14 Docs All Animal Lovers Need To See


These days, no studio can touch Disney when it comes to their hit-making ability. The brand includes Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Disney animation, and Disney live action, creating a quintet that is unstoppable at the box office. But there's another branch of Walt Disney Studios that doesn't get as much press and doesn't make as much dough, and that's Disneynature. Disney has a long history of churning out great nature documentaries, which continues with their newest effort, this month's Born in China. Yet while Disney is certainly a leader in the field, they're not the only studio putting out animal documentaries you should see.

Probably the best animal docs with which most people are familiar are those that are made for television and produced in separate installments. Docuseries like Planet Earth, Life, and the new Planet Earth II have raised the bar when it comes to nature documentaries, but there are plenty of film-length animal docs that are just as good. In the list below, you'll see a number of productions by Disneynature and others that are well worth your time, and that won't require a ten hour time commitment to watch. So take a look at the following animal documentaries to see if you want to feel closer to nature.



Don't have time to watch the entire Planet Earth series? Then check out this condensed version, produced by Disneynature.


'Monkey Kingdom'

Monkey's reign supreme in this Disneynature doc, narrated by Tina Fey.


'March Of The Penguins'

This look at everyone's favorite flightless birds was a sensation back in 2005, and Morgan Freeman's smooth narration was a big reason why.


'African Cats'

Lions, and cheetahs, and Samuel L. Jackson, oh my! There are surprisingly few (OK, zero) f-bombs in this Disneynature effort.


'Winged Migration'

There's just something hypnotizing about birds in flight.



Narrated by James Bond, err, Pierce Brosnan, this Disneynature film looks at life below the surface.


'The Crimson Wing'

Who knew flamingos could be so compelling? Leave it to Disney.



You'll have a new appreciation for bugs (really!) after checking out this engrossing look at their universe.


'The Living Desert'

Disney's first full-length nature documentary from back in 1953, the film won an Oscar and has since been chosen by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.


'Wings Of Life'

Is this Meryl Streep's greatest role? That's up for debate, but she does lend her talents to this Disneynature examination of pollinators.


'Turtle: The Incredible Journey'

Literally one of the most incredible journeys you'll ever see, this turtle tale lives up to its title.



Tim Allen, known for his ape noises, narrates Disneynature's look at our closest relatives.



John C. Reilly provides fittingly hilarious vocals to this Disneynature doc about nature's clowns.


'The Silent World'

Jacques Cousteau is a legend for a reason, and this 1956 film — his first feature-length doc — shows why.