Critic Reviews



Based on 10 critic reviews provided by
While time inevitably marches on, director Roger Mainwood has a splendid constant at his disposal in the pitch-perfect voice performances of Blethyn and Broadbent, who inhabit their hand-drawn characters with a vivid, fully-dimensional authenticity.
It’s commonly thought that artists seldom make stories about happy, stable marriages because where’s the drama in that? Ethel & Ernest, a deeply affecting feature-length animated film, disproves that assumption by unfurling an emotionally rich story about the lifelong marital love affair between two kindly, modest people living in an inconspicuous corner of suburban England.
Screen International
Ethel & Ernest is, at its heart, a fond character study.
Time Out
The animation is beautifully old-fashioned.
The backdrop to this very English marriage – soot and grit and survival, and that basenote of touching bafflement – means all the tears are earned.
Suggesting a matchup between Archie Bunker and Gracie Allen, Ethel & Ernest is a sweet British memoir/cartoon about an ordinary couple who survive the Blitz along with their growing son.
A charming animation with funny — if samey — moments and a quality voice cast.
It’s an engaging film, but it leaves you with a feeling that there might be a deeper, darker, more specific story yet to be told.
The storytelling can feel a bit plodding, but Jim Broadbent’s exuberant Ernest and Brenda Blethyn’s timid, upwardly mobile Ethel give the marriage a touching intimacy and warmth.
Mainwood’s fidelity to Briggs’ illustrative aesthetic is welcome, as it maintains a homey, appropriately somewhat retro air redolent of pencil sketches and pastels. Hewing to the book’s sparse text is a little less ideal.

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