Friday, July 27, 2012

I've Always Wanted A Sparkly of My Very Own

Well, today I turn 26, so it's fitting that I give you a review of one of my top 5 favorite childhood movies. Don Bluth's first and still hands-down best feature film.

The Secret of NIMH turns 30.

If you haven't seen it yet, stop reading now and go get it. Don't rent it, buy it. And just the first movie, not the direct-to-video sequel (rule of thumb is DtV sequels aren't worth it).

Without a doubt some of the best animation I've ever seen even today (and pretty damn scary for a G-rated movie - blame the Animation Age Ghetto). Great acting from a great cast. Beautiful music. Probably one of if not the best non-Disney animated films, in my opinion.

Just the character designs alone are fantastic. Nicodemus, in particular, always was and always will be my favorite character from that film not due to anything he actually does (which is cool enough), but because how [insert expletive here] awesome he looks, with his long moustache that never quite reaches his beard due to his snout and his caterpillar eyebrows over glowing eyes (both things that the Great Owl shares, now that I think about it...)

I remember rescuing a rain-soaked copy of the original book from outside my elementary school, and when I read it it didn't leave the same impact on me. The movie retains the science-fictiony element of the original but also adds a little bit of magic which I believe makes it.

I read recently that a remake is in the works. But why mess with perfection unless you want a shot-for-shot of the book? It could be good, but never as good as this one and this is the one I'll be sharing with my children and their children and so forth.

Courage of the heart is very rare. The stone has a power when it's there.


  1. Not to mention the wonderful voice acting throughout- Jacobi and Carradine especially, so good (But then again it's Jacobi and Carradine, what else would you expect?).

    I love the film- one of my all-time childhood favorites (curiously enough, though, I remember disliking it as a kid- it nearly traumatized me, and I liked the sequel much better. Shows what I knew). The animation is simply spectacular, too- yet to be topped in my opinion.

    1. I did mention the voice acting, but only in passing. If I wasn't so pressed for time I may have gone into that more. It's sublime. Derek Jacobi will always be Nicodemus to me.

      Another little animation quirk I especially loved was Jenner and his detatchable eyebrows.

  2. I could never tell if Nicodemus was a owl or just a giant rat...... XD

    1. I think the problem you're having is that Nicodemus (the rat) and the Great Owl (guess) have almost the same character design. I wonder if Bluth and company were trying to forge a connection between the two. Either that or they REALLY like big bushy eyebrows.