The Secret of NIMH

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Product Description

In his book, Robert C. O'Brien called his brave widow mouse "Mrs. Frisby," but Disney escapee animator Don Bluth must have thought kids would laugh the wrong way at that. They renamed her "Mrs. Brisby" for NIMH. That acronym stands for the National Institute of Mental Health, and the rats that live near Mrs. Brisby came from NIMH--they have strange ways. But they're the only ones who can save her house and her children, so Brisby seeks them out with the help of a humorous crow (Dom DeLuise). The magic gets laid on a little thick but this is Don Bluth's most successful attempt to achieve a complete, sincere, animated film. It's often forgotten, but it's a true surprise and a rare treat in the vast wasteland of insubstantial children's fare. --Keith Simanton

Customer Reviews:

  • Reaches Higher
    Many animated movies come and go but very few have the staying power to be called classics. No, I'm not talking about Disney films (which seem to be called "Disney's Classic" before the movie has a chance to become a classic these days), but non-animated films that tend to show people that animation is truly different from live-action. "Spirited Away" was a movie that showed there are some stories no Hollywood budget could properly produce. "American Pop" showed everyone that sophisticated adult stories could work in the form of animation. Then we have "The Secret of NIMH," the revolutionary animated movie about a mother mouse attempting to save her family. In this movie though her family is not in danger of a evil rat who's looking to marry the widowed mother, but of Pneumonia, which one of her sons has.

    This normally wouldn't be any more of a concern then it needs to be, but the harvest has come early, threatening to destroy the Brisby house when the farmer starts his tracker. With the risk of a chilled wind taking the life of her son, Mrs. Brisby seeks out help from a gang of rats who escaped from the secret society of NIMH, a place that captured them and tortured them through "unspeakable tortures." This is where I end my summery, as I'm afraid of ruining the masterpiece that is "The Secret of NIMH." There are many attempts made to make animation more then what currently is. I remember how "The Lord of the Rings" was put into production to create an animated movie that could truly bring to life the fantasy world Tolken created, yet the movie came off as slow and tedious.

    With "The Secret of NIMH" Don Bluth, along with several former Disney animators, created a film that is both stunning and emotional at the same time. For a movie about a bunch of rats, it's amazing how complicated it can be. Bluth holds on to key elements of the story, letting the mystery unfold over the course of the film, leaving the audience to savor the unraveling mystery and power of a well crafted screenplay. Characters who appear to be two-dimensional later on prove to be complicated characters, and indeed, you may be shocked to discover some situations are very different then what you originally predicted they would be. Though the movie was largely animated out of Bluth's garage, the movies animation is stunning to watch.

    There are several key scenes that are beautiful to look at, and show much skill behind the craft of animation. A couple of the scenes even look like you could frame and pass off as a classic painting. It's a movie that has aged remarkably well over time, and when kids watch it today they get their first taste of how animation can be new, bold, exciting, and different. It's a movie that not only inspires to be better then most animated films, but most movies period. The only real celebrity in the movie is that of Oscar winning composer Jerry Goldsmith, who provides one of the classic movie scores of our time, and gives the movie a depth that would be lacking would it not be for the score. Most animated scores are a set-up for a musical number. The score in "The Secret of NIMH" sounds like one that would sound at home in a movie like "Saving Private Ryan" or "The English Patient."

    That said, there are bits about the movie that don't work. First of all for all the praises I sing about the animation, since it WAS animated in a garage it's of a 1.33:1 aspect ratio as opposed to a widescreen ratio, which means the movie doesn't as much of a cinematic scope as I'd like it to have. Also a bumbling crow named Jeremy (and voiced by Dom DeLuise) is one of those annoying sidekicks that exist mainly to provide comic relief and to get in the way. Granted, Jeremy's presence isn't fatal, just annoying. There's still far more good in this movie then there is bad, and truth be told, these shortfalls have only become noticed by me as a result of seeing the film so many times. But despite the number of times I see it, "The Secret of NIMH" is a movie that still aims higher then most movies I've seen.

    Rating: **** stars...more info
  • BORING...
    this movie stunk. I remembered it as a child being good... what have I been smoking??? this is boring and have watched it once. I guess i may have been spoiled by the quality of the recent animation....more info
  • The key to what makes a great animated film
    During a scene in the Secret of NIMH, Mrs. Brisby, the film's heroine, reads an inscription that says: "You can open any door if you only have the key." The nuance, if you listen to the lullaby during the end credits, is that this key is love. In a film rich with nuances, this one is the key not only for Mrs. Brisby but also for the film itself, for it was Don Bluth and his team's obvious love for the art of animation that enabled them to create this moving dramatization of Robert C. O'Brien's novel.

    The Secret of NIMH is as much for adults as it is for children. Emotional and often tense, it explores what it means to be truly human, courageous, and loving.

    The film, which departs somewhat from the novel, is about a widowed field mouse, Mrs. Brisby, who must move her children before the farmer crushes her home during the spring plowing. But her youngest son is critically ill with pneumonia and cannot be moved. After rescuing a lonely but charming crow, Jeremy, Mrs. Brisby visits with his help the Great Owl, hoping that he can solve her conundrum. The solution, the Owl says, is to seek help from the feared and mysterious Rats of NIMH, who live in the rosebush near the farmer's house.

    During the film, as Mrs. Brisby repeatedly risks her life to save her family, she learns many secrets. She learns the secret of her husband's death and his connection with the Rats. She learns about the Rats' struggle. And she learns that, with her mother's love and courage, she possesses that essential but elusive key to open any door.

    The Rats of NIMH, collectively, are one of the most evocative symbols in storytelling of the question of humanity, what it means to be human, to think and feel as a human. Their struggle represents the central question of humanity -- that of morality. Once tortured at NIMH (the National Institutes of Mental Health) by "humans," and genetically engineered to develop intelligence associated with humans, the Rats are divided about their destiny. Should they live in the rosebush, stealing food and electricity from the farmer's stores, or should they leave to build their own civilization, a society based on moral choices? Should they help Mrs. Brisby? Some of the rats consider her to be one of "the lower animals" who should fend for themselves, yet others feel compassion and honor her husband's courage in helping to free them from NIMH.

    In the Rats' and in Mrs. Brisby's struggles, we ask ourselves what it means to be human and whether we, considering our behavior towards others, are truly human. Is morality, is humanity, a province belonging only to us? Does it belong to us at all?

    I think it's not too much to say that this story charges us to consider whether we, who experiment on "the lower animals" and disregard them, are not as human as the Rats, for we are building our society on practices many consider to be immoral choices, whereas the Rats seek a society based on moral choices.

    This is an intricate film with an evocative score, backgrounds, character body language, and script to express the urgency and violence of the characters' struggles. But it is also an inspiring story with Jeremy's reliable comic relief and -- a spoiler here -- a happy end. As an artistic work, it shows what can happen when artists have the key and cooperate to use it.

    I recommend to parents that you watch this with your children and discuss it with them to the degree you feel comfortable. It's one of the better ways to explore valuable lessons about courage, compassion, morality, and love....more info
  • great movie! : ) poor quality DVD : (
    This is one of the more inspired films to come out of the American animated kids' genre. The story is intriguing and original, a far cry from the typical generic, condescending product that normally gets marketed to kids. This film's uniqueness is clearly owed to the brilliant book upon which it was based: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien.

    It's an emotionally-charged movie, being centrally the story of a widowed mother who must venture out into a world of danger and struggle against enormous odds, determined to find medicine for her dying son. The artwork is brilliant, being gorgeous at times and terrifying at others. The voice acting is excellent as well. The film is a little darker and scarier than what one might normally expect from an American kids' movie. People have widely varying opinions on scary stuff in kids' movies. I was eight when this movie first came out, and I loved it. It's definitely not any scarier than Pinnochio; now that movie is disturbing! I suppose it might be more correct to say that not all of the characters in The Secret of NIMH are cute, and some are downright ugly. The rats of NIMH are, after all, rats. But that doesn't stop them from being likeable. You will find yourself cheering for some of them, booing others, and even crying for some.

    I would love to own this movie on DVD. I will not buy this DVD, however, because of its reportedly bad transfer and because it is only available in the butchered, "reformatted to fit your screen" version. The Secret of NIMH desreves the artistic respect that certain animated classics enjoy, such as Snow White and Fantasia. It is definitely worth being released in widescreen with a decent-quality transfer that does justice to the artwork and a soundtrack to match. Unfortunately, for now it seems to be getting the throw-away treatment befitting most of the garbage that gets marketed to kids. Hence the three stars instead of four. What's the point of having a DVD if it's poor quality?

    Hopefully someday this excellent film will get the treatment it deserves. ...more info
  • Smart Rats
    A surprisingly good yarn populated by intriguing and entertaining characters and very well animated for its time....more info
  • Movie is 5 Stars But FOX dropped the Ball BIg Time on This Re-Release!
    Fox is finally giving fans a Special Edition of this MGM Catalog title. Using rehashed artwork instead of the Original Poster Artwork that was always much cooler. They are calling it a Family Fun Edition unfortunalty those of us who gree up on the film are older now. 25th Anniversary Edition Would have been more fitting. Would have been cool to have somethign about Jerry Goldmsith as composer bonus feature/ Trailers also. Some details have surfaced about the set but the good stuf we'd like are sacrificed for sorry to say but mediocre "kid" games that are and will always be filler and a waste of resources. We want Film stuff not a 10 min. Featurette on the film It deserves something much longer. They will be deleted scenes and commentary from Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. This film still deserves better. Kids can buy the bare bones movie only us collectors want somethign more. ...more info
  • One of the Best
    Don Bluth's first full length animated feature, an adaptation of the book "Mrs. Frisby & The Rats of NIMH" is an engaging and enchanting film filled with strong animation and good voice acting, not to mention a great score by the late Jerry Goldsmith. A must for any family. ...more info
  • .........BEAUTIFUL
    This movie is beautiful. Simply beautiful. The story, characterization, music, and animation are all gorgeous. This movie gives me hope. I'm so glad that Don Bluth was able to do that because it means that someday, with practice and hard work, maybe I can be that good.
    Some scruples others have had are the change of Mrs. Frisby's name to Brisby. Either it was an issue of copyright (Frisbee) or of "Ha, ha, her name's Frisbee!" echoing throughout theaters, I trust that Don Bluth had his reasons. Some have disliked the fantasy aspects of the film. I personally think that they added, but that's only a matter of opinion. And finally, the flashing lights and glowing eyes DO get somewhat gratuitous. However, I can ignore them, and they don't really distract me. If you claim to like animation at all, you have to see this movie. This animation is beautiful. This is the work of true masters. JUST LOOK AT THEM MOVE! I almost passed out when Nicodemus' hands/insanely-complex-robe came on after the opening credits.

    The characterization is amazing, too. Justin is brave and heroic, Nicodemus is wise, and Jenner is as villainous a rapscallion as ever graced the animated screen. But even so, the true glory of the characters is Mrs. Brisby. Have you ever noticed how all the girls in movies these days are idiots? I sure have! And Mrs. Brisby does NOT fall into this category. She's quiet and careful, but she's brave and determined, too. She can tell whether someone is a good person or not. She's kind and sympathetic and humble. She is, perhaps, my favorite heroine of all time.

    Yes, this movie does get scary. Yes, there is some blood. But to me this is justified. If a movie isn't truly scary, then when the villain is defeated, there isn't a true triumph. There's no sadness to make the happiness all the more precious.


    If you are a sentient being--WATCH THIS MOVIE AND FAINT AT ITS AWESOMENESS!!!!...more info
  • don't waste your time...
    I read the book, "The Rats Of NIMH", and it was amazing! Now, I'm not a Sci-Fi person, but it WAS great. But the movie probably had 4 things related to the book.
    Things different-
    In the book, she is Mrs. Frisby, NOT BRISBY.
    In the book, Jenner just disagrees with the plan and quits, he is not EVIL!
    There is no amulet/gem thing in the book.
    This movie was a complete WASTE of my time. If you have never read the book, and never will, ENJOY!

    Now if you excuse me, I'm going to have a nice time reading one of my favorite books, Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH.
    ...more info
  • Awful
    The storyline had NOTHING to do with the book! The animation was exceptional, but the storyline was repulsively unlike the book. If you didn't read the book and like stupid, farfetched moves, get this. if you don't, read the book....more info
  • Bad adaption and weak animation
    Before tearing into this film, I commend Bluth for venturing out from Disney and keeping a medium alive during its floundering years; however, when I compare this movie's animation to Disney movies from the golden age or the 90s, it doesn't hold up. The poor layouts don't lead your eye like the compositions in "Peter Pan" or "Aladdin". Don Bluth always acted like he learned everything from the Disney studio that he needed to know when he departed, but this poor adaption really proves he never learned the art of storytelling. I remember reading the "Mrs Frisby ..." book in 5th grade, and then being shocked at how this movie didn't really convey it. As far as the art, the gaudy color palette used throughout the movie is in my opinion its biggest flaw. No color goes unused in any scene. Of course that kind of background painting was par for the course back in the 70s and early 80s; even Disney colorists couldn't help but unload every color on the paper. The backgrounds are cluttered and compete with the characters. The character draftsmanship is good, that's why it's so sad to see it ruined on backgrounds with no tonal color theme coupled with uninspired vocal performances. The voice actors are weak, I guess one take was good enough back then or maybe that's all they could afford for the production. Dom Deluise's crow character should have been limited to two scenes of his lame tomfoolery. Does a 122-minute movie really need 10 minutes of a crow getting tangled in everything? Buddy Hackett's seagull "Scuttle" in "Little Mermaid" shows the potential of a clumsy bird character. I recommend making this one of the last animated film DVDs you purchase, along with the other junkers: Balto, American Tail, Fievel Goes West, Thumbelina, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and the Land Before Time series. It's always been shocking to me that those movies even got funded. A good rule of thumb is "if Dom Deluise is in the cast it's going to be a lousy cartoon"....more info
  • The Secret of Nimh
    This has always been one of my favorite animated films. It follows the novel pretty well, and is just really enjoyable to watch. I absolutely recommend it....more info
  • One of the Greatest Movies of All Time
    "The Secret of NIMH" is by far one of the best movies you could ever watch. The animation is brilliant, the music is flawless, and the actors are superb. I recently purchased a copy of this DVD, and I can honestly tell you that I received my money's worth.

    The movie is about Mrs. Brisby, a meek field mouse with four children, who recently lost her beloved husband Johnathan in a tragic accident. Her youngest son, Timothy, is dangerously ill with pneumonia. He cannot go outside, but the farmer of the field in which they live is getting his tractor all set, so Mrs. Brisby has to move her family, otherwise they'll all be killed. Mrs. Brisby, as you can well imagine, is feeling distressed. She pays a visit to the Great Owl, and is told to go to the rats of NIMH, who live in a rosebush just outside the farmer's house.

    Mrs. Brisby does as she is told, and meets with Nicodemus, a wise old rat who is the leader, and who was also a very good friend of Johnathan when he was alive. The rats of NIMH are currently planning on journeying to Thorn Valley, but Jenner, a cold-hearted rat with a lust for power, will not hear of it.

    This movie is full of suspense, heart, and even humor. Mrs. Brisby makes a wonderful heroine, Nicodemus makes a supreme leader, and Jenner makes an outstanding villain. If you haven't seen this movie yet, then I highly recommend that you do so. ...more info
  • This isn't the best version available.
    First off, let me say that I watched this movie as a very young child, and am very much a purist where movies are concerned. The silver U/A logo from the 70's and early 80's is a part of the movie in my opinion and it is a part of my experience in watching the film whenever I go back to it. I find it nostalgic and valuable...and THIS DVD VERSION REPLACED IT!
    The 2008 2-Disc release, however, put it back the way it was. The Secret of NIMH (2-Disc Family Fun Edition)
    I UTTERLY DESPISE when movie companies defile cinema by deliberately re-branding their films to match the current time period, or latest bastardization of their company name from some merger that always happens every 5-10 years. Leave the films ALONE!
    This version is also ONLY in 4:3 for older televisions (no 16:9 widescreen version on this disc). Other than that, the quality is satisfactory. Buy this version if you simply don't care....more info
  • secret of nimh
    one of the best animated films I have ever seen. great plot. I ties in my opinion with Labrynth. It is a must see film...more info
  • A cheesy disappointment
    My mom bought me the movie after we finished reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I was really excited to watch it. When I did, I ended up bewildered and disappointed.

    First, there were many things in the movie not even in the book. Also, I didn't understand why Nicodemus and the owl had spooky, yellow glowing eyes. They were very creepy. The movie was much more violent than the book ever was. The rats don't even look like rats. The rats were just smart, there was no need for magic.

    In conclusion, this movie was very cheesy. No pun intended.

    ...more info
  • Dark and Brilliant
    I remember seeing this movie as a kid in the mid-eighties. I found that it was quite different than the average disney fare. It had a certain darkness about it not unlike a Tolkien novel. The storyline I think is a bit advanced for the average young child, but older children and adults will appreciate it. The animation is first-rate....more info
  • Finally a widescreen version of N.I.M.H.
    I have no quarrel with the quality of this Widescreen version on DVD; it looks beautiful and sounds great. Having said all that, I have no idea why 20th Century Fox released it on 2-discs, other than to jack up the price. For that reason I am giving it a grade of only 4 stars, even though the film deserves 5 stars.
    Disc One contains the feature with audio commentary. Disc Two has a 15 minute Making Of featurette and six games for children. The theatrical trailer was not included. All the information on Disc Two would have easily fit on Disc One with room left over for much more.
    I'll stop complaining now and enjoy the film......more info
  • Secret of NIMH
    This is a pretty good movie. Interesting storyline about what the secret is. The bird, Jeremy, is a bit annoying for me, but I still like this movie. ...more info
  • Love this show! Many differences b/t book & movie, but still a good movie to view!
    Many differences b/t book & movie, but still a good movie to view! The only thing that really bugged me is that they changed her name to Mrs. Brisby, with a B, when her name is Frisby. Oh, well, little things bug me, but overall, I have always enjoyed this movie!...more info
    This book was a fiction book because the book was about a mouse and her adventures the main character was Nimh and her mother Mrs.Frisby the rats had a place to live and Nimh had just found a friend that was a crow that tried to eat her but she was lucky because seh got saved by the crow....more info
  • The Secret of Nimh
    I recently purchased the Secret of Nimh from I am very pleased with the movie, the ease with which I was able to make my order and also with the time it took to receive my movie. ...more info
  • Childhood Classic
    I've actually tried reading the book, but I just love the movie so much more. Mrs. Brisby is a single mother mouse desperately trying to save the life of her oldest son, Timmy. In the process, this timid heroine is forced to face her fears and doubts in order to become stronger and accomplish her goal.

    The characters are very loveable, cept for your villains who are appropriately creepy in the classic Bluth form. If you want something far more in-depth, the book would be a better read, BUT, for good old fashioned family fun, this is the perfect movie, especially on a rainy day....more info
  • Scary, but worth it!
    I remember watching this movie as a kid. I was scared, but it's worth a rewatch anytime. It's not a movie that anyone under 6 should watch (there are heavy topics of death, experiments on the mice and the ocassioanl "d" word) but a great cartoon nonetheless that has withstood the test of time....more info
  • Waiting on a special edition
    I absolutely love this film, words do not suffice... it's a wonderfully acted, subtle, funny animation masterpiece. Which is why the DVD doesn't do it justice. The visual transfer is awful, very grainy/compressed, no real menu options. It would be better if the original widescreen presentation were also available. It's painful when every frame is so painstakingly drawn, to miss what's happening on the edges. This is a great film that has touched several generations. It's unfortunate that MGM doesn't recognize the potential it has to touch people of a broad range of ages. Work of this quality deserves better treatment....more info
  • A Dolled-up Abridgement of the Book
    I had read--with delight--the book called "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" to my grandsons, so I thought the movie would be a nice followup.

    Wrong! It barely resembles the book, and all the most important parts are glossed over or left out. It might be OK for a child who hasn't read the book, but we were disappointed....more info
  • The Sinking of the Rats?
    I would like to commend the efforts of Don Bluth and his Production Staff for bringing us The Secret of NIMH. Though somewhat altered thematically from the book, Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, we're still offered a work which succeeds at the both children's and adult levels. The outcome is wonderful and often magical.

    The cast was carefully selected and their efforts are quite excellent. I appreciate especially the reading of Elizabeth Hartman as Mrs Brisby. Double kudos to Dom de Louis for providing us some much needed comic relief. His vocal talents provide the needed balance with the dark themes and the somber treatment of the material.

    The blatant political message of mistreatment and misuse of animals in scientific research by the unknowing and uncaring humans is made pretty clear. If, then, a Central Idea is presented to us, I would suggest this: "to know more than we once did, to achieve the next level, invites us also to no longer live as we once did. With more ability comes also more responsibility." It seems that this advice would pertain to Man as well as Rats.

    A couple of really inspired scenes stuck me: Chapter 13, where Mrs Brisby meets with the Great Owl; and the Rat Moot in the Council Meeting, found in Chapter 17. I affirm Paul Shenar's Jenner (in his several scenes) is a perfect charlatan and scoundrel: a genuine `dirty rat.' He gets his come-upons toward the end, though. I must confess, however, that I found the overly drawn `deus ex machina' nature of The Stone (i.e. "the sparkly") in Chapter 30 quite too much.

    Several other Amazon Reviewers have mentioned the grainy quality of the image transfer to DVD and this is somewhat accurate. Nevertheless, the method and technology of the time ages well. On my copy, the colors are bright, clear and vibrant, and are quite pleasing to my eye.

    I ran the DVD through both a common Hitachi TV and a Home Theatre quality system and found the sound very good. My only significant difficulty was in understanding Nicodemus, which may have more to do with Derek Jacobi's speaking range and vocal inflection than anything else. Even boosting the volume during these passages didn't help much.

    There is a curious addendum to this review. I feel that due to the subject matter and some rather scary images, this feature should be more properly rated PG. I recommend that you view it (again) before showing it to younger children.

    I'm thinking Three Stars is just about right.

    Russell de Ville
    5 March 2006
    ...more info
  • An adorable children's story with a slight sci-fi twist.
    As a small child, I remember watching this film on video. The story was one of those wonderful, talking animal fables about a little mouse trying to save her ailing son and her family home from a farmers plow. It all swam about nicely down the usual route until we came to a wonderful twist in the story. The rats of the farm area, along with Mrs. Brisby's late husband, had escaped from some kind of genetic engineering lab!! Cool, that's all I thought as I watched the whole flashback sequence. As an avid fan of Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turles and Ghostbusters (both animated series at the time), the sci-fi twist was all I needed to keep me glued to my seat. I highly recomend this film. It's a great story and if your kids are into sci-fi anything, they'll probably love it!!...more info
  • Wonderful story, 2nd-rate presentation
    I purchased this movie several years ago on VHS, and have put off buying a DVD because I'm waiting for a widescreen version. My copy is still in good shape as we don't watch it constantly (it's a little intense for my 3-year-old) so I'm not feeling pressured to upgrade just yet.

    Many of the more recent movie releases that are advertised primarily for children seem to fall either into the "so sweet that it's painful to watch" group or the "spoiled brats with idiots for parents" group. This movie doesn't pander to either of these camps. I would say that it hearkens back to a more old-fashioned style of storytelling. The kind where the choices one makes determine ones' destiny, and there is definitely a moral to the story.

    The characters that we perceive as "good" in this story are that way because they chose to do what they knew was right, or best for everyone, even when those choices may have made their own lives more difficult, or even dangerous. The characters perceived as "bad" have made choices based solely on their own self-interest, with total disregard for how their choices may affect anyone else.

    The animation is truly a pleasure to look at. I find myself wishing the story were longer, so that we could see more of the rats' underground dwelling. One of my pet peeves regarding this movie is that it is not available in a widescreen version, so all of those shots of the underground city have been cropped on the sides, eliminating large chunks of the gorgeously detailed scenery.

    I do not know if the producers have enough material to justify a 2-disk repackaging, but PLEASE, won't you consider doing a widescreen version? Artwork and early storyboards are nice, commentaries by the filmmakers are even better, but just let us see the whole picture, as it was originally envisioned, not a truncated-for-TV version!

    In summary, this is an engaging story that teaches good lessons for young viewers (or even older ones). There are a couple of scenes that sensitive children may find disturbing, so I recommend that you watch this (at least the first time) with your child, in case they get scared, need to be reassured, or have questions about why something bad is happening to the good guys. The good guys win, by the way. The bad guys are vanquished, and one redeems himself somewhat. One person is killed, but his killer is brought to justice.

    In case you're worried about gory death scenes, don't. You see the character alive and well, then the "camera" pans to something else, you hear someone cry "look out!" and when you see the character again, he is lying on the ground, with another character kneeling by his side. They have a short conversation, and then he breathes his last. No blood, no gore. Disturbing, yes. All deaths are disturbing, or should be. Gory, no.

    On the whole, I think this movie rates five stars, but because of the widescreen issue I have only given a four-star rating to this DVD version. Since the fullscreen version states that it has been "formatted to fit your screen" the movie was obviously originally in a wider screen format than has been presented, and I see no good reason why when the DVD version was produced, it could not have been done as a widescreen version! Perhaps they thought more viewers would prefer a fullscreen version, and didn't want to produce two versions (which would have cost more, admittedly.)

    I have lately found many movies that have only recently been released on DVD, and they are all widescreen versions! I'm talking about mostly junk movies for $3.50 and $5.00 at Wal-Mart! This is a classic movie! It deserves a decent widescreen presentation! Digital restoration if necessary, but WIDESCREEN please!

    Okay, thanks for listening, and if you don't have it already, buy this movie! It's still a great story even in the "truncated" format....more info
  • Don't waste your time!!!
    This movie was awful. I'm not criticizing the animation, which was above par, but the story is nothing like that of the book. After reading the "Secret of Nimh" I wanted my 5 year-old to see the movie. Big mistake. The book is much better. The movie plot was changed substantially and instead of "smart" rats we now have "magic" rats. If you want a wonderful story read the book and its subsequent sequels written by the original author's daughter. If you want scary, far-fetched, science fiction go ahead, waste your time with this film....more info
  • Boring
    I finished watching THE SECRET OF NIMH. Don't worry: their secret is safe with me. By the end of the movie, I still had no idea what NIMH is. I assume it's some nasty lab that does nasty things to rats to make them intelligent. But they also seem to be exterminators. And unless I dozed off and missed it, they never explained what the letters N.I.M.H. stand for. They're written in upper-case letters, so probably they stand for something.

    The only characters I found remotely interesting were the owl, the cat and the crow. (I did like the kid calling the crow a turkey; that was cute.) It was a delight to hear John Carradine's voice again. He must have been at death's door when that was made. Dom DeLuise was fun. Elizabeth Hartman, whoever she is, had no personality whatsoever. She came across as a total wimp. Just at the point where she might have developed into someone interesting, the movie ended very abruptly with the two crows forming patterns in the sky with their string. Huh? Did they run out of film at that point? Or money?

    Anyway, the watercolor backgrounds were pretty.

    There are many things in the movie that I though were unsuitable for kids, and the pacing is so slow and meandering that I can't imagine kids being interested. However, that's only my opinion.
    ...more info
  • Beautifully done and pertinent to the times.
    The story is for children but deals with subject matter that we should all concern ourselves with. The question of what science is doing to our environment and the life forms which inhabit this planet. I took my children to see it when it came out and have now bought the DVD for my grandchildren.The story line is sweet and timeless....more info
  • Before Beverly Hills 90210
    I remembered it right. Shanon Daugherty of 90210 was the voice to one of the children in this movie!

    About the movie...... all I can say is that I think I enjoyed this movie more when I was a child than now that I'm almost 30. Unlike when I watched the Little mermaid anime (where the mermaid turns into foam), I still loved every moment of it.

    I guess this movie is great for kids aged 6 and up. Toddlers might get scared of the music, the voices, and the rats from NIMH.

    In the end.......I think it's still one of the best cartoons made in its time!...more info
  • Great movie and wonderful way to teach children about respect for animals
    I bought this for myself as an adult, so I don't have the 2-disc version. But my daughter asks for the movie (now that I'm a mom) and I love it more now than I did as a child. This could very well have been a motivator in making me a vegetarian in my teens.

    The story teaches children about love and respect, the importance of family, inner strength and a little message about treating animals with kindness and compassion. LOVE THIS MOVIE! The plot is seamless and great for all ages. Well, some scarier parts might be a bit much for a toddler, but my daughter has watched this since around age 2 and was never too scared to continue.

    Enjoy!...more info
  • VERY CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I don't have the movie, but I watch it on Toon Disney and it is a total classic! This is definately a Don Bluth masterpiece!...more info
  • A far cry from the book, but a decent animated film nonetheless
    Don Bluth's The Secret of NIMH claims to be based on Robert C. O'Brien's children's novel, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. However, the closest relationship between the two is the characters' names (though even Mrs. Frisby is renamed in the movie).

    The loose plot is the same--a widowed mouse needs to move her house to keep it from being run over by the plow with her bedridden son inside. However, the Bluth film adds a whole level of nonsense, removing the most important scenes of the book--the scenes that gave the story its charm and believability--and threw in some absurd magical mumbo-jumbo, dressed the rats in little clothes, and generally messed up a story that was quite good on its own. The result is a foolish and somewhat clumsy story made into a film that shares little of the spirit of the book it was inspired by.

    That said, the film is ranks at or above the level of typical Disney films of that era. The animation is top-notch, and Bluth's experience as a Disney animator shows in his good visual storytelling. Because of the frequent use of backlighting as a special effect, it comes off a bit flashier than contemporary Disney films of the era. Everything looks generally more sleek and polished (compare to Oliver and Company, The Black Cauldron, The Aristocats, and other '70s-'80s Disney). In general the voice acting is good and not too heavy-handed, with Dom Delouise playing the only really memorable voice role: Jeremy the crow. The plot also moves along at a good pace.

    At its heart The Secret of NIMH is a kids' movie. However, grown-ups will also probably enjoy The Secret of NIMH, though they may want to leave to get a snack during the obnoxious magical segments....more info
  • all star
    A loving tale of a mother and and her fight to save her family after the loss of her mate. the journey takes you through the farm house, deep in the rose bush and to the lea of the stone. Meeting many friends and a few enemies along the way you may not cry, but your heart will be filled with emotion....more info
  • Great film, but family fun edition?
    I remember growing up and enjoying this film, but I also vividly remembering how much certain scenes scared the hell out of me, with the Owl, for instance. I whole heartily recommend this movie, but be mindful of you child's tolerance for scary images it might be worth while to wait until the kids are a little older for this gem. ...more info
  • An Animation Masterpiece
    When the art form of Animation (the HAND DRAWN animation)was still being done,This film exceeded the magic and wonder of most of the family affair we are littered with today. Every character in this film is endearing (Jeremy the crow is my personal favorite). The film is also filled with eye candy, the colors and background paintings and animation is top notch. NIMH boring? Not at all, I found this film to be extremly entertaining and the story kept my interest the whole way through, and this statement is coming from a 38 year old man!
    Yes I saw NIMH as a child but the charm still captures my heart to this day.Don Bluth is a master animator in my opinion, and thankfully he is carrying the torch for this little used art form in this time of computer animation. Why on earth can't both mediums exist? Handdrawn versus computer? I'll take hand drawn everytime! The heart in this film comes from ALOT of HARD WORK and from alot of talented people that had a love for the art form of hand drawn animation. Deep down inside, I believe Mr. Bluth will have the last laugh as hand drawn animation will make a comeback.
    To the one reviewer who obviosly was not paying attention during this film, NIMH stands for NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH. Do not hesitate to sit the children down in front of the TV to watch this film, better yet< sit down with them and watch it! You'll find you will enjoy it as much as they will.
    Enjoy this masterpiece and respect it for what it is.
    ...more info
  • They should have read the book
    This is a terrible corruption of an incredible book. I read the book when I was in fourth grade and loved it. My wife uses it now in class and her fifth graders love it. But the movie is only loosely connected with the book. Science has been replaced with magic. The rats' struggles against nature and NIMH have been replaced with a struggle against an evil nemesis. The heartrending ending in the book has been replaced with an action sequence. And the believable storytelling that makes The Rats of NIMH such a good book has been replaced with utter and unbelievable fantasty. Save your money to buy the book and read it with your kids. ...more info
  • Rediscovering a Favorite
    The Sercert of NIMH was one of my favorite movies as a child. And being able to own it on DVD is awesome. I don't really agree with people who say the DVD is poor quailty. My copy as a child was taped off of tv so this is a 100 times best. Having this in my collection along side other favorites like the Last Unicorn and the Dark Crystal is worth it by far. ...more info
  • Amazing, and a bit of my faves
    This movie brings back memories. When I was a kid, the cartoons that we watched weren't anything like the Pixar/"new" Disney stuff that we see today. All fluff, silliness, and jokes. The features that we had were dark and dramatic with amazing stories and fleshed out characters. The Secret of Nimh is one of those fantastic movies that I will always treasure. My one compaint is with the revamped packaging that this film and others are getting that are really gearing toward small children. This movie is dark, and might bother the super young kids. Love it!...more info
  • Loved Since I was Young
    Always loved this story since I was young. I bought it as part of collection for my nephew to watch when I have him over (and me info
  • Very Dreamy And Cool.......
    Absolutly brillaint~ The backgrounds sparkle and the animation is GREAT for the time it was made(1982)

    I LOVE Mrs.Brisby. I have read the book, and this is not the exact copy of it, but still a GREAT movie.

    A MUST HAVE!!!!!...more info

  • What happened?
    Let me start off with my overall opinion- I hated it. My friends and I found this dvd and decided to watch it together due to our fond childhood memories of it. I remember liking it as a child. However, once we finished watching it, I felt cheated. There is hardly any storyline. It's as if the director took one incident from the book (I have not read it yet) and decided to make an hour long movie about it. The characters don't even get a chance to develop. Now, if you go into watching the movie like you would prep yourself for an animated short, you'd be impressed. But an hour and 22 minutes is plenty of time to tell a good story and they don't do that. I'm not one for sequels, but after watching this, I felt it needed at least two more. One to explain the full backstory of Jonathon Brisby and one (that's already made) about Timmy when he's older.

    I did rate it two stars and that is because the art and animation qualities are really well done. The movie is beautiful. Overall, I would advise parents to watch the movie before they show it to kids. It's up to them to decide when they think their child can handle it. I'd suggest around 8-10 years old at the earliest. I watched it in 4th or 5th grade and was not affected by it too much. For those that didn't catch it, someone in the movie did say that NIMH stood for the National Institute of Mental Health. This is not a movie I intend to own, but for it's artistic merits, I may view it again later on in life....more info
  • Awesome remaster
    I saw this movie when I was a child which when I was 6. This one though was a very good redesign and re-mastering of the movie. Bluth took out Alot of the noise and artifacts of the movie. has a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound along with a commentary from Bluth himself. as a result this is a great DVD to have if you enjoy the movie Alot. This was supposed to be a HD type quality but I wasnt sure if it is or not because Im looking at this on my PC which has a GeForce 8800GTX with PUREVideo system integrated. which supposidly gets rid of the noise on movies. Overall a good DVD to get...more info
  • OOPS!!
    This movie should not be rated G. It's hard to explain to a first grader why the characters say the "D" word. I know they hear that on television all the time, but when I buy a G rated movie, I expect no surprises!!...more info
  • Golden Oldie
    I miss all the old MGM cartoons and animated movies.

    I hadn't seen this one in about 10 - 15 yrs when it popped up on Amazon the recommendations for me that day. I about fell over. I loved these movies because they were so fantastical but always fairly harmless. The bad guy never wins, the good guys are always ones that you would want your kids to relate to and the stories are always fast-paced and creative. Why can't we make stuff like that today huh? I mean, I'm only 25 and I totally don't understand HALF of what's on tv now a days.

    I would absolutely recommend this to ANYONE, kids or no. I even bought a copy for my mom for Christmas b/c I know she'd love to watch one of our favorite old movies with my youngest brother, remastered and on DVD looking better than ever!...more info
  • Very intense but good
    This movie was one of myy favorite movies from MGM growing up. Sure it scared the crod out of me the first time I saw it in second grade. This movie has several parts that are very intense. I think the G rating is not accurate. I recomend you don't watch this movie unless you are in adolescents or older. Many parts of this movie like the visit to the great owl and the scene with the plow the escape from dragon and the duel ext scared the witts out of be. If you are younger than adolescents I recommend you reed the book Ms. Frisby and Rats of Nimh and its two sequels Rasco and the rats of Nimth and Rt Margret and the rats of Nimth. If you like the movie I recommend the secret of nimth 2 Timothy's Rescue the only sequel ever made to it....more info
  • Still one of the best
    I loved this movie when it first came out, and still love it today. It is only superficialy based on the book, a Newberry award winning classic, but it stands on its own merits. The animation is beautiful, the voice acting wonderful and the story still resonates with my adult self, just as it did when I was a child. I bought it for my niece, because it stands out in my mind as one of those moments of pure wonder that happen all too infrequently. A true classic....more info
  • Better than any Disney Film, I've ever seen!!!
    Don Bluth's "Secret of Nimh", is a wonderful movie. The animation is like, WOW!!! Even though the story is slightly different from the book; it'll keep your attention. I first saw this movie when I was 5 and loved it, now I'm 25 and I still love it. The voices for each character matches perfectly. I am sooo glad Disney did not make this film, they lack the imagination needed....more info
  • Secret of Nimh video
    After checking through endless retailers for this older video I happened to come across it while searching for another item at your site. Very pleased with the service I received and plan on making future purchases....more info


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