7.6/10
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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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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

Right before your eyes and beyond your wildest dreams. 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

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. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Ages is preparing the medicine, Mrs. Brisby is standing next to him in long shots, but is farther away in close-ups. 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 »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Labyrinth (2016) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wow
22 November 2002 | by Bones729See all my reviews

I voted a 10 on this movie mostly for its hauntingly breath-taking original musical by Jerry Goldsmith. Surely this film's score has to be some of his very best work.

The awe-inspiring wisdoms of Nicodemus and The Great Owl, the comic reliefs of Mr. Ages, Jeremy and Auntie Shrew, the fascinating struggle between good and evil (Justin and Jenner), and of course the unmatchable greatness of the Brisby family name make this film one of the best animated movies ever.

The movie's ending climax is powerful and gorgeous. You are left utterly stunned. Mrs. Brisby proves once again that she is just as brave and capable as her husband, if not more so, by never giving up hope and eventually succeeding in keeping her family safe.


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