The Secret of NIMH (1982)

Mrs. Brisby (left) speaks with Nicodemus (right) in "The Secret of NIMH"

The Secret of NIMH is perhaps the most notable film made by Don Bluth, second only to his other classics like An American Tail, The Land Before Time and All Dogs Go To Heaven. Like most movies, the original far surpasses the effort put into a sequel and The Secret of NIMH is no exception. The Secret of NIMH 2, Timmy to the Rescue turned into musical, more friendly story (although it did have its creepy moments) with a less mysterious quality to the set direction and character design.

The Secret of NIMH is adapted from the children’s novel Mr. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien and tells the story of a widowed field mouse who enlists the aid of former lab rats to help her escape the impending destruction of her home. The journey involves her meeting a variety of characters along the way such as a clumsy youn crow named Jeremy (voice of Dom DeLuise ), Nicodemus, the mysterious leader of the rats (voice of Derek Jacobi) and the recognizable voice of John Carradine as the Great Owl.

Bluth’s style of animation is a reflection of his many years associated with the Disney Corporation as it captures a look and feel that leaves you entrenched in rich colors and blended lighting that helps emphasize the main flow of the story. With NIMH, the backgrounds help set the mood for the many different places Mrs. Brisby’s adventure takes her. This movie is a certain delight for kids of all ages but be forwarned that the very young may be frightened by elements of the story as the plot tends to suck on into the intensity of poor Mrs. Brisby’s plight.

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