IMDb > The Secret of NIMH (1982)
The Secret of NIMH
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The Secret of NIMH (1982) More at IMDbPro »

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The Secret of NIMH -- A society of genetically altered rats comes to the aid of a mouse whose family is threatened by civilization. Animated.

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   21,920 votes »
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Up 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Robert C. O'Brien (novel)
Don Bluth (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Secret of NIMH on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 July 1982 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
Right before your eyes and beyond your wildest dreams. See more »
Plot:
To save her ill son, a field mouse must seek the aid of a colony of rats, with whom she has a deeper link than she ever suspected. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Perhaps the greatest postwar animated film See more (136 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Derek Jacobi ... Nicodemus (voice)

Elizabeth Hartman ... Mrs. Brisby (voice)

Arthur Malet ... Mr. Ages (voice)

Dom DeLuise ... Jeremy (voice)

Hermione Baddeley ... Auntie Shrew (voice)

Shannen Doherty ... Teresa (voice)

Wil Wheaton ... Martin (voice)
Jodi Hicks ... Cynthia (voice)
Ian Fried ... Timothy (voice)

John Carradine ... Great Owl (voice)

Peter Strauss ... Justin (voice)

Paul Shenar ... Jenner (voice)

Tom Hatten ... Farmer Fitzgibbons (voice)

Lucille Bliss ... Mrs. Fitzgibbons (voice)

Aldo Ray ... Sullivan (voice)
Norbert Auerbach ... Councilman 1 (voice)
Dick Kleiner ... Councilman 2 (voice)

Charles Champlin ... Councilman 3 (voice)

Edie McClurg ... Miss Right (voice)
Joshua Lawrence ... Billy Fitzgibbons (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Sally Stevens ... Singer (segment "Flying Dreams Lullaby") (voice) (uncredited)
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Directed by
Don Bluth 
 
Writing credits
Robert C. O'Brien (novel "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH")

Don Bluth (story adaptation) &
John Pomeroy (story adaptation) &
Gary Goldman (story adaptation) &
Will Finn (story adaptation)

Produced by
Don Bluth .... producer
Gary Goldman .... producer
Rich Irvine .... executive producer
John Pomeroy .... producer
James L. Stewart .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
 
Film Editing by
Jeffrey C. Patch  (as Jeffrey Patch)
 
Production Management
Fred Craig .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dan Molina .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
James Cavarretta .... sound effects recordist (as James Cavarretta Jr.)
Walter A. Gest .... sound re-recordist (as Walter Gest)
David M. Horton .... sound effects editor
Rick Kline .... sound re-recording mixer
Stan Levine .... synthesizer sound effects
William Mead .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Donald O. Mitchell .... sound re-recording mixer
Kevin O'Connell .... sound re-recording mixer
Gary Ritchie .... sound re-recordist
John Roesch .... foley artist
Garry Ulmer .... dialogue recordist
 
Visual Effects by
Fred Craig .... director of special processes
Vincent DeFrances .... effects assistant (as Vincent De Francis)
Jeff Etter .... effects assistant
Bruce Heller .... additional special effects animator
Tom Hush .... additional special effects animator
Diann Landau .... additional special effects animator
Dorse A. Lanpher .... special effects supervisor (as Dorse A. Lanpher)
Hope London .... effects assistant
Scott Santoro .... effects assistant
Barry Whitebook .... effects assistant (as Barry A. Whitebook)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Joe Jiuliano .... animation camera
Jeffery Mellquist .... animation camera (as Jeff Mellquist)
Chuck Warren .... animation camera (as Charles Warren)
Bill Butler .... visual consultant (uncredited)
Rob Maine .... animation camera (uncredited)
 
Animation Department
Diane Albracht .... cel painter
Kelly Anderson .... assistant animator
Tamara Anderson .... assistant animator
David R. Ankney .... xerographer (as David Ankney)
Robert Avery .... xerographer
Philo Barnhart .... character key assistant
Phyllis Barnhart .... cel painter
Arland Barron .... assistant animator
Kathy Barrows-Fullmer .... animation checker (as Kathy Barrows)
Alethea Bernard .... ink artist
Don Bluth .... directing animator
Don Bluth .... layout artist
David Braden .... xerographer
Kristine Brown .... ink artist
Karen Burrell .... cel painter
Daryl Carstensen .... xerography checker
Tammy Cecil .... cel painter
Judy Champin .... cel painter
Merllyn Ching .... ink artist
Joann Cohn .... cel painter
Lorna Cook .... animator (as Lorna Pomeroy)
Ken Cope .... assistant animator
Annamarie Costa .... animation checker
Patricia Cowling .... cel painter (as Patti Cowling)
Sharon Dabek .... cel painter
Eric Daniels .... xerographer
Ron Dias .... background artist
Lynn Diederich .... cel painter
Colleen Draper .... cel painter
Robin Draper .... cel painter
Diane Dunning .... ink artist
John Eddings .... xerographer
Robert Erhart .... xerographer
Gina Evans .... cel painter
Beverly Felix .... cel painter (as Cookie Palacio)
Shirley Ferrante .... cel painter
Cindy Finn .... animation color stylist (as Cindy Chilko Finn)
Will Finn .... animator
Ayalen Garcia .... assistant animator (as Ayalén Garcia)
Peter Gentle .... cel painter
Marta Glodkowska .... cel painter (as Marta Skwara)
David Goetz .... background artist
Gary Goldman .... directing animator
Valerie Green .... xerography checker
Heidi Guedel .... animator
Auguste Haboush .... assistant animator
Evelyn Hairapetian .... cel painter (as Evie Hairapetian)
Odin Hor .... cel painter
Michael Horowitz .... assistant animator
Emily Jiuliano .... animator
Emily Jiuliano .... character key assistant
Leonard Johnson .... assistant animator (as Leonard E. Johnson)
Skip Jones .... animator
Debra Jorgensborg .... animation color stylist (as Debbie Casillas)
Gayle Kanagy .... cel painter
Michael Kane .... xerographer
Paulette Knell .... cel painter
Nancy Kniep .... assistant animator
Dan Kuenster .... animator
Boowon Lee .... assistant animator
Karan Lee-Storr .... ink artist (as Karan J. Storr)
Larry Leker .... layout artist
William Lorencz .... color story sketcher
Mildred Luukkonen .... cel painter
Annette Mackie .... cel painter (as Annette Vandenberg)
Shirley Mapes .... cel painter
Linda Miller .... animator
Missy .... cel painter
David Molina .... animator
Sandra Moline .... cel painter
Deborah Mooneyham .... cel painter
Don Moore .... background artist
Jeanette Nouribekian .... cel painter
Carmen Oliver .... animation color stylist
Vera Pacheco .... character key assistant (as Vera Lanpher)
Elyse Pastel .... assistant animator
Gary Perkovac .... assistant animator
Catherine Peterson .... cel painter (as Cathy Mirkovich)
Chris Peterson .... assistant animator (as Christopher Peterson)
Cheryl Polakow .... assistant animator
Robin Police .... cel painter
John Pomeroy .... directing animator: "Mr. Ages", "Jeremy", "Dragon", "The Great Owl", "Nicodemus", "Justin" and "Jenner"
Linda Praamsma .... cel painter
Bonnie Ramsey .... cel painter
Valerie Reed .... cel painter
Art Roman .... assistant animator
Alison Sassoon .... cel painter
Terry Shakespeare .... assistant animator
Debra Y. Siegel .... paint technician
Dave Smith .... final checker
Dave Spafford .... animator
Lynn Spees .... cel painter
Catherine Stein .... cel painter
Kim Stevens .... cel painter
Christina Stocks .... ink artist (as Cris Stocks)
Jim Stocks .... final checker
Cynthia Surage .... mark-up
Terri-Lynn Swears .... cel painter
Olga Tarin-Craig .... ink and paint supervisor (as Olga Tarin Craig)
Sharon Thomas .... cel painter
Shirley Thomas .... cel painter
Bruce W. Timm .... assistant animator
Marshall Lee Toomey .... assistant animator (as Marshall Toomey)
Jody Trout .... cel painter
Sally Voorheis .... assistant animator (as Sally J. Voorheis)
Manon Washburn .... cel painter
Phyllis White .... cel painter
Kevin Wurzer .... animator (as Kevin M. Wurzer)
Nikki Zelenka .... animation checker
Janet M. Zoll .... xerographer (as Janet Zoll)
Stephan Zupkas .... assistant animator
 
Editorial Department
Donah Bassett .... negative cutter
Richard Ritchie .... color timer
 
Music Department
Michael Clifford .... music editor: London (as Mike Clifford)
Leonard A. Engel .... music editor (as Len Engel)
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator
John Richards .... music recordist
 
Other crew
Diana Adams .... accountant (as Diana Johnson)
G. Thomas Baker .... accountant
Stephan Barnes .... creative consultant
Bob Chevalier .... production assistant
Kimberley Coy .... unit publicist
Terri Eddings .... production assistant
Richard A. Gabrio .... creative consultant
Jan Goldman .... accountant
Mel Griffin .... production executive
Edna Hartling .... production assistant
Tom Irvine .... accountant
Martin S. Jacobson .... creative consultant
Sarah-Jane King .... production assistant (as Sarah King)
Charles Kurts .... production assistant
Elaine Miller .... accountant
Carolyn Morris .... production assistant
Victor Solis .... production assistant
Julie Spafford .... production assistant
Shirley Spafford .... production assistant
David J. Steinberg .... production assistant (as David Steinberg)
Mike Vest .... production assistant
Caralyn Warren .... production assistant
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
82 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Brazil:Livre | Canada:G (Manitoba/Nova Scotia/Quebec) | Canada:F (Ontario) | Finland:K-8/5 (1988) | Finland:K-10/7 (1982) | France:U | Peru:PT | Portugal:M/6 | Singapore:G | South Africa:A | South Korea:All | Spain:T | Sweden:11 | UK:U | USA:G (Approved No. 26707) | West Germany:6
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The movie also heralds a return to using the multiplane camera for scenes requiring depth, especially Nicodemus' magic hologram and in the opening sequence where with the aid of backlit animation, the wise old rat beckons magic vapors from an inkwell to grace the pages of an ancient book with fiery gold lettering.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Dragon's bad eye switches from his right to his left throughout.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Nicodemus:Johnathan Brisby was killed today while helping with the plan. It is four years since our departure from NIMH, and our world is changing. We cannot stay here much longer. Johnathan was a dear friend. I am lost in knowing how to help his widow. She knows nothing about us or the plan. Perhaps best that I do nothing at present. I shall miss him. Johnathan - wherever you are - your thoughts must comfort her tonight. She will be waiting and you will not return. Farewell... my friend.
See more »
Soundtrack:
Flying DreamsSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in the movie?
What does NIMH stand for?
How did the Rats of NIMH become more intelligent than human beings?
See more »
103 out of 112 people found the following review useful.
Perhaps the greatest postwar animated film, 13 August 2004
Author: Lupercali from Tasmania

The short version: 'The Secret of NIMH' isn't just a masterpiece: it's the best classically animated film since the early 40's. It's up there with 'Bambi', which is to say, this is about as good as it gets.

I remember walking down the street when I was about 19, and seeing the poster for 'The Secret of NIMH' up in a theatre, and immediately thinking "This film is going to blow my mind." A week later, I was sitting in an empty theatre, watching the last credits rolling down the screen after everybody else had left, and the house lights were up, thinking "yep."

A bit of history is probably in order for a film of this importance. Flashback to about 1980. Disney animator Don Bluth walks out, halfway through production on 'The Fox and the Hound', taking several other key animators with him, and declaring that he was going to recapture the spirit of classical animation, which Disney had forgotten about.

Nearly three years later, NIMH debuts. Critically it is well received, but lack of distribution and advertising means it's swamped by such an historical non-entity as Disney's 'Tron'. Accepting an animation award for best film, Bluth remarked "Thanks. We didn't think anyone had noticed."

NIMH is a glorious achievement. It puts to shame anything which Disney had done for a quarter century, and singlehandedly did exactly what Bluth set out to do. It revived the spirit of classical animation, and at the same time it proved that there was room on the block for another player than Disney - not an unimportant fact when you consider that at the time there was no Dreamworks or Pixar, and no feature animation section in Universal or MGM.

As to the film itself: from the first moment you are treated to a gloriously rich, sumptuous, seamless animation and background art, the likes of which hadn't been seen since Disney's war years. Particularly stunning is the movie's use of colour to enhance moods. The dark blues and blacks of the stunning 'lantern elevator' descent into the rats' city, and the tractor scene - the background starts out in subdued tones and ends up flaming red as the action peaks. One reviewer at the time wrote "I felt as if I was watching the invention of color, as if I was being drawn into the depths of the screen."

The characters are beautifully conceived and drawn, and the voice characterisations are spot-on (including the animation debut of Dom de Luise as Jeremy). And, significantly, there is only one song, and it's not sung by a character (significantly, 'Balto', one of the few animated films since which can hold a candle to NIMH, followed the same principal). Jerry Goldsmith's score supplies the emotional power for the rest of the soundtrack.

Even more importantly though, the film is incredibly emotionally potent, and not in a sentimental, kiddy way. It has genuine choke-you-up power which will appeal to adults.

Bluth ditched the double storyline of the book, relegating Jonathan Brisby's more substantial role in the novel to a short piece of background information revealed in an explanatory flashback. Personally I think this was the right decision. To do otherwise would have been to take the spotlight off Mrs Brisby, and probably diminish the film's coherence and power.

So, Don Bluth achieved his goal: his debut feature film was the greatest animated achievement in 40 years. Sadly, it was also his only masterpiece. He peaked on his first outing, and afterwards declined into mediocrity, while Disney picked itself up and overtook him. In fact, ironically, there were signs of this in 'The Fox and the Hound', which despite being plagued by Bluth's departure amongst other catastrophes, turned out to be Disney's best movie since the 60's, even if it would still be the better part of another decade before they started hitting their marks consistently.

Today NIMH enjoys the sort of cult following it deserves. It's just a damn shame that its greatness isn't more widely acknowledged, and an almost equally great shame that a generation later it was cursed with one of the most insulting, wretched sequels in cinematic history.

It's an important film, and it's a great film. In the two decades since it was released, only a small handful of animated films have approached its stature.

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