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14.06.2014
The Secret of NIMH: Original Soundtrack contains songs from the film written by Jerry Goldsmith, and performed by Paul H. The film garnered critical acclaim for being one of the most vibrantly animated films of its time and has earned a 95% "certified fresh" approval rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website, resulting in Don Bluth's highest rated animated film. The film has now gained a very popular cult following since its release.
Sticky-sweet kiddie flick Heidi's Song marked a gala return to animated feature films for TV legends Bill Hanna and Joseph Barbera after a nine-year hiatus (it had been a long time since 1973's Charlotte's Web). The film begins with plucky orphan girl Heidi (voiced by Margery Gray) dropped off at the remote mountain cabin of her gruff grandfather (Lorne Green) by her Aunt Dete (Virginia Gregg). Just as things reach a sugar high between Heidi and Grandpa, Aunt Gete returns and informs the two that a rich family in Frankfurt took an interest in Heidi becoming the companion for their lame child. Heidi's Song makes for a decent, sugary watch for the under-7 set; for everyone else, the limitations of the Hanna-Barbera style become obvious right from the start. Presented for the first time since its theatrical run in 16x9 widescreen, Heidi's Song is given a decent, colorful mastering on disc.
The film's stereo soundtrack is well-preserved here with a good balance between dialogue and music. The cheery Heidi's Song is a worthwhile purchase for those who fondly recall seeing it in the early '80s, or if you're looking for something mildly cute 'n inoffensive to keep younger viewers occupied. Matt Hinrichs is a designer, artist, film critic and jack-of-all-trades in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Brisby, a shy and timid field mouse, lives in a cinder block with her children on the Fitzgibbons' farm. Brisby's loudmouthed but well meaning neighbor, Auntie Shrew, is able to stop the tractor, Mrs.
Brisby goes to the rats' home, where she is amazed to see their use of electricity and other human technology, as they have taken on medieval. However, Jenner and his hesitant accomplice Sullivan, who wish to remain in the rose bush, kill Nicodemus, making it look like an accident. Brisby suddenly realizes that her children are still in the block after hearing their voices inside. Although it wasn't a box office or critical success in 1982 and has been in home video limbo since the '90s, the film seems to be fondly recalled by both audiences and those who made it.
The scriptwriters actually appeared to model the film after the 1937 Shirley Temple version, which also eschewed the meditative, spiritual aspects of the character in favor of episodic scenes that highlight the girl's plucky stick-to-it-iveness.


The grandfather at first resents the intrusion, but Heidi's constant cheer and effervescent love of the Alpine surroundings eventually win over both him and Peter (Roger DeWitt), a local goat-herding boy. Heidi is ushered into the elephantine mansion by the stern governess Frauliein Rottenmeier (Joan Gerber), who feels nothing but contempt for this simple country girl, and the household's Josef Von Sternberg-esque butler Sebastian (Fritz Feld).
The animation, while a touch more fluid than the made-for-TV stuff H-B was cranking out at the time, doesn't come close to Disney and their "illusion of life" m.o. The picture has a slight blur, consistent grain (especially in the opening and closing credits) and a yellowish tone with light flecks and dust. 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. She meets Nicodemus, the wise and mystical leader of the rats, and Justin, a kind and friendly rat who is the Captain of the Guards, as well as a dark, ambitious rat named Jenner, who plans to kill Nicodemus in order to become leader. It was released on July 2, 1982 on vinyl and audio cassette by the "That's Entertainment Records" label (through MCA Records) and re-released on March 3, 1995 on CD by Varese Sarabande with a rearranged track listing.
In fact, Hanna's autobiography devotes a good deal of admiring space to it at the expense of other, more iconic projects he was involved with at the time (Scooby Doo, where are you?). Indeed, just about the only thing that differentiates this one from the Temple version is the addition of several not-quite hummable songs from H-B's longtime composer Hoyt Curtin. She gets a warmer welcome, however, from the sweet, frail Klara (Pamelyn Ferdin), scullery maid Tinette (Janet Waldo), and Tinette's coal-hauling boyfriend (Richard Erdman).
The film's sloppy animation, forgettable songs and so-so story make it at best a historical curiosity for everyone else. 4 Color Cowboy is his repository of Western-kitsch imagery, while other films he's experienced are logged at Letterboxd.
With the help of Jeremy, she reluctantly visits the Great Owl, a wise creature living in the nearby woods, to ask for help.
Brisby volunteers to drug the Fitzgibbon's cat, Dragon, so that they can complete the move safely.
Brisby arrives and tries to convince the rats that NIMH is coming and that they must leave immediately.
Despite the best efforts of the rats, they are unable to pull it from the sinkhole and Justin pulls Mrs. Curtin's musical prowess does play a big part in the film's most memorable sequence, however, a splashy production number with the voice of Sammy Davis, Jr.
This segment is pure Heidi 101, and yet the filmmakers decided to insert a surreal dream sequence in which Heidi frolics with a hoard of mountain-sprites known as bobols - an intriguing scene that is set to the faint sound of Johanna Spyri spinning in her grave.


Most distressing of all is the treatment of Heidi herself - an adorable child on paper, here she's made over into a bland-voiced blonde moppet with a mawkish look that lies halfway between generic anime girl and toilet paper spokeswoman Lil' Softy. Ages, another mouse and old friend of her late husband, Jonathan Brisby, who diagnoses Timothy with pneumonia and provides her with some medicine from his laboratory.
He tells her to visit a mysterious group of rats who live beneath a rose bush on the farm and ask for Nicodemus. Ages, was a part of a series of experiments at a place known as NIMH (which stands for the National Institute of Mental Health).
Only mice are small enough to fit through the mouse hole leading to the house, and Jonathan was killed by Dragon while trying.
Remember also, this came out the same year that Don Bluth's dark, complex The Secret of NIMH appeared to challenge the Disney monolith of safe, stale cute-animal animation.
NIMH 2 has been and still is widely panned by fans of the first film, due to its inaccuracy and changes of the first film's elements, which cause the sequel to have a more juvenile appearance.
The experiments had boosted their intelligence to human level, allowing them to easily escape. Later that night, she successfully puts the drug into the cat's food dish, but the Fitzgibbon's son Billy catches her and convinces his mother to let him keep her as a pet. Hanna-Barbera could have risen to the occasion as well, but if anything Heidi's Song proved that H-B preferred to hedge their bets on an old familiar story, one as safe as (goat's) milk. However, the rats have concocted "The Plan", which is to leave the farm and live without stealing electricity from humans. Brisby's aid; a sword fight between Justin and Jenner ensues, ending with a mortally wounded Sullivan killing Jenner by throwing his dagger right at Jenner's back and saving Justin's life. Brisby's will to save her children gives power to the amulet, which she uses to lift the house out of the sinkhole and move it to safety from the plow. Fitzgibbon and NIMH and learns that NIMH intends to come to the farm to exterminate the rats the next day.
The next morning, the rats have already gone to Thorn Valley with Justin as their new leader and Timothy has begun to recover. Jeremy also eventually finds "Miss Right", an equally clumsy female crow, and the two fly away together.



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