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The Secret of NIMH [VHS] (1982)

Elizabeth Hartman , Derek Jacobi , Don Bluth  |  G |  VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (356 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

The Secret of NIMH [VHS] + The Secret Of NIMH 2 - Timmy To The Rescue [VHS] + All Dogs Go to Heaven [VHS]
Price for all three: $13.85

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Product Details

  • Actors: Elizabeth Hartman, Derek Jacobi, Dom DeLuise, Arthur Malet, Hermione Baddeley
  • Directors: Don Bluth
  • Writers: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, John Pomeroy, Robert C. O'Brien, Will Finn
  • Producers: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman
  • Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: February 6, 1995
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (356 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303206204
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,958 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

In his book, Robert C. O'Brien called his brave widow mouse "Mrs. Frisby," but Disney escapee animator Don Bluth must have thought kids would laugh the wrong way at that. They renamed her "Mrs. Brisby" for NIMH. That acronym stands for the National Institute of Mental Health, and the rats that live near Mrs. Brisby came from NIMH--they have strange ways. But they're the only ones who can save her house and her children, so Brisby seeks them out with the help of a humorous crow (Dom DeLuise). The magic gets laid on a little thick but this is Don Bluth's most successful attempt to achieve a complete, sincere, animated film. It's often forgotten, but it's a true surprise and a rare treat in the vast wasteland of insubstantial children's fare. --Keith Simanton

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent animated tale February 27, 2001
Format:DVD
A captivating story; smooth, clean animation; and an outstanding musical score combine to make this film a rewarding sensory experience.
Set in the tradition of Disney animated movies (from where Mr. Bluth came), yet this film's flavor is a shade different. I would almost say more "realistic". Not to knock any Disney films (which I love to watch), this movie deals with a problem set on a 'it could happen' level. No search for a Prince Charming here -- just a person (mouse in the film) attempting to deal with the real world problem of how to relocate the Brisby family's home under emergency conditions when one of its members is too ill to move.
The story has charm and wit, and yes, even a bit of mortality thrown in. The art and animation are top notch, and the plot flows without a lot of irrelevant detail for padding. Very young children may not follow exactly what message is being sent to the audience, however, they will probably enjoy the show all the same. For older viewers, most should be able to pick up on the theme of "caring and self-sacrefice" under difficult conditions.
Originally not a well-known movie, it has built up a cult following over the years. Yes, this one has a place in your video or DVD library -- especially if you have children.
*** Recommended ***
~P~
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Courage of the heart is very rare..." September 15, 2005
Format:DVD
Mrs. Brisby is a newly-widowed young mother with four hungry mouths to feed. She's also a tiny field mouse who scrapes out a modest living for herself and her family among the other small animals who live in Farmer Fitzgibbons' field. Harder times have fallen upon the meek and selfless little mouse, however, as her youngest child, Timmy, has become ill with pneumonia just as the family is forced to find a new home before the farmer's plowing begins. Doing anything and everything in her power to help her son and discover a remedy for her moving woes, Mrs. Brisby visits an ingenious little mouse named Mr. Ages who provides her with medicine for Timmy. Unfortunately, the danger comes sooner than expected, and Mrs. Brisby must find a faster solution. At the suggestion of her friend and neighbor, Auntie Shrew, the desperate mother takes her plea to the Great Owl. This is a dangerous task indeed for a tiny little mouse, but Mrs. Brisby will stop at nothing for the welfare of her children. She survives the frightening experience only to be sent on another quest. The Great Owl informs her that she must seek out the wise, old Nicodemus, leader of the rats in the rosebush, for only they have the power to move her home; the rats of NIMH.

NIMH, the National Institute of Mental Health, is the key to all that Mrs. Brisby never knew about her late husband. Her experiences with the rats of NIMH, escapees from that awful place, will open her eyes to an entire world of secrets, science, and magic that she never could have imagined before. Most importantly, she will come to realize the power within herself. "Courage of the heart is very rare; the stone has a power when it's there."

When former Disney animator Don Bluth struck out on his own, he was unable to take the Disney "magic" with him.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, awful DVD March 11, 2002
Format:DVD
This movie has intense sentimental value to me, since I grew up with it as a child. When I discovered is was available on DVD I lept for joy and quickly baught it. However my joy has quickly fallen to disapointment. This is a pathetic DVD, no better then the VHS, from which I think it was transfered. Pan & Scan with a stereo audio track. The film is extreemly grainy and full of scratches. MGM is notorious for making horrible DVDs, and this is a classic example. Secret of NIMH isn't that old of a movie, I find it hard to believe they couldn't find an original print to do a good transfer from, rather then just copying the VHS. I sincerely hope they reevaluate this release and give us a remastered widescreen version in the future.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The key to what makes a great animated film September 14, 2006
Format:DVD
During a scene in the Secret of NIMH, Mrs. Brisby, the film's heroine, reads an inscription that says: "You can open any door if you only have the key." The nuance, if you listen to the lullaby during the end credits, is that this key is love. In a film rich with nuances, this one is the key not only for Mrs. Brisby but also for the film itself, for it was Don Bluth and his team's obvious love for the art of animation that enabled them to create this moving dramatization of Robert C. O'Brien's novel.

The Secret of NIMH is as much for adults as it is for children. Emotional and often tense, it explores what it means to be truly human, courageous, and loving.

The film, which departs somewhat from the novel, is about a widowed field mouse, Mrs. Brisby, who must move her children before the farmer crushes her home during the spring plowing. But her youngest son is critically ill with pneumonia and cannot be moved. After rescuing a lonely but charming crow, Jeremy, Mrs. Brisby visits with his help the Great Owl, hoping that he can solve her conundrum. The solution, the Owl says, is to seek help from the feared and mysterious Rats of NIMH, who live in the rosebush near the farmer's house.

During the film, as Mrs. Brisby repeatedly risks her life to save her family, she learns many secrets. She learns the secret of her husband's death and his connection with the Rats. She learns about the Rats' struggle. And she learns that, with her mother's love and courage, she possesses that essential but elusive key to open any door.

The Rats of NIMH, collectively, are one of the most evocative symbols in storytelling of the question of humanity, what it means to be human, to think and feel as a human.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wise Old Owl...
This movie was the scariest movie I had ever seen when I watched it as a child. Now, looking back, it's not nearly as terrifying but I remember that feeling when I was young,... Read more
Published 3 days ago by JFargo
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie but added supernatural stuff not in book.
Great family movie but added supernatural stuff not in the book. However, great movie for the family. Has some really funny moments thanks to Dom DeLouise as the crow.
Published 9 days ago by Jill Mayfield
5.0 out of 5 stars good movie for all ages
I've lived it the story of a moms love for her child. An the link s she would go to save him was very sweet
Published 12 days ago by sandra jacks
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite childhood movie
It still captivates me too !Play it through surround sound and it sounds a lot creepier. I still love it!
Published 17 days ago by Allyson Ricketts
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an old favorite beautifully returned to life.
I saw this film when it was first released in theaters. I loved the characters, especially Jeremy. The score and the film's song by Paul Williams make this movie extra special. Read more
Published 20 days ago by jenna lindsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This is a most have for fans of wholesome comedy and imaginative animation. This movie is for adults and children alike; I enjoy it even more now than when I was a child.
Published 23 days ago by Greg R
3.0 out of 5 stars Book was better
This gets three stars because I liked the book better. If I was a furry, I'd rate it a five.
Published 23 days ago by Anthony Soave
5.0 out of 5 stars children's movie
I bought this movie to watch with my grandchildren. We love movie time together. This is one of their favorite movies.
Published 28 days ago by believe
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it
If my granddaughter likes it, then I like it. And she does. Then so do I. Am sure will keep watching this for a while.
Published 1 month ago by Slant
5.0 out of 5 stars Still worth watching
Classic movie. My daughter grew up watching this video and loved it! That was in the 80's. Now my 7 yr old granddaughter watched it for the first time and wanted to watch it again. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Christine
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