World Animal Day: The Best Movies To Help You Appreciate Earth’s Amazing Creatures

World Animal Day: The Best Movies To Help You Appreciate Earth’s Amazing Creatures

World Animal Day: The Best Movies To Help You Appreciate Earth’s Amazing Creatures

Humans are not alone on this planet. Never have been. We share Earth with an incredible plethora of animals, some as tall as houses and some as small as a fingernail. 

World Animal Day is an international event founded in 1925 by Heinrich Zimmerman. The day is supposed to raise awareness for the wellbeing of animals and how it is our duty to protect them from abuse, poaching and illegal killing. 

On this day of appreciation for all creatures in all corners of the world, here is the essential movie list to appreciate these animals. Some animals are appreciated every day around the world but these movies highlight the ones often forgotten and how we should never take them for granted. 

Finding Nemo

Believe it or not but this classic children’s film is a remarkable representation of marine life. The film is a story of heart and family that audiences of all ages can relate and sympathise with. 

But during the runtime, Pixar expertly handled the topic of sustainable fishing and the pain and loss that marine life can experience. Finding Nemo is perfect for adults and children alike and is a brilliant way of focussing on the welfare of animals.


Okja is the collaboration between South Korea and the USA about animal rights that no-one expected. Directed by the Oscar winning director of Parasite, Bong Joon-ho, the movie presents the meat industry at its worst.

After a genetically engineered super-pig makes an emotional connection with a young girl, it pits the unlikely duo against the world. Its a beautiful story of friendship between humans and animals but also opens your eyes to the brutal methods of the meat industry.

Rise of The Planet of the Apes

A redo that no-one asked for but everyone loved was the Planet of the Apes revival back in 2011. It was the origin story that truly showed the complexity and intelligence of monkeys and apes. Andy Serkis played Caesar, a chimpanzee trialling a new drug designed to improve brain function.

As the long runtime plays out, you see Caesar connect with his owners and rebel against abusive keepers. His passion and love is predominant and it is an intricate story about family, abuse and nature vs. nurture.

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

When asked what is the best dog tale portrayed in cinema, many people forget the incredible Hachi. Inspired by a true story, it follows a stray who is adopted by a new family. However, once his new owner dies, Hachi the Akita waits everyday at the train station, for an owner who will never return. 

The fact that it is a true story makes this movie even more remarkable. It explores the love, devotion and faith that a dog can have in their owners and will leave you wanting to buy an Akita the second that the credits roll. 

War Horse

Not many animal based films are set against the backdrop of a World War, however, Steven Spielberg’s War Horse works in every way. At the outbreak of World War 1, a young man, Albert, and his pet horse, Joey, are seperated, the former joining the infantry and the latter sold to the cavalry.

The story unfolds and shows just how precious and important horses were in the early 20th century. The connections that Joey makes along his journey are truly remarkable and the love and devotion seen between owner and pet is truly heart-warming.

Free Willy

A classic animal movie that lives in the minds of any 90’s child, Free Willy is an incredible appreciation of one of Earth’s most fearsome creatures. When a boy learns that a beloved orca is to be killed by aquarium owners, he sets out on a daring adventure to free the beast.

A beautiful story that shows the connection and intelligence that whales can possess, this film brought marine living conditions to the world’s attention. Not only does this film make you want to change the world, but it already has.


Usually a coming of age flick features some acne or a prom, not a cheetah. Set in South Africa, a young boy adopts an orphaned cheetah he calls Duma. The two make a firm connection and after the boy is bullied at school, the pair decide to run away into the mountains.

What follows is a perilous and dangerous adventure that only their connection and Duma’s instincts overcome. It truly shows that even the fastest and most vicious animals on Earth are remarkable and loving creatures. 


Another classic Pixar movie, Ratatouille was a smash hit that warmed the heart and wet the appetite. Following a rat separated from his family in Paris, Remy teams up with a young inexperienced chef to take the culinary world by storm. 

Pixar are renowned for making their audiences appreciate a less than loved element of society and Ratatouille is the perfect example. The formerly ‘disgusting’ rat was now the star of the big screen and was an incredible chef. The movie is full of heart and mouth watering food and is the best homage to our little scurrying friends.

Charlotte’s Web

Who would have thought that a movie about a pig and a spider could have been one of the most heartwarming children’s films of the early 2000’s? Charlotte’s Web follows the story of Wilbur, a pig destined to be slaughtered, who teams up a spider named Charlotte to stop that from happening. 

The remarkable thing about this movie? It softened the typical image of a spider. Not only was the connection between Wilbur and Charlotte a perfect example of heart-warming cinema but it dealt with many issues of animal welfare in a healthy way for children. It is a much overlooked film in the animal welfare genre and a must see.

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