Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
The cover is interesting, and colorful, but it fails to really spotlight Nanny McPhee like I think it should. Again, warts and all, she is the main character of this adorable little movie. We get Colin firth and a donkey, but just an outline of the nanny. The cover is not horrible, but it could be a bit less magical, and a bit more nanny.
The Universal menu is here in its utilitarian glory. The black and silver background, with the choices on the left, and scenes from the movie playing on the right.
- Casting The Children – This 11 minute long feature spotlights the frantic search for the 7 children that make up the Brown family. We get to see the kids on set, both in and out of character, and we get a glimpse into director Kirk Jones’ take on the casting process.
- Village Life – This short piece focuses on the Brown house, which was built for the movie. At about 4 minutes, we get to see what went into such a strange and charismatic part of the movie.
- Nanny McPhee Makeover – Just as the title states, we get to see the transformation of Emma Thompson, warts and all. It is truly amazing the amount of work that goes into making someone so incredibly ugly.
- Deleted Scenes – Director Kirk Jones introduces us to 13 minutes of deleted scenes that run the gamut from an alternative opening sequence, to various other extended scenes that did not make it into the movie. there really is quite a lot here to see.
- Hilarious Gag Reel – The gag reel is short, and we get your standard mess ups and goofs.
- How Nanny McPhee Came To Be – I quite liked this bit, as Emma Thompson takes us through a bit of how Nanny McPhee was developed off of the Nurse Matilda books, which I am not familiar with, but which seem to have the same heart as this movie. We get a bit of comparison between the two, as well as some introduction into how the movie was adapted from the ideas of the book. This was a very interesting watch, and ran about 8 minutes long.
- Feature Commentary With Kirk Jones & The Children – The commentary features Kirk Jones with several of the cast chiming in. It is an interesting commentary, even if it is not something I would normally watch with this type of movie. The kids are a bit over-rambunctious at times, but the commentary moves at a good pace overall.
The Movie: 8/10
When I told my family that I had to review Nanny McPhee, they had two questions. Was it the new sequel, and could they watch also. While this is (of course) is not the new movie that is hitting theaters soon, I was happy to share my Blu-ray with them. This is one of those movies that just seems to hit a chord with so many viewers, and while I remember watching this 2005 release on DVD, this viewing was quite nice also.
Nanny McPhee focuses on the Brown family, with Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) heading up this British family of 7 kids, who have lost their mother soon after the birth of the youngest child. The kids have chosen to rebel, and are doing a great job of running out just about every nanny that the local agency has to offer. As the movie starts out, Mr. Brown declares that the children are very, very naughty, and we see just how far they go when they convince the last nanny that they have eaten the baby, when in fact it is just a cooked chicken. Nevertheless, they achieve their goal by running her off, much to the dismay of Mr. Brown.
It appears that only Evangeline (Kelly MacDonald), who is the scullery maid, seems to cherish the misguided kids, who are worried that their father is planning on marrying again. while it is true that Mr. Brown is considering marrying again, the only reason is that Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury) has promised to cut off Mr. Brown’s allowance, which is the only thing keeping him and the 7 mouths that he has to feed in their current house. Mr. Brown is trying to save his family, but the kids not only are hell bent on him never remarrying, but they seem to resent his seemingly disinterest since their mother’s death.
When all seems lost, suddenly Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) shows up on the Brown’s doorstep. With her one buck tooth, and several moles or warts, she sets out to teach the children 5 lessons. She tells them that when they don’t want her there, but they need her, she will be there, but when they want her there and don’t need her, she will leave. With her magic cane, she goes about transforming the kids into ladies and gentleman, who use words like “please” and “thank you”, which seem not to have been part of their vocabulary.
When the transformation begins, we see them blossom into perfectly behaved kids, who still do not want their father to remarry, and actually ask Nanny McPhee not to stop them from trying to stop their father from marrying the gold digging, overly made up Selma Quickley, who astoundingly comes off as being more ugly than the transforming Nanny McPhee, who loses some of her hideous traits as the children learn her lessons.
Nanny McPhee is a wonderful tale that really seems to be a favorite of many people of all ages. Like I said, my family was excited to watch the movie again, and I can say that after seeing the presentation again, this time in beautiful high definition, I am still a fan also.
Audio & Video: 9/10
The color has been jacked up to high on this little movie, and the presentation on Blu-ray is electric. The Brown’s house is like a box of crayons, with greens and blues and reds simply bursting from the walls and scenery. This is obviously done on purpose and the result is a kind of cartoon-like feel to the movie. The 2.35:1 VC encoded high definition video is bright, and crystal clear. It is over-saturated and the effect is amazing.
The audio was quite bright with lots of clarity and a lot of room shaking bass, which was kind of unexpected. It was very well done, and added a bit of kick to the movie itself.
There is not a lot of exclusive material here on the Blu-ray that was not available on the regular DVD, but the overall presentation is quite good. The movie looks great, and for this movie, which seems to hit people of all ages, it is a nice addition to your Blu-ray collection. It really has every member of my family looking forward to the upcoming sequel, so the timing is perfect.
Overall Score 8/10