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Nanny McPhee

Updated on July 18, 2012

Nanny McPhee - A Mysterious, Magical Nanny for Challenging Children

Nanny McPhee is the mysterious, amusing and a bit scary Nanny character created by Emma Thompson from Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda.

Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay for the film and also stars as Nanny McPhee bringing the character to life. Through the use of make up and costuming that included a nose, unibrow, warts, large earlobes and padded costumes the normally beautiful Emma Thompson is transformed (almost unrecognizably) into the ugly mysterious, slightly lovable and slightly scary Nanny McPhee.

During the process of the movie, as the children gradually learn Nanny McPhee's lessons, we see her transform back into her normal beautiful self.

Photo Source: Video Cover, Website for Nanny McPhee. 

You need Nanny McPhee

Three + reasons to love Nanny McPhee

  1. Her Magical Cane that could get children to mind.
  2. Her firm, but gentle way of disciplining children.
  3. Her Unibrow.
  4. Her transformation during the process of teaching the children.

Can I get a Nanny McPhee?

Nanny McPhee was a hit with moms everywhere and especially with those of us who also grew up watching Mary Poppins, the original Mysterious, Magical Nanny.

I would guess that I am probably not the only parent who would like to hire a Nanny McPhee, at times to help teach my children manners, how to behave and perhaps most importantly the consequences of their actions.

Description of Nanny McPhee the Movie

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 very naughty 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 Website

Nanny McPhee Review

A magical, fantatstic and wonderful fable that will capture the heart of the whole family!

Maria Salas


Nanny McPhee Movie, Book and Music

Trailer for Nanny McPhee on YouTube

Nanny McPhee's Five Lessons

Nanny McPhee teaches her charges five basic lessons.

In the process she also teaches them manners, how to behave and perhaps most importantly the consequences of their actions.

  1. First Lesson - To Go To Bed When They Are Told.
  2. Second Lesson - To Get Up When They Are Told.
  3. Third Lesson - To Get Dressed When They Are Told.
  4. Fourth Lesson - To Listen.
  5. Fifth Lesson - You Must Do Exactly As You Are Told.

What do you think of Nanny McPhee?

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Soon after we'd seen the Nanny McPhee movie in the theater on one of those nights when my girls were acting up, we decided to play a joke on the girls.

I managed to sneak out of the house with a long cape and shoes. My husband told the girls if they didn't settle down, we'd call on Nanny McPhee.

Shortly after that I knocked on the front door, from the outside.

It was dark outside, so with the cape and the stick that I'd grabbed I thought I would be a pretty convincing Nanny McPhee. It didn't take long for my girls to figure out that this Nanny McPhee had their mother's hands.

So much for trying to spook them a bit and play a joke...

Nanny McPhee - The Beginning - Learning about Death

  • ...We must start the story with an empty chair.
  • If it wasn't empty however we wouldn't have a story.

I thought they handled the absence of the Mrs. Brown, the mother quite well. Her presence was still very much felt by the family by keeping her old chair present. Several references are made to the chair during the film, perhaps most notably when Nanny McPhee comes into acknowledge the chair at the end of the film before leaving.

Mr. Brown works as a Funeral director or undertaker, so children watching the film are exposed to the concepts of death through his work.

Nanny McPhee Enchanted Wedding

A clip of the wedding scene from Nanny McPhee.

I think this was one of the most amazing and stunningly beautiful scenes in the entire movie.

Much of the rest of the movie was filmed in dark tones, but when the children learned their lessons and Mr. Brown discovers he loves Angeline, Nanny McPhee's magical cane coats the world in a covering of fluttering, feathery white snow for a magical winter wedding.

Nanny McPhee - The Wedding on YouTube

This shorter version I is a recorded one.

Nanny McPhee on Staying and Going

  • When you need me,
  • but do not want me,
  • then I will stay.
  • When you want me,
  • but no longer need me,
  • then I have to go.
  • It's rather sad, really,
  • but there it is.
  • Nanny McPhee

Nanny McPhee's Unibrow

A unibrow or monobrow is due to the presence of abundant hair between the eyebrows, so that the two eyebrows appear to merge forming one long single eyebrow, or a "confluence of eyebrows."

The medical term for a merging of the eyebrows is called synophrys. It is caused by hypertrophy (general increase in bulk) of the eyebrows and fusion (joining) of the eyebrows in the midline.

Interview with Emma Thompson about Nanny McPhee

More About Save the Children

Since in the early part of Nanny McPhee, there was a concern about saving all of the children, I decided that this lens should support the Save the Children Organization.

Save the Children is the leading independent organization working to create lasting change in the lives of children in need both in the United States and around the world.

They have been recognized for their commitment to accountability, innovation and collaboration. Their work takes them into the heart of communities, where they focus on helping children and families help themselves.

Share your thoughts, stories, reviews, raves etc...

Did you like the movie Nanny McPhee?

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nanny Mcphee is the best movie I have ever Nanny Mcphee's make-up...we need more of movies about Nanny Mcphee. love it.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I think Nanny McPhee is like a scary Mary Poppins, but equally as loveable. Lovely lens, great movie, and lensrolled to and featured on my Colin Firth Movies and Collectibles lens. Finally, lest I forget, I left a bit of angel magic of my own behind :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      this is sterling writing, I think this movie rocks, stars from one to ten is 1000

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      yes but i want to see it again on youtube whaen i amboard

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I like to believe that Nanny Mcphee was the childrens mother returned to fix what she had left a mess; her Aunt did say that she was a foolish girl with no sense of porportion. The way she longingly stared at her chair in the parlor, the way she knew and truly loved the children. When she said goodnight Agatha, the baby looked seemed to know who she was. She also helped prepare a good mother for the children.

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      Impressive presentation on Nanny McPhee. great home work done on the lens.Keep it up.I was actually searching for a lot of information on mystery shopping.I have already got some good stuff on mystery shopping, but i am trying to get some more.

    • profile image

      gwynrea 9 years ago

      Good work! I love this lens! 5 stars!