10 movies to watch with the kids this Easter weekend

From animated hits to some quirky entries, these ten movies will make a great watch for families for Easter weekend!

Peter Rabbit (James Corden) in Columbia Pictures' PETER RABBIT™ 2: THE RUNAWY.
Peter Rabbit (James Corden) in Columbia Pictures' PETER RABBIT™ 2: THE RUNAWY. /

With Easter upon us this weekend, it's a time for families to get together. Sure, some may want to enjoy sports or some classic TV specials, but others may want to binge-watch some family films. As it happens, there are quite a few for the Easter season, most cartoons involving the Easter Bunny or the story of Jesus, which are both fitting.

Yet some movies can be unique as they use the Easter season in inventive ways. Others are a bit less connected, more tied in thanks to rabbits or candy yet can work well. Some are true kids' movies, while others are more for the whole family, but these ten films are just the thing to pop onto the TV and let the whole family bond with some fun Easter entertainment. 

Easter Parade

Osterspaziergang / United Archives/GettyImages

With a title like that, it's obviously a choice for Easter. This wonderful 1948 musical is a perfect storm of Fred Astaire, Judy Garland and Irving Berlin providing one of his greatest scores. Astaire plays a Broadway star who brags he can make anyone his next leading lady. He chooses Garland only to discover she's got two left feet. Nonetheless, they persevere.

With Ann Miller showing her inhuman dance skills, Astaire and Garland fire off songs from the titular tune to "Stepping Out With My Baby" and more. Yes, it ends with an actual parade and nods for the season to be one of the best musicals of its time and a mainstay for this season. 

Easter Parade on DVD and available to buy on Prime Video.


Kaley Cuoco
"Hop" Los Angeles Premiere - Red Carpet / Michael Caulfield/GettyImages

This 2011 animated film plays on the classic idea of a son rebelling against his father's plans for his life. The issue is that E.B. (Russell Brand) happens to be the son of the Easter Bunny and his desire to become a drummer jeopardizes the holiday. He travels into the world, so we get live-action actors like James Marsden and Kaley Cuoco reacting to this talking bunny trying to be a rocker. 

It's a goofy film with the typical hijinks of E.B. clashing with the live actors and uses the Easter theme nicely. There is the message in both E.B. and Marsden teaching the other to accept some responsibility while helping others. It's become a bit of a cult favorite and still retains some fun, so it's worth checking out for the kids. 

Hop streaming on Peacock.

Peter Rabbit

Maybe it doesn't have too much to do with Easter, but what better time to check out an adaptation of the classic children's book? This has a more exciting spin on things as Peter gets kidnapped by the local farmer only for the guy to drop dead. Peter then organizes the farm animals to take over the mansion to face the man's nephew for another mix of CGI animation and live actors.

Purists may chafe at the changes, yet it is pretty fun with a great voice cast of James Corben, Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, and more. The animation is good, there's nice laughs and it inspired a good sequel too. So if you're in the mood for fun with rabbits, this is a good bet for family watching. 

Peter Rabbit streaming on Prime Video.

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments / United Archives/GettyImages

It's not Easter weekend without ABC's annual airing of Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 epic. Charlton Heston plays Moses, born to Hebrew slaves, raised as a prince of Egypt, then exiled when the truth comes out. He returns to become the fabled "Deliverer," freeing them of their bondage. With his booming voice and mannerisms, Heston is captivating.

He's matched by Yul Brynner as Ramses, surrounded by a stunning all-star cast. It can be hokey and campy but also fun for families, even with harrowing bits like the plagues hitting Egypt. There's great pieces like the parting of the Red Sea and a great old-school epic to become an Easter tradition.

The Ten Commandments available to buy on Prime Video.  

The Prince of Egypt

Hans Zimmer, Jeffrey Katzenberg
Hans Zimmer, Jeffrey Katzenberg / United Archives/GettyImages

For a bit more of a kid-friendly version of Moses, go to this 1998 Dreamworks animated film. Making the saga a musical may seem offbeat, but the tunes are great, such as "Through Heaven's Eyes" and the power ballad "When You Believe." It's also a good cast with Val Kilmer as Moses going against Ralph Fiennes as Ramses with Patrick Stewart, Sandra Bullock, Steve Martin, Martin Short and more. 

The animation is gorgeous with the ancient kingdoms while the scene of the first born is disturbing. Despite that, it's a wonderful animated film for the Passover/Easter season and can win over any family. 

The Prince of Egypt streaming on Peacock.


Juliette Binoche
"Chocolat" Los Angeles Premiere / Sam Levi/GettyImages

Surprisingly overlooked despite Easter being a major plot point, this 2000 movie is a delight for chocolate connoisseurs. Juliette Binoche has one of her best roles as a woman who moves to a small French community, just as Lent is starting in 1959. Slowly but surely, she wins over the villagers and, as if by magic, her candies open up the formerly repressed townspeople.

The Easter festival is a key part of the film, which boasts a fine cast of Alfred Molina, Judi Dench, Lena Olin, Johnny Depp and more. It has a fine message of humanity vs divinity and between the Easter setting and the scores of chocolate around, it's a perfect film for this season.

Chocolat streaming on MGM+.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - A family musical fantasy in which an eccentric candy maker hides five golden tickets inside five candy bars and then tests the honesty of the winners to determine who gets the dream-of-a-lifetime jackpot. (©WOLPER PICTURES, LTD.) GENE WILDER, OOMPA LOOMPAS /

The recent Wonka movie was good, but no one can top Gene Wilder's fantastic performance as Willy Wonka. In the now-classic 1973 movie, four rotten kids and good Charlie Bucket win a chance to see Wonka's fabled factory, from the literally delicious candy gardens to the Oompa Loompas with some fun songs. There's even a fun Easter mention involving gooses laying golden eggs.

It's Wilder who makes it all work with his one-of-a-kind performance, beyond eccentricity to make Wonka a bizarre but compelling figure. Aside from the freaky tunnel ride, the movie can delight kids of all ages and make them more than ready for the Easter sweets. 

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory streaming on Max.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes
National Zoo Lion Cub Naming Ceremony / Paul Morigi/GettyImages

This may seem a strange choice but there's a lot more Easter links than there seems. The Narnia franchise didn't become the long-lasting hit Disney wanted but the 2005 first film was hailed for its faithful adaptation of the C.S. Lewis classic and boasts a great cast. There is a Christmas feel at times but then spring moves in to brighten the film up. 

The Easter parallels are easy to spot on Aslan's journey and Tilda Swinton a deliciously wicked White Witch. Liam Neeson is perfect as Aslan, with excellent CGI for the numerous special effects. The direction and music are beautiful and it does justice to the source material. It's a fine family film and surprisingly effective for the Easter season. 

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe streaming on Disney+.

Rise of the Guardians

Nancy Bernstein, Christina Steinberg and Peter Ramsey
TheWrap's Awards Season Screening Series Presents "Rise Of The Guardians" / Valerie Macon/GettyImages

This 2012 movie tries to be an Avengers-styled adventure teaming up various holiday-themed characters. So you have Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost joining forces against a dark evil. The Bunny (or rather E. Aster Bunnymund) is portrayed as a wild Australian voiced by none other than Hugh Jackman in Wolverine mode. 

The main plotline is villain Pitch Black trying to make people stop believing in holidays so when kids stop believing in Easter, the effects on Bunny are hilarious. It's a nutty movie that never quite became a hit but Easter is a key point to make it a wildly fun adventure. 

Rise of the Guardians is available to buy on Apple TV+.

Steel Magnolias

Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah
Steel Magnolias Cast Portrait Session 1989 / Aaron Rapoport/GettyImages

This 1989 dramedy boasts one of the most amazing casts any film could ask for: Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Shirley McClaine, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, and Daryl Hannah, among others. The tale of best friends and family living in a Louisiana town is packed with amazing heart, romance and humor. 

There is some tragedy involved, but nothing too extreme for kids, and it can even be a good life lesson on how to cope with such events. The finale involving an Easter egg hunt leading to a birth is the capper to a wonderful film that still marvels families today.

Steel Magnolias streaming on Pluto.

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