As we enter the month of April, we celebrate Earth Day on the 22nd. Although we are surrounded by its lushness and beauty every day, we are reminded to appreciate the planet that we call home. As we celebrate Earth Day indoors, there are many films to watch that enhance the essence of nature. Overall, countless movies of fiction, documentaries, and animation display moments of pure bliss between humanity and the planet. In light of this, let’s take a look at some of the beautiful representations of Earth portrayed in media.

Middle Earth

Thinking of earth concentrated films naturally led me to think about J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy, Lord Of The Rings. The world of Middle Earth that surrounded the story of Frodo, the fellowship and the ring enhanced the action, adventure, and fantasy. As an audience, we traveled through several lands that depicted different abundances of nature. For instance, we visit lands such as Rivendell and Lothlorien.

The Shire, depicted in Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings trilogy, displays a harmony in the progression of beings and Earth.
Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2003); New Line Cinema

Both lands balance a realistic resemblance of valleys and forests in autumn with the fantastical aspect of an elf realm. Romanticized views of an Earth without the bustling cities or freeways create a focus on views such as reflections of moonlight, the power of waterfalls, and never-ending fields of green. In a series of incredibly long shots throughout the films, the audience finds themselves in the splendor of Middle Earth, a world similar to our own.

The first film of the trilogy opened in a earth concentrated scene of the Shire, which held harmony between nature and humankind.
Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001); New Line Cinema

Additionally, the role of nature within the series felt like an interpretation of the harmony and peace within the people that lived in the land. The Shire was home to many generations of hobbits, which held the atmosphere of lightheartedness and tranquility in the opening scenes. The setting of cozy cottage homes in a rural town thriving with plant and animal life builds a familiar aesthetic. Alongside the soundtrack, the earthly shots enhanced this aesthetic for the viewers.

A Love For Earth Concentrated Documentaries

Of course, an honorable mention for films that capture Earth’s most beautiful aspects goes to nature documentaries. For instance, a nature documentary from Disneynature in 2018 captured the most awe-filled visions of the life cycle within the oceans. As the documentary followed a curious, young dolphin, the remarkable moments featured the numerous inhabitants that call the Earth home. Although we aren’t able to see beyond the tides, the film projects interactions that show that the ocean never sleeps. Humpback whales, sharks, and countless species of fish make up the busy population of creations under the sea.

The nature documentary, Dolphin Reef, informs the audience of the bustling action under the sea and the beauty of the oceans.
Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill’s Dolphin Reef (2018) ; Disneynature

True, nature documentaries are close to the heart as they capture moments filled with overwhelming wonder in life. Specifically, we are able to view some of the rawest moments and views of Earth we may not be able to appreciate on a personal level. Furthermore, because April is Earth Month, Disney+ has a series of documentaries from Disneynature and National Geographic to celebrate! Here is a list of earth-concentrated recommendations to binge this month.

Animated Earth

Moreover, appreciation for the Earth can strike from animation movies, as well. Wall-E, released in 2008, has recently struck popularity with the public with the newly concerning issues of the environment. The film creatively details the importance of conserving our planet through Wall-E and its dedication and love for Earth. As a result, the human population who are forced into orbit by a spaceship, are reminded of Earth’s beauty and its role as their home planet.

Wall-E, released in 2008, was a movie ahead of its time as it warned its viewers to conserve the Earth in a creative storyline.
Andrew Stanton’s Wall-E (2008); Walt Disney Pictures

As the film opened with an introduction to the lovable character, Wall-E, we were given an insight into an abandoned world overflowing with trash. The pollution was severe and seemed unlivable without any sign of life. The inhabitants had disappeared and the human race had moved on to strive in a life in space with the help of technological advancements.

However, rather than acting as an elevated way of life, technology disconnected social interactions and blinded humankind to remain comfortable in a life with minimal effort. Fortunately, this motive is interrupted by the work of Eve and Wall-E, who help gain attention to the beauty of the Earth and the necessity in its resurrection. As a result, humans are able to return to reproduce the plant species and repopulate the Earth. For this reason, many say that this film was ahead of its film in its warnings to save the Earth.

The Earth Concentrated In Horror Films

In contrast to the warmhearted fun of Disney films, darker films have used Earth’s aesthetic to incite fear and anxiety. For example, Friday the 13th, a Halloween favorite, takes place at Crystal Lake. Unfortunately, this campsite’s history did not match its alluring name or its scenery. For this film, Earth played both parts of the spectrum. The vast beauty of sparkling waters during the day and the dark silent forests at night contrasted each other and created numerous anxiously generated jump scares.

The role of nature was significant in Friday The 13th's iconic Crystal Lake. It aided the mystery and intimidation of Michael Myers.
Sean S. Cunningham’s Friday the 13th (1980); Georgetown Productions Inc.

For this reason, Camp Crystal Lake is a perfect match for Michael Myers and his ruthlessness. The illusions in a dark forest accompanied by the blinded sight of trees provides the inescapable feelings of anxiety. Truly, the abundance of nature in this movie enhances the aesthetic and sets a certain atmosphere for the entirety of the plot.

Celebrating Earth Day

Overall, Earth supports and enhances the aesthetics of countless films according to their genres. Whether they are nonfictional or fictional, the bedazzling qualities of Earth’s creation and wildlife inspire, create, and are an important part of the making of many of our favorite movies. As we celebrate Earth day indoors on April 22nd, we celebrate in appreciation of the numerous earth-concentrated moments in films that depict the beauty of life on Earth.