The Best Adventure Documentaries and TV Shows to Stream Right Now

Free Solo' Documentary - 2018 Alex Honnold 2018 Image ID: 10122275g Featured in: 'Free Solo' Documentary - 2018 Photo Credit: J Chin/National Geographic/Kobal/Shutterstock
J Chin/National Geographic/Kobal/Shutterstock

If you’ve gone through all the latest movies and TV shows available on streaming services while you’ve been holed up at home, we have you covered. We put together some of the best adventure documentaries you can watch at home right now. No doubt they’ll inspire your next trip once the coronavirus outbreak settles down.

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The Best Adventure and Nature Documentaries to Stream at Home

The Disney+ Earth Month Collection: Disney+ just added a huge list of documentaries and nature-related shows to the service as part of the Earth Month Collection. Here are some highlights, plus more you can stream on the service from Disneynature and National Geographic:

  • Monkey Kingdom (Disney+): Narrated by Tina Fey, this documentary tells the unique story about a family of monkeys living in old ruins in the jungles of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka and how they survive there.
  • Before the Flood (Disney+): Directed by Fisher Stevens and produced in part by Leonardo DiCaprio, this documentary focuses on climate change and the impact of global warming around the world. The movie features DiCaprio going to various regions of the globe to see how climate change is affecting those areas and also discusses solutions to help solve the problem.
  • America’s National Parks (Disney+): Created to celebrate the 100th birthday of America’s National Parks, this series focuses on eight different parks around the U.S., including ones like Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon.
  • Hostile Planet with Bear Grylls (Disney+): Hosted by Bear Grylls, Hostile Planet follows animals and wildlife making their homes in some of the most extreme environments around the world. Shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (Pan’s Labyrinth) the series takes viewers in-depth to see just how these incredible animals adapt to these extreme locations and survive—and sometimes thrive.

Men’s Journal previously caught up with Grylls about the show: “Hostile Planet really is a dynamic reboot of the natural history genre, introducing wildlife at its best to a younger, newer audience. It’s about showing just how brutal and unforgiving the natural world can be, and at the same time, being inspired by the mind-blowing resilience of these animals.”

Other options to stream include: African Cats, Chimpanzee, Bears, Born in China, Crimson Wing, Monkey Kingdom, Wings of Life from Disneynature

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Highlights From National Geographic: Wild Yellowstone, The Flood, JANE, Planet of the Birds, Sea of Hope: America’s Underwater Treasures, Kingdom of the White Wolf, Tree Climbing Lions, Wild Russia, One Strange Rock, Giants of the Deep Blue, Kingdom of the Blue Whale, Great Migrations, Earth Live, Winged Seduction: Birds of Paradise, and Into the Grand Canyon.

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Explained from Vox (Netflix): This series presents episodes on single subjects and does exactly what the title says: It explains them. With guest narrators like LeVar Burton, Kristen Bell, and Kyle MacLachlan, the series covers a wide range of topics across the spectrum, but it also has episodes on nature and adventure-related subjects, including ones like “The World’s Water Crisis” and “Animal Intelligence.”

Free Solo (Hulu): The Oscar- and Emmy-winning documentary from National Geographic and co-directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin follows solo climber Alex Honnold as he navigates the treacherous 3,200-foot climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park—all without the help of a rope. Men’s Journal previously went behind the scenes on how this incredible film was put together and also caught up with Honnold after he completed his climb.

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Blue Planet (BBC America): Like the related series Planet Earth, this show takes you across the world and deep into the ocean to show you how hundreds of thousands of species thrive and survive in coral reefs, coastal climates, the deep ocean, and more. The series puts together footage from 125 different expeditions and 4,000 dives across 39 countries that were filmed over four years. You can stream the show on BBC America.

The Dawn Wall (Netflix): Like Free Solo, this film follows climbers trying to scale El Capitan. This time around it’s free climber Tommy Caldwell and his partner Kevin Jorgeson as they try to scale the 3,000-foot Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park. For as much as the film is about Caldwell trying to climb the wall, it’s also about Caldwell overcoming some major trauma in his past life. The film won the 2018 SXSW Film Festival Audience Award. Stream The Dawn Wall at Netflix here.

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Meru (Available to rent on Amazon Prime, Vudu, iTunes, Google Play): Like the award-winning Free Solo, this documentary was co-directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and features some incredible visuals and thrilling moments as the climbers make their way up the peak, including attempting the 4,000-foot Shark’s Fin wall. Between injuries, avalanches, and near-misses, this film will give you some incredible thrills and amazing visuals of the peak as the climbers make their way up.

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