids about the gateway drugs tea and tobacco, as well as hallucinogenic ‘rooms and pills, and gambling, all in a natural setting.

3. Godzilla (1954) – A reminder for kids that there used to be dinosaurs and that they might come back if we just keep fracking around with radiation like we are.

2. 2012 (2009) – What could happen if God gets mad enough.

1. Good Morning… and Goodbye! (1967) – Not strictly¬†for kids, according to Russ Meyer, but it’s full of heavy-breasted women running around naked in the woods, which to me says “Mom.”

Honorable mention: Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (2009) and AVP (2004).

5 worst kids movies for nature

Only our kids can save the world. What are the top five things that we want to teach them?

1. Stop using plastic.

2. Eat less meat.

3. Plant a tree.

4. Share your car.

5. Have fewer babies.

With that in mind, the worst kids movies for nature:

1. Star Wars (1977): Darth Vader and all his minions? That looks like plastic to me. And the action figures? It’s an outrage!

2. Red River (1948) – Two hours and thirteen minutes about driving cattle to the boxcars, and then on to Chicago and steak dinners for everyone! I say, return the prairies to the buffalo, even if a theory documented in the latest Scientific American suggests that bison crossing the land bridge from Asia caused the demise of North America’s megafauna.

3. Sometimes a Great Notion (1970) – Cutting down trees, spotted owls be darned. Plus Henry Fonda’s dismembered hand, flipping a bird. Plant trees, don’t cut them down; although I guess it’s OK for a kid to go out and start a forest fire every once in a while, due to the overabundance of brush and low cover in many woodsy stands around the nation.

4. The Hitcher (1986) – What kid is going to want to give anybody a ride after watching this travesty?!? This movie should be banned from all countries that don’t at least have a bullet train. And when your kid gets his or her driver’s license, give him or her a 9mm Glock to hide under the front seat or stick in a cup-holder.

5. Yours, Mine, and Ours (1968) – Eighteen kids. Desilu should have kept the original title, “Two Prolapsed Uteruses.” When this movie arrives from Netflix, if you’re under 21, the envelope ought to include a dozen condoms.

Honorable mention: The Mosquito Coast (1986) – A fun way to gets kids thinking about self-sufficiency!