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Nanny McPhee Makeover
How Nanny McPhee Came to Be
“In this wickedly charming tale, Emma Thompson portrays a mysterious woman with special powers who enters the household of the recently widowed Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) and attempts to tame his seven children. The children have managed to drive away 17 previous nannies, but as Nanny McPhee takes control, they begin to notice that their misbehaving has magical and startling consequences.”
Nanny McPhee is rated PG for Mild Thematic Elements, Some Rude Humor and Brief Language.
That being said, the film does have a few problems. First off, it was scarier and more intense in some parts than I was expecting. In one scene the infant is put in physical jeopardy. In another scene the kids are pinned to their beds while they thrash around and scream. Another scene shows the stuffy Aunt trying to drag a child away from her family. At other times Nanny McPhee herself is downright creepy. For younger children, like my 4 year old son, it was a little much. You’ll definitely want to consider the PG rating when showing it to kids. And as much as I like Emma Thompson, her character was a bit dry in the film. There’s not really much that’s charming or likable about her. She’s very quiet, understated, and kind of scary at times. She doesn’t make an appealing lead character which is probably why her face isn’t on the DVD cover. Overall, Nanny McPhee is OK, but not really a classic.
There’s a decent selection of bonus features on the DVD. First up is “Casting the Children”, a featurette on casting the children. (Doh.) The director, producer, and other crew discuss the laborious process of finding the kids and getting them to learn their lines for the movie. Next up is “Village Life” which discusses the elaborate sets used in the film. They are incredibly rich and detailed, so this is fun to hear more about. The “Nanny McPhee Makeover” discusses Nanny McPhee’s transformation while “How Nanny McPhee Came to Be” discusses the original children’s books and the changes between them and the film. There is a batch of Deleted Scenes, too. One features an alternate opening with a retelling of Nanny history throughout the ages. (The director’s wife has a brief cameo.) Another deleted scene shows Firth intercepting Evangeline before she can deliver a proposal letter to Mrs. Quickly. The final deleted scene is more of a practical joke and it shows Firth dressing up as Nanny McPhee and surprising the cast. Appropriately enough, a Gag Reel is included featuring flubbed lines and hijinks on the set. (I’ll say, though, that it seems ill advised to include a bleeped out profanity from Firth on a kid’s DVD.) This is all rounded out by a couple of feature commentaries by the director, Emma Thompson, and the kids.