"The Secret of Nimh" How does it hold up after 30 years?
One of my favorite movies growing up was Don Bluth's "The Secret of Nimh," and I just watched it again on Netflix and I felt compelled to write about it. I've seen it a dozen or so times since it came out in 1982, but it's been quite a few years since I'd last seen it. You know how some movies you watch as a kid seem brilliant, yet when you watch it decades later, you are forced to ask yourself if you ate paint as a child; or maybe that mom drank while she was pregnant with you? I mean, why else would you have actually liked, "Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie?" I'm here to tell you that you can relax, the great thing about "The Secret of Nimh" is that it's still brilliant and awe-inspiring as it ever was.
In fact, if you don't watch it with your kids, you are a bad, bad, bad parent. Maybe.
First, if you haven't seen it, "Nimh" is dark. I mean, it's a kid's film that's haunting, gothic, and terrifying. Yet, it is also fascinating, heartfelt, and extremely well-made.Hollywood doesn't make movies like "Nimh" anymore and it's because everyone has gotten so sensitive over what children watch these days. Not only did "Nimh" touch on things like death, murder, and animal cruelty but I also remember "Nimh" scared the bejesus out of me when I was young, especially the Great Owl and the "sinking cinder block/Brisby home" scenes. That flick was intense for even adults, but it was the 80s, and parents didn't care as long as it didn't have profanity. I could explain the plot, but given the age of the film, you really should know what the movie is about by now. If not, just know that it's awesome.
Also, here's a wee bit of exposition to chew on.
So kids like me watched everything from Gremlins to Goonies to Transformers and I have never once felt like shooting up a school, beating anyone up, or killing myself. Hell, I think I turned out pretty good and "Nimh" and other 80s "politically incorrect" films inspired me.
These days, parents flip out if a kid's film has even a drop of blood shown onscreen, but all the adult humor wedged in the subtext, they don't mind that because they assume their kids are dumb. Don't get me wrong, I do love today's Pixar and Dreamworks movies, but nothing beats the hand-drawn detail and imagination put into these 80s kid's films when they didn't have to worry about overly sensitive parents and special interest groups.
It's a shame that Hollywood is too scared to make more films like the amazing and timeless, "The Secret of Nimh."