The Movie That Broke Me: Secret of NIMH 2
Well. There it is. A movie that was so bad I tapped out. I threw in the towel. Stick a fork in me, I’m done. The Secret of NIMH 2 is not only bad in and of itself, but it disgraces a good movie to boot.
I can count the number of times I’ve cut and run from a movie on one hand. Blade 2. The Scorpion King. That’s about it. I’ve never hit the abort mission button on any movie I’ve picked to watch for Deluxe Video Online. I even sat through the entirety of the movie that shall not be named. So it is with great regret that I inform you that Secret of NIMH 2 is such unwatchable trash that I gave up. Here’s the post-mortem.
The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue (1998)
In The Secret of NIMH, our mouse protagonist Mrs. Brisby sought out the super-intelligent lab rats of NIMH to help move her house. She couldn’t just leave the house to escape a local farmer’s plowing, because her child Timothy was deathly ill and wouldn’t survive the exodus.
Fast forward a few years and we get the tale of now 10 year old Timothy, who goes by Timmy. Timmy is still the runt of the litter, weaker and clumsier than his older brother. Nevertheless, Timmy has been selected to go to thorn valley to learn from the rats of NIMH. Apparently Timmy is destined for great things. He struggles with both that prophecy, and the legend of his courageous father Jonathan, who sacrificed himself to help the rats escape NIMH (the National Institute of Mental Health, btw.) all those years ago.
Countdown to Insanity
Me, three days ago: “Hey! They made a sequel to the Secret of NIMH? And it’s free on VUDU? Sold!”
Me, 9am this morning: “Alright, let’s fire this puppy up while I do the dishes!”
9:01: “So, they decided to just copy and paste bits of the first movie in. Ummm, ok, I guess that will help people who haven’t seen the first one. Not really sure if that’s the wisest idea though. If you are a straight to DVD hatchet job with terrible animation, you might not want to remind the audience up front that you’re a low budget sequel to A CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED VISUAL MASTERPIECE that maybe they might enjoy watching instead.”
9:02: “The Secret of NIMH 2… “Timmy to the Rescue”? Hey VUDU! You didn’t mention the second half of this movie’s title! Well, shit. I guess I’m watching a “plucky kid saves the day” adventure. Sigh.”
9:04: “Wow, Timmy’s brother is a real dick. Every time Timmy doubts that he’s going to live up to his father’s legacy, he’s always there to pat him on the back and say “Yeah, you’re right. You really suck.””
9:06: “Goody! They remembered to bring back Jeremy the Crow, the worst part of the first film. I guess Dom DeLuise needed the money. For sandwiches or something.”
9:07: “No. Oh God no. They’re singing! There wasn’t any singing in the first one! Time to turn the water on and rinse dishes until they
stop fucking singing are clean!”
9:10: “Oh thank Christ, the first commercial break. Please VUDU tell me about how I can save money on hotels by using Trivago! You have my undivided attention. In fact, don’t bother going back to the movie.”
9:12: “Nope, that’s it. They are having the 10 year old sing. His god awful warbling is even reaching me over the running faucet! That goddamn mouse is like Cthulu, driving me mad with how pointless a world where this movie exists is!”
We’ve covered a few Don Bluth films before. There are two things about a Bluth film you know you can count on. The first thing is the visual quality. Bluth left Disney because he thought they were cutting corners and sacrificing the integrity of the medium. Disney. In their animation heyday. The second is a dedication to treating children with respect. Difficult topics, violence, tragedy. Bluth never dumbed his content down or sugar coated his stories. From immigrants to the afterlife you got a real, if bizarre, story.
The Secret of NIMH was the first feature length film Don Bluth Productions made. It was a labor of love, dedicating most of it’s 6 million dollar budget to the animation. Studio execs mortgaged their homes to finance the film. Artists worked 100 hour weeks. They even had studio staff do the background character voice-overs so they could divert more money to the art. And it showed. The fluid animations, the light effects, the level of detail to backgrounds. It was a gorgeous film.
This film takes a piss on all of that. The animation would be bad by after school programming standards. The plot is trite and treacly. Pratfalls, sight gags, and sing a longs abound. The only thing this movie shares with the first is its name. They didn’t even bother to consult with Bluth when they made this film. Good. At least he can keep his good name. The people who made this should have to stand in front of a judge. The execs who green lit it should have to stand in front of a firing squad.
If one person steers clear of this soulless cash grab because of this review, it will have been worth it. You’ve been warned.