17 user 90 critic

Ethel & Ernest (2016)

The life and times of the parents of the hailed British graphic novelist, Raymond Briggs.


Roger Mainwood


Raymond Briggs (graphic novel), Roger Mainwood (screenplay)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




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


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.


Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Blog | Official Facebook | See more »





Release Date:

28 October 2016 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ethel and Ernest See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


After the BFI London Film Festival premiere of Ethel and Ernest and the film's release, Animated and live-action filmmakers Garth Jennings, John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Hayao Miyazaki, Anand Tucker, Chris Wedge, Michael Bay, Julian Schnabel, Michel Gondry, Christian Volckman, Jon Favreau, P.J. Hogan, Mel Gibson, Sylvain Chomet, Nick Park, Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton, George Miller, Mark Osborne, Henry Selick, Wes Anderson, Tomm Moore, Lee Unkrich, Travis Knight, Charlie Kaufman, Werner Herzog, Matt Groening, Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Seth MacFarlane, Quentin Tarantino, Dito Montiel, James Franco, Jeremy Saulnier, Chris Meledandri, Pierre Coffin and Ron Howard outspoken and praised for their acclaim on Ethel and Ernest and named their favourite film on Twitter and while being interviewed and while four celebrities Jonathan Ross, Gerald Butler, Scarlett Johansson and Cate Blanchett also named it their favourite film too. See more »


References Hangman's House (1928) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A sublime revelation in every way
4 January 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Having grown up, and loving to bits (still do), the stories and animations of 'Father Christmas', 'The Bear' and particularly 'The Snowman' and similarly being blown away by 'When the Wind Blows' (another seemingly personal work and I couldn't help being reminded by that when viewing 'Ethel & Ernest'), 'Ethel & Ernest' is yet another Raymond Briggs masterwork.

This 2016 animated adaptation couldn't have been more perfectly adapted and is simply sublime also on its own. Its story structure may be somewhat episodic, but actually in no way does that matter at all in this instance. This is due to how brilliantly made 'Ethel & Ernest' was and my vast emotional connection with it. Easily a highlight of my festive-period film/television watching.

Like with 'Father Christmas', 'The Bear', 'The Snowman' and 'When the Wind Blows', the animation from start to finish is stunning, from the level of detail to the meticulousness of the drawing. Not to mention the quaint and atmospheric colours and the gut-wrenching scenes depicting World War II and how people lived during it. The music is never intrusive yet always has a presence when needed. The use of music and songs from each stage of both characters' lives giving a sense of authenticity and effectively taking one back.

Furthermore, the script has a perfect balance of gentle yet hilarious humour (the funniest lines often coming from Ethel), genuine pathos such as the genuinely heart-rending ending beautifully done and fascinating history that is either educational, takes one back or both (it is somewhat fun to spot the historical figures and events). It also has darker moments (such as the carnage and terror WWII brought) that are quite harrowing and never trivialised and a beautifully pitched, never heavy-handed but admittedly at some time painful honestly. As can be seen, the range of emotions is very wide.

The story is easily the most personal of all Briggs stories and essentially a very affectionate yet compellingly real auto-biographical tribute to his real-life parents. It is a story and tribute that is throughout immensely charming, deeply touching, funny and very honest. It is gripping from start to finish, and with a lot going on but with a gentle pace that allows the events to breathe the hour and a half length feels justified and doesn't feel too long or the content over-stretched. Structurally it may seem episodic and slight, but the content is very much eventful.

Ethel and especially Ernest themselves are very likable protagonists in all their life stages, while their chemistry and love for one another is very affectionate but sometimes imperfect, a realistic depiction of marriage. Raymond is also charmingly portrayed. While all the vocal cast do a sterling job, Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent are truly outstanding and give Ethel and Ernest remarkably vivid life, making them compellingly real characters and relatable rather than stock or caricatures.

All in all, nothing to fault here, another masterful Raymond Briggs adaptation. 10/10 Bethany Cox

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed