Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 9:07AM
It was not all that long ago that we told you The Secret of NIMH was now available on Hulu. I watched it again, and it holds up reasonably well. The one issue it had was probably wrestling with how approachable it would ultimately be, because it was certainly darker than most animated fare in the early 1980s.
Now Neil Burger (The Illusionist) is negotiating a deal to adapt Robert C. O'Brien's book, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, for another version of the film. The Hollywood Reporter says the update would likely follow the formula of Alvin and the Chipmunks and G-Force formula of mixing live-action human performers and background with computer generated vermin.
The new NIMH will find a home at Paramount, which usually spins this kind of thing through Nickelodeon Films or its relationship with DreamWorks. There's no word on a director, and that may be something to keep an eye on. After all, the first NIMH was guided by Don Bluth, who is one of the visionaries of the genre. I'd hate to see this one fall into the hands of someone who's lucky to get the gig.
I don't mind the remake on the grounds that it's been 30 years, it's not going to conform to the same style, and it's a good enough book to revisit every now and again. The addition of Burger intrigues me; he's also writing the new Bride of Frankenstein movie. On the whole, I raise my glass to this one for the time being.