As we head towards Easter, there are some truly Easter-egg-cellent movies that you’ll want to have on deck.
We have kid movies, those that take place during the holiday, and those that are famous for being shown each year at Easter time (because tradition). From classics to modern, animated to live-action, we have you covered with some great Easter offerings this holiday.
If you are looking for something that pays tribute to the holiday, Easter Parade from 1948 is a must-see. Not only is it a fun storyline set to music, it features some of the best performers of the day in Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Ann Miller, and Peter Lawford.
The story follows Don, played by Astaire, as he searches for a new dance partner. He runs into Hannah after deciding he can teach anyone to dance and chooses her as his new partner on the night before Easter. Hannah becomes frustrated with his efforts to style her in his old partner’s mold, and also falls in love with him. The two encounter many romantic problems even when they start to succeed as dance partners. The highlight is Garland singing the title song.
The Ten Commandments
Another Easter tradition for many is watching The Ten Commandments, which is broadcast by ABC yearly. While it doesn’t deal with Easter directly, we still have a biblical connection in the story of Moses, hence its popularity.
The film follows the story of Moses from when he’s set on the river to save his life, through his almost-rise to Pharaoh, to the exodus of his people out of Egypt. This epic film is a must-see and the sets are breathtaking. Charlton Heston’s performance as Moses shows his great range and Yul Brynner is commanding as his role as Rameses.
The Sound of Music
NBC’s answer for a movie to run opposite The Ten Commandments was The Sound of Music – a masterpiece that’s worth a watch this time, or anytime, of year.
This musical revolves around Maria, played by the incomparable Julie Andrews, who is sent as a governess for Captain Von Trapp’s seven children. As she bonds with them and finds herself falling for the Captain, she realizes she’s never going to be a nun like originally planned. Add in the complication of WWII and the stakes get higher as the family needs to flee the country.
For something kid-friendly that taps into the bunny aspect of the holiday, Peter Rabbit is a great choice. Based on the story by Beatrix Potter, we see this classic tale come to life.
Peter Rabbit can’t seem to keep out of Mr. McGregor’s garden and taking his delicious vegetables. When the old man suffers a heart attack, his great nephew Thomas inherits the property to kick off a whole new battle with the rabbit. Things get complicated when Peter’s friend Bea and Thomas begin to fall in love.
This bunny movie is another interesting one to add to your watch list because it features the story of the Easter Bunny, and his son who is next in line to take over the family business.
Russell Brand voices the teenage son of the Easter Bunny, who goes to Hollywood and is determined to make it as a drummer – a cool lighthearted mixture of animation and live-action are used to tell the story.
The Greatest Story Ever Told
If you are looking for something to hit on the religious origin of the holiday, this is the movie to watch. At almost four and a half hours long, this one is a time commitment for sure. Charlton Heston stars here as John the Baptist and you will see Claude Rains in his last movie role as King Herod.
The film ambitiously tackles the entire life of Jesus, hence the long runtime. It touches on the major points of his life from his birth, baptism, ministry, betrayal, crucifixion and resurrection.
For another bunny film that doesn’t directly feature Easter, check out Zootopia. This animated movie features some great voice talents, such as Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, and Idris Elba.
The story revolves around a bunny with big dreams to become the first bunny cop. She is quickly undervalued in the big city and given the undesirable task of “meter maid” since they don’t take her seriously. When she insists on taking part in the missing animals case, she teams up with a fox to find the missing mammals.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
This classic switches gears a bit, but it does hit on another key element of Easter – candy! This 1971 version surpasses the Johnny Depp counterpart, but you could throw on both if you’re feeling it. The songs and Gene Wilder’s performance in the original are better, but it is interesting to see Depp’s take on the character.
The story takes us on a magical ride through a chocolate factory along with five lucky children who found the golden tickets. Inside we find treats beyond our wildest dreams and a chocolatier who skirts the edges of sanity. Just check out the boat scene below, which famously freaked out the kids as he was doing it.
Bringing things back to more recent movies and a direct connection to Easter, Risen from 2016 pulls us back into the story of Jesus. This film focuses on the mystery of his disappearance.
Tasked with investigating what happened to Jesus’s body after the crucifixion, Clavius, played by Joseph Finnes, and his aide Lucius, played by Tom Felton, attempt to disprove the rumors that he rose from the dead.