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Magical Guardian

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This is a magical being who's in charge of a group of children, whether as a nanny, teacher, or some other form of custodian. Has some overlap with the Magical Nanny, but while a Magical Nanny is focused on improving family dynamics and behavior and may or may not be really magic, a Magical Guardian is really magic and may or may not do anything about behavior and family. They may instead use their powers for the more broad purpose of education, or even just for the pure sake of adventure. Having this character around allows children to get up to all kinds of impossible and wacky hijinks without audiences wondering where the parents are.

Such a character may be Inexplicably Awesome.


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    Film — Live-Action 
  • Nanny McPhee, and its sequel Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, feature the magical Nanny McPhee, and uses them to take care of naughty children, teaching them five lessons that they need to learn, and helping them behave. However, she is not just a Magical Nanny, since she also uses her magical powers to help the family, whether that be to teach the parents lessons that they also need to learn, or to help out if the family is in trouble.

  • Susan Cooper's Over Sea, Under Stone, the first book in The Dark is Rising series. While the Drew children are on holiday in Cornwall they're taken care of by their great uncle Merriman Lyon. He's a powerful magical being whose duty is to protect them from the forces of the Dark.
  • In the Alternate History Magitek novel Operation Chaos by Poul Anderson, Virginia is a witch with a cat familiar named Svartalf. When she and her husband go out to dinner and a show, Svartalf gets to babysit their child. Being that Svartalf is quite intelligent and responsible, as well as magical, it's not as neglectful as it seems. When the child is stolen by a demon, you can't blame Svartalf, especially since Svartalf fought it until he was half dead.
  • The Cat In The Hat from Dr. Seuss. All the tension in the story is will the children recover from the outlandish stuff before Mom and Dad find out what went on?
  • On the Discworld, Susan Sto-Helit works as a governess and later a schoolteacher. She's also the granddaughter of Death.
  • Mary Poppins is a nanny who happens to have magical powers at her disposal. She happens to be the Ur-Example for Magical Nanny, but she overlaps here too.

    Live-Action TV 

    Western Animation 
  • The Magic School Bus's Miss Frizzle, the former Trope Namer for Inexplicably Awesome.
  • The title character in Steven Universe is primarily raised by three aliens who have fantastical powers and train him to harness his own powers by taking him on missions. In the first season they often wave off their abilities as "magic", though as the show goes on it becomes apparent that it's not magic but super advanced technology, leaning more into a sci-fi bent than pure fantasy.
  • Teen Titans (2003):
    • A villainous example: Mother Mae Eye forces herself on the heroes and even uses mind-controlling pie to ensure that they obey her.
    • Another episode involves Raven escorting three child superheroes to a safehouse as their protector.