Best Animal Documentaries

Wildlife fans will delight in these exceptional documentaries about the many wonders of the animal kingdom. Your kids will love getting to see their favorite animals up close and personal, from tiny insects to gigantic elephants. Keep in mind that some of these films aren't meant for sensitive viewers. Some of these documentaries focus on predators on the hunt, and others show the brutal conditions faced by creatures in captivity. Make sure you know what your kids can handle before diving into a documentary like Blackfish. You might want to start with a gentler choice, such as Born to Be Wild. Either way, there's sure to be something here for your animal lover. And for small-screen documentaries like Planet Earth, check out our list of Green TV.

Browse Best Animal Documentaries

Born to Be Wild Movie Poster Image
Sweet, inspiring tale of two wildlife fairy godmothers.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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Island of Lemurs: Madagascar Movie Poster Image
Nature docu explores fascinating world & history of lemurs.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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African Cats Movie Poster Image
Nature docu emphasizes a mother's love and sacrifice.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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Arctic Tale Movie Poster Image
Kid-friendly film serves up inconvenient truth.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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Bears Movie Poster Image
Some tense moments in Disney's nature documentary.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Born in China Movie Poster Image
Nature docu has gorgeous vistas, moments of peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Earth Movie Poster Image
Dazzling wildlife docu has a few intense moments.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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Ghost of the Mountains Movie Poster Image
Absorbing docu about snow leopards has mild peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Growing Up Wild Movie Poster Image
Intimate look at baby wildlife; some violence, peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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March of the Penguins Movie Poster Image
Stunning, loving documentary; some intense peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
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March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step Movie Poster Image
Another beautiful, fascinating penguin docu; some peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Microcosmos Movie Poster Image
Breathtaking docu zooms in on insect life in vivid color.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1996)
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To the Arctic Movie Poster Image
Educational documentary explores life in the frozen wild.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Under the Sea 3D Movie Poster Image
Stunning vision of the beautiful -- and fragile -- ocean.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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Wings of Life Movie Poster Image
Lovely, kid-friendly nature docu focuses on bees, birds.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Nature: Animal Odd Couples Movie Poster Image
Kid-friendly docu dives into friendship, animal behavior.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Seasons Movie Poster Image
Beautifully filmed docu tells story of European wildlife.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Flight of the Butterflies Movie Poster Image
Gentle docu celebrates miracle of butterfly migration.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Kedi Movie Poster Image
Deep thoughts, fuzzy cats in heartwarming documentary.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Dark Horse Movie Poster Image
Stirring, inspiring docu about unlikely champion.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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One Lucky Elephant Movie Poster Image
Balanced docu stirs big questions about wild animal care.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Harry & Snowman Movie Poster Image
A man and horse save each other in moving docu.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Wild Horse, Wild Ride Movie Poster Image
Moving docu shows depth of human-horse bond.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Buck Movie Poster Image
Powerful profile on horse whisperer has mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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The Champions Movie Poster Image
Profoundly moving docu about dog rescue and recovery.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Cowspiracy Movie Poster Image
Provocative docu has some graphic scenes of animal cruelty.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Blackfish Movie Poster Image
Powerful, heartbreaking, disturbing doc about captive orcas.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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The Cove Movie Poster Image
Gruesome, powerful, and inspiring dolphin documentary.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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The Ivory Game Movie Poster Image
Powerful docu shines light on efforts to save elephants.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Project Nim Movie Poster Image
Affecting chimpanzee docu is more than monkey business.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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Virunga Movie Poster Image
Outstanding but shattering docu set in war-torn Congo.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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