Ethel & Ernest

Ethel & Ernest

Roger Mainwood (2016)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Author Raymond Briggs's loving tribute to his parents inspires this animated feature which retains the original book's homely drawing style in chronicling their decades of marriage. The couple's experiences in setting up home together in a modest London terrace, raising their young son amid the Blitz and coping with the subsequent social changes affecting postwar Britain are typical of many households, but the story celebrates their everyday capacity for keeping calm and carrying on. That said, the film-making is not without its issues, from ploddy pacing, somewhat repetitive humour and unimaginative direction, yet the overall effect remains sincere and heart-warming, buoyed by ever-cheery vocal performances from Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent. It would certainly make a wonderful teaching tool to help today's youth understand the sacrifices of the wartime generation, yet the story's sense of quiet pride is also tinged with a wistful element too - we'll certainly never see these times again, not least the possibility of owning a London home on a milkman's salary.


Animated drama based on Raymond Briggs' graphic novel following the lives of his parents, from their chance meeting in 1928 through the next 40 years of their marriage, an era marked by sweeping social changes from the hardships of the Great Depression and the Second World War to the cultural transformation of the 1960s. With the voices of Jim Broadbent, Brenda Blethyn and Luke Treadaway as Raymond Briggs himself.

Cast & Crew

Ethel Briggs Brenda Blethyn
Ernest Briggs Jim Broadbent
Raymond Briggs Luke Treadaway
Lady of the House Virginia McKenna
Mrs Bennet Pam Ferris
Ernest's stepmother June Brown
Young Raymond Harry Collett
Middle-aged doctor Roger Allam
Director Roger Mainwood
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: VertigoGuidance: Some swearing.Available on: DVDReleased on: 28 Oct 2016