Ethel & Ernest

Animation | English | 94 minutes

Ernest is a milkman in London. On his route he spots Ethel, a young maid in a rich household, looking out the window.  He smiles at her  as he waves his hand. He eventually arrives at her house with a bouquet of flowers and an invitation to go to the movies with him. The relationship blossoms and they marry. Ernest earns enough   to support them and Ethel is a thrifty wife. They live through the period of World War II, the evacuation of children to the countryside, the coming of television, and the thrill of buying their first car.  They have a son, Raymond. He grows up to be a writer and years later he writes book about the long and happy life of his parents. Ethel and Ernest are a simple-living couple but to Raymond they are quite special.   
Major Participants (Voices):
Jim Broadbent  (Ernest Briggs) / Brenda Blethyn (Ethel Briggs) / Luke Treadaway (Raymond Briggs)
Why Stream This Film?
Similar to Thornton Wilder’s classic play, OurTown, Ethel and Ernest is a heartwarming portrayal of a long and happy marriage of a working-class London couple and their son, Raymond, who would write a lovely tribute about them years later.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 97%
  • Metacritic Score: 72
  • Anima Mundi Animation Festival: Winner, Best Animated Film
  • European Film Awards: Nominated, Best Animated Film
  • Melbourne International Film Festival: Nominated, Best Narrative Feature
ETHEL & ERNEST is a celebration of the importance of every life to the people living it. Briggs has a gift for capturing these small details others might miss; Director Roger Mainwood has put them into motion in a way that feels alive rather than a memorial.
Luke Y. Thompson


Mainwood’s fidelity to Briggs’ illustrative aesthetic is welcome, as it maintains a homey, appropriately somewhat retro air redolent of pencil sketches and pastels. The care and affection with which Mainwood and his collaborators adapt  endearing material carries the day.
Dennis Harvey




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