Skip it and go read The Great Dinosaur Robbery.
This spy movie was a miss which is a little sad because of what it might have been. I blame Robert Stevenson and the insatiable urge of Disney to churn out G rated movies at this point in history. Stevenson is probably the only one who thinks Nannies are the bedrock of the British Empire and that everyone will be charmed senseless at the notion of nannies vs. spies. We’re not. I tried watching this with a 7 year old when I did watch it and they wandered off about 10 minutes in. The script is stupid and the directing is awful. It’s all the more awful when you realize it had a powerhouse film company behind it, a lot of incredible actors and was based on an amazingly popular book. Audiences have proven time and again that we will queue up for schlock. It doesn’t even have to be critically acclaimed schlock. Give us our terrible movies by all means but, please, don’t hobble the potentially good ones!
Several things stood out aside from the depressingly dreadful offering. #1 was the strangeness one finds in seeing bizarre Chinese stereotypes/racism in a Disney movie from the mid-70’s. The other was the nanny saying it will be the first humans killed by dinosaurs in 2 million years. Seriously? Was The Flintstones really a part of the public education system at that point?
Look-alikes abound in this movie. Young Andrew Dove reminded me greatly of George Cole in Cottage to Let. Derek Nimmo was an early Rowan Atkinson. Clive Revill as Quon reminded me of Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard. And perhaps most significantly was Peter Ustinov, Chinese ringleader aka “Panda Nose” who might look like a Baldwin brother but may secretly be most significant by serving as the inspiration for the Bobby Wasabi in Disney’s current show Kickin’ It.
All that said, I’ve heard of worse plots and while the awesome was missing from the movie, it could have been a great spy movie, a great spy spoof, or a great comedy if things had gone a different way. Instead it is a tepid waste of time.