Renowned British actress Emma Thompson writes, produces and stars as the title character for the second time around, and her work behind and in front of the camera is of the quality we’ve come to expect from her over the years. (We’ll ignore the pregnant Schwarzenegger comedy JUNIOR.) NANNY MCPHEE is an old fashioned tale that focuses on time-tested things kids will love—a fun, messy setting, over the top characters, and cute, dancing animals—and ignores modern pop culture references and dirty humor, save for a poop joke or two on the farm. Although parts can get a little dark (touching on death, divorce and diffusing of bombs), overall, it’s good natured family entertainment, something that parents can trust won’t offend or have negative influence on little ones. In fact, the main “lessons” the nanny teaches are how to apologize, share, cooperate, and be brave. That sounds like every parent’s dream flick.
Thompson rounds up a great cast of presumable friends, including cameos by both Ewan MacGregor and Ralph Fiennes. However, the main adult roles include Maggie Gyllenhaal, who speaks with a decent British accent and stands around while her onscreen children walk all over her, and future SPIDERMAN villain Rhys Ifans, who gets practice being the bad guy as a man so dastardly he has no problem faking his own brothers death and devastating his nieces/nephews in order to make a quick buck.
Deleted Scenes (15:02): A handful of cut segments are presented with title cards explaining their relevance, including better opening and ending scenes, some special effects shots with the wirework left in and a few scenes that clear up some lingering plot points.
Featurettes (15:30): You get six, including basic background on the story and production, casting the children and their experience on set (especially with stunts), working with the birds and pigs, Thompson’s make up and creating all the poo.
A Look Inside (2:38): A short, standard press piece made out of material already seen in other features on this disc.
Extra Tidbit: The piglets have their own makeup artist, who did makeup on LORD OF THE RINGS