Your introduction to Don Bluth's "The Secret of NIMH": Tell your story...

edited March 2014 in General Discussion


Feel free to share the story of your personal introduction to Don Bluth's 1982 movie "The Secret of NIMH". The following is MY personal story:

I never saw "The Secret of NIMH" during June of 1982, but the connection between that year and that movie is important to me, because I had a very serious, important heart surgery during that year (during September of 1982, to be exact...I was 3 and a half), AND because my family moved from the city to the country during that year.

Well, anyway, my first experience with the movie (Mind you, I have never actually read the book upon which the movie is based) occurred during about 1990 (?) (One of the VHS versions of the movie was released during '90), or maybe during 1991 (?), if not earlier (?).

My father was working, and my mother, who used to teach, was at an all-day staff meeting. When I was a kid (3rd Grade-6th?), I used to attend an after-school care program, due to the fact that both of my parents worked; I was a latchkey kid during Jr. High...but that's another story...about Disney videos, etc. LOL!

Well, anyway, I was at a school all day long, with some other kids, and I was about 11 or 12 (?) (Maybe slightly younger?), but I was extremely sensitive, and imaginative for my age, so that when "The Secret of NIMH" was shown, I was absolutely mesmerized by the deep, realistic, magical flavors that were eminating from the T.V. screen. For the rest of the day, I wandered around alone, sort of imagining that I WAS Mrs. Brisby, that I was on a mysterious mission. I was so desperate to have an amulet that looked like the one that Mrs. Brisby wore that I literally carried a red bedbug (a playing piece from the Bedbugs game) around with me for the rest of the day; I EVEN contemplated stealing the playing piece, but, fortunately, my well-taught honesty caused me to return the playing piece to the game's box before I went home.

I was the sort of kid who didn't really discuss such things with my parents, even though they knew that I was creative, and a bit eccentric, too.

Well, anyway, some of my 1990s memories include those of me renting "The Secret of NIMH" from the video store, and watching it, while eating fruit snacks. I always loved the mysterious darkness of the movie, and it was an ESPECIALLY fun movie to watch alone!

I eventually obtained the Family Fun Edition DVD of "The Secret of NIMH", which, by the way, I am watching, as I type this message (Mrs. Brisby has just "volunteer[ed]...for Dragon.").

My grandmother recently gave me some of her junk jewelry (mostly earrings that I can't use, anyway), but I love odds and ends, and so, I took one of her oval-shaped earrings (Gold-tone metal, surrounding a red center), folded the post over a gold chain, glued everything into place, and created my own "amulet". It's not at ALL movie-accurate, but it looks cool, anyway, and it's even a bit of a "sparkly", too; it somehow seems to remind me that "Courage of the heart is very rare. The stone has a power when it's there."

Well, that's MY story. What's YOURS? :)

Bye Now, Mrs. Brisby


  • Hey Mrs. Brisby, cute story about your "sparkly!" should read the book--it doesn't have sparklies in it, but it's still darn good imho :)

    As for me... My dad read the book to me several times when I was 1-2 years old. I probably understood about five words out of all two hundred and whatever pages, but it was enough to make me beg to see the movie when I was three. My mom took me to see it a bunch of times when it was playing in a discount theater in town. Then we recorded it off TV (on a VCR...whoa, I feel old now...) and I probably watched that tape over a hundred times over the next few years. I think my fav character was Mr. Ages XD

    In 4th grade I read the book for myself, and then became obsessed with that over the movie for many years. I spent pretty much my whole childhood drawing mouse and rat pictures and writing (terrible) fan-fics. A friend and I used to do a real-life NIMH RP in junior high, which was awesome; she was usually Mrs. Frisby and I was usually Justin. We'd go to school and pretend we were NIMH characters all day... Man, I miss childhood.

    Around 97-98, my recorded copy long gone, I saw the movie in the window of a store and bought it on a whim, and became completely obsessed with that again. (As an aside, I swear I remember "the kiss" scene from when I watched the movie as a kid. I was shocked when it wasn't in my new copy, and I kept rewinding again and again in case I missed it. Still no explanation for that!) That night, I stayed up looking at fan sites; there were dozens back then...ah, nostalgia! Over the years, I met up with a few other fans (some in my own hometown ;) ). One in particular had a huge influence on me and became like my fan-fiction mentor/idol XD Another fan got me into drawing again. I was really lucky to have happened upon the fandom at that time.

    So there you have it. All these years later, I still obsessively write NIMH fics and draw now and then when RL isn't too busy. I've been a NIMH fan almost since birth, and at this rate it's not likely that'll ever change :)

  • I have told this story before on the old forum but I do not mind doing so again in order to re aquaint you good people out there.

    The date was August 5, 1982. I had just got back into town from a long bus ride from Piscataway, NJ to the Port Authority Bus Terminal here in the Big Apple. I was in a blue mood of sorts due to my lack of steady employment at the time and was in need of some cheering up. Perhaps a movie would do the trick... But which one?? After checking showtimes in one of the local papers, I decided upon SoN. To this day I am glad that I made that choice for not only was my spirit lifted, it positively soared. I have to admit that I was totally enthralled by the sheer beauty of the animation itself as well as the storyline and the musical score... So much so that I was to return for repeat viewings over 50 times during this movie's theatrical run which in my honest opinion was somewhat limited (But that's another story). One would think that after seeing this movie so many times I would be tired of it. Such is NOT the case for I still to this day enjoy sitting back and watching SoN on my DVD every now and then. I guess that the reason that I have such an emotional bond with this movie is because it came along at a period in my life when I needed it and since then it has become my favorite animated movie of all time. :-)

  • Well, my story isn’t really much. Mostly I was just scouring on YouTube for “Thomas the Tank Engine” videos on SI3D’s videos and I noticed a video or two or even a playlist that mentioned the 30th anniversary of The Secret of NIMH. I grew curious about it and I decided to check it out. I saw some test animations of Mr. Ages (maybe Mrs. Brisby too) and got interested in the style and fluidity of the animations. At this time, I was particularly fond of Redwall and looking back made me think that NIMH’s style would have been perfect for a full-length animation film of Redwall. When I saw the film, in divided parts (of poor quality) on YouTube, I got more and more interested in it. It wasn’t until I found a complete video (in satisfactory quality) of the film was when I was really into it that time. Now, I’m developing my own sequel to it and so far I’ve got one chapter completed and many more to go.

  • Great stories, fellas and gals. So get ready for another old-timer’s take:

    I was stationed in Charleston, SC with the Navy in 1982. The last Disney feature was “The Fox and the Hound,” which I thought turned out very well, so when I heard about TSoN I was naturally curious to see how it compared. I was going to the movies a lot in those days, seeing a wide variety of films, often without seeing reviews first; and as a result there were more than a few solid turkeys, real that’s-90-minutes-I’m-never-getting-back stuff. The worst one had to be “Saturday the 14th”, which as you can probably tell from the title, was intended to be a horror/suspense-movie parody, but it was neither scary nor funny. I mainly recall it as the first movie in which I was checking my watch periodically, trying to estimate how many more minutes I’d have to endure this torture. But I digress…

    Of course, TSoN had no such effect on me. Though I got in about a minute late, thereby missing most of the prologue scene, I knew by film’s end that this was something special and extraordinary. I think I saw it a second time at the base theater—I was seeing so many movies I’m not certain—but it took a couple more years before it really took ahold of me like few movies or other works of fiction have before or since. I’d transferred to a base in the Bahamas that had great satellite TV, including the premium cable channels, and they were began showing TSoN repeatedly; and I found myself wanting to see it again and again, absorbing every detail I could. There are aspects to this that weren’t all that great, in that I’d become obsessed with it to the point that it was affecting my work. A big part of that obsession took the form of developing ideas for a sequel, largely centering around Jonathan.

    The rest is history, at least to myself.

  • I've already written my story here: It's a bit dated and in need of some editing and updating, but it's still largely accurate.

  • I discovered Secret of Nimh when my parents got it for me at the library. I checked it out over and over again.

    I also created my own Ms. Frisby necklace. I didn't have any bright red jewelry, so I used a blue necklace and pretended it was just a different color amulet. I was really disappointed when there were no Ms. Frisby stuffed animals or Ms. Frisby magic stones, because I was used to every Disney movie I watched coming out with lots of toys.

    I remember playing animal experiment laboratory with my stuffed animals and re-enacting the scene where the rats got the injections and escaped the lab.

    Sadly, I couldn't find anyone at school who liked Nimh as much as me, so the only place I could go was online. It was fun reading what others fans said. It was sad when Angelfire and Geocities closed down and lots of Nimh sites got deleted. But man those pop up ads were annoying. I didn't know how to block them back then. I tried reading Ms. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh on my own, but it was too advanced for me when I was little.

    Ms. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh was also read to me aloud again in elementary school. But everyone was sleepy and none of my classmates really paid attention and of course most of the students just used storytime as an excuse to take a nap.

    I can remember my teacher really liking the description of Ms. Frisby's cinder block house and drawing it on the board for us.

    I read it on my own years later. I was so happy to see the story of the rats of nimh extended for so many chapters. I couldn't believe they had shortened so many chapters into a short ten minute or less sequence.

    I thought maybe that was why they changed the title from rats of nimh to secret of nimh. I remember being really shocked when Justin said damn.

  • For me it was the Summer of 2003. I really can't remember many details about exactly what I was doing at the time beyond the usual: "Watching TV" I believe it was during some time off from school? Don't hold me to that!

    Anyway, I had been aware of The Secret of NIMH for quite some time at this point although for some strange reason I got confused and somehow got it's title mixed up with that of none other than Fern Gully! Needless to say I was not found of this.

    However, as soon as I caught sight of ther actual movie in question I was immediately hooked. NIMH basically rekindled my love for traditional classic animation. Even to this day I have been wanting to write Fan-Fics and such.

  • Hello, I am a new soul here. :'D

    Oh my goodness me, it's been SO LONG. I'll try to remember. XD

    I was born two years after NIMH was released. I'll always remember that 1982 date for two reasons: my parents' wedding and it's the same year of E.T., another childhood classic.

    As a kid, I LOVED mice and rats (well I still love them heh) and American Tail was an instant hit with me of course. I can remember when I was about maybe nine, picking up the NIMH VHS box at the video rental section at our small, local supermarket. I wanted to see it because I liked the look of it and there was a mouse on it. My mother said, "We got that for you before but you didn't like it." I couldn't remember that at all. Chances were they rented for me when I was too young and scared easily. I ignored her warning and took it home, and fell in love, actually obsession with Mrs. Bribsy and her amazing tale. I'd never been so enchanted by a movie before. I made figures of her and her children out of clay, I made a Stone, I made a gray box to look just their house and took them outside to re-enact scenes from the movie because I had the dialogue memorized. It was insane. XD I read the book too, when I got older but still liked the movie better. Every single kid who hung out with me saw it, every baby-sitter saw it, and I always tried to get my parents to watch it. NIMH was such a huge part of my childhood. I bought the DVD not too long ago, hated the cover art and replaced it with that AWESOME movie poster (you know the one with Bribsy face-to-face with Jeremy and the rest of the characters artistically worked into the arc over the title)

    I'm in agreement with everyone else; NIMH is Bluth's masterpiece, his most magical of works. Though I'm a huge fan of All Dogs Go To Heaven as well. AND THE SEQUELS TO BOTH DO NOT EXIST. Thank you. ^_^

  • There was a blurb about it in an issue of "My Weekly Reader" when I was in 5th grade; also I vaguely recall Don Bluth talking about the movie on one of the morning shows ("Today" or "Good Morning America")

  • Alrighty, time for my story. This is gonna be interesting...

    I watched it with someone 6 years ago when I was a wee freshman in college. At that time I thought I was all cool and above kiddy stuff (you know the kind of obnoxious kid who is far too stupid to be a nerd, yet not nearly cool enough to be in the 'in crowd') I watched it and to be honest, the first real viewing I had as an "adult" (as I knew I had watched it as a kid at some point) I thought it had a cool idea and a great main character, but it did have that kind of kiddy element to it at the end, so I almost dismissed it.

    It wasn't until later on (a week or two) that I decided to watch it again. I had a serious case of the stomach flu and was severely delusional (and I mean like almost to the point of psychosis). I wasn't going to class due to my illness, so I stayed in the dorm and watched it on Hulu. I couldn't tell you the reason why I picked NIMH that day, but I did and tbh, I'm not sure I made the right choice.

    While watching it, I had this weird sentimental feeling that many of you have described here. It was the combination of Jerry Goldsmith's music and the premise of the film that got to me. The idea that a brave mother who loved her son unconditionally and who was so nice and friendly and wanted just to help and protect her family really got to me. I was sick and throwing up and bedridden, so seeing Mrs. Brisby feeding Timothy while Sally Stevens was singing a lullaby really, really got to me. I imagined being in Mrs. Brisby's company while she fed me soup and sang me lullabys and suddenly this dude-bro kid in me was being taken over by something else. Suddenly I saw Mrs. Brisby as not only a mother figure, but a lover figure as well and that's where things got really strange.

    I became obsessed with the film to the point where it kinda almost took over my life. If you wondered why I spent so much time acting a fool on the old forums, this was why. I wanted answers to questions, I wanted a resolution, a fulfilling ending to the story of NIMH that wasn't going to be told without fanfiction. So that's where I went, Robin's, which led me to the forums in which I type this confession now.

    I became /very/ mentally ill during this time; there was something missing in my life, something wrong. I had this passion in my heart. I spent most of my life as an diagnosed autistic crying due to the lack of understanding. People around me didn't know that I was different from them, hell I didn't know. I was cast aside by everyone, including myself. I only recently realized why My obsession with NIMH got where it did, I needed someone who could understand me, love me unconditionally. I knew I was delusional in thinking that someone could love me unconditionally (as that's impossible), but I had hoped anyway. I lived a life where people were angry at me, I've had teachers call me retarded and useless, had family outright wish I wasn't there, etc. I never had that feeling of someone being really close to me, my relationships were hallow and I over-exaggerated them.

    Now-a-days, I'm over it. I have decent relationships and am proud of my very few accomplishments. I've learned to become more selfless and look to help others without taking their problems away from them. So no need for the pity party here. :3

    ...Man, this was hard to type. Let's just say that now in my adult life I feel a /bit/ better. I at least could compare myself now to my past self and see an improvement. So NIMH basically turned me from a heartless idiot dude-bro, to a hopeless romantic, to a somewhat decent human being (I guess). So do I regret watching NIMH? Maybe, as I dunno how my life would've been otherwise. But if you;re wondering why I've stuck around so long, you have a long drawn out answer.

    Peace to all.

  • ^^Correction there, it was actually 2011, still a Freshman in college, but not quite 6 years ago like I made it out to be. n.n;

  • Ah yes, I do remember the first time I was introduced to NIMH and how I discovered the fan-base in 2006.

    One day in the 6th Grade, my class had earned a 'free-day' for our good work on past assignments. As a reward, we were given popcorn and an animated movie to watch, The Secret of NIMH. I had never heard of the movie or the novel that it was based off of, so it was an entirely new experience. As the movie began, the introduction immediately drew me in and I was hooked. Unfortunately, we never did finish the film in class as we made it about less than half-way through the story. However, I was able to borrow a copy of the film from a friend of mine so I could watch it from start to finish on my own time.

    Later that night, I began searching up the film online on my father's computer which turned up many results. I was so interested in this film that I was on the internet for hours trying to find out more about the film. It was the first few results that had really piqued my interest in the film and it was also the first time I discovered fan sites like Maximum NIMH and Thorn Valley. I became a member on the original Thorn Valley Forums on April 10, 2006 shortly before my time in the 6th grade ended. I created my own NIMH fansite on June 20, 2006 and it is still running to this day.

    I was new to the internet at this time and I was not entirely sure how everything worked. I was a bad poster making a bunch of useless posts and bumping old topics, but I never had bad intentions toward others. I was just an excited preteen that had a serious interest in the same animated film as everyone else on the board. As time went on, I improved my posting behavior and became more mature while dealing with the death of a family member and problems in my final years of elementary school. I strongly believe that staying in touch with the NIMH fandom had really helped me get through those difficult times.

    I still hold a deep passion for NIMH even though I haven't been doing a very good job keeping up with the fandom, but I hope to change that in the future. :)

Sign In or Register to comment.