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Encyclopedia > The Secret of NIMH
The Secret Of NIMH

Right before your eyes and beyond your wildest dreams.
Directed by Don Bluth
Produced by Don Bluth
Gary Goldman
John Pomeroy
Written by Don Bluth,
Robert O'Brien,
Will Finn,
Gary Goldman,
John Pomeroy
Starring Elizabeth Hartman
Derek Jacobi
Dom DeLuise
John Carradine
Arthur Malet
Hermione Baddeley
Peter Strauss
Paul Shenar
Shannen Doherty
Wil Wheaton
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) July 2, 1982
Running time 82 min.
Country Flag of the United States United States
Language English
Budget US$7 million
Followed by The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile
Mrs. Brisby meets Nicodemus. Backlighting techniques are used in this scene to give Nicodemus' eyes a bright glow.
Mrs. Brisby meets Nicodemus. Backlighting techniques are used in this scene to give Nicodemus' eyes a bright glow.

The Secret of NIMH (alternatively spelled "The Secret of N.I.M.H.") is a 1982 animated film adaptation of the Newbery Medal-winning book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Mrs. Frisby's name is changed to "Brisby" in the film due to trademark concerns with Frisbee discs), written by American author Robert C. O'Brien. The title of the movie was later used for newer editions of the book. It was directed by Don Bluth, produced by Aurora Pictures, and released by United Artists. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (592x819, 220 KB)Poster for The Secret of NIMH - Illustrated by Tim Hildebrandt. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Gary Goldman (born November 17, 1944 in Oakland, California) is American animator, director, and producer. ... John Pomeroy (born 1951 in Los Angeles, California) is an American animator who has worked for several major studios, including The Walt Disney Company and Sullivan Bluth Studios. ... Robert OBrien was a Formula One driver from the United States. ... Will Finn is an animator, voice actor, and director. ... Gary Goldman (born November 17, 1944 in Oakland, California) is American animator, director, and producer. ... John Pomeroy (born 1951 in Los Angeles, California) is an American animator who has worked for several major studios, including The Walt Disney Company and Sullivan Bluth Studios. ... Mary Elizabeth Hartman (December 23, 1943 – June 10, 1987) was an American actress best known for her performance in the 1965 film A Patch of Blue, a role for which she won a Golden Globe for Most Promising Female Newcomer and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. ... Sir Derek George Jacobi, CBE (IPA: ) (born 22 October 1938) is an English actor and director, knighted in 1994 for his services to the theatre. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... John Carradine (February 5, 1906 - November 27, 1988) was an American actor, best known for his roles in horror films and Westerns. ... Arthur Malet (born 24 September 1927, Lee-on-Solent, England) is an actor. ... Hermione Baddeley (November 13, 1906 - August 19, 1986) was a celebrated British character actress of theatre, film and television. ... Peter Strauss (born February 20, 1947) is an American television and movie actor, best known for his roles in several television miniseries in the 1970s. ... Paul Shenar (born 12 February 1936 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States; died from AIDS 11 October 1989 in West Hollywood, California, United States) was an actor. ... Shannen Maria Doherty (born April 12, 1971) is an American actress and television director, perhaps best known for her work as Heather Duke in Heathers, as Brenda Walsh in Beverly Hills, 90210 and as Prue Halliwell in Charmed. ... Richard William Wil Wheaton III (born July 29, 1972) is an American writer and actor. ... Jerrald King Goldsmith (February 10, 1929 – July 21, 2004) was a famous American film score composer from Los Angeles, California. ... This article is about the film studio. ... is the 183rd day of the year (184th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... ISO 4217 Code USD User(s) the United States, the British Indian Ocean Territory,[1] the British Virgin Islands, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Panama, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the insular areas of the United States Inflation 2. ... Image File history File links TheSecretofNIMHscreen. ... Image File history File links TheSecretofNIMHscreen. ... // This is the year of film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which will become the highest grossing movie for almost 15 years (until Titanic), earning double or triple against any major film of the 1980s. ... Animation refers to the process in which each frame of a film or movie is produced individually, whether generated as a computer graphic, or by photographing a drawn image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model (see claymation and stop motion), and then photographing the result. ... The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children of the American Library Association (ALA) to the author of the outstanding American book for children. ... Mrs. ... A Wham-O Professional Frisbee For the amusement ride, see Frisbee (ride). ... Robert C. OBrien (1918–1973) was an American author and journalist for National Geographic. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the film studio. ...

Contents

Plot

Mrs. Brisby, a shy and timid widowed mouse, lives in a cinder block with her children on the Fitzgibbon farm. She is preparing to move her family out of the field they live in as plowing time approaches, however her son Timothy has fallen ill, and moving him could prove fatal. With the help of Jeremy, a clumsy but compassionate crow, Mrs. Brisby visits The Great Owl, a wise creature who advises her to visit a mysterious group of rats who live beneath a rose bush on the farm. Upon visiting the rats, Brisby meets Nicodemus, the wise and mystical leader of the rats, and Justin, a friendly rat who immediately becomes attached to Mrs. Brisby. While there, she learns that her late husband, Mr. Jonathon Brisby, along with the rats, was a part of a series of experiments at a place known only as N.I.M.H. (revealed earlier in the story as the National Institute of Mental Health). Nicodemus also presents Mrs. Brisby with an amulet which he tells her to keep secret. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is one of 27 components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the United States federal governments principal biomedical and behavioral research agency. ...


The experiments performed on the mice and rats boosted their intelligence, allowing them to read without being taught and to understand things such as complex mechanics and electricity. The experiments also allowed the rats and mice to live longer. The rats and Mr. Brisby escaped from N.I.M.H. and came to live on the Fitzgibbon farm. The rats created a home for themselves under Mrs. Fitzgibbon's rose bush, creating an elaborate habitation of beautiful chambers, elevators, and Christmas lights. However, the rats are unhappy in their dependence on the humans, whom they are stealing electricity from, and have concocted a plan to leave the farm and live independently.


Because of her husband's prior relationship with the rats, they agree to help Mrs. Brisby move her home out of the path of the plow. However, the evil Jenner and his unwilling accomplice Sullivan, who wish to remain beneath the rose bush, plot to kill Nicodemus during the move. Mrs. Brisby is told by Justin that someone must drug the Fitzgibbon's cat, Dragon, so that they can complete the move safetly. She volunteers. That evening, she successfully puts the drug into the cat's food dish, however the Fitzgibbon's son catches her and convinces his mother to let him keep her as a pet. That evening, she overhears a telephone conversation between Mr. Fitzgibbon and NIMH and learns that NIMH intends to come to the farm to get the rats. She manages to escape from the dish and runs off to warn Justin.


Meanwhile, the rats are completing the move. Just as the Brisby house is over Nicodemus, however, Jenner cuts the pulley ropes, causing the house to fall and crush Nicodemus. Everyone assumes that it was an accident and Jenner begins to convince them to return to the rosebush and abandon the plans to migrate. Mrs. Brisby shows up and begins to shout that NIMH is coming and that they must leave immediately. Jenner becomes angry and then notices the amulet and tries to take it. Justin rushes to Mrs. Brisby's aid and he and Jenner begin to sword fight. During the fight Justin accuses Jenner of killing Nicodemus and Jenner tells Justin that Nicodemus wanted to ruin everything. Jenner stabs Sullivan after Sullivan manages to get a sword to Justin. Jenner appears to have the upper hand. However, shortly before dying, Sullivan manages to toss a dagger into Jenner's back, killing him.


Mrs. Brisby suddenly hears the cries of her children from inside the house and realizes that the house is sinking in the mud it landed in. She is unable to pull it from the mud. However, as she tries to save her children, the amulet glows and lifts the house to safety.


The movie ends some time later, presumably in spring. The Brisby house has been moved to a safe location and Timothy has begun to recover. The rats moved from the farm and Mrs. Brisby gave the amulet to Justin, now the leader of the rats. Jeremy also manages to find "Miss Right", an equally clumsy crow with whom he flies off.


Production

The Secret of NIMH was the first feature film to be directed by Don Bluth. In September 1979 he, fellow animators Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy, and eight other animation staff left Walt Disney Productions animation department to set up their own independent studio, Don Bluth Productions. The studio worked at first out of Bluth's house and garage, but moved to a two-story, 5,500 square foot facility in Studio City several months later.[1] After completing work on several shorter projects, including a two-minute animated sequence for the film Xanadu, the studio forged a deal with Aurora Productions, a film-making partnership established by former Disney executives.[2] This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Gary Goldman (born November 17, 1944 in Oakland, California) is American animator, director, and producer. ... John Pomeroy (born 1951 in Los Angeles, California) is an American animator who has worked for several major studios, including The Walt Disney Company and Sullivan Bluth Studios. ... Walt Disney Productions is the former name of The Walt Disney Company, which it held from 1929 to 1986. ... Sullivan Bluth Studios was an animation studio established in 1985 by animator Don Bluth. ... Studio City is a district in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California. ... Xanadu is a 1980 musical/romance film directed by Robert Greenwald. ... Aurora Productions (alternatively Aurora Pictures) is a film production company established in Hollywood, California in 1978 by former executives of The Walt Disney Company Rich Irvine and James L. Stewart. ...


The rights to the book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH had reportedly been offered to Disney in 1972 but turned down.[3]Aurora Productions acquired the rights, and gave Don Bluth Productions a budget of US$7 million and 30 months to complete the film, tighter in both budget and schedule than most Disney animated features at the time. The studio set out with the explicit goal in mind of returning feature animation to its “golden era”, concentrating on strong characters and story, and experimenting with unusual and often more labor-intensive animation techniques.[4] Bluth believed older techniques were being abandoned in favor of cheaper ones, and the only way animation could survive was to continue traditional production methods. Among the techniques experimented with on The Secret of NIMH were airbrushed contact shadows, and backlit animation (where animated mattes are shot with light shining through color gels to produce glowing areas). A modern version of the multiplane camera was also invented.[5] Mrs. ... ISO 4217 Code USD User(s) the United States, the British Indian Ocean Territory,[1] the British Virgin Islands, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Panama, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the insular areas of the United States Inflation 2. ... Traditional animation, also referred to as classical animation, cel animation, or hand-drawn animation, is the oldest and historically the most popular form of animation. ... Paasche F#1 Single Action External Mix Airbrush An airbrush is a small, air-operated tool that sprays various media including ink and dye, but most often paint by a process of atomization. ... Mattes are used in photography and filmmaking to insert part of a foreground image onto a background image, which is often a matte painting, a background filmed by the second unit, or computer generated imagery. ... A color gel or color filter (US color gel or color filter), or a lighting gel or simply gel, is a transparent colored material that is used in theatre, event production, photography, videography and cinematography to colour light and for color correction. ... A multiplane camera built by an animation hobbyist in 1972. ...


To achieve the film's detailed full animation while keeping to the tight budget, the studio strove to keep any waste of time and resources to a minimum. The crew often worked long hours with no immediate financial reward (though they were offered a cut of the film's profits, a practice common for producers, directors and stars of live action films but never before offered to artists on an animated feature); producer Gary Goldman recalled working 110 hour weeks during the final six months of production.[6] Around 100 in-house staff worked on the film, with the labor-intensive cel painting farmed out to 45 people working from home.[7] Many minor roles, including incidental and crowd voice work, were filled in by the in-house staff. A cel, short for celluloid, is a transparent sheet on which objects are drawn or painted for traditional, hand-drawn animation. ...


During the film's production, the studio was contacted by Wham-O, the manufacturers of Frisbee flying discs, with concerns about possible trademark infringements if the "Mrs. Frisby" name in O'Brien's original book was used in the movie. By then, the voice work had already been recorded for the film, so the name change to "Mrs. Brisby" necessitated a combination of re-recording some lines and, because John Carradine was unavailable for further recordings, careful sound editing.[3] Wham-O is a toy company currently located in California, USA. They are known for inventing many of the most popular modern toys, including the Hula Hoop®, the Frisbee®, and the predecessor of modern Nerf® dart guns. ... A Wham-O Professional Frisbee For the amusement ride, see Frisbee (ride). ...


Reaction and controversy

The film garnered critical acclaim for being one of the most vibrantly animated films ever made.[citation needed] It has recently received an outstanding score of 100% on Rottentomatoes.com, a website which accumulates online reviews from film critics. However, Rotten Tomatoes has only ten reviews for this movie. [1] Despite good reviews, the film only did moderately well at the box office, attributed to a combination of poor promotion, regionally-staggered release dates and competition from the Steven Spielberg blockbuster E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.[8] A major dispute between Aurora Productions, the studio which financed NIMH, and United Artists which had bought Aurora prior to the film's release and added scheduling and marketing difficulties, may also have affected NIMH's commercial success.[citation needed] There is controversy when the film was also found to be surprisingly scary and violent for most of the young children despite its MPAA "G" rating, and the Walt Disney Company originally rejected this project because it was perceived to be "too dark" and complicated to be a financial hit. In addition, in one scene when Mrs. Brisby was captured, Justin cried "Damn!" and that almost caused a PG rating. The term box office can refer to either: A place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to a venue The amount of business a particular production, such as a movie or theatre show, does. ... Steven Allan Spielberg (born December 18, 1946)[1] is an American film director and producer. ... For the Atari 2600 video game based on the movie, see E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Atari 2600). ... This article is about the film studio. ... The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is a non-profit trade association formed to advance the interests of movie studios. ... The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) is one of the largest media and entertainment corporations in the world. ... The MPAA film rating system is a system used in the United States and territories and instituted by the Motion Picture Association of America to rate a movie based on its content. ...


Nevertheless, the movie garnered a passionate cult following that arose from home video and also made quite an impact to the animation world in general. Steven Spielberg loved the film so much that he insisted he work with Don Bluth to create An American Tail. Despite An American Tail's greater financial success, many consider The Secret of NIMH Bluth's best work. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The home video business rents and sells videocassettes and DVDs to the public. ... An American Tail is an animated film produced by Steven Spielbergs Amblin Entertainment, and directed by Don Bluth, originally released in movie theatres on November 21, 1986. ...


Home video history

The film had a successful run on home video and spawned many VHS and DVD re-releases. In 2007, Don Bluth and Gary Goldman made a special high-definition restoration of the film, though it wasn't released on 2-disc DVD as the "Family Fun Edition", on June 19, 2007. Though in Canada, just like The Pebble and the Penguin had happend on its 2-disc DVD re-release in March of that same year, the DVD was re-released in several Canadian Wal-Marts on June 5, 2007. Though the Don Bluth website said that there will be a special Blu-ray release of the film, no details have been announced yet. Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Gary Goldman (born November 17, 1944 in Oakland, California) is American animator, director, and producer. ... is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... The Pebble and the Penguin is a musical animated film, produced and directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. ... March is the third month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ... is the 156th day of the year (157th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... A blank rewritable Blu-ray disc (a BD-RE) A Blu-ray Disc (also called BD) is a high-density optical disc format for the storage of digital information, including high-definition video. ...


Sequel

The film was followed up in 1998 with The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy To The Rescue, a straight-to-video release.


This movie was made without either Don Bluth's permission or creative input, and is widely regarded by fans as inferior to the original film.


Cast

Actor Role
Elizabeth Hartman Mrs. Brisby
John Carradine The Great Owl
Dom DeLuise Jeremy
Derek Jacobi Nicodemus
Arthur Malet Mr. Ages
Hermione Baddeley Auntie Shrew
Peter Strauss Justin
Paul Shenar Jenner
Shannen Doherty Teresa
Jodi Hicks Cynthia
Wil Wheaton Martin
Ian Fried Timothy
Tom Hatten Farmer Paul Fitzgibbons
Lucille Bliss Mrs. Beth Fitzgibbons
Joshua Lawrence Billy Fitzgibbons
Edie McClurg Miss Right

Mary Elizabeth Hartman (December 23, 1943 – June 10, 1987) was an American actress best known for her performance in the 1965 film A Patch of Blue, a role for which she won a Golden Globe for Most Promising Female Newcomer and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. ... John Carradine (February 5, 1906 - November 27, 1988) was an American actor, best known for his roles in horror films and Westerns. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Sir Derek George Jacobi, CBE (IPA: ) (born 22 October 1938) is an English actor and director, knighted in 1994 for his services to the theatre. ... Arthur Malet (born 24 September 1927, Lee-on-Solent, England) is an actor. ... Hermione Baddeley (November 13, 1906 - August 19, 1986) was a celebrated British character actress of theatre, film and television. ... Peter Strauss (born February 20, 1947) is an American television and movie actor, best known for his roles in several television miniseries in the 1970s. ... Paul Shenar (born 12 February 1936 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States; died from AIDS 11 October 1989 in West Hollywood, California, United States) was an actor. ... Shannen Maria Doherty (born April 12, 1971) is an American actress and television director, perhaps best known for her work as Heather Duke in Heathers, as Brenda Walsh in Beverly Hills, 90210 and as Prue Halliwell in Charmed. ... Richard William Wil Wheaton III (born July 29, 1972) is an American writer and actor. ... Tom Hatten (born November 14, 1927 in Jamestown, North Dakota) is a veteran radio, film and television personality best known as the long-time host of The Popeye Show and Family Film Festival on KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 70s. ... Lucille Bliss (born March 31, 1916 in New York City) is an American actress and voice artist. ... Edie McClurg (born July 23, 1951, in Kansas City, Missouri) is an American actress. ...

Soundtrack

Soundtrack album track listing

  • 1. "Main Title" (orchestral)
  • 2. "Allergic Reaction/Athletic Type" (orchestral)
  • 3. "Flying Dreams Lullaby" (performed by Sally Stephens)
  • 4. "The Tractor" (orchestral)
  • 5. "The Sentry Reel/The Story of NIMH" (orchestral)
  • 6. "Escape from NIMH/In Disguise" (orchestral)
  • 7. "Flying Dreams" (performed by Paul H. Williams)
  • 8. "Step Inside My House" (orchestral)
  • 9. "No Thanks" (orchestral)
  • 10. "Moving Day" (orchestral)
  • 11. "The House Rising" (orchestral)
  • 12. "Flying High/End Title" (orchestral)

Paul Williams is the name of three popular music musicians: Paul Williams, songwriter for Carpenters and many others, as well as actor in movies and TV. Paul Williams, rhythm and blues saxophonist Paul Williams, one of the lead singers of the popular Motown act The Temptations Other Paul Williams: Paul...

Footnotes

  1. ^ Cawley. Walkout to Independence
  2. ^ Beck, The Animated Movie Guide p.243-4
  3. ^ a b Cawley. The Secret of NIMH
  4. ^ Counts. Coming: The Secret of NIMH
  5. ^ Mandell. Interview with Dorse Lanpher
  6. ^ Cawley. The Secret of N.I.M.H.
  7. ^ McDaniel. Remembering NIMH
  8. ^ Beck, Don Bluth Goes Independent

References

Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 152nd day of the year (153rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Cinefantastique is a horror, fantasy, and science fiction film magazine started in 1970 by publisher/editor Frederick S. Clarke. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Variety is a daily newspaper for the entertainment industry. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
The Secret of NIMH

  Results from FactBites:
 
Furry Humor Archive (331 words)
"Secret of NIMH 5" - Jeremy the crow finally gets married but his new bride is eaten by Dragon the cat so he spends the rest of the movie in despondency drinking himself blind from farmer Fitzgibbon's secret stash of moonshine
"Secret of NIMH 6" - The ghosts of Johnathon, Nicodemus and Jenner return to haunt the farm, also called "The Blair Mouse Project", it becomes the first animated feature to be shot with a hand-held camera
"Secret of NIMH 7: The Secret of Rodent Rock" -- Uses the same script as "The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock", just changes the characters from dinosaurs to rats and mice.
The Secret of NIMH - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4567 words)
The Secret of NIMH (alternatively spelled "The Secret of N.I.M.H.") is a 1982 animated film adaptation of the Newbery-winning book Mrs.
Justin is one of the Rats of NIMH, a secret sect of Rats who escaped from a N.I.M.H research center after having been rendered far more intelligent by experiments.
NIMH is a reference to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health; the connection is explicit in the film version.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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