Just like with Christmas, many people stoke the flames of their holiday spirit by watching movies. Thankfully, many of the big-named holidays have films for just about anybody, and Easter is no exception. Easter movies come in just as many genres and packages as the colorful eggs that children love to hunt for and paint on the holiday itself, and these are just 21 of the best ones out there.
Easter Films for the Whole Family
From animated classics to period dramas, these family-friendly movies are great flicks to turn on during your Easter holiday. You can leave them running in the background while you try to remember where you hid that last Easter egg or sit down together after your filling Easter feast. Either way, there are dozens of these Easter films to pick from that your whole family can sit down and enjoy.
Here Comes Peter Cottontail
A 1971 holiday staple, Here Comes Peter Cottontail is a claymation television special created by legendary production company Rankin/Bass. Perfect to keep younger kids entertained, this movie follows Petter Cottontail as he takes charge of Easter celebrations as the new Chief Easter Bunny and uses a time machine to try to save Easter by undoing a grave mistake he made.
Winnie the Pooh: Springtime With Roo
This 2004 animated film is Pooh Bear at his best. Hand-drawn animation mimics the vintage feeling of Winnie the Pooh's original mid-century films, and the voice actors bring everyone's childhood favorites back to life. In this specific movie, you get to watch the 100 Acre Woods gang reenact A Christmas Carol with Rabbit playing the ever-fitting Scrooge set against an Easter backdrop.
It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown
Admittedly not the best installment in the Charlie Brown film series, this animated special from 1974 can still be charming. Fans of Charlie Brown will know that this special focuses on the Peanuts characters as they prepare for Easter and fight over whether the great 'Easter Beagle' is real.
The First Easter Rabbit
Rankin/Bass brings another sentimental holiday film to your screens with this 1976 one. Based on Margery Williams' famous and heart-wrenching children's story, The Velveteen Rabbit, this film follows a stuffed rabbit's fantastical journey to becoming more than just a stuffed animal and the hijinks that ensue.
This modern take on the Peter Rabbit story details one scrappy rabbit's adventures terrorizing a man's garden and the man's desperate attempts to rid his garden of this rabbity brood. Taking full advantage of modern CGI technology, this film brings a literary character--often conflated with the Easter holiday--to life.
The Prince of Egypt
This unconventional Easter film is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful animated films to come out of the 1990s animation Renaissance. Likewise, it's a great film with an award-winning score that depicts the tale of Moses and the release of the Israelites from slavery. If you celebrate Passover or want a different perspective on the typical Christian holiday, this film is a great one for you and your family to watch.
Rise of the Guardians
Dreamworks' Rise of the Guardians was a huge success when it was released in 2012. With an all-star voice cast, this adventurous film brings all sorts of holiday characters together to fight the darkness that's creeping into the world. Peep one specific brightly colored scene as this film's Easter Bunny--Bunnymund--bounces around his proverbial workshop and prepares eggs for Easter.
If you've ever been pushed by someone into a career or activity that just never felt right for you, then you can relate to this 2011 film's main character, E.B. This bunny with big dreams to become a rock drummer flees his responsibilities to create all of the world's Easter candy, drags a human along for the ride, and learns to take charge of his destiny when it's threatened in the way that fits for him in this lighthearted comedy.
The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town
Rankin/Bass Productions made a name for itself with the sheer number of holiday films that it cranked out over a couple of decades in the 20th century, and The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town is another of the company's line-up, released in 1977. Another zany, mid-century trip of a film, you can follow as Rankin/Bass characters--both new and old--create the first Easter traditions in their full claymation glory.
A departure from the largely animated films in this category, Miss Potter is a 2006 biopic that explores Beatrix Potter's life and legacy, with Renée Zellweger bringing this children's literary icon to life. Follow her career as she publishes tales about characters like Peter Rabbit, gains incredible success, and falls in love in this heartwarming movie.
Classic Films to Enjoy Easter Weekend
Turn to the huge breadth of film history to give yourself a little inspiration for which movies to watch over the course of your Easter weekend. These are just a few of the greatest classic films to watch during Eastertime.
Since 1948, Easter Parade has been known as the quintessential Easter movie. Starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, this Irving Berlin musical showcases these two's talents in vivid color as the usual Old Hollywood tropes play out in their character's lives. Once you're done, you're sure to be singing Easter Parade long after Easter is over.
Jesus Christ Superstar
This legendary rock opera from Broadway's talented duo, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, was transformed for a film adaptation just three years after the show had premiered. The 1973 film is a mixture of testimony and sacrilege, all while it belts out tunes that you won't get out of your head anytime soon. Watch as Jesus Christ's life unfolds, and you bear witness to the deeds behind your Easter celebrations--His crucifixion and resurrection.
Rebel Without a Cause
Better known for launching James Dean's posthumous career than for its religious undertones, Rebel Without a Cause has an interesting Easter connection. The film's action is catapulted forward by the trio's interactions following Easter Sunday. So, this loosely related Easter film is the perfect one for people who like to toe the line and want to relive their own youthful minds once again.
Fiddler on the Roof
Another incredibly high acclaimed musical turned movie is Fiddler on the Roof. This adaptation released in 1971 follows one Jewish father in pre-revolution Russia as he struggles with marrying his three daughters off, and you don't have to celebrate Passover to enjoy this musical feature.
When you think of 1953's The Robe, you should call up images of Hollywood epics like Ben Hur and Spartacus in your mind's eye. This classic film explores one soldier's struggles with his participation in Jesus Christ's crucifixion. Make sure to prepare a few bowls of popcorn before sitting down to watch this behemoth, as they just don't make movies like they used to.
If you're from any part of the American South, you can probably recite Steel Magnolias from the heart. Starring icons like Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, and Julia Roberts, this generational film follows a tight-knit group of women's experiences with love, loss, and finding purpose amidst the backdrop of the sweltering state of Louisiana. Great for family get-togethers of all kinds, be sure to pay extra attention during the hilarious Easter egg hunt scene on your Easter Sunday.
Legendary filmmaker, Robert Altman, brings his talents to this 1999 movie, Cookie's Fortune. Follow how one woman's attempt to cover up a suicide based on her own moral proclivities that causes her life, and the lives of those around her, to unravel. Set right before and during Easter weekend, this black comedy is a nice departure from the typical feel-good films of the holiday season.
Horror Films for the Quirky Easter Crowd
If you've lost all of your fondness for the pastels and egg hunts typical for each Easter weekend, then maybe it's time to switch your celebrations up a bit. One way to start is to toss out those typical holiday films and try out one of these Easter horror movies instead.
Beaster Day: Here Comes Peter Cottonhell
With a CGI rabbit that is comically bad enough to make you laugh through its murderous exploits, Beaster Day: Here Comes Peter Cottonhell is a low-budget horror movie that you're sure to not forget. Watch as this stiff-moving beast gorily eats its way through a town, and try not to poke too much fun at it along the way.
Technically, this 2021 limited series isn't a film, but its seven-and-a-half hour runtime makes it perfect for a full Easter weekend binge. Another installment from the talented visionary, Mike Flanagan, this suspenseful series follows a young man with a past that still haunts him as he adjusts to returning home to his isolated island community after some time away. Soon after, a new, mysterious bishop's appearance coincides with a series of supposed miracles whose origin is unveiled on Easter Sunday.
If Bunnyman teaches you anything, it's to never pass a car on the road, as you can watch the main characters quickly discover in this 2011 horror movie. In just the same way that the inexplicable rabbit from Donnie Darko haunts millennials' dreams, the image of this slasher in a bunny suit will stick to the insides of your eyelids after you've finished the film and its sequel.
Featuring a star-studded cast, this 2016 anthology film stitches together several short films, all detailing a different well-known holiday. In each of them, the happy celebrations get turned on their head in a horrific, and sometimes nauseating, way.
Experience Easter Differently This Year
Expand your holiday traditions this year to include a movie marathon or two. Whether it's Halloween, Christmas, or Easter, there's no better way to spend your time celebrating the holiday in a way made for you than by tossing on a themed movie or two.