Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Secret of NIMH

 Released Year: 1982
Directed by Don Bluth

Voiced by:
 Elizabeth Hartman as Mrs. Brisby
Derek Jacobi as Nicodemus
Hermione Baddeley as Auntie Shrew
John Carradine as The Great Owl
Dom DeLuise as Jeremy the Crow
Arthur Malet as Mr. Ages
Peter Strauss as Justin
Paul Shenar as Jenner
Mrs. Brisby, a timid widowed field mouse, lives in a cinder block with her children in a field on the Fitzgibbons' farm. She prepares to move her family out of the field as plowing time approaches, but her son Timothy has fallen ill. She visits Mr. Ages, another mouse and friend of her late husband, Jonathan, who diagnoses Timothy with pneumonia and provides her with medicine. Mr. Ages warns her that Timothy must stay inside for at least three weeks or he will die. On her way home, she encounters Jeremy, a clumsy but friendly crow. They both narrowly escape from the Fitzgibbons' cat, Dragon.

The next day, Mrs. Brisby discovers that Farmer Fitzgibbons has started plowing early. Although her neighbor Auntie Shrew helps her disable his tractor, Mrs. Brisby knows she must devise another plan. Jeremy takes her to visit the Great Owl, who tells her to visit a group of rats that live beneath a rose bush on the farm and ask for Nicodemus, their wise and mystical leader.

Mrs. Brisby enters the rose bush and encounters a tough and aggressive guard rat named Brutus, who chases her away with a battle axe. She is led back in by Mr. Ages (who now has his leg bandaged up) and is amazed to see the rats' use of electricity and other technology. She meets Nicodemus and Justin, the Captain of the Guard, and a ruthless, power-hungry rat named Jenner. From Nicodemus, she learns that many years ago her husband, along with the rats and Mr. Ages, were part of a series of experiments at a place known as NIMH, the National Institute of Mental Health. The experiments boosted their intelligence, enabling them to escape, as well as extending their lifespans. However, they are unable to live only as rats, needing human technology to survive, which they have only accomplished by stealing. The rats have concocted "The Plan", which is to leave the farm and live independently. Nicodemus gives Mrs. Brisby an amulet called "The Stone", that gives magical power when its wearer is courageous.

Because of her husband's relationship with the rats, they agree to help Mrs. Brisby move her home. First, they need to drug Dragon to sleep so that they can complete the move safely. Only Mrs. Brisby can do this, as only mice are small enough to fit through the hole leading into the house; Jonathan was killed by Dragon in a previous attempt, while Mr. Ages broke his leg in another. That night, she puts the drug into the cat's food dish, but the Fitzgibbons' son Billy catches her. While trapped in a birdcage, she overhears a telephone conversation between Farmer Fitzgibbons and NIMH and learns that the Institute intends to exterminate the rats the next day. She escapes from the cage and runs off to warn Justin and the others.

The rats are moving the Brisby home, with the children inside, using a rope and pulley system during a thunderstorm. Jenner, who wishes for the rats to remain in the rose bush, sabotages the ropes with his reluctant accomplice Sullivan, causing the assembly to fly apart and kill Nicodemus. Mrs. Brisby arrives and tries to convince the rats that NIMH is coming and they must leave, but Jenner calls her a hysterical liar, attacks her, and attempts to take the amulet from her neck. Sullivan alerts Justin, who rushes to Mrs. Brisby's aid. After mortally wounding Sullivan, Jenner engages Justin in a sword fight, which ends in Justin stabbing him. Justin then addresses the other rats to prepare for their departure from the farm. Jenner recovers and advances on an unaware Justin, but the dying Sullivan hurls his own dagger into Jenner's back, killing him.

The Brisby house begins to sink into the mud, but Justin and the rats are unable to raise it. Mrs. Brisby's will to save her children gives power to the amulet, which she uses to lift the house and move it to safety. The rats depart to Thorn Valley with Justin as their new leader, and Timothy begins to recover. Jeremy eventually meets "Miss Right", another crow who is just as clumsy as he is, and the two fly away together.
 L² Scored: 10/10

L² Comment
I'm so thankful to Ellie coz she has been mentioning about this animation to me for more than 10 times. I never watch this anime before and since I went over to her place last night to take something, I decided to watch it when she ask me to.

This movie is based on the children book of Robert C.O'Brien "Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH". The movie follow exactly the original story of the novel except changing Mrs Frisby to Mrs Brisby due to the trademark concern of the Frisbee disc. This movie has make a hit back in 1982, it has beaten down a lot of famous movie such as Poltergeist, Rocky III, Firefox, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; but it still lose to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. It has also won Saturn Award's Best Animated Film.

Though it has some fantasy in this movie, but it never hide anything that was not suppose to "occur" in the children movie such as "killing" & "dead", which is impossible to occur back in those days. The storyline is great of meaningful morals and yet it is not boring. The graphic might look dull if you watch this old 1982 movie, but a reboot of this movie has been announce in 2015, but not sure when it will be release then... 

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