Binge watched all your favourite shows? Re-watched all your favourite childhood movies a million times? Looking for a dose of positivity thrown into your countless hours of Netflix scolling? We know the feeling, so we thought we’d help out by pointing you in the right direction! No downers on this list!
Abstract - The Art Of Design
An absolute must watch if you’re into any form of art, design, animation or pop culture; and obviously at Smiley we definitely are! With in-depth profiles of people like Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, stage designer Es Devlin and architect Bjarke Ingels; it’s a fascinating journey made all the better by great animations and nuggets of wisdom sure to get your creative juices flowing.
The Toys That Made Us
If you're looking for a wave of nostalgia then this is the show for you! The first four episodes focused on Star Wars, He-Man, Barbie, and G.I. Joe with subsequent episodes featuring LEGO, Transformers, Hello Kitty, and Star Trek, I mean … if you’re not already hooked then we might not see eye to eye! There was also a subsequent series called The Movies That Made us which is just as great, so make sure to check that out if you enjoy this or just prefer movies to toys.
Tales By Light
If you love travelling and are dreaming of the adventures you will have when lockdown is over; then you might just love this. A joint venture between National Geographic and Canon following professional photographers travelling around the world and capturing photos visually that tell a story. It’s beautiful, heartwarming, informative. Everything you could possibly want from a documentary.
The Kindness Diaries
What do you think would happen if you traveled the world relying only on the kindness of strangers for food, shelter, and gas? How far do you reckon you would get? Well, this series follows former broker Leon Logothetis doing just that! Driving around in a vintage Chang Jiang motorcycle and sidecar he calls Kindness 1 after The Motorcycle Diaries, it’s a fun adventure that shows how kind people can truly be.
GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
Yes we’re including a film about wrestling on the list, fight us! Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling; or GLOW for short, was the first women's professional wrestling TV show and this documentary combines footage from the television series with interviews of some of the wrestler. It’s quirky, funny, interesting and a lot of fun! If you enjoy this, definitely check out the Netflix original Comedy show GLOW too!
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
I mean, who doesn’t like food! If you haven’t checked out David Chang before then you’re really in for a treat, he’s a wonderful Chef who has done a bunch of wonderful TV shows. All a lot of fun, all very positive and informative … plus they all leave you very hungry! We basically follow Chang and a different famous friend per episode, as they eat their way through breakfast, lunch, and dinner in different cities around the world. Simple & effective! There are episodes with Seth Rogen, Lena Waite, Kate Mkinon and more, plus if you enjoy this show you can then go check out Ugly Delicious .. you’re in for a treat!
Mix a travel show, a game show and a couple of comedians, what do you get? Well, pretty much this show actually. British comedian Romesh Ranganathan reluctantly travels to Sri Lanka because his mother bullies him into it. There he meets his relatives and learns about his parents' country, culture, religion and language. It’s really uplifting and pretty damn funny too!
Downtown and Z Boys
Regardless of whether you’re into skateboarding, have a mild interest in it, or simply don’t understand why anyone would want to do it … you’ll still probably enjoy this documentary. For one it’s got a killer soundtrack! It also explores the pioneering of skateboarding in the 1970s and the evolving of the sport. Using original film of the Zephyr skateboard team (Z-Boys) shot by Craig Stecyk makes this a beautiful ride really worth hoping on! The rest of the interviews & trivia just make it all the more enjoyable.
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey
This was one of the most talked about documentaries coming out of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and for very good reason, it follows Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind the Sesame Street character Elmo and looks at how it become such a global sensation! As you would expect it’s both funny and inspiring!
Blue Planet/Planet Earth
I mean these really need very little explanation! If you want to be soothed by David Attenborughs voice whilst being reminded of how incredible planet earth is, then look no further! There's a bunch on Netflix too, so happy viewing!
We would love to hear if there's any documentaries you think are more deserving of the Smiley approval! Why not get in touch through any of our Social Media channels!