The Secret of NIMH: An Introduction...
It all started
with a book. A book, called Mrs. Frisby and the Rats
of NIMH. This would be the book that would earn the
Newberry Award, get a movie made from it, and (in terms of this
website) most importantly, get people OBSESSED with it. To the
best of my tiny knowledge, I know of no other animated film that
has aroused this type of obsession. Case in point- this movie
impressed me enough to give me an obsession about it, until I
decided to make this webpage. No other single film has come CLOSE
to doing that...
Why am I so
obsessed about this movie? For 3 good reasons. One, it features
the best Western animation to be found ANYWHERE. Disney doesn't
even come close. Two, its plot, although diminished (and
therefore less interesting) from the book, is still great, and
the tweaks Bluth made on it actually nearly made it even better.
Third, its closeness to the original intentions of the author. I
have a feeling that Robert O'Brien, creator of the book, would
have enjoyed this movie greatly, if he had seen it. What are the
importance of these three? Well, I'll go into it, I guess...
When the The Secret of NIMH was made, Don
Bluth and around a dozen other animators had recently
split from Disney. They had split because they felt
Disney had lost its touch in animation, and was getting
to cheap. Don Bluth had something to prove here, and he
proved it. He used techniques Disney had thrown out so it
could earn more profit. By drawing the same scene from
many different angles, and fusing them, he created a more
realistic, nearly 3-D world. This technique is little
used today, because again for expense reasons, so this
movie is one of the few rare animation gems out there...
Although it's pretty different from the book, it
still remains very good. The plot actually makes SENSE,
and not only that, remains interesting as time goes by. A
bad sense of plot can be seen in the Disney movie Hercules,
which was (in my opinion) also a disaster
animated-wise. Here, the plot flows smoothly, as all who
have watched the movie could see, and even the
antagonists (Jenner, Dragon) remain interesting, unlike
today's Disney movies...The characters are well
developed, and some scenes can be really touching.
to Original Intentions of Author. Fairly close,
for an animated film. There were weak parts, like how the
rats GOT to the rosebush, but they were serious enough to
detriment the movie. (The book takes care of this very
well.) However, I feel that it could have been more
interesting, if the movie was aloowed more time to
explain the rats' journeys to the Fitzgibbon farm, and
afterwards, their move to Thorn Valley. Compared to, say,
Disney's The Black Cauldron or The Hunchback
of Notre Dame, this movie keeps very close to the
Here's the stirring Symphony No. 4 by Mendelssohn, the "Italian." Great for an intro page, eh?