Mark Earth Day with Into Film+

11 Mar 2024 in Into Film+

5 mins
Stream Earth Day Films with Into Film+
Stream Earth Day Films with Into Film+

In the lead-up to Earth Day on 22 April, educators across the UK will be making plans on how to bring the crucial subjects of environmentalism, sustainability, climate change and the wellbeing of our planet into their classrooms - and we know it can feel like a challenge to know where to start. That's why we've curated a special programme of environmental-themed films on Into Film+ (plus a selection of key resources) to help you bring crucial conversations around these topics into the classroom.

Into Film+ is our free* streaming service for schools, and offers a host of curated educational films, exclusive additional content and teaching resources and guides, supporting educators to feel confident in bringing important topics and discussions around climate change, the environment and sustainability into the classroom throughout the year.

Plus, if you're a state school in England that's funded by the Department for Education, you'll have access to Into Film+ Premium, which offers an even greater selection of films with which to explore Earth Day.

This year's Earth Day theme is Planet vs Plastics, which campaigns to end plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, and calls for a 60% reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040. 

Film, coupled with discussion and action, can be an inspiring medium for change. From spotlighting regions with diverse ecosystems, or with abundant natural resources, to amazing species of all kinds, film can open doors to regions of our Earth that we might never see or visit for ourselves. Film and documentary can also tell stories of the inspiring people who are dedicating themselves to activism and uncovering hidden truths, which can in turn help people to take knowledge and activism into their own communities. 

Our Earth requires urgent action, both big and small, to create lasting and effective change. Whilst much of this work needs to be taken by governments, the private sector and civil society, educators have a particularly key role to play in inspiring young people and providing them with access to crucial information.

Using film to highlight issues around the environment can be a valuable way of spreading information, inspiring young people to make positive changes, and encouraging activism to better preserve our beautiful Earth.

The collection of Earth Day-themed films and resources below will help you to bring this crucial topic into the classroom, and help you to engage young people with one of the key issues of the modern age. Plus, with hundreds more titles to stream, you'll also find films that will help you explore even more curriculum topics and key calendar dates.

Using your voice to speak up about the climate crisis is an important way of making a difference.

John McLaverty, Oxfam Youth Campaigner

Feature films

The Lorax (U)

This fun animated adaptation of the Dr. Suess book is about a peculiar orange creature, a ‘guardian of the forest', who speaks for the trees. It is an imaginative tale touching on deforestation, pollution and the importance of ecosystems.

On Into Film+, The Lorax is accompanied by a film guide and a bonus video, created in collaboration with Eco Schools, that will get your younger learners thinking about the importance of their local environment, and the easy ways in which they can make a difference.

March of the Penguins (U)

This incredible documentary captures the remarkable journey that the emperor penguins of the South Antarctic make every winter, and is a fantastic way of exploring the natural world with learners of all ages.

On Into Film+, March of the Penguins is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Oddball and the Penguins (U)

This is a charming adventure about an eccentric farmer and his wayward dog, who come up with a plan to help protect their town's endangered penguins, and makes a great film for discussing the importance of animal conservation and protection.

On Into Film+, Oddball and the Penguins is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Elemental (PG)

This gorgeously realised love story also gently touches upon themes of immigration and the difficulties of assimilation, showing audiences that society can succeed through understanding and collaboration.

On Into Film+, Elemental is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners. You can also use our Elemental: Opposites React resource to further explore the concept of elements.

The Biggest Little Farm (PG)

Shot over eight years, this enlightening documentary highlights struggles, challenges and triumphs of a married couple who set out to follow their dream of creating a sustainable farm over eight years, illustrating points around the food chain and farming practices, and addressing life and death in an accessible way.

On Into Film+, The Biggest Little Farm is accompanied by a film guide, an introduction from a sustainable farmer, and short archive documentary from 1940, Power on the Farm, which looks at how the use of electricity was introduced to farming.

The Sea Beast (PG)

A father and son must hunt an elusive sea beast in this impressive, Oscar-nominated animation which explores, among other things, the sanctity of marine life.

On Into Film+, The Sea Beast is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Escape from Extinction (PG)

This documentary about animal extinction and the organisations working to save endangered species inspires with suggestions of small and big actions we can take to protect animals and the environment.

On Into Film+, Escape from Extinction is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

The Martian (12)

An astronaut finds himself stranded on Mars, alone on a hostile planet, and with months to survive before a rescue mission can be mounted in this entertaining ode to scientific ingenuity.

On Into Film+, The Martian is accompanied by a film guide, and Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip to the Moon), an early science fiction film from 1902, in which a group of astronomers are rocketed into space and encounter many fantastical beings. Watching this short film before The Martian can highlight just how far the art of filmmaking and special effects has come since.

Free Solo (12)

This documentary chronicles Alex Honnold's attempt to be the first person ever to free solo climb Yosemite's 3,200ft high El Capitan rock, and is an inspirational celebration of one of the most daring acts in the history of extreme sports, all captured in incredible detail with exquisite, close-up camerawork.

On Into Film+, Free Solo is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Short films

The Wonderful Story of Aisha, Ali & Flipflopi the Multicoloured Dhow Boat

4 mins - Recommended for ages 5-11

An African family come up with an inventive solution to the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean in this charming, vibrant and accessible story that introduces themes around recycling and pollution to very young audiences.

The Beauty (Unclassified)

4 mins - Recommended for ages 7-14

This visually arresting animation reimagines the ocean and its vibrant aquatic life as a world devoured by litter and pollution. Serving as a reminder of the ocean's vastness and beauty as well as a warning of how we must protect it from environmental pollution, this digital animation can be used in conjunction with lessons about climate change and the natural world.

Living Proof: Man the Destroyer/ The Living Land

9 mins - Recommended for ages 11+

In this insightful documentary, Scottish archival footage is used to reflect on the impact of fossil fuels and consider alternatives to waste, encouraging us to reflect on how much has changed and to look at how those in the past have dealt with the ongoing climate crisis.


9 mins - Recommended for ages 11+

As two polar bears are forced to flee their Arctic home due to melting ice caused by climate change, they discover a forest community of brown bears. However they don't receive the warm welcome they expect, and find it difficult to survive in their hostile new surroundings. This 3D computer animated short doesn't shy away from reflecting the harsh reality that many refugees' and migrants' experience.

2025: The Long Hot Winter

10 mins - Recommended for ages 11+

In 2025, a documentary film crew decides to brave the heat of winter and venture out into central London to interview members of the public during Christmas. The damaging effects of climate change are contrasted against British indifference as families eat their festive meals on rooftops under the beating sun and friends sunbathe together in the scorching hills of Hampstead Heath. 

This satirical mockumentary is full of funny moments but, dispersed throughout, are reminders that this is a reality that could very well be on the horizon.

The Story of Plastic

5 mins - Recommended for ages 11+

A great introduction to environmentalism and sustainability this short animated documentary investigates the state of the plastics industry and gives a brief overview of the entire manufacturing process: extraction, transport, refining, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal. It highlights how businesses have turned to plastic production in more recent times, since the decline in gas and oil. 

However, the documentary offers hope for systemic change, such as phasing out single-use plastics which pollute the most, resulting in a zero-waste future in which products are reused, repaired or effectively recycled.


22 mins - Recommended for ages 11-16

Nine-year-old Eve lives with her parents and brother in an off-grid sustainable community in the UK countryside. This short documentary shows how they live amongst nature, growing food from the ground and co-existing in a rural community, and follows Eve's involvement in activism. This documentary discusses the many ways sustainability can be practiced and asks questions about how social norms impact environmental action. 

On Into Film+, Eve is accompanied by an introduction and short top tips video on how to write a successful advocacy speech from Oxfam Youth Campaigner, John McLaverty.


6 mins - Recommended for ages 11-16

Deep under water, a reef has become a junkyard. Now a dark place almost completely devoid of wildlife, the remaining fish have adapted to the overwhelming pollution by transforming into hybrids: half-fish, half-trash. This impressive and ominous short computer animation raises questions about what the future might look like due to increasing pollution and offers an opportunity to discuss what needs to change.

Thermostat 6

5 mins - Recommended for ages 11-16

At the lack of concern from her family, teenager Diane takes matters into her own hands and sets out to fix the leak which threatens to flood their whole house. Thermostat 6 is a humorous French-language animation that examines attitudes around climate change and provides an allegorical introduction to the topic.

Into Film+ Premium films

A Bug's Life (U)

A clumsy yet brave ant decides to stand up to the cruel grasshoppers that rule over his colony in this colourful animation from Pixar that explores the smaller side of the natural world in a fun and accessible way.

On Into Film+, A Bug's Life is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Wall-E (U)

This largely dialogue-free classic from Pixar sees a rather hopeless recycling robot spending his days alone on a deserted and destroyed Earth, left behind to clean up the mountains of rubbish that humanity left behind.

On Into Film+, Wall-E is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Bee Movie (U)

An ambitious bee becomes friends with a woman and is shocked to learn that humans have been stealing and eating honey for centuries, and so decides to sue the whole of humanity. This is a a playful animation which nonetheless highlights important issues around food production and the biological ecosystem.

On Into Film+, Bee Movie is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Finding Nemo (U)

The aquatic world is captured in all its colourful glory in this lovable Pixar animation about loyalty, family and adventure, as a clownfish father sets out across the ocean in search of his missing son.

On Into Film+, Finding Nemo is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Happy Feet (U)

A young emperor penguin, who can tap dance - but not sing like the rest of his community - is cast out into the wilderness and must find his place in the world in this uplifting animation that showcases the wildlife of the world's frozen extremes.

On Into Film+, Happy Feet is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Ice Age: The Meltdown (U)

A group of animal friends from the ice age find themselves in danger, as their world is threatened by a great flood caused by a melting ice wall in this instalment of the prehistoric animated comedy series, which wrestles with modern fears of climate change and extinction.

Frozen (PG)

Inspired by the 19th century fairy tale The Snow Queen by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, this is a musical adventure that puts an inventive twist on the fairy tale tradition, depicting a once-vibrant world that has been frozen over by a great frost.

On Into Film+, Turning Red is accompanied by a film guide, and our Characters of Frozen resources.

The Red Turtle (PG)

This reflective, dialogue-free animation gently reflects on the human life cycle, and sees a man encounter a strange red turtle after becoming stranded on a desert island, having to survive off what nature provides.

Beasts of the Southern Wilds (12)

A beguiling blend of fantasy and drama, as seen through the eyes of a remarkable child, this beautifully shot story of an isolated community threatened by a storm puts a unique twist on Southern Gothic storytelling.

On Into Film+, Beasts of the Southern Wilds is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Into Film+ Premium documentaries from National Geographic

We Feed People

Recommended for ages 11+

Directed by Ron Howard, We Feed People follows world-famous chef José Andrés and looks at the charity organisation he started, which helps feed communities in the wake of natural disasters around the world.

This pulsating and inspiring documentary showcases the importance of philanthropy and the strength of the human spirit, as well as the multitude of ways food can enrich and stabilise a community.

Into the Okavango

Recommended for ages 11-14

This documentary follows a team of scientists, photographers, and bushmen as they set out on mission to preserve a precious area of wetland in Botswana. 

Into the Okavango is a call to action, highlighting the urgent need for conservation and global awareness to preserve this wetland for future generations.

Fire of Love

Recommended for ages 11-16

This film follows husband-and-wife volcano explorers Maurice and Katia Krafft, whose life story is told through their own spectacular archive footage, making for an intensely cinematic documentary which brings science to life.

Becoming Cousteau (12)

This documentary about the extraordinary life, passions and work of French explorer and environmentalist Jacques Cousteau connects the past to the present, showing that environmentalists have been calling for greater protection of our oceans for decades.

Rebuilding Paradise (12)

This moving documentary charts the devastating effect of climate change, as the community of Paradise, California must attempt to rebuild their town after devastating wildfires in 2018, and also highlights the resilience of the human spirit through tragic circumstances.

Resources for Earth Day

Our Generation vs Climate Change

Feature-length documentary The People vs Climate Change is the catalyst for the activities within this resource, which guides young people through four phases in the process of researching, discussing, debating and voting for their own solutions to help the UK reach its net zero goal.

Using a variety of feature films, short films and archival footage as stimuli for discussion, learners will be encouraged to share their thoughts and suggestions for a more positive future. As a result of taking part in this learning sequence, young people should be motivated to put their suggestions into action and be more empowered to discuss and understand climate change issues. 

Eco Explorers

Our Eco Explorers resources are a great way of exploring environmental activity with primary learners, covering the key themes of litter, biodiversity and sustaining our world. This cross-curricular resource enables teachers and learners to use active learning to explore a range of ecological and environmental issues through the curriculum by watching, understanding and making film.

Doc Academy resources

We also have a selection of Doc Academy resources available, several of which are particularly relevant to exploring the environment and sustainability. Our geography resource for ages 11-16 uses short clips from award-winning documentary Chasing Ice to explore climate change, with a particular focus on glaciers and glacial retreat. Also available are a suite of English and geography resources themed around Thank You for the Rain, a documentary which follows a Kenyan farmer and his family as they battle the harsh realities of climate change. 

These resources include a range of clips from the films, which you can both watch and download, while we also have an action toolkit around Thank You for the Rain which provides a framework to inspire and support young people to take action about issues that affect their world.

Sustainability through Film - Online Course

Explore how film can engage learners in important conversations about sustainability and empower them to amplify their voices on what matters to them most through filmmaking in our Sustainability Through Film online course.

How Do I Get Started with Into Film+?

To access Into Film+, all you'll need is an Into Film Account - it's completely free, and only takes a moment to set up. Into Film+ is free to use for all UK state schools that hold a valid Public Video Screening (PVS) Licence from Filmbankmedia.

Filmbankmedia PVS Licences are paid for on behalf of schools by all local authorities in England and by some local authorities in both Wales and Scotland. Into Film NI cover the license cost for some schools in Northern Ireland. For further information on licensing in your locality please see our FAQs.

If you don't have a PVS Licence, or aren't already covered, then a licence can easily be obtained from Filmbankmedia.

Filmbankmedia logo, the words Digital, Entertainment, Technology appear


Filmbankmedia licenses and distributes film and TV entertainment to many groups and is the licensing authority we work with to ensure schools, libraries and youth groups have the permissions to screen films from our catalogue.

* Screenings for an entertainment or extra-curricular purpose require a PVS (Public Video Screening) Licence from Filmbankmedia. State-funded schools in England are covered by the PVS Licence.

The core Into Film programme is free for UK state schools, colleges and other youth settings, thanks to support from the BFI, awarding National Lottery good cause funding, and through other key funders including Cinema First and Northern Ireland Screen.

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