Youngsters who like their prehistoric monsters to rampage around theme parks aren’t going to be particularly impressed by this offering from Disney, in which the top-secret formula for something called “Lotus X” is stolen by British aristocrat Lord Southmere (Derek Nimmo) from a Chinese warlord in the 1920s.
Southmere then makes his way across Asia with the microfilm, disguised as a peasant. When he arrives in London and climbs into a waiting car at the airport, he discovers he has been kidnapped by Chinese intelligence agents headed by Hnup Wan (Peter Ustinov) and his aide, Quon (Clive Revill).
As the car slows down, Southmere jumps out and runs into the Natural History Museum, past a group of nannies and their charges, and has just enough time to rush into the hall of dinosaurs and hide the microfilm in the skeleton of a prehistoric monster before being recaptured by the Chinese – but not before telling Hettie (Helen Hayes), who he recognises as his old nanny, where to retrieve it.
The rest of the film is concerned with the efforts of Hettie and an intrepid band of nannies – formidably armed with umbrellas – to help Lord Southmere escape and find the Lotus X formula.
Joan Sims provides excellent support as the second-in-command nanny, Emily, and there are strong performances too from Roy Kinnear as the officious police officer Superintendent Grubbs, and Joss Ackland as a pompous museum curator.
There’s not even a sniff of a velociraptor, but there are a couple of kung fu fights, a very silly car chase and some wildly over-the-top acting to help liven things up.