Remember Mary Poppins and her spoonful of sugar? Well, you'll get no sugar from Emma Thompson's magical nanny. Instead, you'll be treated to her giant nose, hairy warts and snaggleteeth as a reward for your many naughty childhood antics. Thompson's the title caregiver in this witty, rollicking kids' movie that adults will enjoy, too. And while she may not sing or look as pretty as Julie Andrews did, her style of discipline in no way matches her homely face.
In fact, Nanny McPhee's entry into the chaotic home of hapless funeral director Colin Firth and his seven ill-behaved children is one of measured words, understated grunts and a magical cane that creates the logical consequences of all misdeeds being perpetrated nearby. In other words, she's the nanny who makes you decide to be good on your own to save you from future suffering. And she also allows for the occasional, context-appropriate food fight. What more could any kid want?