The best animals documentaries every animal lover should watch

June 29, 2022

Animals are the most abundant living beings on the planet. The number of species is almost uncountable, as is their knowledge of nature. We, humans, have learned from them to be the intelligent and rational species we are today, but what else can we learn from them nowadays?

The following list of the best animal documentaries to watch online tries to answer that question from non-fiction films where animals have a predominant position. Here is a must-see selection of the best documentary films for all animal lovers.

Why watch animal and wildlife documentaries?

Unlike the educational wildlife documentaries you'll find on TV channels like Discovery, National Geographic or Netflix, in this list you'll find irreverent views on the relationship between humans and animals.

These films are shot by filmmakers with a critical eye who have shaped genuine stories and many of them intimate tales about us and our animated companions.

What are the best animal documentaries to watch online?

33 Animals of Santa Claus


An old woman seeing trhough the window with a pidgeon on her shoulder


Santa Claus, as the protagonist of this social documentary calls herself, lives with very curious roommates: seven dogs, six cats, two rabbits, a crow, a pigeon, one chinchilla, ten degu rats and five fish

"I tell you, it's like living in a mad house," says the woman who basically devotes her entire day to attend to the needs of her companions

Filmed in a beautiful black and white, the film allows us to enter a microcosm where animals are more than just pets. Rather, they become members of a family that makes loneliness go away in the midst of a chaotic yet endearing coexistence.

Watch this documentary online now on Guidedoc


Santa Fiesta


A bull with fireworks on his horns in a festivity in Spain


Director Miguel Ángel Rolland shows us the cruelest side of traditional celebrations of Spain from the point of view of its victims: the animals

Known for its celebrated bullfights, Spanish culture has given a central place to animals, especially the bull, in their popular rites, but generally as victims of sacrifice

An observational approach is a wise decision when exposing the viewer to images of animals that may be accustomed to but now through the perspective of the prey, not the hunter.

Watch this documentary online now on Guidedoc



A turtle looking through glass in the documentary Snowy


Premiered at Sundance, this funny short documentary film is a tribute to all the pet turtles in the world. In just 12 minutes, the film tells the story of Snowy, the old tortoise of the Wolf family, in England.

Filmmaker Kaitlyn Schwalje approaches scientists and other turtle experts to find answers about how humans can make these reptile pets happier in a domestic environment.

Watch this documentary online now on Guidedoc


Apex Survival


A woman diver in front of a great white shark in the documentary Apex Survival


This sea life documentary takes us into the deep seas of South Africa in search of an experience with big white sharks. It is an aquatic adventure led by brave female divers who, in their environmental and conservationist zeal, seek to preserve the ancestral route of these beautiful specimens of the sea.

Watch this documentary online now on Guidedoc


Animus Animali


A display of dissected animals in a museum with a boy in the documentary Animus Animali


This documentary proves that you can make a documentary about our relationship with animals without actually showing live animals. As cruel as it may seem, Lithuanian director Aistė Žegulytė's film is an acute and critical observation of the use of dead animals' bodies in museums and taxidermy.

Watch this documentary online now on Guidedoc


Considering The Ends


A shepherdess and her some sheeps in the documentary Considering The Ends


Deep in rural France, a young shepherdess will face the biggest challenge of her short life: learning to kill the animals she lives with every day.

The documentary raises a moral dilemma faced by the vast majority of human beings in our diet: Is it worth killing animals to satisfy our hunger

Watch this documentary online now on Guidedoc


The Wildtuin


A caretaker and a group of elephants in Africa


Over the years, safaris have provided hundreds of thousands of tourists with a safe way to experience the wonderful and diverse animal life of the African savannahs, and, at the same time, the use of an economic income for many families in these so-called "third world" countries.

This documentary takes a critical look at these tourist attractions, unveiling the economic mechanisms behind the business and how everything draws a contradictory scenario when talking about its benefits. 

Watch this documentary online now on Guidedoc



Four little cats on a staircase


As the Internet is increasingly being dominated by viral cat videos, discovering this film is like arriving in a feline paradise. 

This time, we accompany several domestic and stray cats as they roam the streets of the vibrant city of Istanbul

The documentary not only shows us the Turkish capital from an unprecedented point of view but also provides occasional testimonies of its inhabitants, who give us information about the history and meaning of these venerated animals.




A dog on a fence in Cuba


Maya and her owner have only a few days to prepare for a dogfight where not only the money but also the prestige of the tandem is at stake. 

Framed in the universe of popular dogfights in Cuba, this short film focuses on the evolution of the affective relationship between a man and a dog that could risk its life for him. 

Eating the right food, going out for the daily walk, and practicing for a lethal bite are all steps that seem to be coldly calculated in order to achieve an imminent victory. But an unexpected event changes their routine in an irreversible way.





In this observational documentary, the vigilant camera of Canadian director Denis Coté makes an inventory of the animals of the Montreal zoo

It is a contemporary version of the catalog of beasts that our ancestors used to make in order to get to know the characteristics of those other animate beings that accompany us on the planet. 

The daily life of this theme park is presented to us in a fragmented way, where the bodies of zebras, lions, birds, and baboons in their respective enclosures seem to be auscultated by a huge and omnipresent human eye. 

The film gives us space to reflect on this kind of shelter conceived by homo-sapiens to observe their fellow animals in a very civilized way. But amid such calculated confinement, is it that our animal stage is really over? Have we really ceased to be savages?


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