Movies about different natural beauties are always interesting to the viewers. They don’t always have to be literal, but can also have a deeper meaning that the audience has to decipher and recognize. Trees are an endless inspiration to various types of artists and there have been many movies that took the topic of trees to be the center of their story. This is the list of the 15 best movies about trees, a subjective view of some of the most interesting and intriguing titles.
The Tree of Life (2011)
This is an interesting fantasy drama about a Texas family in the 1950s. It is told from the perspective of the oldest son of the family, Jack. It begins with his childhood and goes on into his adult years.
Throughout all these years he is trying to make amends with his father. From innocent youth to more complicated years in the future, he just wants to improve his relationship with him. Jack is played by Sean Penn and in his adult years, we witness his alienation from the modern world while seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life.
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
This Guillermo del Toro masterpiece is a visually stunning but heartbreaking story set in Spain in 1944. We follow the story of a teenage girl who is sent with her mother to live with her ruthless stepfather.
She is full of imagination and fascinated with fairy tales and during the night she is sent by a fairy to meet the old faun that lives in the center of a labyrinth. He explains to her she is a princess but that she must prove her royalty by completing three gruesome tasks. If she fails, she is never going to see her real father and will remain with the new one, the strict captain of the Spanish army.
A Monster Calls (2016)
Conor is a little boy who is constantly feeling angry, guilty, and damaged. He has the inability to tell the truth and is struggling with various problems, both at home and at school. He is bullied there and at home, he needs to deal with an even bigger problem, his mother’s illness.
He will turn to a tree monster and seek guidance and answers so he can try and learn how to cope with his mother’s terminal illness. Firstly, the scary-looking tree starts haunting his dreams, but slowly Conor will find a way to overcome his fears and face the obstacles that are stopping him.
The Lorax (2012)
The Lorax tells the story of a boy named Ted who hopes to win the heart of Audrey, the girl of his dreams. He lives in a town full of artificial things, with no flowers and plants, and where even air is a commodity.
But when Audrey wishes to see a real tree, Ted will try to do everything to make her wish come true. He decides to find the old man living in the wasteland outside the city, a man who gave in to his greed for profits. Ted decides to undo the catastrophe but there is a big obstacle in form of the town’s mayor who is only looking for money, forgetting about natural beauties and real plants.
FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
Samantha Mathis, Christian Slater, and Robin Williams voiced the main protagonists living in the rainforest in this beautiful animated movie. It is a story about fairies who are living in a peaceful place full of magic.
They are all convinced humans don’t exist until a crazy bat tells them a story about humans who held him captive and tortured him. Even though completely terrified, most of the fairies don’t believe him, besides Crysta who decides to find out if humans are real and embark on a journey that will broaden her horizons.
The Sea of Trees (2015)
Matthew McConaughey plays Arthur Brennan who treks into Aokigahara, also known as The Sea of Trees. Is a mysterious and dense forest at the bottom of Japan’s Mount Fuji where people go to commit suicide.
On his journey to this suicide forest, Matthew encounters Takumi Nakamura, a Japanese man who has been trying to find his way after attempting suicide. They will start a journey of reflection and survival and Arthur will realize he wants to live and this will make him reconnect to the love of his life.
The Man Who Planted Trees (1987)
This is a Canadian short animated movie set in Provence in 1913. We follow a young and thirsty narrator who is stranded in the foothills of the Alps and he is saved by a solitary shepherd Elzeard Bouffier.
And so the story of a man who planted trees unfolds and we follow him from the period between World War I and II. It is a decades-long effort to reforest the desolate land all by himself transforming it into a colorful and vibrant oasis full of beautiful sounds and scents.
The Tree (2010)
The O’Neills lived happily in their house in the Australian country house until a terrible accident happened and Peter, the father of the family died and left his wife Dawn alone with their four children.
The one who simply can’t get used to the fact that her father is not alive anymore is his 8-year-old daughter Simone who is convinced that her father still lives in the giant fig tree growing near the house. She believes he speaks to her through the leaves but as the days go by, the tree is becoming more invasive and threatens the house so it must be felled which will cause even more shock to Simone.
The Hidden Life of Trees (2020)
This wonderful German documentary based on a best-selling book by German forester Peter Wohlleben takes us around the world and introduces us to these magnificent natural phenomena.
We are presented with an intriguing hypothesis, which is that trees are social and sentient beings who feel pain and talk to each other and have different personalities. It is a visual masterpiece that manages to make us look at the trees from a completely different perspective and begin to appreciate them more than ever.
The National Tree (2009)
Christmas movies are always the ones that bring joy and warmth into our homes and hearts and very often include Christmas trees as the center of attention. In this tv movie, we follow the search for a new national Christmas tree.
It seems it belongs to a 17-year-old blogger Rock Burdock whose father planted the Sitka Spruce for him on the day he was born. And now Rock and his father embark on a journey across the country to drive the tree to Washington D.C., where it will be planted across the White House and lit by the President and the First Family.
Once Upon a Tree (2013)
This is a short Dutch family movie about the 11-year-old Filine who adores sitting in her favorite oak tree and discovering all the beauties in the natural world around her. She studies the tree and notices things that people usually don’t pay attention to.
But as the trees start falling down in the forest, Filine begins to feat that this would happen to her favorite oak tree, as well. She comes up with a creative plan to stop the tree chopping in the forest. This is a heartwarming portrait of a little girl and her special relationship with that oak tree.
The Happening (2008)
Even though this dystopian catastrophe movie by M.Night Shyamalan wasn’t well accepted by both the audience and the critics, it is a story worth mentioning since it is related to ecology and nature and the way people behave towards it and might soon suffer the consequences.
It is a sci-fi adventure drama that follows a science teacher, his wife, and a young girl who struggle to survive a plague that causes people to commit suicide. It is obvious that nature has taken things into its own hands and that it’s doing something inexplicable, even for scientists.
Little Otik (2000)
This disturbing Check movie is a combination of various genres, such as drama, horror, and thriller. It is the story of a childless couple who desperately want to have a baby but as they find out they can’t have it, their lives start losing purpose.
To try and relieve his wife’s pain, her husband decides to chop a stump from the backyard and varnish it into the shape of a child. But the woman will take the root as her baby and starts to pretend it is real. Suddenly, the root takes life and they are convinced they have gained a child, but it soon becomes clear that it is so much more than just a normal child.
Das singende, klingelde Bäumchen (1957)
Based on the story by the brothers Grimm, this horror fantasy tells the tale of a brave prince who wants to win the heart of a stubborn princess. In order to make it, he decides to find her a singing and ringing tree.
He finds out that a tree like that exists but in a magical realm ruled by an evil dwarf who agrees to give it to him but under one condition. The tree must start singing before sundown and this will happen only if the princess loves him. If she doesn’t, he will be turned into a bear.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
One of the most beautiful and beloved Japanese animated films of all time is this family comedy written and directed by the gifted visionary Hayao Miyazaki. It is the story of two sisters, the 10-year-old Satsuki and the 4-year-old Mei who move with their father into a house in the country to be closer to their hospitalized mother.
The girls soon discover that the forest nearby is inhabited by magical creatures called Totoros. They befriend them and embark on numerous magical adventures with them.