There's something very strange about the rats living under the rosebush at the Fitzgibbon farm. This unusual novel, winner of the Newbery Medal (among a host of other accolades) snags the reader on page one and reels in steadily all the way through to the exhilarating conclusion. On Friday, April 3rd, The Midnight Garden is holding their monthly classic Middle Grade Discussion, so today and later this week I’m bringing you my thoughts on both last month’s classic—Mrs.
It was during my degree in Children’s Literature in England that I returned to Nimh, and remembered how fascinating this book has always been to me. Lab rats that turn the tables and become super-intelligent, a mouse willing to brave danger for her family, and animals ready to band together against….THE CAT! Of course, I remember the animated film from my childhood, which actually is a bit different than the book in some ways. My brother and I recently watched this one and we were reminded at what parts we had been slightly traumatized as children! If you like classic children’s literature and a good animal fantasy with rich dimensions and memorable characters, look no further than Nimh. I won’t include the entire essay here for you to read, but I do want to pull out some thoughts I had about Nimh from that essay I wrote over ten years ago! One thing I was really interested in when I wrote the paper and that I’m still interested in is the idea of “Journey” in the book.
Frisby’s journey to discover more about who her late husband really was and his connection with the Rats of Nimh. Let’s just say that I’ll probably be visiting the fantasy classic middle grade world of Nimh again next year, and who knows what new insight I’ll gain?
I never read this one as a child but I’m planning to read it to my children this Fall. Okay, as many times as my kids watched this movie-and that was a lot-I have to confess that I never even thought of the book. They won't look like Disney films, but I've seen Secret of NIMH on HDNet multiple times and it looks really good. I've been awaiting the release of Secret of Nimh on ever since Don Bluth and company did the HD remaster 5 years ago.
They escape a secret laboratory and become the great minds of vermin civilization, forced to outwit the humans hot on their tails.
Brisby, a shy and timid field mouse, lives in a cinder block with her children on the Fitzgibbons' farm. Robert O'Brien has created a small but complete world in which a mother's concern for her son overpowers her fear of all her natural enemies and allows her to make some extraordinary discoveries along the way.
Trust me, O’Brien has a fabulous plot with this one, and you may have grown up watching the animated film (or not) and you may have read this one when you were younger (or not), but you really should treat yourself and re-read it as an older reader.
You might be saying, Katie, why are you going all academic on us by bringing up your paper from graduate school? That’s something I love about reading Classic Middle Grade books—there’s always something more you gain after each reading. They're hoping parents purchase it for the kids not remembering how dark and scary the movie actually is. Even 'All Dogs go to Heaven' gets pretty dark, or think about 'An American Tale.' Kiddies these days seem to be fed so much happy-go-lucky fluff that these movies may scare them. Frisby's name is changed to "Brisby" in the film due to trademark concerns with Frisbee discs), written by author Robert C. 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. Frisby, a widowed mouse with a sick child, is in dire straits and must turn to these exceptional creatures for assistance.
O'Brien's incredible tale, along with Zena Bernstein's appealing ink drawings, ensures that readers will never again look at alley rats and field mice in the same way.
Both are books I loved as a child and that I still love as an adult, so I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts. It was fabulous to discuss it with the group, and that discussion reminded me of how much I appreciate chatting about children’s classics.
Frisby and her family, these characters are dealing with the challenges of homelessness and displacement and they journey to find a home and safety. In fact, many of you may now want to go and enroll in a Master’s program in Children’s Literature yourselves.
I held off from buying the last dvd released that shared the new transfer, so this upgrade is a no brainer.. Not everyone finds classic children’s literature important, and that’s one reason why it’s so wonderful when I find other bloggers that do. In a way, a lot of us can relate to that—we may have a physical home, but we’re on a journey of sorts to find safety in authentic community (of friends or family) and a place of belonging.
Ages, another mouse and old friend of her late husband, who provides her with some medicine from his laboratory.
In that other book I mentioned, The Mouse and His Child, the discovery of identity and belonging is a strong thread throughout the story. Even Don Bluth has expressed his dislike for the last dvd arkwork and had hops for the bluray to be more aimed at adults (fans of the film). It was directed by Don Bluth, produced by Aurora Pictures, and released by United Artists, in the summer of 1982. Unfortunatly, its up to mgm, with that said more than likley it goona end up looking like a revamped version of the rescue rangers!

On her way back home she encounters Jeremy, a clumsy but compassionate crow.The next day spring plowing begins, and though Mrs. With the help of Jeremy she visits the Great Owl, a wise creature living in the nearby woods, to ask for help. He tells her to visit a mysterious group of rats who live beneath a rose bush on the farm and ask for Nicodemus.
Unfortunately this change came late in the film’s production, long after the actors had recorded their dialog. Even Norbert Auerbach, then Chairman of United Artists Europe, and Charles Champlin, a leading critic at The Los Angeles Times, recorded some incidental voices. Regrettably, when the film was released, Champlin said he couldn’t review it due to a conflict of interest. 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, and moving him could prove fatal. Brisby visits The Great Owl, a wise creature who advises her to visit a mysterious group of rats who live beneath a rose bush on the farm. Upon visiting the rats, Brisby meets Nicodemus, the wise and mystical leader of the rats, and Justin, a friendly rat who immediately becomes attached to Mrs.
Brisby (Frisby in the original book) is a very shy, timid, and lonely mouse widow whose family is threatened by a premature warm spell, prompting the farmer to start his mowing early, endangering the cinder block she and her family call home.
Normally she would simply pack up their things and move to a new spot in the field, but her younger son Timothy is too ill to be moved, forcing her to seek another alternative before it’s too late. With the push of her local confidante, the Shrew, and the aid of a clumsy, love lorn crow named Jeremy, she goes to see the Great Owl, who, upon learning that she is the widow of a mouse named Jonathan Brisby, advises her to seek the aid of the mysterious rats who live in the rosebush outside the farmer’s house.
Brisby learns of her deceased husband’s past, and the secret of these rats, the Rats of NIMH, who agree to move her home before they abandon their underground colony for Thorn Valley, but Mrs. Brisby herself is endangered by the evil machinations of Jenner, a power hungry rat who seeks to overthrow the rats’ leader Nicodemus so as to keep the rats in their underground colony, and will go so far as to endanger Mrs. Only Justin, the rats’ gallant, Errol Flynn like captain of the guard, stands between Jenner and Mrs.
Brisby, who must call upon the same courage her husband had if she is to save her family.=====================================================Mrs Brisby is a widowed mouse who lives on a farm owned by a man named Fitzgibbons.
She and her 4 children, Martin, Theresa, Cynthia and Timmy live in a cinderblock in one of Fitzgibbons’ fields.
Every year, before Fitzgibbons plows the field to plant his crops, the family moves to their summer home to avoid the tractor. Brisby visits Ages to get a remedy for Timmy, who has come down with pneumonia, potentially delaying the summer move.Fitzgibbons decides one day to begin plowing the field early. Brisby desperately tries to disable the farmer’s tractor and freezes while climbing up the mechanism. While Mrs Brisby sobs over her predicament, Auntie tells her to be braver for her family’s sake and suggests she visit the Great Owl, the wisest creature in the forest. Brisby is hesitant, since owls eat mice, but she goes.With the help of a new found friend, Jeremy, a crow hoping to meet Miss Right, she meets with the fearsome owl, who merely tells her that she must move her family. Brisby explains the complication with her son Timmy and the owl tells her he has no solution. As he leaves, he learns her last name and becomes more helpful because her husband, Jonathan, was well known throughout the woods.
The Owl tells Mrs Brisby to go to the colony of rats that live in the farmer’s rose bush and ask them for help. Jenner is opposed to the idea and even suggest that they wage war against any humans who attempt to drive them out. In a sinister private meeting with his associate, Sullivan, Jenner plots to have Nicodemus killed during the operation and make it look accidental.Justin takes Brisby to meet with Nicodemus. Injected with experimental compounds, the rats developed intelligent brains and were able to escape their cages, along with several mice including Jonathan and Mr Ages. When they were trapped by a vent grating, Jonathan was small enough to crawl through and open the grate.
The rats subsequently owed Jonathan their lives and he continued to work with them while they built their colony.
Nicodemus gives Brisby a large red amulet and tells her that it has great supernatural powers when someone shows true courage of the heart. Mrs Brisby, feeling she should participate, volunteers to spike Dragon’s feeding dish.
The only way into Fitzgibbons’ kitchen is through a small hole under a sideboard, a hole too small for any rat. While she’s trapped in a bird cage, Brisby overhears Fitzgibbons on the phone with NIMH, who want to come to his farm and capture the rats.
While the block is being swung towards the stone, Jenner cuts the anchoring lines with his sword and the block falls, narrowly missing Nicodemus, however, the heavy gears and rope fall on him, killing him. She suddenly remembers that NIMH will be at the farm tomorrow and tells the rats they must leave tonight.
Jenner refuses to believe her and tells the rats that he will take over leadership of the colony.
Attempting to seize it from her, Justin intervenes and fights with Jenner until he wounds him.
Jenner admits that he’d caused the accident that killed Nicodemus, saying that the plan to move the colony would fail.
As he moves in to kill Justin, Sullivan kills Jenner with a thrown dagger and succumbs to his own wound, inflicted by Jenner himself.Moments later, Mrs Brisby sees that her house has begun to sink into the mud, taking her children with it.

A futile attempt to rig a new roping system fails and Brisby herself vainly pulls at the remaining ropes as the house sinks under the surface. As she looks on in horror, the amulet suddenly arises from the mud, brightly glowing, and places itself around her neck. Using the power that Nicodemus spoke of, she raises the house from the mud and moves it to the lee side of the stone. While he laments that he wasn’t able to help move the house, a female crow suddenly flies into him. Lanpher) Hope London known as effects assistant Scott Santoro known as effects assistant Barry Whitebook known as effects assistant (as Barry A. It puts to shame anything which Disneyhad done for a quarter century, and singlehandedly did exactly whatBluth set out to do.
He peaked on his first outing, and afterwards declinedinto mediocrity, while Disney picked itself up and overtook him.
How can aproclaimed fan of feature animation not be dazzled by the extravagance ofDon Bluth’s work seen in NIMH? Here is a perfect example of what happens whenartists are given free reign to just create whatever their vividimaginations may produce. The whole point of animation is that you are not limited bythe bounds of reality, so thorns and cobwebs can be just that much moretwisty and foreboding. The bright and sunny entrance to the rats’ laircan suddenly fade to a background of blood red as Mrs. The glowof Nicodemus’ eyes, the sparkling of the fairy dust ink and the flamingletters of the movie title screen are great, and the radiance emitting fromMrs. It’s not a complicated story, but its message of love, devotion, andcourage shown in the meekest of people (mice?) is enough to inspire anyone!Mrs. Brisby’s simple wish for the safety of her family drives her to thegreatest of courage, despite her apparant simplicity and weakness. Shestands as a model for all of us to aspire to.Animation should never be considered something just for kids.
It should notrequire the characters to burst into song at regular intervals, or the storyto be sappy and condescending. As a cartoon, itcaptures the very familiar values that we have seen in such praisedDisney films such as The Sword in the Stone". This one is much darkerthough, and because so, it also brings forth, a much scarier elementthat Disney will never have! As the book is very darling, andfor children of all ages, the film is put together in a more mature,adult style, with intense moments. Later on in life, I realize thatchildren watching this film is an amazing happening, if I knew then,what I know now about the film, I would have been completely overtakenby the film.
The two latter films were madewith light, fluffy, musical touches that did NOT capture anything thisfilm did. Thegeneration I grew up in was able to take this wondrous intensity wewere given, today, things are much different, and movies like this oneare hardly seen. Don Bluth was expressing his strong imagination for thisone, most "pixar" company films are just money, and offer nothing foranyone except babies in cribs!
And she makes a fantastic hero, showingthat courage isn’t just involved in facing down fierce monsters (thoughwhen she has to do that she finds the courage). It’s an excellent filmboth for children and adults alike.And how about Derek Jacobi as Nicodemus? Theanimation is excellent and stylish, and complements the mystical storyline.The plot is complex and beyond your average toddler.
There are no musicalnumbers, just an exciting, vibrant score that follows the actionperfectly.Clear your brain of prejudgments and animation stereotypes, and then gorent The Secret of NIMH.
Mrs Brisby is advised tocontact the rats of NIMH, a group of hyper-intelligent rodents, to askfor their help. Apparently, her late husband Jonathan was a closefriend of the rats and they held him in such high regard that they willdo anything to help a member of the Brisby clan.The story is told mainly through talk, with occasional bursts ofaction. As already pointed out, this means the film doesn’t really lenditself to a very young audience.
But older kids, especially those whoare willing to listen with the appropriate degree of attention, willfind the story interesting.
The plan is to generate their ownelectricity and be able to move to a safer locale, but we don’t exactly knowhow this is going to happen.
Dom Deluise has a humorous role as a clumsylove-lorned crow to keep the seriousness of the story at bay. Brisby, a widowedfieldmouse with four children to rear alone and the heroism she displaysthroughout the movie isn’t enough to touch certain people, they shouldwatch it if only to marvel at the miraculous use of color and dexterity. It was rated G, but I feel that because of the amount of violenceand animated bloodshed, and because of a very frightening scene involving asinkhole, it should have been rated PG. Thebackgrounds have excellent detail: they could honestly be used as greatworks of art on their own merit. The music is actuallygreat for an animated film: no catchy or cheeky pop music at all, butthe music score seems to always be doing something.
Many times it doessuch a good job at painting the mental picture of certain scenes thatif you were to listen to the score by itself after seeing the movie,you could trace the story line by heart.

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