The Secret Of NIMH – Family Fun Edition (MGM)
C Sound: C Extras: C Film: B-
on DVD in a new double set is The Secret
of NIMH - Family Fun Edition. The
film that was a creative venture for Don Bluth in 1982 was a film adaptation of
the award winning book Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH. The United Artists released film is both
imaginative and fun. After 25 years the
film also holds up pretty well against the Finding
Nemos and Shreks of today. The storyline of this epic film chronicles
the hardships of Mrs. Brisby (a delightful field mouse) as she attempts to move
her and her family’s house out of the upcoming ‘plow season.’ To accomplish this feet Mrs. Brisby visits
The Great Owl who tells her she will find what she needs beneath the farm’s
rose bush. Under the rose bush Mrs.
Brisby finds a colony of rats who live much like humans; they can read, write,
use electricity, and have a plethora of other human-like qualities.
long Mrs. Brisby finds out that the reason the rats are so intelligent is due
to a magic amulet that they received from N.I.M.H. NIMH is revealed earlier to be The National
Institute of Mental health where all the rats were experimented on and later
escaped from. The rats all agree to help
Mrs. Brisby, but inform her that they are getting weary of relying on humans
for food and electricity and soon will be leaving the farm (ambitious little
rats that they are). The leader of the
rats hands over the magic amulet to Mrs. Brisby and tells her to hold it close
and tell no one. Not every rat is so
happy of the plan to leave the farm and treason is afoot. Will Mrs. Brisby save her family? Will that rats find the home they so
desire? Will someone please tell this
reviewer where to the mental health facility is? For all these answers and more watch The Secret of NIMH!
the film was entertaining, well scripted, and had unique and detailed animation
style. The Secret of NIMH has gained a bit of a cult following over the
years and is clearly understandable why.
The film is both plot intensive as well as having a dark edge that most
children’s films do not explore. With
secrets and murder flowing through the plot how could it not be dark? Yes I just said murder *gasp* Don Bluth did
an excellent job of adapting this film from the original novel and it remains a
technical aspects of this newly released YET unrestored animated feature are
not greatly improved over the previous 1998 DVD release. The picture is
presented in an anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image as issued in the theater
that is far visually superior than either the 1998 full screen release or the
1.33 X 1 release that is also viewable on this 2 disc set. Since the picture has not been greatly
improved many issues still exist with the occasional blurriness of the picture
quality, as well as the colors seeming to have light/dark issues at
times. The sound is presented in a new Dolby Digital Surround as opposed
to the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo of the 1998 release, but still remains lack
luster in this reviewer’s ears. The
sound definitely shows the film’s age, maybe they should go with DTS next time?
a few infrequent occurrences of high/low errors in which the sound seems to be
unusually low, but those instances are few. The sound is also somewhat
compressed, for some mysterious reason.
Maybe the High Definition release will be better, since we know just
this year Don Bluth FULLY restored the 1982 film. The extras found on Disc 2 are interesting
but could be better. There exists one
‘Behind the Scenes Feature’ that this reviewer found to be insightful, but in
the end could have been better; as well as 5 DVD games that were just BLAH!
Once again, look forward to the High Definition release of the film.
secret to The Secret of NIMH is the heart behind the film. In 1982 Disney was floundering to make a
solid release and was even offered NIMH
to create. Fortunately for Don Bluth
Disney turned down the idea sighting the film concept as too detailed and dark
(Oh no not fresh ideas!). Though the
film lacked in box office revenue originally, over the past 25 years it has
gained cult status and is critically acclaimed.
The bravest of hearts live in the meekest of mice.
- Michael P Dougherty II