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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate, but may inspire kids to read the books upon which this movie is based.
Naughty children learn to behave, care for one another, and respect adults.
Positive Role Models
Nanny McPhee teaches rambunctious children lessons on respect, consideration, and politeness.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoonish pratfalls -- a child hits an adult on the head with a frying pan. Food fights. Kids wreak havoc in the household, adults cry out and fall. Shots of dead bodies in a mortuary.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mostly chaste romance develops between father and servant girl; his gaudy fiancee wears tight, bright dresses, shows cleavage, and makes mildly crude sexual suggestions.
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"Bleedin' hell." Juvenile humor from kids in which "fart" and "poop" are used to get a rise out of adults. A boy introduces himself as having the last name "Fartworthy."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Nanny McPhee is a 2005 in which a nanny with supernatural gifts arrives to teach politeness, honesty, and consideration to seven rambunctious children. For much of the movie, these children take pride in harassing and scaring nannies hired by their father, and almost every other adult for good measure. The kids are abusive in Home Alone-ish ways, pulling violent and sometimes disgusting pranks on adults who are supposed to look after them. They are fond of potty humor -- one boy introduces himself with the name "Fartworthy" then passes gas. Their efforts to thwart their father's marriage to a garish (and cleavage-revealing) widow include the use of reptiles, insects, and slimy substances. The instructive nanny looks like a traditional witch, arrives on a stormy night, and uses a magical cane. Some kids may be disturbed by the death of the children's mother (not shown). The father works in a mortuary, and we see shots of dead bodies. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Thompson has devised a wonderful script based on Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda books, wherein kids and nanny face off without condescending to one another. If some of the movie's effects are distractingly shoddy (see: the unconvincing dancing donkey), the kids (especially Sangster) are first-rate, and Thompson rather divine.
Nanny McPhee tells Mr. Brown that she can manage the kids while maintaining her independence and dignity: "When you need me, but do not want me, I will stay," she says, "When you want me but do not need me, I will go." Nanny's lessons -- instilled through judicious use of a magic cane and wry common sense -- include respect, loyalty, and generosity.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.