The Secret of NIMH (1982)
Directed by Don Bluth
After the death of her husband Mrs. Brisby, a field mouse, must move her family from the garden to another home before the the plow digs up her home. However Timmy, her son, is sick with pneumonia and can’t be moved. With the help of Jeremy, a bumbling crow, she seeks the aid of the Great Owl who sends her the mysterious rats on the farm. Nicodemus, the leader of the Rats of NIMH, reveals their secret past and the past of her husband and promises to help her move her home.
The Animation. The animation in this movie is amazing, fresh and realistic. More so than anything Disney had produced to this point. The Great Owl, Dragon, and Jeremy all move and look like the animals they are. The sense of danger is also very real. Dragon is scary and a huge threat to Mrs. Brisby and Jeremy. Nicodemus is also a great character and opening with only his hands writing in his journal is genius. Though he doesn’t get a lot of screen time I love Jenner as a villain. He is dramatic and sinister with great cape action going on. Auntie Shrew and Mrs. Brisby’s children provide a lot of humor in this darker toned movie.
The real reason you should watch this movie is Mrs. Brisby. She is the first heroine of animated movies. Mrs. Brisby is a great role model for young girls and in my opinion more so than any Disney princess who came before or after this. Though she is shy she still manages to go out into the world and face challenges. She refuses to go away after being shooed by Mr. Ages so she can obtain Timmy’s medicine. When Jeremy is caught in string and Dragon is stalking closes she stays and saves him. She volunteers to drug the same cat who killed her husband to assure the safety of the rats as they move her home. After she is captured by the farmer’s son and trapped in a cage SHE SAVES HERSELF! She doesn’t wait for the handsome Justin to come and save her. What Disney princess or female character who came before her can boast that claim? When her home is sinking into a mud pit she is on top of it trying to save her children. She even speaks out against Jenner who is trying to manipulate the rats standing up to the villain. I hope you all watch this movie and judge for yourself about her role as a feminist heroine.
5 out of 5 Stars
Villain: Jenner is the perfect schemer and that cape is awesome.
Music: Great soundtrack and the main theme Flying Dreams is perfect.
IT’S NOT DISNEY! You need to watch this because it is so different than anything Disney has ever put out. This was the first full length animated film to come and challenge Disney to make better movies. Also as I stated above Mrs. Brisby is such a different heroine and deserves your time because of this.
The Secret of NIMH is available on DVD for $5 most places and instant stream on Netflix.