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

Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)

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Manny, Diego, and Sid join up with Buck to fend off a meteor strike that would destroy the world. (IMDb)
Manny, Diego, and Sid still don’t have that hilarious chemistry they once had (though Sid still gets a few moments to shine-see the failed proposal; wedding planning) but there’s plenty of comedic energy found elsewhere, with Granny and Buck as colourful as always (“I’m out of cake, but I got salami!”; see Buck’s mind-trip) and Scrat’s escapades still fresh and fun. Neither the new villains or the out-of-this-world plot take themselves too seriously, which help keep the film entertaining.
6.5/10 (Alright)

Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)

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Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world. (IMDb)
The protective dad and wants-to-be-popular teen daughter drama couldn’t be more bland, so the film does well to focus more on the high-seas adventure plot, which is predictable and simple but full of rambunctious action (see the ship hijacking), engaging secondary characters (Dinklage’s captain is truly frightening; Sykes’ senile granny hilarious), and wholly entertaining tangents (see the brilliant pirate shanty; Scrat’s ever-escalating adventures to the core of the earth and Scratlantis).
7/10 (Good)

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)

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When Sid’s attempt to adopt three dinosaur eggs gets him abducted by their real mother to an underground lost world, his friends attempt to rescue him. (IMDb)
Starts off, like the last one, very sequelly as new threads of development are forcibly pinned onto the the main three characters, but it picks up considerably once the fun adventure starts, which is notably well-animated, is fleshed out nicely (see Sid’s dinosaur domestic disputes; Buck’s constant quirkiness–see his rock-phone conversation), and has a great climax (see Diego playing doula while fighting). Scrat continues to steal the show though (the homemaking scene was hilarious).
6.5/10 (Alright)

Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)

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Manny, Sid, and Diego discover that the ice age is coming to an end, and join everybody for a journey to higher ground. On the trip, they discover that Manny, in fact, is not the last of the woolly mammoths. (IMDb)
The great wacky humour from the first one dried up even quicker than the ice was melting in this sequel. The main trio lacks the snappy new-friend chemistry they once had and the new characters are more annoying than anything else. The one-note plot with the trio’s respective personal issues doesn’t captivate either (Manny’s is just awkward), so some random musical numbers are thrown in to eat up screen time. Fail. At least Scrat’s slapstick is still hilarious (see his trip to nut heaven).
5/10 (Poor)

Ice Age (2002)

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Set during the Ice Age, a sabertooth tiger, a sloth, and a wooly mammoth find a lost human infant, and they try to return him to his tribe. (IMDb)
Is the rag-tag family road-trip plot predictable? Yes. But that doesn’t make it any less touching at its climax (“that’s what you do in a herd”) or any less enjoyable along the way, as the dim but chatty Sid, the sarcastic Manny, and the no-nonsense Diego share hilarious banter (“hey Lord of the Flame, your tail’s on fire”) throughout a bevy of memorable scenes (see the Dodo melon fight; ice race), with a couple funny side-plots thrown in (see Sid’s recurring enemies; Scrat’s misadventures).
7.5/10 (Really Good)