Ethel and Ernest (2016), directed by Roger Mainwood, is a 2D animation, a romance story following the lives of two people and how they come to meet each other and live their lives with each other. The story is retold by their son, who first wrote this story about his parent’s lives in a book.
Although very stylised 2D animation, the film brings hints of reality to it, for example in the beginning the film starts with real life footage of an old man in his kitchen, then changes into animation. The film also has themes like war, and explores the reality of war on their household and the effect it has on the places and the people they know. It touches on some darker themes like war and death, poverty and illness.
“Many of the events depicted here are familiar from old documentaries and Ealing movies. There are scenes of street parties, VE bombs, Churchill speeches and wartime refugees. Ethel & Ernest buy their first TV and their first car. What stops the film from sinking into mawkish nostalgia is the humour and level of detail.”(MacNab, 2016)
As described by MacNab, most of the films content is brief flashes of the past, and is overwhelmed with nostalgia, however never really focusing on one definitive story from their past.
It is a very emotional and contemplative film, which is enhanced by its documentary quality, as well as the style of it. It is very peaceful and quiet, but never boring. The film looks like the book is it adapted from, because of it’s illustrative style and the rich browns and greens from the book.