Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of 200+ quality "short" films. Easy…
The Secret of NIMH
Right before your eyes and beyond your wildest dreams.
A widowed field mouse must move her family -- including an ailing son -- to escape a farmer's plow. Aided by a crow and a pack of superintelligent, escaped lab rats, the brave mother struggles to transplant her home to firmer ground.
I rewatched this film to see if it would be suitable to show to my 4 year old daughter. And while the answer is a resounding 'no' I did rediscover this rare, beautiful and surprisingly moving animated marvel.
Don Bluth is a genius. He is one of the best animators ever and I'm glad he had enough of Disney, left there fighting and made this. There's a good chance this film would not have existed otherwise.
With Bluth's characteristic animation style, we are given the story of a mouse seeking help from a group of intelligent rats as her son is sick and she has to leave her house. Throw in a wise owl and a host of other talking…
Growing up there were two phrases that my mother would often say to me that I can remember as clear as day - "Why don't you go outside and play.." and "Don't sit so close to the TV, you'll ruin your eyes."
I enjoyed playing with toys, squishing mud between my toes and jumping off picnic tables while flapping my arms, in hopes to defy gravity for just a few seconds, but what I really loved was watching movies. In having three siblings, parents and a grandfather who lived with us, it was a special treat to walk into the living room and have it empty. I would hurry over to the stack of VHS hidden within a cabinet, often…
One of my earliest memories of watching a film in the theatre, The Secret Of NIMH holds up surprisingly well over thirty years later, and looks fantastic in high definition. There are moments when the film trips over itself trying to cater to the House Of Mouse crowd (Jeremy the crow I'm looking at you), but this tale of rats (which are way cooler than mice btw) attempting a simple feat of relocating when their habitat on a farm becomes threatened, is supremely intelligent and capable of inspiring wonder without treating children like, well, children. It demands that its audience meet it at its level, and at the same time throws a bone to adults to chew on regarding animal experimentation. It's one of Don Bluth's finest moments, and Nicodemus is such a badass rat he has stayed with me for the last three decades the same as if I had just seen him yesterday.
Reviewing the Commentary #2:
The Secret of NIMH- provided by director/producer Don Bluth and producer Gary Goldman
Animation films on home video rarely feature commentaries (there's not too many on the Disney releases for some odd reason), so when I saw that my Blu-ray copy of one of my favorite (and one of the most underrated) animated films ever made had a featured commentary, I was excited to hear what the crew had to say about the movie.
And what surprised me most about was that it seemed like Bluth is an extreme perfectionist. Since the film was released on a minimal budget and was his directorial debut, throughout the commentary he seemed to feel down on himself whenever he…
As a child, the 'talking animals' genre was one of my most cherished childhood entertainments. I must have watched 'The Animals of Farthing Wood' several times through. I also read the entire Redwall series in one year. Those are two examples that I have kept and plan to pass on to my children. The Secret of Nimh is another great example of this genre. Even by Don Bluth standards, this film is artful, atmospheric and rather dark.
The best thing about this film is that it concerns a widowed mother trying to look after her children. Whilst the plot driver feels a bit thin (and the sick son just has to be called Tim), this is a touching example of…
The story is small, encompassing just a few days in the area around a rat-infested farm, and the stakes (at least initially) are restricted to the survival of a sick, young mouse. But as Mrs. Brisby reaches out to each of these elders—to Mr. Ages, then the Great Owl, and finally Nicodemus—her world grows deeper, stranger, more magical. You can feel it expanding as she navigates gnarled old trees and rosebush interiors, and it stays that size even after the rats are gone, having played their part in restoring her status quo. The Secret of NIMH has many virtues as an animated adventure: its gorgeous backdrops, often adorned with mold and cobwebs; its rich voice cast, with the gravitas-lending likes…
dark and beautiful and full of magic!
A well made animated movie. This is a wonderful tale of a mothers love for her family and how far she'll go to save them. Its not great but it is a joy.
A Review Haiku
The truth uncovered!
Government secrets exposed!
The kids will love it.
An animated feature (1982) by Don Bluth, who led a group of fed-up animators away from Disney in 1980. Based on an award-winning children's book about a field mouse, Mrs. Brisby, who enlists the aid of a colony of superintelligent rats to move her family home away from the path of a farmer's plow, the film is an impressive technical achievement: the full-figure animation is dimensional and elegant, the perspectives imaginative, and the color design superb. But without the (old) Disney genius for emotional structure and character design, the results are rather flat—the film concentrates on Disney horror and trauma without the relief of Disney charm. With its strong maternal theme, it suggests a less cute version of Poltergeist. Not enthralling, but worth seeing for anyone interested in the mechanics of this arcane art. G, 84 min.
Here is the rare film that could have undoubtedly been 10-15 minutes LONGER, to establish the characters and plot better. Some aspects just felt rushed, and that has everything to do with it's relatively brief runtime of only 80 minutes. The villains in particular were very weak. However, a great main character, a great score by Jerry Goldsmith (and a nice song by Paul Williams, the songwriter for many of the Muppet films), and some pretty freaking great animation make this one still definitely worth a watch.
Excellent! Still is a great watch all these years later.
Not suitable for young viewers.
When I was a kid, we had a lot of VHS tapes and basic cable, so we taped a lot of shows off cable to watch later. The Secret of NIMH, Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan, and Amadeus used to all reside on the same VHS tape. I had an interesting childhood cause I'd regularly watch all three. This was one of those go to films for me and my sister. It was one we could both agree to watch and loved the hell out of it. We even had a cat that was clumsy as hell we named after the crow in the film. While it doesn't hold quite the same magic for me as it did…
I know I watched this when I was a kid and did not like it. I was not a fan of dark animated films as a child. I cannot say I super liked it this time through either. The tone seemed both too childish and too dark at the same time, and I never felt like it fully reconciled itself. The animation was cool though.
Chances are the first movie you ever saw was animation. Exuberant, colorful and full of wonder, animation is the stuff…
Week three of the Underrated Series and we get to the animation category. At least there shouldn't be any debate…