Nanny McPhee Returns to help a frazzled mother of 3 rambunctious kids who is taking care of the family farm while dealing with spoiled city cousins on a visit and a greedy brother-in-law harassing her to sell the farm to settle his debts, all this while her husband is off at war. Isabel is at the end of her tether when help arrives in the form of the magical, frumpy, snaggle-toothed, wart-faced nanny. The many references to poo and delightful animals (piglets doing synchronized swimming a little much but cute, a baby elephant) are sure to keep the little ones entertained even if they are a bit much for the older viewers. The picturesque setting of rural England blends perfectly with the magic of Nanny McPhee lending charm to the movie. The cast of characters is excellent and the child actors are wonderful. The children learn the lessons of helping, sharing, and taking responsibility. The kids earn badges for their good behavior (my DD loved this!) while Nanny McPhee transforms into her normal Emma Thompson looks as the kids learn their lessons. One mistake noted in the movie: When Nanny McPhee makes a trip to London with the two boys, the sidecar of the motorcycle suddenly moves to her right when they drive past the statue of the lion who acknowledges Nanny McPhee by a roar. The rest of the bike trip – both before and after this scene – the sidecar remains on her left. Summary: The first Nanny McPhee was definitely better but Nanny McPhee Returns still manages to hold its own for even a bearable second watch if the kids want me to do so again because of an excellent cast and charming settings.
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