Best Animal Documentaries on Netflix

Want to learn more about the beautiful animals living with us on this planet? Watch any of these animal documentaries on Netflix for greater knowledge on other species!

Best Animal Documentaries on Netflix

As humans, we are basically animals—we're just a more intelligent form. And while all humans are living on the same planet, we're also living with other animals. From reptiles, mammals, birds, fish, and many more, our beautiful animal neighbors certainly bring life and make the planet so much more colorful. While some of us are terrified of certain animals, we still have to appreciate each and every single one of them, because they definitely benefit the planet. You may not think an alligator has any benefits, but it does... actually, probably not.

Either way, we can learn a lot about the animals around us through amazing documentaries. There are documentaries out there that get in real close to the lives of animals, their purpose in life, and educate ourselves more on the animals we fairly know about. And Netflix is the best source to watch these amusing films! Check out a few of the best animal documentaries on Netflix to become more exposed to the life out there.

Have you heard of the popular television series Planet Earth? One of the best nature documentaries ever? Well, all those documentaries in the series are merged into one astonishing collection and it's now available on Netflix! Planet Earth really digs deep into the lives of animals all across the world and it's truly an educational series. Not to mention that you'll easily be addicted after watching a few minutes in.

Planet Earth transports nature lovers through the Himalayan Mountains and all the way to the deep depths of the ocean. From the glaciers to the Sahara, we get to witness what really goes on in the lives of certain animals. Their prey, environments, and even predators, Planet Earth really explores the planet like no other in one amazing documentary.

Haven’t you ever wanted to know what goes on in the deep blue sea? Not just the part of the ocean we usually swim in, but much further down and way deeper than our expectations. Believe it or not, there is life swimming around in the darkest parts of the ocean and most of us don’t know what kind of deep sea creatures live down there. However, Mission Blue is a documentary that exposes it all to us and it's one of the best animal documentaries on Netflix ever.

Misson Blue tells the story of oceanographer Sylvia Earle and her travels through Earth’s darkest conditions—the oceans. Starring James Cameron as well as Michael deGruy, not only are we getting to see the marine life in the ocean, but how to save the world’s oceans from threats like overfishing and toxic waste.

While our planet consists of a multitude of life forms, both plants and animals, they all aim for one thing—survival. The amazing Netflix documentary, Life shows us how some living things are forced to adapt and change in order to survive. Through the chronicles of some of the most unusual and strangely bizarre behaviors we’ve ever seen, these organisms have ways to keep their species alive.

The 11-episode series took four years to make, and it’s definitely worth the watch. Among the best animal documentaries on Netflix, we find out the extraordinary ways and tactics that animals use to avoid predators and attack their prey.

Most of us pay attention to the much larger animals on this planet. Like lions, elephants, tigers, bears, and the list goes on. But we never seem to put the attention on the smaller animals like chipmunks, sugar gliders, squirrels, mice, and all the tiny creatures scurrying around Earth. Hidden Kingdoms is a documentary shining light on those tiny animals and giving them their moment to shine!

While the world is huge and dangerous for these tiny creatures, this documentary follows the lives of smaller animals and what they do on a daily basis. From hunting for food to hiding from their predators, we get to appreciate the littler animals by watching this Netflix documentary! Hidden Kingdoms is certainly among the best and adorable animal documentaries on Netflix to watch right now.

If you’ve never seen a coral reef in person, you’re certainly missing out. Filled with vibrant colors, both plant and animal life, coral reefs are home to so many underwater life. And unfortunately, many of these reefs are slowly dying and disappearing. How are coral reefs possibly dying?

Follow scientists and filmmakers among the most amazing animal documentaries on Netflix and understand the reasons behind reefs disappearing. Chasing Coral is a great documentary that shows divers, scientists, and photographers around the world undergoing an epic underwater campaign to capture footage of these disappearing coral reefs and the reasons behind it.

Butterflies! Truly one of the most majestic bugs on this planet through their wide and colorful wings and desire to feed off of flowers, butterflies are magical in so many ways. As for the most well-known butterfly in the kingdom, the monarch butterfly, we get to see the butterflies’ secret hideaway and how it’s proven to take on the most incredible migration on Earth with Flight of the Butterflies.

While it took Dr. Fred Urquhart nearly 40 years to discover where these stunning monarch butterflies are coming from, the award-winning production team put together a documentary based on the life of these butterflies. You can now follow the yearlong migration of these butterflies from the volcanic forests of Mexico to even Canada. This documentary will shock you all while you admire these fluttery creatures.

Baby Animals in the Wild

Easily the most adorable and worth-watching documentary on the list of animal documentaries on Netflix, Baby Animals in the Wild will have you squealing in joy and completely melting from the sight of these adorable baby animals. I highly suggest you watch this documentary first before watching anything else—it's just too cute.

Anyways, Baby Animals in the Wild revolves around the cuddly baby animals in the wildlife. We get to explore parts of their journey through life and how they manage to adapt in the environment and learn about staying alive. Not to mention you get to capture a few clumsy moments of them!

Virunga is an outstanding and award-winning documentary that's based on a true story about a group of brave individuals risking their lives to make a part of Africa that the world has forgotten about a better future. While exposing the life in the Congo, it lies in Virunga National Park, which is known to be the most bio-diverse place in the world as well as home to the last mountain gorillas on Earth.

The documentary shows a team of park rangers who work to care for orphan gorillas and protect this UNESCO world from any armed militia, poachers, and dark forces that come through often. The Oscar-nominated documentary shows how passionate these individuals are in order to save Africa’s most precious national park and the endangered mountain gorillas.

From the best animal documentaries on Netflix, David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities is definitely worth the watch, because not only does it dive right into the lives of the craziest animals, but it's David Attenborough! If you've never watched any animal documentary that had the legendary naturalist narrating, then it wasn't a proper animal documentary. In all seriousness, this is truly an astonishing documentary that exposes the truth behind some of our monstrous animals living on the same planet as us.

David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities highlights some of nature’s evolutions and his curiosity behind certain critters. While each episode features two animals, which are linked by a common theme, every episode shows the truth behind how they adapt to their environments in the most unusual ways. And Attenborough narrating certainly ties the entire documentary together perfectly.

Finally, among the best animal documentaries on Netflix to watch, this documentary is mind-blowing in so many ways. If you're aware of the ivory trafficking epidemic or not, this documentary will expose everything to you inside out. The Ivory Game is based on the dark work of ivory trafficking from the planes of Africa the streets of China.

Elephants are constantly being killed and their deaths are fueled by the illegal ivory trade, which is causing elephants to slowly become an endangered species. Through working with undercover intelligence organizations, activists, rangers, and conservationists, they’re attempting to put a stop to ivory trafficking. Outraging and upsetting, this film really does capture what it's like behind ivory trafficking.

movie review
Read next: Calling All Wannabe Pet Owners
Jennifer Violet

Bakes sweets ever Thursday and donates them to her local homeless shelter. Is an owner to five pugs and can count to 500 in French.

See all posts by Jennifer Violet