The Secret of NIMH


The Secret of NIMH

Critics Consensus

The Secret of NIMH is a dark, well-told tale that respects its young audience enough to not tone down its subject matter.



Total Count: 25


Audience Score

User Ratings: 56,109
User image

The Secret of NIMH Photos

Movie Info

Frustrated with the Walt Disney studio's reluctance to produce full-length animated films, Don Bluth and a number of animators left the studio in the early '80s with the intent of creating movies in the style of Disney's classics. The Secret of NIMH is the first film Bluth produced after leaving the studio. Adapted from Robert C. O'Brien's acclaimed children's book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of N.I.M.H., the film is about a widowed mouse whose home is threatened; also, one of her children is gravely ill. On her way to find help, she discovers NIMH, a secret society of highly-intelligent rats who have escaped from a nearby science lab. The rats help the widow to protect her family and home. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Watch it now


News & Interviews for The Secret of NIMH

Critic Reviews for The Secret of NIMH

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (9)

Audience Reviews for The Secret of NIMH

  • Oct 12, 2013
    A time less and extremely underrated kids movie masterpiece. Not only does the colors of the background blend so surprisingly well, but until the Rescuers Down Under (ANOTHER underrated film) only Don Bluth could tell a tale about talking mice that respects its audience and just sounds like real life. A lot of what went in to this movie was more than Disney was putting into their films at the time, so it deserves ample credit for that.
    Jackson W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2013
    The Secret of NIMH is creative, clever, and a joy to watch. I loved the world created by Bluth and his team here. They especially succeeded with the animation, which is fantastic throughout. However, this film did have some shortcomings, like what I felt was a weak villain. Also, sometimes the plot felt too complicated with the combo of a rat revolution, government conspiracy, sick child, and more. However, even with these problems, the movie is still a lot of fun.
    Adam G Super Reviewer
  • Aug 20, 2013
    This is a hotly debated film--some love it, some hate it. I feel that it gets kind of a bad rap because it was released during an age where children's movies were generally comical or musicals. They had their dark moments, but in the end, things work out. This film on the other hand, is dark all the way through. It's just a very dark movie, from the way it's animated to the characters' behavior to the message of the storyline itself. That being said, while I believe it's a decent film, it's not very enjoyable to watch. I acknowledge that this movie has serious quality, but it's honestly just stressful to watch. So I'm not really a fan of it, but that's just my opinion. I know a lot of people feel quite differently, on both sides.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 16, 2013
    The Secret of NIMH features gorgeous, detailed animation and a delightfully dark nature. It is well constructed, occasionally thrilling, visually dazzling---and also mysterious and haunting (rare for an animated film). What really makes the film a triumph is its ability to perfectly convey O'Brien's masterful work--especially via the expressive characters--and fully capture our attention and wonder as we willingly follow Ms. Brisby along her exciting adventure. Where it falls short is in its slow beginning, abrupt ending, and some moments that drag. However, these flaws--while keeping it from being a perfect masterpiece--are then undone by the beauty that makes up most of the film.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer

The Secret of NIMH Quotes

News & Features