Summer days are great—the playing outside in the sunshine, the days at the pool, the afternoons at the baseball field. But often it’s also great to retreat indoors, where the popcorn and the air conditioning are! A movie is a great way to pass an afternoon out of the sun. To keep you in the mood of summer reading, here’s a list of ocean films to help you beat the heat by diving into a story.


Ocean Films  |  Librarian List

Song of the Sea

by Tomm Moore

When Saoirse and Ben’s mother mysteriously disappears into the ocean, the two children go on an epic journey to find out the truth about her, and in the process, discover mystical secrets about both their mother and Saoirse herself. The film takes inspiration from the mythological Selkies of Irish folklore, who live as seals in the sea but become humans on land.


by Studio Ghibli/Hayao Miyazaki

A young boy named Sosuke rescues a goldfish named Ponyo, and they embark on a fantastic journey of friendship before Ponyo’s father forces her to return to the sea. Ponyo’s desire to be human upsets the balance of nature and only Ponyo’s mother, a beautiful sea goddess, can restore nature’s balance and make Ponyo’s dreams come true.


by Disney

A mythic adventure set around 2,000 years ago across a series of islands in the South Pacific. The film follows the journey of a spirited teenager named Moana as she meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui, and together they traverse the open ocean, encountering enormous fiery creatures an impossible odds.

Finding Nemo

by Disney/Pixar

In the depths of the Great Barrier Reef, Marlin, an overly protective clownfish, embarks on a daring rescue mission when his beloved son, Nemo, gets scooped up by a diver. With his unforgettable friend Dory by his side, Marlin encounters an ocean full of memorable comedic characters on his momentous journey to find Nemo.

20,000 Leagues under the Sea

by Disney, Richard Fleischer

A trouble-shooting 19th century seaman is trying to discover why so many whaling ships have been disappearing of late. Teaming with a scientist and a diver, they set sail to investigate. They are promptly captured by the megalomaniacal Captain Nemo, who skippers a lavish, scientifically advanced submarine.


The Blue Planet

by BBC/David Attenborough

Explores the world’s oceans and is the definitive exploration of the marine world, chronicling the mysteries the deep. Discusses concepts such as evolution, the food chain, survival of the fittest, and the future of that omnipresent non-sea creature known as Man.

The Living Sea

by MacGillivary Freeman Films, featuring music by Sting

Explore the mysterious depths of the “world ocean” to discover the beauty and diversity of the ocean and its importance to all life on earth. Travel to Palau, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Alaska, Nova Scotia, and the Red Sea. Meet humpback whales, swim with golden jellyfish, and witness the spawning behavior of giant clams.

The Great Barrier Reef


The Great Barrier Reef unveils the most colorful and diverse undersea world known to man. Viewers will experience not only the enchanting beauty of the reef, you will also learn of its complex ecosystem, the symbiotic relationships that exist and the extreme fragility of this environment.


by Disney

Features an exhilarating look under the sea through the eyes of those that live there. Incredible state-of-the-art-underwater filmmaking will take viewers breath away as they migrate with whales, swim alongside a great white shark, and race with dolphins at play. Includes first-ever images of elusive deepwater creatures, featurettes, music video, filmmaker annotations, and more.

Bill Nye the Science Guy: Ocean Life

by Disney

Bill Nye goes underwater to talk about ocean ecosystems and the importance of small organisms such as coral, kelp, and plankton. These latter organisms are the food of huge whales, which gather them by straining thousands of tons of sea water through their mouths.

Ocean Giants

by BBC Earth

Dolphins and whales may appear to be totally alien to us. But with their mental ability, group communication and the recent discovery that dolphins have individual names, they are closer to us than we ever imagined. Ace underwater cameramen Doug Allan and Didier Noirot embark on a quest to film the most amazing stories of whales and dolphins across the ocean world.

Oceans: Our Blue Planet

by BBC Earth

Embark on a global odyssey to discover the largest and least explored habitat on earth. New ocean science and technology has allowed us to go further into the unknown than we ever thought possible. From the coastal shallows to deeper, more mysterious worlds, we reveal the untold stories of the oceans’ most astonishing creatures.

Science is Fiction: 23 Films by Jill Painleve

by BBC Earth

Jean Painlevé was a film director, critic, theorist, and animator, yet his interests and studies also extended to mathematics, medicine, and zoology. Amazingly, all these disparate strands came together in a groundbreaking, decades-spanning artistic career. Operating under the credo “science is fiction,” Painlevé forged his own unique cinematic path, creating countless short films for both the viewing public and the scientific community. He was also one of the first filmmakers to take his camera underwater. Surreal, otherworldly documents of marine life, these films transformed sea horses, octopi, and mollusks into delicate dancers in their own floating ballets.

Written by Mike, Division Manager

We Appreciate Your Feedback