TOP 10: Best “Movies of the Outdoors”

With summer upon us, and summer being a season that many people love to spend outside as much as they can, I thought it would be fun to do a new top 10 list of movies set primarily outside and where nature figures significantly into their plot or themes. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Honourable Mentions: Jurassic Park (1993); Midsommar (2019)
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Standout nature moments: Ice sliding, watermelon football, “Mmm, piiiinecones!!”
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Standout nature moments: God’s thumb, a lake turned desert, the glorious rain
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Standout nature moments: Tree people, flowers everywhere, “it’s not destroying, it’s making something new”
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Standout nature moments: Zoo on a boat, carnivorous island, ocean light show
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Standout nature moments: Water, water, more water
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Standout nature moments: The jellyfish swim, the EAC, Dory speaking whale
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Standout nature moments: March of the Ents, rain at Helm’s Deep, rock climbing with Gollum
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Standout nature moments: Sand, sand, more sand
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Standout nature moments: Bob Balaban’s informative narration, kids on the run in the woods, the big storm
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Standout nature moments: Bear attack, bear nap, catching snowflakes

Finding Dory (2016)

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The friendly but forgetful blue tang fish, Dory, begins a search for her long-lost parents, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way. (IMDb)
The first 2/3s or so is–dare I say it?–rather forgettable (and sequel-ly) as Dory’s memory loss is rehashed for both the humour and the sentimentality already present in Finding Nemo (the emotionally potent reunion being a notable exception). The final act is much better, with the “What would Dory do?” motif nicely elaborating upon another dimension of her personality and setting the stage for more fun “fish out of water” action (the “What a Wonderful World” climax is beautiful and hilarious).
7/10 (Good)

 

Finding Nemo (2003)

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After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home. (IMDb)
A simple yet heartfelt adventure story is packed full of intense action (the final net sequence post-ending felt unnecessary though) and memorable (often hilarious) side characters whilst overflowing with overwhelming emotional depth, from the heartwarming main premise (the “Did you hear?” montage is a tearjerker) to the heartbreaking opening scene, to the nuanced dynamic between Dory and Marlin throughout (I don’t want to forget!” “I do.”). Beautifully animated and stunningly scored to boot.
8.5/10 (Amazing)