A shift is needed…

The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue

Last week, I wrote a tribute to one of my all time favorite animated kids movies, The Secret of NIMH.  And now it’s time to take on, and scorn, the rape of animation that is The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the RescueThe Secret of NIMH 2, in my opinion, is the worst sequel mankind has ever made.  Where the first movie was beautiful, whimsical, dark, and wonderfully animated, the sequel is not.  It is the opposite of all those things, meaning it’s ugly, burdensome, light, and terribly animated.  This sequel is so bad that most NIMH fans deny its existence; it was never made.  I would be apart of this group, but I can’t ignore it, it’s there, and it’s awful!

Please note that this scorning review will be much longer than my tribute to the original movie, this is because I have a lot of nasty things to say about this movie, and I wish to make the story outline more detailed, so that when I get to the part when I list what’s wrong with it, you’ll really know what I’m talking about.  So grab a gun, a rope, some poison, or whatever else you would like to kill yourself with, and prepare to take a look at the worst sequel ever made, The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue.

The Origins of the Movie

I hope you’re happy, readers, because I had to do a bit of research to make this scorning review, as well as watch the movie twice.  I now want to rip my eyes out.  Anyway, 16 years after the release of the original film, MGM Animation decided it was time to harm their bank accounts.  In 1998, MGM released a direct-to-video sequel to The Secret of NIMH, and that movie was The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue.  That’s right, 16 years later!  Geeze, that’s entering Disney sequel territory!  And like a stupid 12-year-old, I saw it on the video store shelf and had to rent it because it was the sequel to my favorite movie, it had to be good.  Boy, was I disappointed.

Don Bluth, who directed the first film, had nothing to do with the sequel.  In fact, it was made without his approval or input into it’s production.  However, MGM owned the rights to The Secret of NIMH, so they could do whatever they wanted…and they did.  The sequel was directed by Dick Sebast, a guy whom, according to IMDB, mostly worked on animated television shows.

Also, unlike the original, this movie was not based on a book.  There is a sequel to Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, which is titled, Racso and the Rats of NIMH, but The Secret of NIMH 2 has nothing to do with this book, or so I’ve heard.  I never read the book, so I can’t say from personal experience.

The Story

SPOILER WARNING!

Timmy Brisby

The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue is about Timmy Brisby, the youngest son of the heroine of the original film, Mrs. Brisby.   Timmy is living at Thorn Valley so that he can be the next great hero of the rats of NIMH, like his father, Jonathan, was before him.

Jonathan Brisby Saving Everyone From NIMH

The movie begins with a vague recap of who the rats of NIMH are and how Jonathan rescued them, making him their savior.  Then it goes into a prophecy that Nicodemus, the now deceased leader of the rats, foretold about how NIMH will threaten the rats again, and that a son of Jonathan would be chosen to save them.

Dr. Valentine and Guy With a Net

So we see our hero, Timmy, having a “rabbit pulling them in a walnut shell” race with his older brother Martin.  But Timmy crashes, and Martin gains the lead, so Timmy thinks a shortcut would help him win.  He cuts across the field and gets caught in a cage.  Martin rescues him before the evil scientist from NIMH, Dr. Valentine, arrives to capture Timmy.  Upon seeing the empty cage, Dr. Valentine’s assistant deduces that it had to have been one of the escaped rats because he was able to undo the latch of the cage.  So the scientists run off to see if they can find their missing pray.

Martin Telling Timmy Off

Martin and Timmy talk about what just happened, with Timmy apologizing for ruining their last race together, then proceeds to sulk after Martin calls him “Hero”, his nickname for him.  He tells Martin not to call him that because Martin is the hero type and that Nicodemus should have picked Martin.  Martin quickly agrees and we see that he’s pissed that Timmy was picked to go to Thorn Valley as the hero son of Jonathan Brisby.  Martin calms down and tells his brother that he’ll be great, but they better get back home or Timmy will miss his flight.

Timmy's Slingshot Fail

Martin gives Timmy a slingshot, and tries to teach him how to use it, but Timmy can’t get the hang of it, and ends up hitting the crow, Jeremy (still voiced by Dom DeLuise, and the only voice actor from the original to return), causing him to crash into the water, gaining the attention of the rest of the Brisby family.  Timmy’s mother, Mrs. Brisby, his sisters, Teresa and Cynthia, and Auntie Shrew.  Jeremy says that he’s okay and will still be able to fly Timmy to Thorn Valley.

Timmy, Mrs. Brisby, and Martin

Timmy says goodbye to his family, stating that he doesn’t want to go, but his mother tells him that he means a lot to the rats at Thorn Valley and that he’s going to walk in his father’s footsteps.  Jeremy doesn’t know where Thorn Valley is, so Martin tells him it’s south, by south, by south.  And they take off, leaving his mother to pray to Jonathon to protect him, and Martin goes into a jealous rant again, much to the annoyance of Auntie Shew.

Mr. Ages and Timmy

When Timmy arrives in Thorn Valley, there’s a procession of mice and rats there to greet him with a musical number about how great the city is, and during the song Timmy gets into all kinds of shenanigans, and meets Mr. Ages and Justin (Justin, according to the original movie, is now the leader of the rats) who will be his teachers and guardians.  We also see how Thorn Valley is a place for farmers, as well as bright people to create new things.  Timmy is given the key to the city by Justin.

Jonathan's Statue

At the end of the song, Timmy sees that in the center of Thorn Valley there is a statue of his father carved out of a tree.  Then Mr. Ages and Justin formally introduce themselves (they were too busy singing when they first met), and a montage of Timmy learning stuff commences.  We find out that they’re training Timmy so that he can fulfill his destiny, and when Timmy asks what that is exactly, Justin tells him that no one knows, that he’ll just have to adapt and improvise.  Justin tells him that when Jonathan saved them from NIMH, he didn’t know that was his destiny.  Timmy says that he’s not his father, and Justin tells him to let history be the judge of that.

Mr. Ages Telling Timmy Off

Months later, Timmy gets rid of a snake by filling it with air and and causing it to fly away, and Mr. Ages reams him out for endangering them to the chance that they could be exposed to the outside world.  He asks Timmy if he knows what he’s been trying to teach him all these months.  Timmy tells him that he learned that it’s okay for guys to wear the same underwear three days in a row (thank you for that advice, movie), and that he needs to think things all the way through.  Mr. Ages tells him that snakes flying though the air would alert humans to the existence of Thorn Valley, and they would be in danger from NIMH.

Timmy Ages as He Sings

Mr. Ages then tells Timmy that his father saved them from NIMH and that he could be just as remarkable if he thinks things through, pointing to Jonathan’s statue.  Timmy then sings about how he’ll never live up to his father’s name, and we enter a montage of him growing up.  His confidence in himself changing with age.  Now singing about how he will soon equal what his father has done, and how he will soon prove that he’s his father’s son.

Jenny

Justin brings a much older Timmy (voiced by Ralph Macchio, that’s right people, Daniel-san!  The Karate Kid has stooped this low) along with him and a bunch of other rats to a dump where they can steal what humans throw away and bring it back to Thorn Valley.  They give him a whistle to use in case there’s danger, and tell him to watch their backs.  Pissed at being placed on guard duty, he throws the whistle away and leaves his post to check out a noise he heard, pulling out his slingshot.  He finds a girl mouse by the name of Jenny, who’s eating from the trash.  The disturbance causes the guard dog, Killer, to attack and nearly kill everyone, but they’re saved when Jenny reads the words on the gate and tells them that the gate will close automatically.  So everyone makes it to safety and the gate closes, leaving everyone surprised that Jenny can read.

Jenny Tells Her Problem

Timmy and Jenny are brought before the council, and Timmy is yelled at for not manning his post and not listening to Justin’s instructions.  After that, they discuss the fact that Jenny can read.  She tells them that she can read and she had been sent to find the rats of Thorn Valley by her parents, the McBrides, who are two of the Lost Six, the mice who died in the ventilation shaft in the initial escape from NIMH so many years ago.  Jenny tells them that they didn’t die, but were recaptured by Dr. Valentine.  She tells them that NIMH has changed and Dr. Valentine is crazier than ever.  She was sent to ask the rats for help because something bad is going to happen at NIMH at the next full moon.

Comic Relief Cats

We then see a couple of comic relief street cats who get tricked into walking into NIMH by a man holding a dish of milk.  When the doors close we hear maniacal laughter and the cats screaming.

Letter From Mom

The rats refuse to help Jenny because it’ll be too dangerous, and may expose the city.  They put her under guard so she can’t leave and run the risk of anyone finding out about Thorn Valley.  She tells Timmy that she knew where Thorn Valley was because when she was little, in NIMH, the Lost Six met a mouse who told them that the city was south, by south, by south.  Timmy, remembering a letter his mother wrote him about Martin vanishing, deduces that Martin was in NIMH.  So Jenny and Timmy escape and use balloons to fly away towards NIMH to rescue the Lost Six and Martin.

First Spark of Random Romace

While en route, they make time for a random spark of romance, and lean in for a kiss when they are attacked by a hawk.  They manage to survive the attack with the aid of a caterpillar named Cecil.  Timmy tells Jenny that they need to find the Great Owl, because he helped his mother long ago; he would know what to do.  Cecil then tells them that for a fee, he can bring them to the Great Owl.  After being threatened by Jenny, Cecil brings Timmy to the Owl to speak to him for free.

Jeremy Posing as the Great Owl

When Timmy goes before the Great Owl, he finds out that he’s not an owl at all, but Jeremy in disguise.  He and Cecil are using his disguise as a way to get money from the woodland creatures who have come to ask the Great Owl for advice.  They sing a song about what the Great Owl can do for people and a party breaks out with woodland creatures bringing their money and singing along as Timmy and Jenny are caught in the middle.

Second Spark of Random Romance...But Timmy Doesn't Seem to be In the Mood...Or Maybe Jenny's Drunk, I Don't Know.

Jenny takes the opportunity of Timmy’s good mood to get him to kiss her, but he runs away, with her close behind, to join the party.  Jeremy walks by a low branch and his wig comes off, making all the creatures mad at the con artists.  Jeremy, Cecil, Timmy, and Jenny need to make a quick get away.  So while in the air, they convince Jeremy to take them to NIMH.  When they get there, Jeremy and Cecil refuse to go with them, because of their fear of NIMH.  So Timmy and Jenny go on in alone.

Castle Anthrax...I Mean NIMH

So Timmy and Jenny sneak into and around NIMH, and they find a cage full of scientists acting like dogs, Jenny chalks it up yo Dr. Valentine being crazy.  They almost run into a bunch of rats in guard uniforms marching around saying, “Left, left, left, right, left.” despite the fact that their mouths are not moving.  When they think they’re safe, they run into Justin and a bunch of rats who followed them to NIMH and are there to help.  They go into the room where Jenny thinks the Lost Six are, and Justin tells Timmy to stay behind and watch their backs.  Which pisses him off, and he walks off to look for his brother.

Martin, the Ruler of NIMH

Jenny, Justin, and his men find the Lost Six, but before they can help them they’re captured by the comic relief cats who have been turned evil.  Jenny’s scream alerts Timmy to the danger, and he returns while beating himself up for not listening…again, but he’s captured too.  The cats bring the rats and mice before Dr. Valentine, who gets on all fours and chases a ball like a dog, and we see who the real villain behind NIMH is.  Martin.

Martin Becomes Evil

Evil Martin (voiced by Eric Idle) recognizes his brother and proceeds to tell Timmy what happened to him…in song!  He had been captured by Dr. Valentine, and because Martin was already intelligent, he did further tests on him.  Trying to turn the mouse into a willing servant.  He grew larger, and his mind began to warp, and he soon developed a plan of his own.  He used Dr. Valentine’s own mind control machine aginst him and turned all the scientist into dogs, allowing Martin to take over NIMH.  He conducted his own experiments, making soldiers for himself out of rats, and playing around with other creature’s genetics.

Jenny, Timmy, Evil Martin

In song, Martin tries to convince Timmy to undergo the alterations and join him to help him take over Thorn Valley.  He shows him that he has an army of pigeon riding rats ready to deploy and start the take over.  Martin threatens to turn Timmy’s brain into mush like the scientists if he doesn’t join him.  Timmy says no, so Martin has him placed in a cage to he can watch him unfold his master plan to attack Thorn Valley, because it’s the full moon and it’s going down tonight.  He then commands the cats to take Jenny to his chambers, because he wants to alter her mind and making her his queen.

Timmy and Jenny Singing Regret...Wait, This Looks Like The Split Screen Song From An American Tail!

In the cage, Timmy starts to sing a song of regret.  And using split screen, they show Jenny, who is chained up in Martin’s room, singing the same song of regret of things not done or said.  After their little duet, Cecil comes to cheer Timmy up, and through conversation, Timmy remembers the key to the city he has.  He tries to use it on the lock, but it doesn’t work, so he uses it to undo the hinges of the cage and escapes.  He then starts to think things through, and develops a plan to rescue everyone.

Martin Fights Timmy

First, Timmy gets rid of the cats by making them chase him into a elevator and then causing the elevator to drop down the shaft, but in the process, a little fire gets started.  Timmy tells Cecil to go help Justin and the Lost Six, because he’s going after Jenny.  Timmy walks in to see his brother trying to force the mind control device into Jenny’s head.  He threatens to shoot the key at him with his slingshot, and Martin tells him that he can’t hit anything.  Then Timmy strikes him and tells him he’s been practicing.  He releases Jenny, but Martin attacks him with his cane, but Timmy tries to convince him to stop, that they can make him well again.  Martin pulls out a sword and fights Timmy, who has nothing but his slingshot to defend himself with.  He tells Jenny to run and help the others.  Before Martin can kill Timmy however, Jenny pushes some books on Martin’s head, and knocks him out.

Fire!

One of the rat soldiers comes to get the directions to Thorn Valley from Martin.  So Timmy fakes his brother’s voice and tells them to fly north, by north, by north.  It works and the army flies off in the wrong direction.  So Jenny and Timmy run off to help the others.  Cecil was able to get the cages open, freeing Justin, the rats, and the Lost Six.  They follow Timmy to escape, but the fire has gone out of control.

Third Random Spark of Romance

Everyone climbs to the window to escape the flames, and Timmy tells Jenny that he needs to go and get his brother, and not to come after him.  He then kisses her and they confess their love for each other.  After Timmy does a victory dance, he the goes through the fire to find Martin.  He’s corned by the cats who survived the plummet to the basement.  So Timmy tricks them into falling down the shaft again.

Escape NIMH...Wonkavader Style, Up and Out!

Martin shows up, and he’s look loopy, telling Timmy that his dropped his slingshot.  Timmy then helps Martin by bringing him to the lab, getting in a cage, and riding the explosion up and out of NIMH.  They’re saved from falling to their deaths by Jeremy, who grabs a hold of the cage. and flies them to safety.

Father and Son Statue

The movie ends with the people of Thorn Valley having a parade for Timmy.  Jenny climbs up onto the shoe he’s riding on, and kisses him.  Martin has been cured and his back to normal size and in his right mind.  Mr. Ages tells him that Nicodemus’ prophecy came true, and he and that he fulfilled his destiny by saving the city from NIMH.  They uncover the statue in the middle of the city, and Timmy sees that that they carved him into the statue, having him stand behind Jonathan as a hero with him.

Bring On the Hate!

I FRIGGEN HATE THIS MOVIE! Why do I hate it so much?  Well, if you could sit through reading the story, that should be enough to tell you.  But if it’s not, I’ve got many reasons, and I shall list them for you, these are in no particular order.

1. This sequel begins with a terrible and contrived sum up of the original and much better film.  If this movie is a sequel geared towards the fans of the original, then why do they need a sum up?  They know the story!  No one who didn’t see the original is going to see it’s crappy direct-to-video sequel!  Also, why are they summing up what happened in the last movie if none of it really matters in this one?

2. The animation is awful.  It’s full of mistakes including incomplete drawings and skipping frames.  It’s just terrible.  It doesn’t have the beauty and smooth animation that the original movie had.  For example, take a look at this still from the movie:

Missing Flowers

If you look, you can see that some of the flowers were outlined, but never filled in.  You might think that it’s just one frame, but no, if you watch the scene, you can clearly see the missing flowers.  How do you forget to finish coloring the flowers?!  Also, as I mentioned above, the soldier rats in NIMH would be marching and chanting, but their mouths wouldn’t be moving.  And not just once, every time we see them marching, which is three or four times, their mouths aren’t moving.  That’s just lazy.

3. The voice acting is crap.  The only two people who were any good was Dom DeLuise and Eric Idle, the rest of them, including Ralph Macchio, sounded like they were talking into a can, not really putting any effort into what they were doing.  The original movie had very good voice acting, you really could feel what the characters were going through just by the emotion in their voices.

4. In this movie, NIMH is the villain.  I hate this!  In the original movie, NIMH was nothing more than the cause of the rats and mice gaining intelligence, and they wanted to get their lab animals back, but they weren’t the bad guys of the story, they were the circumstances.  The true villains were the sickness that endangered the life of little Timmy, and Jenner, the rat who wanted to stay at the rosebush and was willing to kill to do so.  But in the sequel, NIMH is the direct villain, with Martin as the mouse who took it over and going to use NIMH to enslave Thorn Valley.  I liked it better when NIMH was the means of the situation rather than the villain of the story.

5. Speaking of NIMH as the villains…why the heck are the scientists still looking for the rats of NIMH?!  It’s been years since they lost them, any scientist would have moved on by now.  It makes no sense that they would still be looking for the rats so many years later.  It’s stupid!

6. If you remember (either from the movie, or from my tribute review of the movie), in the original, Nicodemus dies at the end.  He gets crushed by the Brisby’s home because Jenner cut the ropes.  Nicodemus never met any of the Brisby kids.  So…when he did he pick Timmy to be this chosen hero?!  Cause on the same day he met Mrs. Brisby, he died.  He had no time to make a prophesy about the next attack of NIMH, or to name the hero of that future event, when did this happen?  Cause he was dead!  Also, if he had the time to make this prophesy, why wasn’t it mentioned in the first film?!  Oh, right, because it never happened.

7. What did they do to Mrs. Brisby?!  First of all…they made her look super old, geeze!  But more importantly, she isn’t the same shy but courageous mouse like she was in The Secret of NIMH.  Now she’s no longer meek or humble, but proudly allows her youngest son leave home for who knows how long to do God knows what.  The same son she went through hell to save from death.  It doesn’t seem like something Mrs. Brisby of the original movie would let happen…not without a fight anyway.

8. Thorn Valley is “south, by south, by south”?!  What does that even mean?!  What kind of directions is that?!  Did Martin get that info from his TomTom GPS?  Where exactly is south, by south, by south?!  Oh I get it, the movie is trying too hard to feel like a fantasy and whimsical like the original was naturally…FAIL!  It’s not whimsical, it’s idiotic, and you sound like a moron.

9. Why the heck is Mrs. Brisby praying to her dead husband?!  The rats of NIMH may think of Jonathan as their savior and hold him in high regard, but to Mrs. Brisby, he was just her husband.  Remember, that until Nicodemus told her what happened to Jonathan, and the story of their escape from NIMH, she knew nothing about it.  She would think of him as her husband, not a saint you can pray to!  Another mishap on her character!  Not cool!

10. This is a big one…THE MOVIE IS A MUSICAL!!! Don’t get me wrong, I like musicals, it works for some movies, like An American Tail, and most Disney movies.  But when you have the sequel to a movie that is not a musical, be a musical, we have some problems.  The Secret of NIMH didn’t have any songs because it wasn’t a musical.  There was one song sung as Mrs. Brisby is giving Timmy the medicine, but it’s not being sung by any of the characters, it’s a background song to make the viewers feel the moment of the scene.  And the movie is beautiful for that fact.  The Secret of NIMH 2, however, is ruined mostly by poorly written songs that they need to use to tell their crappy story.  If The Secret of NIMH 2 had not been a musical, it would have been better.  Not good, but better!  It would also be like 25 minutes shorter.  I have the same problem with The Land Before Time and it’s sequels (all 12 of them), the original movie (also made by Don Bluth) was not a musical, and it was a powerful movie.  But all the sequels are musicals.  It sucks!  Don’t do that!  If the original is not a musical, then don’t make the sequel a musical!

11. Why are there so many mice at Thorn Valley?  Think about this logically, The only two intelligent mice to survive the initial escape from NIMH in the original movie was Jonathan Brisby and Mr. Ages.  The rest were rats.  Jonathan is dead, and Mr. Ages went with the rats to Thorn Valley.  So technically, the only mouse that should be there is Mr. Ages.  Now, we do know that the intelligence passes genetically, that’s why the Brisby kids can read and all that jazz.  But seriously, there was only one mouse there…and he’s old!  You’re telling me that from the time Timmy was little and sick to the time he’s whatever age he is in the sequel, Mr. Ages seeded an entire city of mice?!  My gosh, that old mouse has a sex addiction.  And you can’t say, “well they are rats”, because they’re drawn the same size and figure as Timmy and Mr. Ages, the rats look different, and their bigger.  So, again, I ask, where did all the mice come from?!  Cause I can’t believe Mr. Ages knocked up 1,000 women!

12. Soooo…who’s the leader of the rats?  At the end of the original movie, Mrs. Brisby tells Jeremy that Justin is the leader now that Nicodemus is dead.  However, we see in the scene where Jenny and Timmy get yelled at by the council that the high seat is occupied by Mr. Ages.  How did he become the leader of the rats?  Was it because of his ability to knock up so many mice so quickly?!  Did they think of him as their king for having such a insane sex drive?!  And if Justin and Ages are the leaders…why are they teaching Timmy the runt?!  Shouldn’t they leave that to…I don’t know…the teachers!?

13. What’s with the, “It’s okay for guys to wear the same underwear three days in a row.” line?  I can see that it’s an attempt at humor, but look at this picture, as well as any of the ones above:

Underwear?!

Do you see any underwear?!  What underwear are they talking about?  Hmmm, I wonder if they wear…wait…I don’t even want to know.  Even Jenny, a friggen girl character isn’t wearing any underwear…or pants for that matter.  No one wears pants!  So, what’s with the line?  It’s pointless, and infuriating!  It’s a stupid attempt at humor that one look at the screen kills!  You can’t make an underwear joke in a movie where no one wears any underwear!

14. (Sorry in advance for this off color subject) While we’re on the subject, why does Jenny have boobs?!  Seriously, look at the pictures of her above, she has boobs!  Since when do mice have boobs?  None of the women in the original movie had boobs.  Mrs. Brisby even took off her red cloak thing in one scene (not that it covered anything anyway), and she didn’t have boobs.  So, movie, tell me, why do all the girls in this film have boobs?  Seriously, if Jenny took off that sweater, we would be having a peep show.  What are you trying to do, movie?  It not like anyone is going to use The Secret of NIMH 2 as porn!  What is the point of the boobs on the girls?!

15. In the original movie, we find out that the rats want to leave the farm and move to Thorn Valley so they can become independent, self-sustaining, and free from stealing from humans, which they didn’t want to do anymore (besides Jenner that is).  But in this movie, they go to steal from humans, so…the rats haven’t changed their ways at all.  I hate this movie so much.  You could argue that they’re stealing what humans throw away so it’s not the same.  Nope, it is the same.  Sorry.  Nicodemus’ dream was for the rats to be free from relying on humans altogether.  But in NIMH 2, they’re right back to their old ways and stealing from humans again.  Nice move, MGM, you ruined the entire point of Thorn Valley.  Thank you.

16. Jenny.  That’s right, I hate Jenny.  Her character is fine because she’s needed for this crappy plot, but what I do hate about her is that they used her to turn The Secret of NIMH 2 into a bloody romance.  Again, I have no problem with romance.  But like with the songs, it just doesn’t fit this movie.  The Secret of NIMH wasn’t a romance, in fact, there was nothing of the kind.  I know there’s a bunch of fan fiction out there about Mrs. Brisby and Justin hooking up, but that’s not what happened in the movie.  But they added it to the sequel, why?  Who knows.  Maybe Timmy saw that she had boobs and just couldn’t resist, he fell victim to Mr. Ages Syndrome.  But seriously, the romance in this movie is so forced, awkward, and rushed; it doesn’t fit, and it doesn’t work.  And it’s pointless, it doesn’t forward the plot in any way.  It’s filler romance.

17. Lets talk about about the cheap cop out that is the Lost Six.  Remember, the original movie was dark.  It had death in it, and it makes that movie a lot more emotional and believable.  The sequel takes the concept of all the other mice who tried to escape from NIMH dying and threw it out the door.  Making them be the reason why Jenny and Timmy need to go to NIMH.  This movie said, “we can’t have death, that’s bad.”  So they resurrected the dead six (even though it was nine mice that died in the original) mice and said, “That’s better, now they’ll have a kid so she can get help.”  If Jenny escaped, couldn’t the others?!  This is a stupid cop out, and used to give Jenny a reason why she can read, because she is the daughter of two of the intelligent mice that somehow survived the ventilation shaft.  It was better with them dead, because it gave the feeling that Mr. Ages and Jonathon were special.  Thanks to the sequel, we lost that.

18. The use of the caterpillar and cats as comic relief.  That’s right, I hate that too.  In the original movie, there was only one source of comic relief, Jeremy.  The rest of the movie was dark, and serious.  But Jeremy gave us just enough to laugh at to still keep the movie lighthearted.  Also, his antics were natural and not forced.  He was a clumsy and rambling crow, that’s about it.  He didn’t do anything to be funny, he simply was funny.  But in the sequel, almost everything is meant to be funny.  But specifically the caterpillar, and the two villain cats.  All the jokes are forced, stupid, not funny, and pointless.  It’s terrible.  And to prove my point look at this lovely joke:

A MOUSE CREDIT CARD?!

A MOUSE CREDIT CARD! SERIOUSLY!  It was bad enough to have a bat credit card in Batman and Robin.  This is just sad!  This is the kind of humor in this movie people.  A mouse credit card.  It’s funny because mice don’t normally use credit cards.  Please laugh at it, please!

19. This one is simple, why does NIMH look like an fortress of pure evil instead of a scientific institution?

20. Why is Jeremy posing as the Great Owl?  What happened to the Great Owl that required a clumsy crow to replace him, then join up with a greedy caterpillar to con forest animals out of money.  And why do they even have money?  Where did all those animals get all that cash?  And why is there a MOUSE CREDIT CARD!?  GOOD GOD IN HEAVEN, SAVE ME FROM THIS DISGUSTING FILM! But seriously, where did the Great Owl go?  There’s no explanation to this, so I shall make one up.  Ahem…The Great Owl killed a possum for looking at him wrong, and is now serving three life sentences.  The crow known as Jeremy was court appointed to take the owl’s place, and decided to use his new position for profit.  There ya go, folks.  That’s the best answer anyone could ever give on this matter.

21. How in the world does a mouse, even an intelligent, brainwashed, and crazy mouse overtake an entire scientific research lab?  Are you telling me that everyone in NIMH listened to Dr. Valentine no matter what he said, no matter how nuts or ethically immoral it sounded?  Because that’s what happened, Martin started to control Dr. Valentine, and took over NIMH.  That’s just stupid!  No way is that even plausible.  I’m okay with having crazy stuff happen, but there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed, and they crossed it.  There is no way one mouse could take over an entire scientific research lab without raising some kind of alarm.

22. When did Mrs. Brisby write Timmy to let him know that Martin was missing?  Seriously, this bit of information that is vital to the story literally comes out of no where.  “Oh, by the way, I got this letter from my mom a few months ago about my brother disappearing.”  This isn’t something that should be brought up for the first time when his brother is mentioned.  This is something we need to see when he gets the letter, but no.  The writers decided to just have it come out of nowhere.

23. What happened to the mysticism that was in the original?  I said in my tribute to The Secret of NIMH that it had the element of scientific progress, natural instinct, as well as mystical power that helped make the movie work.  Nicodemus was practically a wizard.  The rats (or at least some of them did) magical powers.  Nicodemus had telekinesis, and other powers.  And don’t forget the red stone in the amulet that he had given to Mrs. Brisby, who, in turn, gave it to Justin.  What happened to these things in the sequel?  They’re missing and never even mentioned.  So what happened to that element of the story.  We have plenty of scientific progress and natural instinct in the movie, but where is the mystical power.  I think The Secret of NIMH 2 would be a lot better if that added that to it.  Not good, but better.

24. What about Mrs. Brisby?  How come none of her great feats are mentioned in the sequel.  In the original, she beat all the odds, faced her fears, survived death multiple times, drugged the farmer’s cat, warned the rats that NIMH was coming to exterminate them, and used the magic of the stone to rescue her children from death, and placed her home in the lee of the stone where the rats were going to move it to anyway.  Why doesn’t she have a statue in Thorn Valley too?  Why isn’t her name praised as a great hero?  Why is it all Jonathan?  Sure, what Jonathan did is worthy of praise, but what about his wife who did all those amazing things?  I’m just saying that the sequel seemed to completely forget the brave deeds of Mrs. Brisby.  This doesn’t make sense.  You would think that someone would mention her greatness, not her, she’s too humble for that, but it would be mentioned by someone.  But, once again…the sequel fails.

25. Where’s the dark edge?  The original movie had a lot of dark themes in it, including death, and the chance of losing all hope.  There was a lot to lose.  I mean, three people get killed on screen.  There’s blood, and dark imagery.  Like I said in the tribute, not too much where it becomes gruesome and horrible for kids, but it was dark.  And I think that’s what helped the original movie to be what it is.  The sequel doesn’t have that, it’s light, pretty (the animation isn’t, I mean tone of the story), and cheerful.  “Always listen, be a team player, and it’s okay to wear the same underwear three days in a row.”  The original had themes of courage, perseverance through hardship, as well as inner strength.  Which seems like a more credible story to you?  The most inner conflict that anyone in the sequel struggles with is whether or not Timmy will be like his dad or not.  But the inner conflict in the original is that if I don’t do something, my children are going to die.  Again, what seems more credible?  The themes and conflicts in the sequel are fine.  They work in other films, but not in a film that bears the name The Secret of NIMH!  When you hear that name you’re looking for more serious life and death situations that makes the audience feel the struggle.  The sequel just flat out sucks.

There ya go, twenty five reasons why I hate this movie, there are more, but those are more nit picky.

I will say this though, this movie has two things that I do like about it.  Mind you, compared to the filth this movie spews out, these two things don’t redeem it in any way, but here they are:

1. Jeremy.  That’s right, I like Jeremy.  The reason is that he still feels, and acts like Jeremy.  He’s horribly animated, but Dom DeLuise’s voice acting is the same as it was in the original film, he’s still clumsy and naturally funny.  I do think that him pretending to be the Great Owl is stupid, but something tells me that if string and sparklies were involved he would do something like that.

2. The song where Timmy grows up.  Yep, I like that too.  Not so much the song, cause it’s an awful song…catchy, but awful (like most of Lady GaGa’s songs), but I like the feeling behind the song.  It’s the only time where I feel like Timmy is acting naturally.  Here’s this kid, the son of a great hero and he’s expected to be just as great as his father, and he doesn’t even know what he needs to do.  And through the song we see him grow in confidence, until he’s sure that he will be seen as his father’s son, and be the hero people expect him to be.  It has a very natural feel to it…but the song itself is terrible, and the animation along with it.

But that’s it, those are the only two things in this movie that I can say that I really like.

In Conclusion

We finally reached the end of this scorning review, and through the years, when I’ve been lucky enough to meet another person who was unfortunate enough to see this crummy film, they’ve all said the same thing.  That it’s terrible and should never be approached.  I would recommend the original film to anyone, even young kids.  But the sequel, I wouldn’t even suggest it to my worst enemy…no, they will be suggested the worst live action movie ever made.

On January 18th, 2011, internet celebrity Doug Walker, (The Nostalgia Critic), from ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com, will be reviewing this awful sequel, and I can’t wait to see what he has to say on the subject.  My opinion has been put out there, so now it’s up to you, readers, whether not to see this bad sequel that never should have been made, or avoid it and enjoy having an extra hour and eight minutes to do something more useful with your time.

This movie just isn’t worth your time.  I mean, if you want to understand some of the points I made in these reviews, then maybe you could watch the two films back to back.  I believe they’re both on Hulu right now if you want to watch them for free.  But you’ve been warned about the sequel.

Don’t forget to check out my other detailed reviews:

An Inside Look at “The Neverending Story”

Twilight Vs. Roswell

A Tribute to “The Secret of NIMH”

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Comments on: "A Review of “The Secret of NIMH 2″" (27)

  1. Okay, I have to poke at your very opinionated critique here.

    5: It is very possible that some small NIMH force may still be looking for these mice after even a few years. Rats grow much faster than people do so not THAT much time may have passes between the two sequels. Also, these rats had already been injected with a potentially costly experimental drug, in which case it may still be cheaper to find them than to just start again.

    8: If I remember correctly I think they used that location description in the original movie too, though I can’t be 100%

    9: It’s not so much praying as just talking to him. She did it in the first movie too. Not uncommon for widows.

    11: It’s a possibility that on their journey to Thorn Valley they encountered people who decided to go with them to populate this new home. In fact I would venture to say that it’s a very likely possibility.

    12: You’re failing to realize the impact the Brisby family has. And we all know Justin had a thing for Mrs: B. It only makes sense that they would be the ones to teach him.

    14: Female anthropomorphic animals are almost always drawn with either breasts, or in this case, more pronounced chest fluff to give the effect of breasts to help distinguish more of a difference between gender and to make the characters more human/easier to relate to. If you look at Mrs. Brisby you’ll notice that her chest fluff (on top of her already more feminine body) is also a little more pronounced.

    16: Of course there’s romance. They’re bloody teenagers. Mrs. Brisby was an old widow who was still mourning her husband more or less. The situation is very different and I don’t really think it should be compared.

    19: Easy, they were doing illegal experimentation on animals, they had to have such tight security.

    24: She doesn’t have a statue because of all the things you mentioned, the only thing she did that benefited the NIMH rodents was warn them about NIMH. And even then she wasn’t the one who got them out. Where as Johnathan almost single handedly led a mass exodus from the NIMH facility.

    25: Times change and that element is no longer accepted in children’s films even if it is a sequel. You just have to admit you’re an old fogie and move on.

    In conclusion (that’s right I have one too) I think your view on the movie is based solely on the original when it should not be. You also needed to look more into the current trends and general views of the public around release time. While most NIMH fans hate it, that’s probably because they were too old at the time. It’s a good movie for kids, but that’s about the extent of it.

  2. Thanks, Kai, for the comment, and I respect your opinions. But if you will allow, I shall offer my counter arguments.

    5. I am aware that rats age much faster. However, also consider that these are tiny creatures we’re talking about. I’m sure after a few years (cause I’m sure that’s all it was in human time), the scientists would have cut their losses and moved on to experimenting with new animals. Do I know this for sure? Of course not, you could be right on this matter, it just seems to me that after getting nowhere with finding the animals they would have moved on. But yes, I do admit that they would want to protect their investments by finding them, I just don’t know if they would look for so long. I also admit that this movie needed a plot that this provided…but the plot still sucks.

    8. Not once in The Secret of NIMH is the direction “south, by south, by south” used. Trust me on that one. And even if it was, it would still be stupid! That’s right, even in the original, I would think it was dumb. It’s stupid, just say that it’s in the canyon due south (at least, I think it’s a canyon).

    9. Thhh…I’ll give you that one. Maybe it is more like talking to him, but asking him to keep Timmy safe is more like praying to me. Granted, I have known widows that talk like that, I just found it kind of off for her character in that moment, so I’m not retracting it (it’s only my opinion anyway)

    11. Again, I can kind of give you this one, but only half way. Yes, we do know that other mice (and rats, I guess) can learn intelligence. In the original, Mrs. Brisby mentions that her husband taught her how to read. So maybe they did find some mice who wanted to go to Thorn Valley. But, if so…why is this not explained?! Remember, this movie is geared towards fans of the first movie (different generation or not). Keeping that in mind, we should have some kind of indication that these mice came from somewhere. I don’t care if the explanation is that they snuck in and no one noticed, at least explain it so people like me don’t think Mr. Ages is just a sex addict. :-) So, again, I give you the possibility, but it’s not told, so technically, we don’t know…making it stupid to see THAT many mice.

    12. No, all the fan fiction crazies think Justin and Mrs. Brisby were an item. If you watch the movie, and I have many, many times, there is no romance between them. However, yes. I do see that they could be his teachers, but still…it just seemed weird to me.

    14. Okay, this time I’m not speaking as a fan of NIMH, but as a male. There is a BIG difference between a feminine chest fluff on a mouse and friggen BOOBS! No one in the first movie has two distinguishable breasts. In NIMH 2, they do. This isn’t a major problem, accept that if it’s going to be a NIMH movie, they should at least draw them the same. Boobs and feminine fluff are different, and I’m sure all males would agree with me. I think they just wanted to sexuality her more than she needed to be.

    16. Yes, they’re teenagers. That does change the fact that the romance is forced, fast, and out of place. It just makes the movie awkward (in a cinematic sense…not in a romance sense). The romance served nothing to the story, like I said, it was filler romance. If you took it out, it wouldn’t change anything about the plot of the story.

    19. Yes, I guess that would be why they made it a fortress…lol. However, who said the research was illegal? That’s never been stated once. I mean, it might have been, but it also could have been completely legal research. But that doesn’t really matter one way or another to either movie. But the fact that it looks like a fortress rather than a lab bugs me. Sure, make the lab look sinister, but not like Castle Anthrax (that’s for all the nerds out there that get the reference).

    24. Number one, no, Jonathan did not single handedly lead them from NIMH, according to the first movie, he opened the door to let them out. (I’m not saying it wasn’t brave or anything like that, Jonathan was a great hero to the rats of NIMH, and he should be). But I think Mrs. Brisby’s actions should at least be mentioned. She drugged the cat, allowing the rats to leave. She warned Justin that that NIMH was coming the next day. She saved her entire family from death…by herself! She did some great stuff, and no one speaks of it. It’s just a shame to me.

    25. All of your opinions have merit, but this one. This just isn’t true. There are movies with dark elements and ones with light elements…even today. Look at Toy Story 3, that had some dark stuff in it. I don’t say these things in this 25th point because I’m “old fashion”, cause I’m not. There are plenty of kids movies that are made today that I like, they’re really good. But when you have a dark movie with a light sequel, you feel kind of cheated. And I do, I felt cheated. Mind you, I was still young when NIMH 2 came out, I was at the age to still enjoy a movie of that kind, and even then I thought I was cheated.

    As for your conclusion…of course I’m basing my views on it because of the original…it’s a direct sequel. And as we all know…most sequels tend to be crap…there are exceptions, but still. I remember the trends that were coming out those days…they were good movies! The Secret of NIMH 2, in my opinion, is not a good movie. Sure, kids who never saw the original might like it, because they have nothing to compare it to. I did, so I have the opinion on that based on that. I can’t look at this movie objectively…but if I did I might have more to say about it, I look at it the way it was put out…as a NIMH movie. And as a NIMH movie, it failed. If it was a stand alone movie, it might have been better, but it wasn’t. It was a NIMH movie, so my opinionated review is based on that fact.

    Again, you’re entitled to your opinion, and I thank you for sharing them.

    Ronzi

  3. 11: You are such a perv thinking that of grumpy old Mr. Ages. Maybe it’s just a man thing but guys seem to need ot have everything explained to them while girls have no problem thinking “Okay, this is the only reasonable explanation for this. Let’s go with that.”
    And…no romance? Are you kidding me? Justin is OBVIOUSLY flirting.

    14: You don’t know they are distinctly boobs unless you see her topless. It’s just teenage rodent chest fluff.

    I’m of the opinion that a review should be written objectively first, and then delved into. This entire review felt completely biased to me and I’m frankly disappointed. -.-

    • I was objective at first, I listed the story exactly how it happened without comment…not counting the few sarcastic comments about actors and whatnot. Then I tell why I hate it so much. But yes, it wasn’t like I was reviewing it to see if I liked it or not, I already knew I hated it, so it WAS bias. It was a scorning review, I say that in the introduction. No one is right or wrong in these matters, it’s all opinion.

      Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not here to please any one person. I wanted to tell the world how much I hate “The Secret of NIMH 2″ and why, so that’s what I did.

    • I liked it. A lot.

      And as far as “No one is right or wrong in these matters, it’s all opinion” I must counter:

      WRONG.

      Andrew is right, Kai is wrong. Period.

      Kai seems to be trying to dig into someone else’s opinionated review just to hear her own gums flap with incredibly illogical and ill conceived arguments.

      Whereas Andrew made it clear that he hates this movie and approaches it from that standpoint. It was extremely clear from the beginning that this was a biased review, and there is nothing wrong with that as long as it is mentioned as such.

      Point to Andrew, negative points to Kai for wasting everyone’s time.

      • hey it’s really good for watching but it did broke my heart when thet are locked up and they’re singing. nimh needs be burned down for making rats smarter than man that’s means war for you nimh it’s payback time for telling me it’s wrong to sing like them to. timmy brisby got older to become like his father as a hero of thorn valley and he did so don’t say rude words about that movie i loved that movie

  4. Marcus Blackwin said:

    Wow, Kai. Flame much? You obviously don’t know what the word opinion means. You come onto this guys site and tell him he’s a fogie just because you think he’s wrong for hating this movie for the reasons he lists? He doesn’t look that old to me, and if he was 12 when the movie came out, then he wasn’t old! It’s one thing to say that you disagree, it’s another if you flame and troll to say that he’s wrong for having this opinion.

    Also you can’t say that TSON 2 should be looked at as a separate movie. It’s not. It has Secret of NIMH in the title, meaning that it’s a TSON movie. So that’s exactly what he should compare it too!

    I also think what “NIMH” said was a bit too far on the other side. But I do agree with him that Andrew made it clear of his views from the beginning, so it’s your own fault for reading and hating his review.

    —-

    To Andrew, that was a great review. It was the most detailed review for Secret of NIMH 2 I have ever seen. It really was an awful movie. I have to disagree with you on the one song and crow that you liked. I think that was bad too, but that’s just me. Can’t wait to read some of your other stuff.

    • What amazes me is all of you people who think you can interject into other people’s discussions. I never addressed you or NIMH (Partially to NIMH because his comment was just too immature to warrant a response) but you seem remotely intelligent so I though I would say something.

      Firstly, Andrew and I happen to be real life friends, not just random internet strangers. So I have more room to speak with him.

      Secondly, to really pick something apart and debate it shows that I really read the thing and that I too have enough respect for the person to voice a counter opinion and attempt to remedy some misconceptions.

      Next time, try thinking before you post.

  5. I have to admit that I liked this as a kid. I think it was because I watched the original when I was very little and could barely recall anything about it.

    It was pretty boring up until the part that I liked the most, which was when we found out that Martin was the villain. Poor Martin. He’d totally cracked and was singing about making everyone happy and taking over the world at the same time. It was weird but damn enjoyable.

    I didn’t like the girl mouse (forgot her name again already), the romance (they look like twins :/) or how they defeated Martin so easily (though I can kinda forgive this because he wasn’t in his right mind, but it should have been more dramatic at least), and the fact that Martin “became normal again” in such a short period of time. As I told you, Martin becoming the villain was my favorite aspect of the movie so that’s a big one for me. =_=

    I hated Timmy the most. He’s too useless, pathetic, and two dimensional I still felt like that even after he’d “grown up”. He’s not even good enough to be a supporting character IMO. Whenever he did do something right, it felt unbelievable.

    The fact that he didn’t do something after he learned that his brother was missing was the final nail. I mean wtf.

    I liked the song too though.

    So there it is. An opinion from someone who wasn’t biased when watching the Secret of NIMH 2. Overall I enjoyed it. I watched it like twice when it came out. I thought the two franken-cats were funny and laughed at some of the jokes. I noticed the faults in the animation department, it didn’t bother me that much. But, I never felt the urge to watch it more than twice like I did with some of the other animated movies I liked (I watched An American Tail like 1000 times when I was little, I had the VHS) it was too boring at the beginning for that.

    I think I was about 10-12 when I first and last watched this movie so it’s been awhile but your story summary brought back the memories that stuck with me about it.

    • Thank you for your comment, as well as your thoughts! “An American Tail” is an amazing movie! I loved that one too when I was a kid, and I still do today. I found it along with it’s sequel (which isn’t as good, but not bad, in my opinion) on DVD for like $10. I was like, “Score!” and picked it up. Good times.

      Thanks again!

  6. [...] A Review of “The Secret of NIMH 2″ [...]

  7. SoN2 had its moments, but it’s just so absurd. How did the families of those scientists not notice that they were missing for who knows how long? Facilities Management didn’t notice anything amiss with that building, like, say, a total absence of sane people? I really wonder if the writers even knew that NIMH was a real institution rather than something made up for the movie (or the book, if they knew there was one), and that it was located in Maryland, not Mordor.

    I’ve been to the real NIMH (when I was on the NIH campus for a symposium) and can report that it has much better lighting and a conspicuous lack of cackling mad scientists with laboratories in gothic dungeons.

    • LOL! Indeed, sir. Indeed.

      Yeah, I’ve seen pictures of the real NIMH. It’s crazy how they make it look like an evil castle rather than a scientific laboratory. NIMH 2 is awful!

      Thank you for the comment!

  8. Have you been watching Nostalgia Critic? :P

    • Haha, Joshua! I can see where you get this from. I do like the Nostalgic Critic, he’s awesome.

      However, my review for The Secret of NIMH 2 was published a few weeks before the Nostalgia Critic posting his review. I’ve always had a great hate for this movie, and wanted to do a detailed review of it.

      But I did love the NC’s review. I just wish he would have made a mouse credit card joke. :-D

  9. I’m a black girl and a lover of the old disney and don bluth classics (as well as anime) but the reason they made this awful sequel is because parents today think little kids are to dumb to handle anything dark or edgey. That’s why most kids films today are so watered-down and sugar-coated.

  10. Dylan Carpini said:

    I’m, so glad I found someone who agrees with me! I know like 20 people who love this friggin’ movie! None of which saw the original, I’d bet. Anyway, I thought this was the best scorn review I’ve read in years. and I’m not just saying that. Good job…

  11. I have to say, you do make good points, and I agree with you on some of them, but personally, I liked this one better than the original. Of course, this might be because I ended up seeing this one first, then the first one.
    I personally love the songs, and Timmy’s older teen singing voice. I got to admit though, I didn’t like how Jeremy pretended to be the owl, that was just odd?

  12. JesskaLovesSparklies! said:

    I just did a quick interwebs search for reviews of NIMH 2 just to see if anyone hated it with the same zeal with which I also hate it, and here you are! I haven’t watched the sequel in years, but I regularly re-watch the original. It’s hands down my favorite animated film of all time. It was THE definitive movie of my childhood. The sequel broke my heart. I didn’t watch it for many years after it came out. In fact, I was an adult by the time I could bring myself to watch it. I could tell just by looking at the brightly colored, cheerful cover of the movie that it wasn’t going to have the same feel to it. Beyond that, I agree with everything you said! I’ve often attempted to put into words my loathing of this sequel, but never have so eloquently. I share your utter frustration over what they did to a movie we loved so dearly! Thanks for sharing!

  13. I’ll be honest, I’m a teenager, and I just recently found out this movie. But, before I watched it, I read the book, and I LOVED IT! Then I watched the movie, and I also LOVED IT. And then I watched the sequel… and I HATED IT! I didn’t even watch the entire movie. It was once they started singing, I stopped. The fact that it was a musical greatly irritated me. Of course, though, I watch the Nostalgia Critics review of it, so I could watch a “watered down” version of it.

    I was shocked. I felt heartbroken that such a great movie, had a bad sequel. I know that’s to be expected, I just wish that at least a little more effort was put into it.

    Anyway, love the book, love the movie, and I love your review. Thanks for the review!

  14. i didnt even Know ther wasa sequle!

  15. i i love the book! I prsenly think thay did alot of wrong things of the first movie but it was still good. i like the book better

  16. Chill. Out. It’s a MOVIE.
    It’s barely official anyway considering it didn’t even have the same directors. And it was made 16 years later, so it has more of a modern kid touch to it, overprotective parents, yadda yadda. My teacher put it on for our class and there were somethings that made me wtf such as Mrs. Brisby’s appearance, the idiotic musical, Jenny’s you-know-whats, Martin being evil and voiced by Eric Idle, and basically most of the crap you mentioned as well.
    Think of it this way. I hate this movie, I really do. But I guess the reason I’m starting to not hate it is because it’s so ripable. I can easily make fun of it. And personally, I think the romance is probably the best part.
    But I resect your opinion and I got a laugh out of the whole Mr. Ages thing.
    Before I read the end, I was going to say, “Looks like someone watched the Nostalgia Critic!”

  17. Excuse me, but may I share something with you.

    Now, understand that I have never seen the film, nor ever will, I have something that is a might be outrageous, but plausible theory on what actually happened in the film here: http://forum.thornvalley.com/discussion/76/the-truth-of-nimh-2#Item_1. I do hope you like the idea behind it.

    P.S. Excellent review!

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