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Saturday, 4 May 2013

The Secret of NIMH

What started out as a message against animal testing, became a breakout directorial debut for legendary Animator Don Bluth.  The Secret of NIMH was considered to be the ultimate in animated storytelling.  It combines a mix of Science Fiction, Science Fact and Fantasy Magic, along with a story all about a mother risking life and limb to protect her sick child.  When I was a kid I only saw part of the movie, and was mystified at it.  It took me till yesterday to work up the courage to watch the whole movie beginning to end and it was worth every minute.  And for fellow Channel Aweseome Fan's it is one of Doug Walker's personal favorites. I could see why. Now I must warn you, there will be spoilers, so if anyone reading this, has not seen this movie, you turn off your computer right now, go on Netflix if you have it and Movie stores if you don't and watch it right now!!! I mean it.  You are absolutely forbidden to read any further until you do.  Ok you been warned.

It all starts in a field  Fitzgibbons' farm, where a field mouse, Mrs Elizabeth Johnathan Brisby and her four children live.  Her youngest, Timothy Brisby has fallen ill and she seeks the help of Mr. Ages, a fellow mouse, who is a doctor and an engineer.  Ages diagnoses Timothy with Pneumonia and gives her the medicine needed in order to bring the fever down.  However he advises that Timothy must stay in bed for 3 weeks.  This makes the situation worse for Mrs. Brisby, since moving day is upon her house and they must move or else the Farmer's tractor will destroy it, killing her and her kids along with it. So she goes on a journey to seek out the Great Owl, who in turn tells her to seek out Nicodemus and the Rats of NIMH who have the means both scientific and magic to help Brisby and her kids.  Along the way she meets Jeremy, a clumsy crow (And Dom Deluise's first of many roles in Bluth's animated movies.) looking to build a love nest for a potential love bird and inadvertently becomes a pawn in a plot to kill Nicodemus by an Evil Rat named Jenner. 

Now for the fun part, Could It Exist In Real Life?

First let's start with NIMH,  for those who have seen the movie. NIMH is an acronym (PUN!!!) for National Institute For Mental Health.  They were known in the movie as the second main antagonist to Mouse and Rat alike for their experiments performed on them as well as their attempt to exterminate the Rats. This can exist in real life.   Only there is no similar name or orginization, there really is a NIMH out there.  Same name, same acronym and they are even known for their experiments on animals to further interest in mental health science.  As for them making super intelligient rats and mice, that's debatable.  There is no record of them ever doing that, but you never know.

Now I know what you're thinking "What about the other talking animal characters like Mrs Brisby, Jeremy and The Shrew? They weren't part of the escaped rats of NIMH."  Well yes I can agree how could they move and talk like ordinary people if they weren't part of the escaped 20? With Mrs Brisby I can explain.  Throughout the entire film there was one particular mouse of NIMH that was spoken about, Johnathan Brisby.  He was essentially the folk hero of the story and the reason why many of the characters such, as the Great Owl gave a rat's ass (PUN!!!) about Mrs. Brisby's need.  Since he was super smart, he would be able to teach his wife the basic intelligences such as reading and talking.  This could be possible because anyone with a camera and a youtube account can tell you that you can teach animals certain tricks and human like skills.  It also shows that with or without the NIMH experiments, other animals such as mice and rats could evolve into sapient like species through certain teachings. It also explains how animals like the Rabbits and Dragon the Cat don't say a word of Dialogue.

Now onto the other concept of NIMH that is often debated: Magic.  While it is shown frequently throughout the film from the magic stone Mrs. Brisby carries to the other workings that Nicodemus uses behind closed doors.  However there are two debatable schools of thought on the matter.  The first being that magic exists at least in this story.  That since Magic is part of nature and the animals also part of nature, that animals are more in tune with the world of magic than humans.  Further proven when Mrs. Brisby's love for her kids, is what caused her to telekinetically move her house away from the sinking mud. However as we reach the age of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, another school of thought pops up.  That the Magic in NIMH is really just an advanced science.  If that was the case, Don Bluth and Author Robert C. O'Brien are way ahead of their time in terms of story. 

As usual debate, argue and let me know what I misdeed. Stay Tuned For More and please remember Timothy.

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