The Best Nature and Adventure Imax Documentary Films on Blu-ray

If you are looking for ten of the best Imax blu-ray documentary films, then you have found the right place for featured on this page are ten of the bestselling Imax films available.

There are at more than a hundred amazing Imax films available on blu-ray now as I edit this page in the spring of 2012 and the top 10 are featured here. One hundred is a far cry from the less than twenty I had to choose from when I created the first list of the best Imax blu-ray movies in 2008.

This Top 10 list is compiled using information from three sources: the top-selling Imax blu-ray movies; the best rated Imax films; and the ratings received from reviews at

You will find not only the list of movies but also a brief discussion of these films, including short reviews, links to excellent and more-detailed blu-ray movie reviews from the experts and video trailers. I believe that the trailers are particularly good at giving you an idea of the adventure you will find in each film.

Imax documentary films take us to new on to see what worlds you can explore on your next blu-ray adventure.

Imax Born To Be Wild Born To Be Wild


Born To Be Wild shares the story of two people who have spent their lives rescuing orphan animals, helping them survive and be wild. It is a true story.

The reviews of Born to be Wild include that of Debbie S. Glade who makes it pretty simple when she says, "Anyone, young or old, who loves animals will love this IMAX movie."

You can check the trailer out for yourself here:

Super Speedway


Super Speedway features racing father and son, Mario and Michael Andrettis and Paul Newman narrating. It uses footage shot from cameras mounted on both of their Indy-type race cars and, therefore, provides an excellent point of view. Plus, of course there is the SOUND of the race. You'll need to fasten your seatbelt for this Imax film and you might want to note that this was's second highest rated Imax blu-ray movie in 2010.

Reviews from viewers of Super Speedway are amazing with comments like that of Paul D. Ferguson who said that this film had an especially good human interest angle when it looked at the family of Andretti. He enjoyed the multi-faceted look into the speedway world which included technology, history and social elements. He eventually says, "The story arc gently draws you to the racing track, immerses you in the raw excitement of driving at over 200 MPH, and then eases you back out to the real world, your heart still pounding." He does says that the cars are naturally VERY exciting but that this film is not just about the speed. It is also about the people involved from drivers to designers.

With regard to the blu-ray release, DVD Verdict commented first on the fact that blu-ray technology inches us closer to the IMAX theatre experience. They thought that Super Speedway was one of the best films they had ever seen.  DVD Talk said that they were surprised by how enjoyable Super Speedway was, particularly since they are not big car fans. About the quality, they said it is SPECTACULAR and a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED DISC.

Check it out for yourself here:

Grand Canyon Adventure  


Journey to the Colorado River and learn about a river at risk and one of the most important environmental issues of our time - the shortage of water. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Wade Davis and their daughters travel to the Grand Canyon and the river and you can join them on the ride. Along the way you will enjoy the music of the Dave Matthews Band.

The reviews of Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk include comments like the fact that this film shares the real beauty of the Grand Canyon, that the blu-ray audio and visual quality are perfect and that you won't be able to take your eyes off of the screen. Customer R. Irwin said, "If you love Western scenery like I do and love to see it in the highest quality, then this is for you and that the conservation message is a plus."

With regard to the blu-ray release, Big Picture Big Sound said Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk does two jobs: highlights the world drought situation and sets a standard for blu-ray documentary films. They call this Disc reference quality.

Check it out for yourself here:



Visit wild dolphins in this adventure film. Experience the Bahamas where the dolphins live and play. Learn about the mysteries of dolphin communication. Meet a bottlenose dolphin named JoJo who explores the colorful reefs with his human friend Dean. Enjoy the extra behind-the-scenes film called The Making of Dolphins.

The reviews for this documentary include statements about how wonderful Imax Dolphins is, that the photography is stunning and the stories charming. Stephanie Manley says, "This film is perfect for people of all ages." Reviewer Paul H says that this is one of the best Imax films with an amazing soundtrack by Sting and a great job of narration from Mr. Brosnan. Finally, ShelbyLee says that anyone who loves Dolphins will LOVE this video. She watches it regularly with her children. shares that this film was Nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject and that it shares a lot of known and as well as some new things about Dolphins.

Check it out for yourself here:

Wild Ocean


Wild Ocean shares the water world of the Wild Coast of Africa and illustrates how the creatures that live in that water depend on man and the efforts the inhabitants of that part of the world are going to to save this wildlife. "Hope is alive on the Wild Coast where Africa meets the sea."

Reviews are a bit mixed for Wild Oceans but it seems that detractors are disappointed that this film does not have some of the ride-like features of some Imax films. I'd encourage you to read them for yourself.  If it is a documentary that you are looking for, it sounds like Wild Ocean delivers. Midwest Book Review says that Wild Ocean is spectacular and award winning and that it "is an unforgettable tour of the daily struggle for survival among ocean wildlife and a reminder of the ecological wonders beneath the waves that are perilously endangered by the encroaches of mankind."

DVD Talk says that Wild Ocean is gorgeous and one of the best Imax blu-ray releases to date. They call the transfer strong and the extras interesting and informative. They HIGHLY RECOMMEND it for those who love nature documentaries. Blu-ray Definition says that Wild Ocean features captivating imagery and reference-quality definition. For nature lovers AND for those who want to show of their home theatre, they also recommend this film.

Check it out for yourself here:

Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag

"You can forget about all those old-school Imax tricks here. Five minutes into Fighter Pilot, your stomach will be doing the rumba when an F-15 Eagle zooms straight up into the sky (the land beneath going, going, gone) and then . . . starts . . . spinning." - Washington Post

An exciting film - enter the cockpit with some of the world's best pilots and see some of the most challenging flying of their careers. You will follow in the footsteps of a young American pilot as he works through Red Flag - the world's intensest simulated air war and training event. You will travel 800 miles per hour with much thundering, roaring, screaming sound and stunning aerobatics.

There are plenty of positive reviews about Fighter Pilot Operation Red Flag. They include comments about amazing, close-up shots of fighter pilots in action and that this is the best military aviation documentary film available. Julian S. says that you should turn up your sound and your sub woofer and that you are going to feel like you are standing on the flight line. Even children love it with little boys in particular fall for it. Your children will surely want to be a pilots after watching this film.

Big Picture, Big Sound warns that this is a short film designed to show off jet planes - not an indepth documentary.

Take a look for yourself here:

Mystery of the Nile Extreme River Rafting


Set out on the journey of a lifetime on the Blue Nile from the source to the sea. It will not be easy but it will be beautiful. You'll see such treasures as Tissisat Falls, the wonders of Egypt, the forgotten black pyramids of Meroe and 12th century churches.

Reviews of Mystery of the Nile include comments like this film is "beautiful, educational and exciting" from Steven B. Wallach. Some call it the best documentary they've seen lately, say that the photography was very good and that the story engaging.

With regard to the blu-ray release, DVD Verdict said that this film looks quite good on blu-ray and they recommend it for the entire family.

Watch for yourself here:

Space Station 


Space Station and Tom Cruise take you to visit the International Space Station in this Imax documentary film. It shares the story of the individuals whose dreams took them beyond the Earth itself.

Reviews of Space Station include comments on the remarkable difference between the quality of the DVD and the blu-ray disc and that the blu-ray version is stunning. Gulf Breeze Granny said her family found this Imax film informative and entertaining. says that Space Station gives a new look at what the space program has done and that this one ranks near the top because it both educates and entertains. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Check it out for yourself here:

Volcanoes of the Deep Sea

In Volcanoes of the Deep Sea, you will journey into the deepest parts of the ocean. At 12,000 feet below the surface you discover a volcanic world, new creatures and unique landscapes.

Reviews of Volcanoes of the Deep Sea include comments the fact that scientists AND children will enjoy this one. Carol Collins calls it a 'first class adventure' and 'stunning.' and D. Harms says that this film has some very cool footage and that Ed Harris was a solid narrator.

Blu-ray Definition called Volcanoes of the Deep Sea "another strong IMAX showcase piece" expanding with the facts that it has great video, great sound and educational value.

Check it out for yourself here:

Under the Sea


Those who love nature documentaries will definitely love Imax's Under the Sea. Travel with Jim Carrey to the Great Barrier Reef and the South Pacific. Meet a great white shark and a cuttlefish...a world beyond imagination.

Reviews of IMAX Under the Sea use words like spectacular, stunning and vivid. John F. Rooney calls it a trip. Rash67 says that this is "the closest you can come to diving without getting wet."

Read more about Under the Sea here.

Click here to order Under the Sea from Amazon.

In Closing

That's it. My list of the Best Nature and Adventure Documentary films.  I know that it will help you pick some wonderful documentary films for your collection.

Please note that I have just moved this list from another website. It was originally created in 2008 but updated yearly until 2012.  It is therefore due for an update soon. However, even if it has not been updated recently, I believe that it is still an excellent reference list of top-rated documentary films that are available on blu-ray disc for your viewing pleasure at home.

See you
at the movies!

More Imax Documentary Reviews:

Coral Reef Adventure  - Narrated by Liam Neeson with music by Crosby, Stills and Nash.
Africa: The Serengeti - Narrated by James Earl Jones.
The Living Sea - Narrated by Meryl Streep.
Alaska: Spirit of the Wild - Narrated by Charlton Heston.
The Magic of Flight - Narrated by Tom Selleck.


Unknown said...

These movies look so good, even on my laptop computer! Love the Dolphins trailer - so beautiful! Awesome list!

Movie Treasures By Brenda said...

Thanks, Susan. They are definitely a beautiful selection of documentary films.


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