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Top 10 Environmental Warning Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Angela Fafard Reduce, reuse and recycle, or these movies could come true. In this video, http// counts down our picks for the top 10 environmental warning movies. For this list, we’re looking at films that feature a strong environmental theme, particularly if that theme suggests that we need to be careful about keeping our planet safe. However, we’ve decided to exclude documentaries, as that’s a list for another day. Special thanks to our user kenn1987 for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Angela Fafard.

Top 10 Environmental Warning Movies

Reduce, reuse and recycle, or these movies could come true. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 environmental warning movies.

For this list, we’re looking at films that feature a strong environmental theme, particularly if that theme suggests that we need to be careful about keeping our planet safe. However, we’ve decided to exclude documentaries, as that’s a list for another day.

#10: “Silent Running” (1972)

Set in the not-so-distant future, this sci-fi classic features a desolate Earth without any sign of nature, flora or plant life. Bruce Dern plays a forest ranger, who’s stationed on a pod off the planet’s surface with the last pieces of Earth’s plant and animal life onboard. After receiving orders from Earth to destroy the precious cargo, Dern goes to extreme lengths to protect the last forest. Featuring advanced special-effects for the time, and a trio of uncannily human robots, this movie’s storyline was at times unbelievably silly; yet at its core, it’s extremely unsettling, as it foreshadows the potential ramifications of human focus on industry rather than the preservation of the planet.

#9: “The Day After Tomorrow” (2004)

State-of-the-art CGI effects, catastrophic weather and a death-defying plot form the perfect recipe for this climate change thriller. Jack Hall, a renowned paleoclimatologist has repeatedly warned the U.S. government of the dangers of global warning – but to no avail. Now, it’s too late, and the northern hemisphere is being attacked by three massive hurricane superstorms, which freeze everything in their path. While not considered realistic by any stretch of the imagination, “The Day After Tomorrow” is a chilling look – pun intended – at a worst-case scenario future, where humans are subjected to a new and paralyzing Ice Age.

#8: “The Simpsons Movie” (2007)

America’s favorite yellow family makes the leap from TV to the big screen in this honest portrayal of a man trying to save his family – and the world. After Homer mistakenly triggers a chemical waste emergency, leading his hometown of Springfield to be enclosed in a dome by the villainous leader of the Environmental Protection Agency, he embarks on an odyssey of forgiveness and ultimately redemption in the eyes of his town, his family and Mother Nature. Filled with offbeat jokes, celebrity cameos and razor-sharp political sideswipes, this movie stays true to its roots by both supporting and satirizing the plight of environmentalists.

#7: “Waterworld” (1995)

Warnings about global warming have gone ignored, and only one mythical piece of land remains on Earth: Dryland. After the map to this fabled spot is tattooed on a young girl’s back, an epic tale of cat-and-mouse ensues. Enter the Mariner, played by Kevin Costner: a loner mutant with gills and webbed feet, who sails the seas aboard his trimaran, making a living by trading dirt aboard floating trash trading posts. Filled with futuristic weapons and dreamy underwater scenes, “Waterworld” is ultimately a testament to humanity’s ability to adapt to a vastly changed world, where land is but a dream and water is all you know.

#6: “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” (2012)

This classic Dr. Seuss tale comes to life in a 3D version of the book, delivering an important lesson with humor and a deceptively simple storyline. Ted Wiggins is a 12-year-old boy who wants to impress a girl and in doing so decides to make her wish of seeing a “real” tree come true. To do this, he must venture outside of his artificially constructed city to meet the Once-Ler, a knowledgeable recluse. Once outside, he quickly discovers that not all is what it seems, as the Once-Ler recounts him the legend of the Lorax. Ultimately, this movie delivers a powerful warning against sacrificing nature for the sake of materialistic advancement.

#5: “Princess Mononoke” (1997)

Royalty, forest gods and an epic search for a cure – what more could you ask for from a critically acclaimed Japanese anime film? Prince Ashitaka has been cursed and mortally wounded and must embark on the hunt for a cure in the forest. While on his journey, he meets a woman who’s been raised as a wolf and who’s nicknamed Princess Mononoke. Together, they join forces with the forest gods in order to overthrow Lady Eboshi, the leader of Irontown, which is a city that manufactures firearms. With astounding visuals and trademark Hayao Miyazaki flair, this film is an honest statement about the ecological devastation brought on by human advancement in industrialization.

#4: “FernGully: The Last Rainforest” (1992)

Featuring a strong environmental message about the dangers of deforestation and its impact on nature, this feature-length animated fantasy is centered on magical characters who live deep within the trees. Crysta is a curious fairy girl who leaves the safety of her home in the rainforest and happens upon a lumberjack named Zak. They must unite together in order to defeat the evil Hexxus, a spirit of destruction and the one who’s trying to destroy Crysta’s home, FernGully. Although this movie’s intended audience was children, its universal message of rainforest protection is one that can be appreciated at any age.

#3: “Soylent Green” (1973)

In this futuristic dystopian society, the world is ravaged with permanent summer, diminished resources and way, way too many people. Frank Thorn, an NYPD detective has been charged with investigating the death of a wealthy businessman. Through twists and turns in the case, Thorn eventually comes to discover the real impact of humanity’s callous disregard for nature. A cautionary tale about the risks of overpopulation, industrialization and pollution, “Soylent Green” leaves viewers with a powerful message – and the urge to take a shower!

#2: “Avatar” (2009)

It’s 2154, and planet Earth’s resources have been severely depleted, requiring the mining of a distant, yet livable moon called Pandora. Enter Jake Sully, a paraplegic former marine who’s been promised the recovery of his legs if he agrees to infiltrate the native population of Pandora, the Na’vi. By doing so, Sully unknowingly threatens the lives of that race, as well as their entire ecosystem. Director James Cameron used cutting edge technology to create a wonder-filled world, which makes us want to see it saved even more. But even with all the glitz and the glam, this movie stays on point about the dangers of imperialism and resource depletion.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:
- “Snowpiercer” (2013)
- “Erin Brockovich” (2000)
- “Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster” (1971)
- “Interstellar” (2014)

#1: “WALL-E” (2008)

WALL-E is a robot trash compactor who’s been left behind to clean up a desolate, garbage-ridden Earth. It’s been 700 years since humans gave up and evacuated the planet, so the only contact WALL-E’s had in that time is with the trash we’ve left behind. That is, until he meets EVE, a new robot who’s been sent to Earth to search for signs of vegetation. It’d be easy to overlook this movie as a simple animated sci-fi rom-com, but the sheer brilliance in the delivery of the underlying message regarding the dangers of over-consumerism remains front and center throughout, making it a thought-provoking but hopeful tale of environmentalism.

Do you agree with our list? Which movie made you want to go out and save the rain forests? For more green top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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