The Secret of NIMH: WHY IS THERE MAGIC?

*A Note from Aly & Sarrah*
This week we are starting a new star rating system! We want to make sure that we really take a hard look at each film and try to see it from as unbiased a place as possible. So we figured out this new system! Each week we'll go through our reasoning in our episode, and each week the rating will appear at the bottom of the blog post. Here's the basic rubric:

Each movie will be given a full, half, or zero stars for each of the following:

Voice Acting / Script and Story / Animation and Technical / Music and Songs / Over-all Style

Listen to the end of each episode, and check the bottom of each blog post starting now to see the star rating for each film we discuss and review!

 

Today we start a grand adventure, listeners.

Today we enter the realm of master 80's and 90's animation story-teller, a prince of all 80's and 90's kid's childhood...Don Bluth.

And the movie that starts off our Bluth-ian journey? 1982's The Secret of NIMH.

Once more, we have a movie based on a book. And so Aly gives us the short biography of author Robert O'Brien. Why so short? Well, he actually never admitted he wrote the book until after his death. Now you can learn why! In addition to all our book-learnin', today we also get to learn a little bit about a research experiment done on rats to discover links with behavior and living space. Don't ask why just sit back and feel your brains expand (without the help of syringes).

 Author Robert C. O'Brien

Author Robert C. O'Brien

Sarrah tells us all about the origin of Don Bluth Productions, and how this movie was a bit of a financial gamble for them. They were originally operating out of Bluth's garage, and a lot of the animators were not paid up front for their work, the production team even mortgaged their homes to finance the picture.

 Hello Mr. DeLuise, we shall see you again real soon!

Hello Mr. DeLuise, we shall see you again real soon!

Together we get to meet some new voices that will be veeery prominent in our future (why hello Mr. DeLuise!) and see how this movie was a pretty big success and a great starting point for Don Bluth productions getting into feature-length films. Aly also points out the intention of making the Great Owl and Nicodemus look incredibly similar... (Sarrah didn't notice)

Our walk-through has us constantly questions why there is magic (SERIOUSLY?), what's with Jenner's eyebrows, and fully appreciating Auntie Shrew as one of the best friends a mouse could have.

 Oh...hey there.

Oh...hey there.

So grab a ride on a crow, travel down to the depths of the Rat's burrow...and let's learn all the secrets that NIMH has to offer!

 

Some additional viewing for you:

Don Bluth Productions original short: Banjo the Woodpile Cat

Don Bluth Productions addition to the cinematic masterpiece that is Xanadu. It's like Thumbelina and Sword in the Stone had a baby.
Real talk- Aly can't stop watching this.


Stars 3.png

Secret of NIMH Rating:
Voice Acting: Half - well done but nothing special
Script & Story: Half - witty dialogue, but major plot holes
Music & Songs: Half - nothing memorable, but the orchestration fit the movie well
Animation & Technical: Full - beautifully animated with great camera moves
Style: Half - It was fine, but a little dark for our taste.


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Our Sources:

Podcast Music By: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

IMDb Page for Secret of NIMH
Wikipedia Article for The Secret of NIMH
Wikipedia Article for Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Wikipedia Article on Robert O'Brien
Children's Book Almanac Page on Robert O'Brien
Wikipedia Article on John B. Calhoun's Experiments

Mentalfloss Article on Secret of NIMH
AvClub Article on Secret of NIMH
AdamMcDaniel.com Interviews with Don Bluth's Company

Variety.com Article on Live Action NIMH
IGN.com Article on Live Action NIMH

Mrs.Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Audio Book. Narrator Barbara Caruso. Recorded Books LLC. 1993

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Robert C. O'Brien. Aladdin Fantasy. 1971