Though she has been dubbed the anti-Mary Poppins, Nanny McPhee is essentially a repackaged version of Mary Poppins, minus the lovely beauty of Julie Andrews and a spoonful of sugar, and with the addition of a snaggletooth, enormous nose, and magical walking stick. This does not distract from the charms and adventures of the Nanny McPhee films, however. Directed by Susanna White, Nanny McPhee Returns tells a slightly different tale from the original 2005 Nanny McPhee movie, but manages to attain the same hearty comedy, morality, and special effects that made the first film a success.
This is a story of oppression and atrocities, of a supposedly constitutional government mushrooming into dictatorship, of a once-free people shrugging at the coup so long as their wardens claim to keep them safe. It's a tragic tale in every way. And it just keeps getting worse.