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The Secret of NIMH [1982] (2 discs)

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Director:Don Bluth
Writer:Don Bluth
Gary Goldman
John Pomeroy
Will Finn
Composer:Jerry Goldsmith
Length:82 minutes
(1 hour 22 minutes)
MPAA Rating:G
Suggested Event Use:Friday 13
Sorting Category:Kids
IMDB Rating:7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:100%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
User rating sites like above
are subject to change
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Classifications:
  • Drama
  • Fantasy
  • Family
  • Cartoon
  • Kids
  • Action
  • Mystery
Available Formats:
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Synopsis: Mrs. Brisby, a mouse with a problem, must work with a mysterious group of rats in order to save her family.


Reaction: This is a bit dark and definitely not one of those happy-go-lucky cartoons, but children will love it.


Personal Rating: 9/10

Select Cast and Crew
Don Bluth => Director / Writer
Gary Goldman => Writer
John Pomeroy => Writer
Will Finn => Writer
Jerry Goldsmith => Composer
Robert C. O'Brien => Novel 'Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH'
Aldo Ray => Sullivan
Arthur Malet => Mr. Ages
Charles Champlin => Councilman 3
Derek Jacobi => Nicodemus
Dick Kleiner => Councilman 2
Dom DeLuise => Jeremy
Edie McClurg => Miss Right
Elizabeth Hartman => Mrs. Brisby
Hermione Baddeley => Auntie Shrew
Ian Fried => Timothy
Jodi Hicks => Cynthia
John Carradine => Great Owl
Joshua Lawrence => Billy Fitzgibbons
Lucille Bliss => Mrs. Fitzgibbons
Norbert Auerbach => Councilman 1
Paul Shenar => Jenner
Peter Strauss => Justin
Shannen Doherty => Teresa
Tom Hatten => Farmer Fitzgibbons
Wil Wheaton => Martin

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • The lead character's name was changed from Mrs. Frisby (in the novel) to Mrs. Brisby to avoid legal entanglements from the Wham-O company (makers of the Frisbee). Unfortunately this change came late in the film's production, long after the actors had recorded their dialog. Because it was not feasible to have every actor using the word "Frisby" in the movie re-record his or her lines, the change from "Frisby" to "Brisby" was actually made by the sound editors, who, by hand, carefully sliced the "br" (taken from other words spoken by the actors) into the "fr" on the magnetic dialog tracks.
  • According to the Farmer's Wife, NIMH is an acronym for National Institute of Mental Health
  • Don Bluth, John Pomeroy and Gary Goldman all left Disney to pursue this project, which had originally been rejected by their former employer as "too dark" to be a commercial success. They were followed soon after by 20 other Disney animators, dubbed "The Disney Defectors" by the trade press.
  • At the time of release, this was the largest non-Disney animated film.
  • This was Jerry Goldsmith's first music score for an animated film. He later said that it was among his personal favorites. He was instrumental in introducing the film to Steven Spielberg, who went on to work with Don Bluth on An American Tail. According to Bluth and Gary Goldmanin their DVD commentary, Goldsmith so loved the film that he volunteered an extra three weeks to polish and refine the score, even though he was not contractually obligated to do so.
  • The film was originally budgeted at $6.5 million, but was reduced by the studio after production was underway. Gary Goldman and the film's producers resorted to mortgaging their homes in order to raise the extra $700,000 needed to complete the film. In spite of these difficulties, the film still cost under $7 million -- roughly half of what Disney had been spending at the time on each of their animated features, even with their cost-cutting methods in animation.
  • The small dragonfly Mr. Ages chases away near the beginning of the film is Evinrude from Disney's The Rescuers, one of the last films Don Bluth worked on at Disney before leaving the company.
  • After seeing early animation roughs of his character, the villain Jenner, actor Paul Shenar requested to re-record some of his lines so he could get his "performance" just right.
  • Gary Goldman stated that they originally hoped the film would receive a "PG" rating, due to several intense scenes and the maturity of the subject matter. They were actually surprised when the ratings board gave it "G", and feel that the rating might have hurt the film's commercial appeal to older audiences.
  • Shannen Doherty's film debut.