Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Best Easter Movies Of All Time Ranked

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

As springtime rolls around, people look forward to sunshine, fresh flowers, and the fun holidays celebrated at the beginning of the year. But while varying crowds might prefer Valentine's Day or St. Patrick's Day, it's Easter that feels like the most family-friendly early year celebration. Originating as a Christian festivity, Easter Sunday has become the fifth most popular holiday in the United States, according to a 2015 Harris poll

Although many individuals participate in the holiday for religious worship, there's another side to the celebration — one that continues to grow via egg hunts, decorations, overflowing baskets and a holiday mascot second only to Santa: The Easter Bunny.

While the history of the Bunny is generally unknown, some historians believe the symbolism of rabbits has its roots in Paganism and a connection between springtime and fertility. Thousands of years later, modern-day kids get together with friends and family to exchange baskets of treats and search for brightly-colored eggs hidden by a giant, magical rabbit — much like Christmas, a significant departure for many from the holiday's original meaning. But indulging in chocolate eggs and chicken-shaped marshmallows isn't the only way people celebrate with their loved ones; like Christmas, there are multiple beloved, family-friendly movies about Easter. Here's a look at some of the best bunny tales.

12. Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo (2003)

Pooh and the gang are back to celebrate Easter, or try their best, when faced with opposition from miserly old Rabbit. In this cute movie, the A.A. Milne characters offer a twist on the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol," but as an Easter tale. When Roo, Pooh, and the gang try to celebrate the holiday with Rabbit, they find out he would rather celebrate Spring Cleaning Day. Telling the story through the eyes of young, innocent Roo, the past, present, and future all come together to teach Rabbit a valuable lesson about the holiday.

Since the film is based on the Dickens' novel, Disney revisits one of its classic animation techniques, utilizing an actual storybook. The characters literally jump out of the pages as they move between the past, present, and future, delivering a heartwarming, nostalgic feel to the story.

11. The Dog Who Saved Easter (2014)

The 2010s were filled with all sorts of movies about sentient, talking dogs, so of course there's a talking dog movie about Easter. "The Dog Who Saved Easter" is exactly what you would expect: a lighthearted flick following on the heels of "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," cute and breezy and easily forgotten by the time the end credits finish rolling.  

"Easter" tells the story of Zeus (a yellow lab voiced by Mario Lopez), who is trying to save the day when evil cat people attempt to sabotage a doggy daycare. Does he succeed? Well, he'd better — this pooch has plenty of experience saving holidays, as previously seen in 2009's "The Dog Who Saved Christmas," 2010's "The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation," 2011's "The Dog Who Saved Halloween" and 2012's "The Dog Who Saved the Holidays." As if all that wasn't enough, after his Easter exploits Zeus would return once more for 2015's "The Dog Who Saved Summer."

Sure, the film is made for younger audiences and has plenty of physical comedy and sight gags. But in terms of originality, the film has about as much as its tagline: "It's an eggcellent adventure!"

10. Peter Rabbit (2018) and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021)

This box office-topping adaptation of Beatrix Potter's storybook series employs heavy CGI and an overabundance of James Corden to explore the generational feud between farmers and rabbits. Reminiscent of the "Paddington" movies in look and tone (if not, unfortunately, quality of scripts), "Peter Rabbit" (and its 2021 diminishing-returns sequel, "Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway") boast names like Rose Byrne, Domnhall Gleeson and David Oyelowo, alongside the voices of folks like Margot Robbie, Sia and Hayley Atwell and Cordon as the titular garden-raider. 

The first film follows a band of rebellious rabbits as they try to sneak into the garden of farmer McGregor (Gleeson) — this time, with a surrogate human mother in Byrne. In the sequel, the two human leads have married and live happily alongside the bunnies — but Peter's journey to the big city causes trouble.

Although the films are primarily live-action, there are segments that break into a traditional animation in the same style as Potter's original illustrations; this softens the edges of plotlines which frequently rely on toilet humor and slaps to the face. Your mileage may vary depending on whether you find Corden entertaining, but there is little arguing with Gleeson's fine, slapsticky work in the first film, bound to get kids howling with laughter.

9. Hank and Mike (2008)

In a complete 180-turn for the realm of "Peter Rabbit" and talking dogs, "Hank and Mike" is an Easter black comedy for an older crowd. 

The flick follows Hank and Mike, two blue-collar Bunnies in a world where hard-drinking, stubble-faced Easter enablers is a reality. When they are suddenly fired from their Easter Bunny jobs, the two must venture into a cold, uncaring world with no tangible skills, searching for new careers in their pink suits and floppy ears. Featuring supporting work from the likes of Chris Klein and Joe Mantegna, the flick feels like "Bad Santa" meets "Shakes the Clown."

Although the film is a comedy, it dabbles in themes like depression and low self-esteem. Hank and Mike aren't necessarily likable characters, but they're grounded in reality, albeit a sometimes depressing one. A commentary on the working class and a dark comedy that earns its R rating, "Hank and Mike" is like receiving a tiny adult beverage bottle in your Easter basket — tuck it away for after the kids go to sleep, and it could be a good way for the grownups to decompress. 

8. Pieces of Easter (2013)

With so many Hallmark-style Christmas comedies, there's bound to be one about Easter, and that's where "Pieces of Easter" comes in. 

The story is a classic example of two people from different worlds teaching each other what's most important in life — in typical Hallmark fashion. On one side, you've got a stuffy businesswoman from the city, and on the other, you have a reclusive — yet handsome — farmer. Despite it not being a romantic comedy, "Pieces" follows many of the corny romance cliches you'd expect — yet somehow, you might find yourself rooting for the two leads to get together in the end. A light, family-friendly watch, some might find the film cheesy, but when you're in the right mood, cheese can make any meal delicious.

Sure, there are a million different variations on this film throughout Hallmark history, not to mention the larger realm of low-budget filmmaking. But if you're looking for something to watch with your mom, you could do worse.

7. Miss Potter (2006)

When planning your Easter viewing party, don't forget this sweet biopic about the creator of "Peter Rabbit," starring Renee Zellweger in a largely forgotten but no less impressive performance than many of her classic films.

This romantic drama would play well with older kids in your family, telling the story of a turn-of-the-20th century female author balancing her search for love with a desire to launch a career in a male-dominated industry. The film is directed by Chris Noonan, marking his first directorial effort in more than a decade since "Babe" became an unexpected Oscar-nominated hit, and "Potter" has a similar pervasive sweetness that feels particularly appropriate for the Easter holiday.

Co-starring the likes of Ewan McGregor and Emily Watson, the film could make a great double feature with "Peter Rabbit," first taking a look at what Potter's creation has become in the 21st century, and then looking back on the woman who first envisioned such a sweet, mischievous, heartwarming world.

6. Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Yes, it wasn't a huge box office success — but sometimes, that just means it's ripe for reevaluation. And yes, it isn't technically an Easter film — but any film that reimagines the Easter Bunny as an action hero deserves to be considered at this time of year.

"Rise of the Guardians" brings the Bunny (voiced by Hugh Jackman) together alongside Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, Jack Frost, and the sandman, presenting a world where they work together, Avengers-style, to protect the world's children when an evil spirit launches an attack. This time around, the Easter Bunny has a lean, athletic build and an Australian accent — alongside a long-held grudge against Jack Frost (Chris Pine), leading to a fun dynamic between the two immortal figures.

Unfortunately, the film's animation style harkens back to the earlier days of cartoon CGI, giving some of its shots a distinctively soulless, "Polar Express"-like quality. Still, it's quite imaginative, and a voice cast featuring Jackman and Pine alongside Isla Fisher, Jude Law and Alec Baldwin has personality to spare. An unintended side effect is that "Guardians" might start getting you in the Christmas mood — and it's never too early for that.

5. The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town (1977)

Between the late 1960s and mid '80s, Rankin/Bass Productions found a place in children's hearts with its warm, playful stop-motion clay animation. Although 1977's "The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town" wouldn't prove to be as popular as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" or "The Year Without a Santa Claus," it is no less worth an annual watch. 

This 50 minute made-for-television movie explores the unorthodox origin story of the Easter Bunny. Based in Kidville (a town run by orphaned children), we see the one-year-old rabbit team up with his orphaned friends to help liberate a young boy from his dreary town. Through the power of colored eggs and jellybeans, the childless town is freed from its oppressive dictatorship and finally becomes able to celebrate Easter.

This Easter special is full of fun, original songs and even features the voice of the legendary Fred Astaire. 

4. Hop (2011)

Yeah, it has a scene with James Marsden singing Bow Wow Wow that will make you wince in embarrassment — but if you're looking for the best modern, family-friendly Easter entertainment out there, "Hop" is the gold (egg) standard.

The flick tells a charming tale filled with square pegs trying to fit into round holes. We meet E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand), the Easter Bunny's ne'er-do-well teenage son, who decides he doesn't want to follow in his dad's footsteps. Instead, he longs to pursue life as a rock 'n' roll drummer in Hollywood. E.B. becomes fast friends with Fred (Marsden, endearingly playing against type), a lovable, unemployed loser looking for direction. This being a movie primarily aimed at kids, of course there's also a subplot involving the Easter Bunny battling an army of baby chicks that want to take over his domain.

Featuring fun supporting turns from the likes of Kaley Cuoco, Gary Cole and Chelsea Handler, the flick is a lot of fun. Besides, how many movies have memorable scenes with both the Blind Boys of Alabama and David Hasselhoff?

From the creators of "Despicable Me," "Hop" hits every mark on the Easter checklist, with a modern twist. It's a bright, visually-impressive feat of CGI animation with an empowering message for kids — and perhaps, unemployed dudes still mooching off their parents.

3. Easter Parade (1948)

Thirty years before Fred Astaire was lending his voice to "The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town," he appeared opposite Judy Garland in this high-kicking, ebullient take on an Irving Berlin classic, billed as "The Happiest Musical Ever Made."

Nearly three-quarters of a century later, it's still hard to argue with the joys of sitting down and revisiting Hollywood's golden age of cinema. "Easter Parade" begins the day before Easter in 1911, when Broadway star Don Hewes' dancing partner 9and love interest) decides to go solo. Crushed by the loss, Hewes vows to make the next dancer he sees a star in time for the following season's Easter parade. Of course, he falls madly in love with her, further complicating matters. Garland and Astaire shine in their roles, with the type of chemistry you'd expect from two titans of the medium.

"Easter Parade" combines all the elements of a timeless Hollywood musical, showcasing incredible song and dance. But caveat emptor: this film is guaranteed to have its songs stuck in your head long after the last Easter egg has been found.

2. Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971)

Another Rankin/Bass classic (albeit far less gloomy than "The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town"), this early-'70s effort uses the studio's classic clay animation style for a distinct, friendly vibe that would make it perfect for any Easter family viewing party. 

"Cottontail" follows the story of Peter Cottontail, the Easter Bunny's successor. When Peter is chosen to be the next big Easter boss, January Q. Irontail — a vindictive, recluse rabbit — challenges him to a race for the job. Like the fable of "The Hare and the Tortoise," Peter falls asleep, losing the competition, but that's not where the story ends. When Peter is approached by a strange man with a time machine that can set everything right, the story really goes in some crazy directions, and it's an imaginative, fun watch that adds a unique twist to the holiday.

1. It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (1974)

Sure, it doesn't have the same name recognition as 1965's "A Charlie Brown Christmas," 1966's "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" or even 1985's "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," but this mid-'70s Easter special proves once again that there's a Charles Schulz television special for every major holiday (if you need further proof, look to 1976's "It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown"), and it deserves a place alongside the best "Peanuts" efforts.

"It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown" follows the gang as they try — and often fail — to celebrate Easter. Between Peppermint Patty and Marcie attempting to color Easter eggs and Linus believing in the Easter Beagle rather than the Easter Bunny, this animated special has some solid laughs for viewers of all ages.

When firing on all cylinders, the "Charlie Brown" animated specials capture a nostalgic, timeless experience like none other, blending a soundtrack that plays like a warm blanket on a snowy day with cute, simple, hand-drawn animation that speaks to the egg-hunting, bunny-loving child in all of us.