In vivid blue, green, and pink Victorian England, widowed undertaker Cedric Brown will lose his household and seven children unless he marries within the month. Great-Aunt Lady Adelaide Stitch will withdraw their monthly allowance. The children (Simon, Tora, Lily, Eric, Sebastian, Chrissy and baby Aggie) view his lack of time for them anymore as lack of love. They frightened the latest of many nannies in record speed, and terrorize frizzy red-haired cook Mrs Blatherwick. Pretty scullery maid Evangeline loves them and her (equally unknowingly infatuated) employer, but they fear she is paid to care, and tell her "stepmothers are always evil". "The person you need is Nanny McPhee" echoes repeatedly until thunder claps announce her shadow at the door. As a "government nanny", no payment is required. She asks his main concerns: go to bed when told, get up, get dressed, say please and thank you. When her magic staff thumps, severe punishment convinces her charges to learn their lessons. As they do, her bulk and disfigurements fade. Starting with chaos in the kitchen, humorous antics ensue. Adelaide comes to tea on Nanny's afternoon off, so the children dress in their best finery per papa's request. They also clothe the mule and pig to fool their blind aunt. When Nanny insists one must volunteer for adoption, Simon recalls illiterate Eva's desire for education. The obvious candidate departs. Potential fiancee thrice-widowed Selma Quickly munches worm tea sandwiches oblivious, but more pranks are too much. Cedric tells his brood their togetherness depends on imminent marriage. They apologize and lure her with Adelaide's position and wealth. On the day of the wedding, Nanny sees cruel Selma break baby Aggie's rattle from their beloved mother. She looks meaningfully at Simon "do exactly as you are told" "bee-have", Aggie repeats "beehive", imitating Selma's snobbishly accented command. Simon starts a whisper down the...
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