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Ethel & Ernest (2016)

This hand drawn animated film, based on the award winning graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, is an intimate and affectionate depiction of the life and times of his parents, two ordinary Londoners living through extraordinary events.



(graphic novel), (screenplay)


Credited cast:
Ernest Briggs (voice)
Mrs. Bennett / Aunty Betty (voice)
Raymond Briggs (voice)
Middle Aged Doctor (voice)
Ethel Briggs (voice)
Lady of the House (voice)
Detective Sergeant Burnley (voice)
June Brown ...
Ernest's Step Mother (voice)
Best Man / Fireman / Train Guard / Doctor (voice)
Simon Day ...
Alf (voice)
Harry Collett ...
Young Raymond (voice)
Duncan Wisbey ...
Wedding Photographer / Radio Announcer / BBC Newsreader / Newspaper Seller / Tailor / Arthur (voice)
Gillian Hanna ...
Midwife / Aunty Flo (voice)
Macready Massey ...
Teen-age Raymond
Karyn Claydon ...
Jean (Raymond's wife) (voice)

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In 1928 London milk-man Ernest Briggs courts and marries house-maid Ethel, their son Raymond being born in 1934. When World War II breaks out Ethel tearfully allows him to be evacuated to aunts in Dorset whilst Ernest joins the fire service, shocked by the carnage he sees. As hostilities end they celebrate Raymond's return and entry to grammar school and the birth of the welfare state though Ethel is mistrustful of socialism and progress in general. Raymond himself progresses from National Service to art college and a teaching post, worrying his mother by marrying schizophrenic Jean. However father and son console each other as Ethel slips away but before long Raymond is mourning his father too though both Ethel and Ernest will forever be immortalized by Raymond's touching account of their lives. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A true story.



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

28 October 2016 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ethel and Ernest  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


When Ernest first shows off his new, electric milk float, the music heard is the theme from John Ford's iconic western, Stagecoach (1939). See more »


References Hangman's House (1928) See more »


In the Blink of An Eye
Written and Performed by Paul McCartney
See more »

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User Reviews

Lovely adaptation
29 December 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In a year where the Christmas TV schedules have been packed with 'specials' that weren't special at all it's very refreshing (and a nice change) to have something as lovely as 'Ethel and Ernest' on to watch.

Beautifully animated, it brings to life Raymond Briggs' graphic novel of the same name. Capturing the life of his parents this charts their struggles, their highs/lows against the changing face of Britain.

The book covers some tough issues, and I was pleased to see that the film did not shy away from these either, but doing so in a dignified and poetic way.

Parents thinking this is going to be like 'The Snowman', another adaptation of Briggs' work should be warned though, this isn't always child friendly due to the content.

Well done to all those involved in the making of this film.

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