I have to say, when 2020 started, I was full of hope and excitement for what the new year would bring.
The truth is, I feel this way every January and this coming January will be no different. I know that once the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2020, all of our current situations aren’t going to magically disappear but it’s the hope of a new and glorious year that I’m looking forward to.
This year has changed me in so many ways, too numerous to get into, but one of those changes is what I choose to watch. It has to be happy and leave me feeling uplifted. No bummer movies for me. I also yearned to see nature in all her wondrous glory.
I thought as we rounded out 2020, I would share my top 5 feel good documentaries with you, to restore hope in humanity, for the coming new year.
My Top 5, Feel Good, Documentaries For 2020 Are...
This documentary is exactly how the title describes. A 2012 documentary that is still as adorable now as it was then. I highly recommend watching, especially if you have particularly low spirits, this movie is guaranteed to perk you right up. There’s nothing like true joy to watch animals frolicking in a field lovin’ life.
You can watch the full documentary on Disney+. If you don’t have Disney+, there are free episodes at the National Geographic website and more episodes on youtube.
The title alone is irresistible! I mean, Animal Babies...does it get any better?
This is a 6 part series following 6 different animal babies through the trials of their first year. Spoiler alert, these babies are freakin’ adorable! Your cheeks will be hurting from smiling so much!
If you don’t have a subscription to your local PBS station, you might want to consider it a gift to yourself, and an investment in your mental health.
There are lots of really great shows and documentaries available with a passport membership, it's a great alternative to cable or other streaming services.
Paula Kahumbu overcame many obstacles to bring you season 1 of Wildlife Warriors. This is a series highlighting a different person, in each episode, who is making a huge difference in the lives of animals throughout Africa. You can watch all 12 episodes here, they are about 26 minutes per episode. This is a binge worthy series that will leave you feeling optimistic about humanity.
This documentary takes you on a journey with a herd of elephants as they travel across the Kalahari Desert to the Zambezi River. A journey this herd has been doing for decades, along the way, many life cycle events occur allowing the viewer to experience a range of emotions. This beautifully shot documentary will leave you with a deeper love and understanding for this majestic animal.
If you are an educator, this documentary comes with an educator’s guide download and an activity packet download, both can be found here. Elephant can only be streamed on Disney +.
Hands down my absolute, all-time favorite documentary. I’ve watched it several times and will probably watch several more times.
It covers all the feels as you watch the relationship build between Craig Foster and an octopus he meets while investigating a kelp forest near his home in South Africa.
If you only have time for one movie this year, definitely make it this one.
I’m adding a runner up movie, David Attenborough came out of retirement for one last movie and book titled: David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet 2020. This documentary is a walk through Sir David’s life through the documentaries he has made. He reflects on how the planet has been depleted and what it would take to turn back the hands of time.
Although this is a beautifully shot documentary and listening to Attenborough’s voice and narrative are always worthwhile, it will not necessarily leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
But wait...there’s more!
Have you ever watched a documentary and at the end, you’re left feeling completely depleted?
Well, I have the solution for that...there is a new website/app called Water Bear.
Water Bear is a platform where you can watch documentaries ranging from a few minutes to full length features, you’ll then be able to connect with an organization and find information on how you can take action, and actually make a difference.
All the documentaries are gorgeous, hopeful and leaves you longing for more.
I encourage you to set up a free account today and start 2021 inspired!
Not into watching on a television? Here is a solution for you! Documentary Area is a website where you can get lost for hours watching free documentaries on a wide range of topics. Documentaries ranging from the arts, nature, technology, and everything in between. You can watch on your phone, tablet or desktop.
I hope you get the opportunity to watch a few great documentaries as we head into 2021. The good vibes will help kick off the new year on a great note, and lord knows we need all the positive energy we can get!