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The Secret of NIMH (1982)

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.

Director:

Don Bluth

Writers:

Robert C. O'Brien (novel), Don Bluth (story adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Jodi Hicks ... Cynthia (voice)
Ian Fried 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)
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Storyline

Mrs. Brisby, a widowed mouse, lives in a cinder block with her children on the Fitzgibbon farm. She is preparing to move her family out of the field they live in as plowing time approaches, however her son Timothy has fallen ill, and moving him could prove fatal. Mrs. Brisby visits The Great Owl, a wise creature who advises her to visit a mysterious group of rats who live beneath a rose bush on the farm. Upon visiting the rats, Brisby meets Nicodemus, the wise and mystical leader of the rats, and Justin, a friendly rat who immediately becomes attached to Mrs. Brisby. While there, she learns that her late husband, Mr. Jonathon Brisby, along with the rats, was a part of a series of experiments at a place known only as N.I.M.H. (revealed earlier in the story as the National Institute of Mental Health). The experiments performed on the mice and rats there boosted their intelligence, allowing them to read without being taught and to understand things such as complex mechanics and ... Written by MIss Victoria

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Animation in the grand tradition by a new master, Don Bluth. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 July 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mrs. Brisby and the Rats of NIMH See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$386,530, 5 July 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$14,665,733, 31 December 1982
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 (1986). According to Bluth and Gary Goldman in 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. See more »

Goofs

The very first long-shot of the rats working the rigging to lift the Brisby home shows the block already hanging from block-and-tackle in the background, yet the very next scene cut shows the block being lifted from the mud. Also the block is never shown to be entirely covered in mud at any time during the movie , but it is during the lift. 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.
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Crazy Credits

The production storyboards are used for background in the end credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

On the MGM KIDS DVD release of the film, the 1982 United Artists logo is replaced with the 1995 United Artists logo. See more »


Soundtracks

Flying Dreams
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith
Lyrics Written and Performed by Paul Williams
Arranged by Ian Fraser
Lullaby Performed by Sally Stevens
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Early great Bluth film
24 November 2006 | by twinreverbSee all my reviews

This film has more soul than most animated films. The film music is excellent, and honestly is the shining jewel of the movie. The art work is excellent for the time period: and no computers used! The backgrounds have excellent detail: they could honestly be used as great works of art on their own merit. The voices are excellent and very fitting for the characters. The story line is very well done: while not lacking in action at any time, it's also not like most modern films that are constantly "in your face" with fast-moving activity. The facial expressions are outstanding! Too bad Don Bluth didn't do more films! The mud in certain scenes was very well done. The story has great struggle and good-versus-evil appeal to it. The music is actually great for an animated film: no catchy or cheeky pop music at all, but the music score seems to always be doing something. Many times it does such a good job at painting the mental picture of certain scenes that if you were to listen to the score by itself after seeing the movie, you could trace the story line by heart. Even the musical prototype for the main theme, "Flying Dreams" (or whatever) was done so well that it makes one wonder who wrote and performed the original demo (first song of the credits). Excellent movie in all aspects, even if it seems "old school" to some :)


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