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5/7/21

Movie review: The Secrets of N.I.M.H

 Genre: Fantasy, animated

Rated: G

Year of Release: 1982

Director: Don Bluth

Summary: 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.

Review: The Secrets of NIMH or Rats of NIMH (as the book is title) is one of my all time favorite movies as a kid. Not my favorite Don Bluth's movie, that goes to All Dogs go to Heaven. Man this movie is dark. Much darker then what I remember. 

Know how the old Disney's movie have a watercolor background. When an animated character or an  animated object is over the background notice how it stands out. 

like this: 



or this: 


The first two used a large among of light. The next picture is the darkest I can find. Even Sleeping Beauty uses more light compare to NIMH.  



Disney went through a phrase where they cut back on the cost of animations. Don't get me wrong, I like the color backgrounds in old Disney movies. They have a unique charm to them that can't be found anywhere else. 

The animation in Secrets of NIMH blends well together with the watercolor background. 



Even in the brightest scene I can find there still used of shadows. Note the clouds are spouge painted on. 




I have seen people point out how dark the tone is in NIMH but, I haven't seen anyone point out the large used of shadow in the art style. 

Another thing Disney doesn't do is show blood. Secrets of NIMH doesn't shy away from showing blood. Its almost up there with the 1970s Watership Down. All those unlike Watership Down its not gritty in its violence. 

When this movie came out it was the first to rival Disney with such high standards. 

The movie is not without flaws. It follows the book closely, however I don't recall the necklace having any magic powers in the book. Plus where did this necklace come from and why does it have magic powers? 

The movie could been longer. Honestly I don't know what can be added without ruining the movie. It fine at the length it has but, it still feel like it could be longer. 


This is one of my all time favorite non-Disney movie and truth be told I don't have a favorite DreamWorks or Pixstar movie *gasp*. Sadly I don't have a DVD copy. Yes this does pop on streaming services and at the library. There a point to be made when it come to keeping physical media. Then again that is a whole other post for another time.

The Secrets of NIMH is a MUCH watch movie. If you have never seen Secrets of NIMH what have you been doing with your life and you have kids. Watch it with your kids and read them the book as well. Its just as good as the movie. 

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