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10 Best Documentaries About Dolphins To Watch

These documentaries about dolphins, among the most captivating and intelligent creatures of the sea, show their enchanting underwater world and remarkable behaviours that have been a subject of fascination for generations.

Documentaries About Dolphins

Documentaries about dolphins provide a unique window into the lives and mysteries of these marine mammals, showcasing their extraordinary abilities, complex social structures, and the critical importance of their conservation.

The Cove (2009)

The Cove focuses on the controversial issue of dolphin hunting in Taiji, Wakayama, Japan. The movie follows a team of activists and filmmakers who work to expose the mass slaughter of dolphins in a hidden cove in Japan.

The film highlights the brutal methods used in capturing and killing dolphins, which are often sold to marine parks and aquariums around the world.

It also sheds light on the health risks associated with consuming dolphin meat, which contains high levels of mercury.

The Cove combines investigative journalism with activism and has received critical acclaim for its efforts to raise awareness about this issue.

The documentary won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2010 and is a must-watch out of these documentaries about dolphins.

Dolphin Reef (2018)

Dolphin Reef is narrated by actress Natalie Portman and is part of Disney’s efforts to produce wildlife documentaries that promote conservation and awareness of the natural world.

Dolphin Reef specifically focuses on the underwater world of dolphins living in a coral reef. The documentary features stunning underwater cinematography and follows a young bottlenose dolphin named Echo as he navigates the challenges of life in the ocean.

You are treated to an up-close look at the daily lives and behaviors of these intelligent and playful marine mammals.

The film not only provides an educational and entertaining look into the lives of dolphins but also emphasizes the importance of marine conservation and the need to protect the delicate ecosystems in which they live.

Dolphins: Spy in the Pod (2014)

Dolphins: Spy in the Pod is a two-part documentary series that provides a unique and close-up view of dolphins in the wild, using the help of specially designed underwater cameras, including ones that resemble aquatic creatures to capture more natural behaviour.

The “spies” in the title refer to the various camera setups that were used to observe and record dolphins without disturbing them.

Some of the cameras resembled sea creatures, such as turtles and fish, allowing them to blend in with the marine environment and capture footage that might not have been possible with traditional filming techniques.

The series covers various species of dolphins and showcases their social behaviours, communication, hunting techniques, and interactions with other marine life.

It offers an in-depth and often intimate look at the lives of dolphins in their natural habitats.

Dolphins (2000)

Dolphins is an IMAX documentary film that offers you a visually stunning and immersive experience by taking you into the world of dolphins. It is narrated by Pierce Brosnan.

The documentary captures the beauty of the ocean and the intelligence, grace, and social interactions of dolphins. It explores various species of dolphins and their behaviour, including their communication, hunting, and playfulness.

Dolphins is known for its breathtaking underwater cinematography and its use of large-format IMAX technology to provide an up-close and intimate look at these marine mammals.

The film was created to both educate and entertain, fostering an appreciation for dolphins and the need for marine conservation.

Dolphins and Whales 3D: Tribes of the Ocean (2008)

Dolphins and Whales 3D: Tribes of the Ocean is a 3D IMAX documentary film that offers an immersive and visually stunning exploration of the lives of dolphins and whales in their natural environments.

The documentary showcases a variety of dolphin and whale species and their behaviours, including their social interactions, migration patterns, and hunting strategies.

It delves into the close-knit communities or “tribes” of these marine mammals and highlights their remarkable intelligence and adaptability.

Dolphins and Whales 3D: Tribes of the Ocean uses the 3D format to provide an even more engaging and immersive viewing experience, allowing you to feel like you are swimming alongside these majestic creatures.

The film aims to educate viewers about the importance of marine conservation and the need to protect these species and their habitats.

The 5 documentaries about dolphins mentioned above are the main ones that you will want to watch.

But there are a number of documentaries about dolphins on YouTube that you can watch for free and are good ones. They include:

Spinner Dolphins – Dancers of the Ocean

Exploring an island off Brazil, Fernando de Noronha is the most visited bay in the world for dolphins.

Researchers explore the amazing acrobatic skills of the dolphins there and promote the conservation of the area for them.

The Incredible Life Of Dolphins 

One of the world’s best experts on dolphins, Dr Denise, has researched the same spot in the Bahamas where Atlantic Spotted Dolphins are and observed them over many years.

Dolphins off the Coast of New Zealand

As the title says, the documentary about dolphins explores different pods around the coast of New Zealand and their unique ways to survive in their different habitats.

Adopted by Dolphins, Flipper’s Family Secrets

A pod of dolphins located in the Red Sea accept two researchers as their companions and the researchers then go about observing them from their point of view.

The animals show their behaviours to them willingly, including their social life and playing games.

Ocean Stories 3 – Dolphins and Whales

This documentary shows two researchers, one off the coast of Ireland, and the other off the coast of Northwest USA.

The one in Ireland follows the friendship of the researcher with a solitary dolphin, which is the story to watch for a specific dolphin documentary.

The other one in the USA is not about dolphins it’s about seeing giant octopuses, sea lions and orca whales, but is still a great watch.


Through the lens of these documentaries about dolphins, you are transported into the depths of the ocean to witness the beauty and wonder of the dolphin world, gaining a deeper appreciation for these enchanting beings and the ecosystems they inhabit.

For more water-based inspiration take a look at the 10 best documentaries about oceans.

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