Although Easter usually comes in at number five on the list of American’s favorite holidays, it’s always been one of my favorites because it was a special holiday that I spent with my grandparents.
In addition to hunting for eggs that my grandfather would dutifully hide and rehide for me dozens of times, we watched movies together.
This list of Easter movies contains some of my all-time favorites from those weekends with my grandparents. There are a few of my kids’ favorites on this list, as well.
6 Animated Religious Themed Easter Movies
VeggieTales: An Easter Carol (2004)
When it comes to the best Easter movies for kids, you just can’t beat Veggie Tales. They came a little after my time, so they weren’t something I ever watched as a child, but my kids loved them, and while I didn’t get much enjoyment from them,
I loved that they had good Christian themes and values. This particular made-for-video children’s film takes Charles Dickens’ famous story A Christmas Carol and retells it, only with an Easter theme. It’s sweet and adorable, and your younger children are sure to love it.
VeggieTales: ‘Twas the Night before Easter’ (2011)
This is another excellent Easter movie for kids who love Veggie Tales. In her quest to put on the perfect Easter pageant, Marlee Meade decides to kidnap a singer of great renown to play the lead role.
Her intentions – to save a doomed theater – are good, but her methods aren’t, and in trying to do the right thing for Easter, she forgets the true nature of the holiday altogether.
If your children are currently going through that stage where they think the ends always justify the means, this is a perfect one to watch.
Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002)
While this one isn’t exactly an Easter movie, it’s still a great one for the Veggie Tales lovers in your home.
It was actually V.T.’s first full-length animated feature film, and it was done in 3D, which makes it even cooler. Instead of being about Easter, it features some of the best V.T. characters – Bob, Larry, and all the rest – and tells the story of Jonah and the whale.
It covers themes of forgiveness, second chances, and redemption, and all-in-all, it’s just a terrific story.
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
This is another film that’s not specifically related to Easter, but after it came out in my eighth-grade year, my grandmother and I watched it every year during our Easter holiday.
Released by Dreamworks, it features the voices of such notable talent as Sandra Bullock, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ralph Fiennes, Sir Patrick Stewart, Jeff Goldblum, and Val Kilmer. The Prince of Egypt tells the entire story of Moses – from his time spent as a baby in a basket to the days of parting the Red Sea and receiving the ten commandments.
It features a lot of great music and is a really good way to teach your younger children about the story of Moses.
Joseph: King of Dreams (2000)
If you’re looking for Easter movies on Netflix, check out this lesser-known prequel to The Prince of Egypt.
While many people don’t know it, it was a favorite in my house, especially around Easter. This movie also features a few big names covering the voices, including Ben Affleck and Mark Hamill.
It’s set quite some time before The Prince of Egypt’s events, telling instead the story of Joseph, his coat of many colors, and the brothers who sold him into slavery in Egypt.
The Miracle Maker: The Story of Jesus (2000)
This film also features Ralph Fiennes’ voice as one of the main characters – the voice of Christ, in fact – and unlike the two Dreamworks films, this one really does relate to Easter. I was always torn on this one because I don’t love its claymation style.
The characters look too much like dolls to me, but the message is good. It stays very true to the biblical account of Christ’s ministry, his crucifixion, and his resurrection.
There’s nothing super graphic, but the story is told accurately, so be aware of the sensitive areas if you’re watching with younger children.
9 Non-Religious Animated Easter Movies
The Easter Egg Adventure (2004)
This is one of the first Easter films I remember my son and I watching together, and I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for it.
It’s a bit of a crime caper/whodunnit, and it has all the famous Easter symbols – bunnies, chickens, and basically a whole town dedicated to having a giant Easter egg hunt.
If your kids like a mystery but aren’t quite ready for James Bond, this is a good one for them.
The Easter Bunny is Comin’ to Town (1977)
I know this has been an Easter classic since its premiere in the 70s, but I’ve never really loved it as much as I love some of the others.
Surprisingly, though, my son – a child of the 2000s – adores the movie, and it’s one of the first he pulls out every Easter. It’s done in traditional stop-motion animation and features Fred Astaire as the narrator.
It takes place over several Easter holidays, with Sunny the Easter Bunny returning to a town year after year to try to put things in order and restore the rightful ruler to his place.
Although it was never my cup of tea, I do love one particular scene that seeks to explain why people color their Easter eggs even today. (Don’t worry! I won’t spoil it!)
Dora the Explorer: The Egg Hunt (2004)
This season two episode was Dora’s first-ever Easter special, and it finds Dora and Boots searching for 12 hidden Easter eggs that Swiper the Fox swiped and hid.
As adults, we know what the Easter season is really about, but for many children, Easter is all about the egg hunt, and the egg hunt in this cartoon looks like a lot of fun.
Dora and her friends find 11 of the 12 eggs and open them to find them filled with fun, exciting prizes. They finally find the last egg, a big golden one, at Grandma’s House, and it’s the biggest, most prize-filled egg of all.
Easter Yeggs (1947)
At only seven minutes long, this is one of the shortest entries on our list, but even so, it’s one of my favorites.
In it, Bugs Bunny gets tricked by the Easter Bunny into delivering Easter eggs, and between angry, spoiled children and a trip to Elmer Fudd’s house, Bugs gets more trouble than he wanted.
The short cartoon ends with Bugs “returning the favor” to the Easter Bunny who tricked him in the first place.
Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971)
A lot of children have probably seen 2005’s Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie, but unless you introduced them to it, they probably missed out on this original version from 1971.
Based on the book The Easter Bunny Who Overslept by Priscilla and Otto Friedrich and done in stop-motion animation style, this is a true classic.
This follows the irresponsible Peter Cottontail desperately trying to deliver eggs on every imaginable holiday to win back the title of Chief Easter Bunny and save Easter from destruction by an evil bunny who despises both children and Easter.
Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie (2005)
The 2005 version of Here Comes Peter Cottontail is more of a sequel than a remake. The evil bunny Irontail, defeated by Peter in the original 1971 film, is back and bent on revenge.
He teams up with Jackie Frost in order to plunge the world into permanent winter, thereby eliminating Easter altogether, and it’s up to Peter Cottontail’s son, Junior, and his unlikely friends to stop him.
Your children will probably enjoy the animation style much better in this more up-to-date film, and they may even recognize a few of the voices (Miranda Cosgrove, Kenan Thompson, and Christopher Lloyd).
Still, my suggestion is that you watch the two of them together because nothing beats the original.
Rise Of the Guardians (2012)
You may already have Rise of the Guardians on your must-watch list for Christmas, but don’t miss out on it around the Easter holidays either.
Of all the “newer” holiday movies, this is one of my favorites. I love how it brings all the traditional holiday “heroes” – Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc. – together to save the world from imminent darkness.
It also has a lot of great voice talent in the form of Chris Pine, Jude Law, Alec Baldwin, and Hugh Jackman. It’s one of my favorite kid movies of all time.
It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (1974)
Even though it was made in the 70s and is only 30 minutes long, Charlie Brown’s Easter special is one of my favorite Easter movies for kids.
The Peanuts gang is just so heartwarming and nostalgic and watching one of their holiday specials has this magical ability to transport you back to childhood.
Plus, even today’s kids can appreciate the lovable Snoopy, the down-on-his-luck Charlie, and the rest of the gang. If you or your children love The Great Pumpkin, consider popping in The Easter Beagle this Easter.
Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade (2016)
Ever wonder how the tradition of hunting for eggs first arose? According to The Great Egg-Scapade, it’s because of a prehistoric egg thief!
This is an adorable, family friendly easter movie that features the lovable Ice Age gang, with the already silly Sid put in the position of egg-sitting nanny. When the eggs in his care get stolen, the gang has to retrieve them, spawning the first-ever Easter egg hunt.
At only 25 minutes long, this is a great little short to watch between egg hunts this holiday season.
2 Non-Easter Animated Movies with Lots of Bunnies
While technically not an Easter film, Zootopia is full to the brim with bunnies, making it a great one to watch on Easter Sunday.
In it, an unappreciated bunny cop, voiced by one of my all-time favorites Ginnifer Goodwin, teams up with a cunning fox con artist to save their city.
It’s packed with an all-star voice cast including Jason Bateman, Octavia Spencer, Tommy Chong, and Idris Elba, and it’s one of the cutest movies I’ve ever seen.
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
This is another cartoon that has nothing at all to do with Easter, but my grandparents and I watched it together every Easter, and so far, I’ve still been able to present it to my kids as “an Easter classic” thanks to the prevalence of the White Rabbit and the March Hare.
Truthfully, I think they’re old enough to know the truth, but they keep watching it with me anyway because they know it’s my favorite Disney movie of all time. Between the bunnies and all the bright colors, it’s a pretty easy sell for Easter fun.
7 Live-Action Easter Movies For Kids
Peter Rabbit (2018)
If you’ve never read your children Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit, you need to do so! It’s one of the best, sweetest, and most warmhearted children’s books there is.
This live-action/CGI flick takes a little liberty with the source material, and it features a lot more comedy than the original book, but it’s still great.
It doesn’t focus specifically on Easter, but there are dozens of rabbits in it, and each one is cuter than the last. Plus, James Corden is absolutely brilliant as the voice of Peter Rabbit.
Irving Berlin’s Easter Parade (1948)
Easter Parade might be a bit of a hard sell for children, especially very young children, but it’s a great classic Easter movie.
Starring the incredible, unbeatable combination of Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, you already know it’s going to feature some great music and dance numbers.
It’s a dazzling look at classic Broadway that includes plenty of Easter traditions and a little bit of child-safe romance. This one may be a bit more for you than for your kids, but the catchy songs might be enough to draw them in.
The Dog Who Saved Easter (2014)
If you have a house full of animal lovers, this is one of the best Easter films for families there is. The main character, Zeus, is a gorgeous golden retriever, and it seems as though there’s a movie featuring him for just about every holiday these days.
This is the fifth film in the six-movie franchise, and Zeus, once again, has to save the family home from robbers while his humans are gone. There’s plenty of furry adorableness and even a stockpile of projectile Easter eggs. What’s not to love?!
Bruce Almighty (2003)
As far as Christians are concerned, this is a pretty polarizing film. Some see it as sacrilege, while others, myself included, find it a lighthearted comedy with a good underlying message.
Bruce, played by the hilarious Jim Carrey, feels that God is treating him unfairly, and in a scene somewhat reminiscent of the book of Job, God comes down and asks him if he thinks he can do better.
God gives Bruce his powers, and Bruce, of course, misuses them. In the end, though, he realizes that people’s prayers are being neglected and understands the importance of God, faith, prayer, and accepting God’s will, even when it doesn’t align with his wishes.
It’s not Easter-themed, but it’s a good Easter flick nonetheless.
Evan Almighty (2007)
Despite my true and deep love for all things Steve Carrell and Morgan Freeman, this sequel to Bruce Almighty fell a little flat to me.
The actors, including Lauren Graham as the wife of Carrell’s Evan, all do a great job, but this one just doesn’t hit the same stride as the original.
Still, it’s a cute, modern-day retelling of the biblical story of Noah and the Arc, and it’s a fun follow-up to Bruce Almighty if you want a movie marathon this Easter.
I Can Only Imagine (2018)
Oh, man. I watched this tear-jerker once, and once was enough for me. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a fantastic film, but I sobbed just about all the way through it and had a headache for days afterward, thanks to all the tears.
If you, like millions of others, are a fan of MercyMe’s Christian hit “I Can Only Imagine,” you’ll probably enjoy this true story, which follows the troubled life of MercyMe’s lead singer.
Maybe it isn’t one of your most typical Easter movies, but as far as movies with good Christian messages go, this one is amazing.
It takes a realistic look at the hardships and troubles we all have to face in life and reminds us to keep our faith throughout it all.
This is one of my all-time favorite Easter movies on Netflix. It’s a little live-action, a little animation, and a whole lot of fun. It tells the story of E.B., short for Easter Bunny.
He’s an adorable little bunny whose father is dead-set on having him inherit his candy company. Since the character of E.B. is voiced by Russell Brand, it’s probably no surprise that E.B. would rather run off to L.A. to become a famous drummer.
Appropriate hilarity ensues, especially after E.B. gets hit by a car and moves in with the man who hit him (played by James Marsden), who also dreams of becoming a “human” Easter bunny.
11 Live-Action Religious Easter Epics
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
In terms of the best “Christian Easter Movie”, this one has to rank somewhere near the top. However, in terms of the best Easter movies for families, it’s a little iffy.
It doesn’t have a lot of gore or violence, despite some of the violent acts that take place in the biblical Gospels. But it’s long – over four hours for the original, a little over three for the edited version – and may not be all that easy for kids to finish.
It features a lot of big-named 1960’s talent, including Charlton Heston, Max von Sydow, Claude Rains, and even John Wayne.
The film remains fairly truthful to the biblical stories of Jesus’s birth, death, and resurrection. Even so, you may want to wait until the kids are a little older to pull this one out for Holy week.
The Ten Commandments (1956)
If you’re hoping to introduce your kids to some of the older, more biblically accurate Bible movies this Easter, The Ten Commandments is a great place to start.
It, too, stars Charlton Heston as Moses, but this one is a little more palatable for the younger generation. (It is just about as long as The Greatest Story Ever Told, however.)
The film is a fantastic dramatization of the book of Exodus. It depicts a world before the time of Jesus and tells the story of Moses as he was trying to lead his people out of Egypt.
Ben Hur (1959)
Although this epic, three and a half-hour film isn’t taken from the Bible, it does contain powerful biblical themes.
It also showcases the story of Jesus’ crucifixion as told through the eyes of a fictional character named Ben-Hur.
It stars none other than – you guessed it – Charlton Heston, and it’s a beautiful, heartbreaking look at the life of a wrongfully imprisoned man who eventually helps Jesus carry his cross.
It’s powerful, but parts of it are hard to watch. You probably won’t get children younger than teens interested in it just yet.
If you are hoping to get your teens interested in Ben-Hur this Easter holiday, you might want to try the 2016 version starring Jack Huston instead of the 1959 version with Heston.
It tells the same great story, but the actors are more familiar to today’s generation, and the cinematography, graphics, and special effects are also more relatable to a younger audience.
If you’re looking for a biblical-themed epic that tells the Easter story and also has enough Game of Thrones and The Witcher-level action and hardcore battle scenes to keep your teens invested in it, you might think you’d be out of luck. You’d be wrong.
Risen takes place after Jesus has already been placed in the tomb and follows an unbelieving soldier’s journey to track down his body to prove that he’s really dead and that the body’s been stolen. Instead, he finds the exact opposite, and his whole world is turned upside down.
The Robe (1953)
This film is another oldie, but as evidenced by its winning three of the five Academy Awards for which it was nominated, it’s a great film.
It follows the story of Marcellus Gallio, one of the men who helped crucify Jesus. After the crucifixion, he receives the robe Jesus was wearing, and it starts to have an almost supernatural effect on him.
He can’t overcome the guilt he has for his part in the torture and crucifixion of Jesus and eventually turns to the one person who might be able to help him – Jesus. His subsequent conversion to Christianity finally brings him peace.
Jesus of Nazareth (1977)
This is actually a miniseries, not a feature film, so if you plan to watch it on Easter, you might want to start it several days ahead of the holiday so that you can finish it up on Easter day.
Most of the hardcore violent scenes have been removed, but there’s still a little violence in the film, so be careful if you plan to watch with young children.
It follows the story of Jesus’ life, and because it’s stretched into a miniseries, there’s plenty of time to be detailed. It’s well done, and it brings the story of Jesus’ life onto the screen, making it more accessible than ever.
Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
Originally a popular Broadway play by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, this adaptation was made for the big screen. It has a very 70’s flair to it, complete with men in purple tank tops, women with giant white afros made of feathers, and plenty of bell bottoms.
The cast is good, though, and the songs that made the musical so popular sound just as great in the film. Its ‘G’-rating makes it pretty suitable for most ages, but remember, the story being told has some violent moments by necessity.
Son of God (2014)
If you’re looking for a great account of Jesus’ life but don’t want to pull out the 1977 Jesus of Nazareth miniseries, check out this 2014 film adaptation instead.
It’s adapted from the popular The Bible miniseries, and it tells the story of his life from beginning to end and the resurrection that followed.
It’s beautifully done, and the production value is impressive enough that even Generation Z kids should appreciate it.
Despite its all-star cast of Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connolly, and Emma Watson, this is another biblical film that is very polarizing for viewers.
While it does tell the popular biblical story of Noah and the Ark, it leaves out and adds in some very distinct features, causing some Christians to take strong issue with it.
I chose to watch it as pure entertainment, as I would watch any film or television show, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.
It’s not exactly an Easter themed movie, but if you’re looking for a big-budget blockbuster with underlying Christian elements to watch with the family this Easter, you might want to give this one a shot.
The Bible: In the Beginning… (1966)
Although this film isn’t Easter-specific, it’s still one of my all-time favorite Easter movies. I call it an Easter movie because my family and I watched it every Easter and still do to this day.
This movie is pretty much exactly what the title says it is. It’s a dramatization of the first 22 books of the Bible. It covers some of the most notable biblical events, including the creation of Adam and Eve, Cain slaying his brother Abel, Noah and the Ark, and more. The cinematography is a bit dated, but it’s still a wonderful movie.
Whether you’re looking for something sweet, religious, funny, or even a little hard to watch this Easter weekend, hopefully, this list has given you a place to start.
I’ve tried to add a little bit of something for everyone. Just remember that not all Easter movies are the heartfelt spiritual films you expect to see on Easter, so pick your titles accordingly.