The Secret of NIMH (1982)

Genres - Children's/Family, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Children's Fantasy, Fantasy Adventure  |   Release Date - Jul 2, 1982 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 82 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - G
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Review by Michael Betzold

Writer-director Don Bluth was the main alternative to Disney in animated feature films of the 1980s. Frustrated with what he saw as Disney's lackluster products and slow pace, Bluth took a group of animators with him to establish an independent company. Their first effort was The Secret of NIMH, about a mouse who has lost her husband and hooks up with a pack of super-intelligent rats who've escaped from an experimental laboratory. The smart rodents help her and her family survive a perilous journey. Though it breaks no new ground technically, the highly professional animation is richly detailed, partially compensating for a plot that sags at times. The success of The Secret of NIMH enabled Bluth to establish his own cartoon-making machine, which, a few years later, would produce such fine family fare as An American Tail and The Land Before Time.