The film, Nanny McPhee directed by Kirk Jones was released on January 27, 2006. It features a bunch of kids (Simon, Tora, Lily, Eric, Sebastian, Christianna, and Baby Agatha) who lacks a mother figure and whose father, Mr. Brown, is too busy finding a spouse, so that they can continue receiving money from Great Aunt Adelaide Stitch. These kids are known to have driven all the nannies away. However, Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson), a new nanny is not like any other nanny that they have seen. She is mysterious, unappealing, and different. No matter how much the children tries to scare Nanny McPhee away using their tactics, it doesn’t work out how they want it. Nanny McPhee disciplines the kids to have manners, show respect, and have obedience. Her five rules are to go to bed when told, to get up when told, to get dressed when told, to say please and thank you, and to listen and what they are told. Once her rules have been achieved, she then leaves to take care of another family.
Nanny McPhee is based on the childrens book Nurse Matilda by Chirstianna Brand. Similar to the film, Nurse Matilda is a witch nursemaid who is hired to teach Mr. and Mrs. Browns kids to act accordingly with respect and with manners. Once of the differences between the film and the book is that Mrs. Brown is still alive in the book, whereas the film presents a family without a mother. In addition, Nanny McPhee is also known to have certain commonalities with Mary Poppins. Both Nanny McPhee and Mary Poppins are nannies with magical powers used to help aid them in their career. When it comes to cleaning the house, Mary Poppins can finish it in a blink of an eye. For Nanny McPhees case, she uses her magic to teach the children a lesson. For example, when the kids were pretending to be too sick to get out of bed, she literally used her magic to keep them in bed, since they claimed to be sick. Physical appearance wise, both nannies look alike. They dress the same with their black dresses, their hat, and their bunned hair.
The film contains many scenes that are important, but the scene that stood out most is when the mole on Nanny McPhees changes side or disappears. It really helps to move the plot from the beginning, middle, and to an end where the kids have finally learned their lessons and are now compatible kids. In the beginning of the film, the audience first sees Nanny McPhee as a hideous nanny with moles on her face. This symbolizes the goal to transform the kids into obedient kids. As the film progresses and the kids start to become submissive and respectful, Nanny McPhees moles start to disappear, suggesting a rule that is accomplished. By the end of the film, when the kids start to make their own decisions based on their best judgement for the better of the family, Nanny McPhee is transformed into a decent looking Nanny. This in turn, signifies a mission complete.
One of the moral lesson that is perceived from the film is that a person will make irrational decisions to get what they want. In order to keep the family together and to keep a steady income from Aunt Adelaide Stitch, Mr. Brown insist on marrying Ms. Quickly, a widow, even though he has no intimate feelings for her. If Mr. Brown does not get marry within a certain time period, Aunt Adelaide Stitch would not send any more money and his family would go into poverty. Thus, his kids will have to separate to live in different homes. Mr. Brown is aware of how much his kids did not want him to remarry. But because he prioritized in keeping his family together more, he had to sacrifice his childrens opinion and their decision. To add on, when the Mr. Browns children has realized that their father needed to get married in order to keep the family together, they have decided that they would allow their father and Ms. Quickly to get married. The kids despise the idea of a stepmother due to their fear of being abused and mistreated. But for the sake of family, they have decided to put all of that behind them and move forward with the marriage. The sacrifices that Mr. Brown and his family are willing to give up in order to be together is very heart touching. The fact that they are choosing to ignore their self-desires and opinions for each other is hardest thing that a family can do. Especially when you know that the result is not going to be great for oneself.