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Tuesday
Jul282009

'The Secret of NIMH' Gets a Remake

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.

Reader Comments (41)

/facepalm no no no, they will screw it up.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterOrinn

Oh god, let's REALLY REALLY pray they don't!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFeisty

I might be speaking only for myself when I say that to remake this movie in the style of The Chipmunks or G Force lessens the beauty of it. The original was a beautifully styled movie. This new wave of CG, while impressive, I think would sully many peoples memories of a great movie. I'm not a movie critic and have don't have the experience of Colin, however, so I'll try to squelch any negative opinions, like the ones stated above, until I see a trailer for it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

Oh my goodness, no... 2D animation is beautiful. It's art. This movie, therefore, was a masterpiece.

A remake? In 3d? It's going to be god-awful.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTy

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

If they remake this in the same theme as the Chipmunks or G-Force, thousands upon thousands of underground cult Nimh followers will rise up as one. A mass of infuriated fans, already embittered by the collosal, abysmal, embarassing failure that was the so-called "sequel" to the Secret of Nimh, whose rage will reach critical mass the moment Mrs. Brisby breaks into a showtune and dance. A churning sea of bodies whose combined rage will suck the light out of the sky and cause angels to weep in the heavens as they descend as one onto Paramount, screeching their outrage with pent-up fury that has been broiling within them since 1998. And when the blasphemers who dare taint this most treasured childhood memory are writhing on the floor in misery and agony from the den of outrage, the collective will rise up in unison to open their mouths, and as one will sing The Song That Ends The World.

Someone, for the love of all that is good and cherished, steer them towards Care Bears.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJim

PLEASE NO!!!
THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE CHILKDHOOD MOVIES AND THEY WILL DESTROY IT!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNO WAY

Please let this be a joke

why would they mess with somthing thats already perfect?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTreforce

*Face Palm*

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDyne

They mess with thiat movie for one reason: MO' MONEY!!!!
They'll be selling off poor mrs. Brisby as a prostitute!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPalpher

Well, I do like the idea for making the characters 'realistic' in CG on real backgrounds. I've always liked that for some reason. But the fact that this will trickle down into a Nickelodeon film disturbs me...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDev Halena

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNIMH 2:Electric Boogaloo

This movie was an artistic masterpiece. It had feeling, energy, wonderful characters, a great book as it's base that was followed faithfully while being improvised on skillfully, and was a great staple for young people at that time... most of whom are still alive to see this movie when it comes out.

To take it and defile it by trying to make it like Alvin and the Chipmunks or G-Force right off sounds wrong to me. The feel of this movie is what made it a beloved classic; tossing in 3D crap will ruin it. And considering how dark it was, and the standard of these kinds of movies, how are they expecting to ply up any of the parts of the story? Like Jenner dying, Nicodemus getting crushed, Mrs. Brisby running around 'naked' in the house... all of these things are going to have to be removed, covered up, etc. to make it conform to those standards.

If the people involved with this have any kind of intelligence, they will scrap this idea. Maybe they should turn to the abysmal failure that was Secret of NIMH 2, and try to redo it so that it's actually worth calling a movie, instead of taking something so wonderfully done and destroying it in the name of making a few dollars.

I've spoken to literally hundreds of people online in various groups and places, and ALL of them who know what the movie is or care think it's a horrible idea. The few that were left over were the types this movie will draw in; zombies who follow whatever media is put in front of them and say 'Very nice.' not caring either way. This is a HORRIBLE IDEA. I suggest those thinking of doing it reconsider.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWhut? o.o

Neil Burger needs to be hit. Hard. Perhaps some sense will be knocked into his skull? DON'T TOUCH THIS MOVIE!

I think i'd rather burn down the movie theater than watch this masterpiece butchered.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentervex

NIMH is one of my childhood favorites, both in film and print.

I dearly hope this doesn’t come to pass. The original is nothing short of an animated masterpiece, but with today’s moviegoing audience yearning for bland humor and straightforward plots… I just can’t imagine this turning out well.

Needless to say, with NIMH’s complexity and serious themes, I don’t think many families will be as open to it as they were with, say, G-Force. Not to mention that the original animated film will likely fade further into time and become just a 'cult' thing.

This remake is neither necessary nor desired, even if it miraculously ends up more faithful to the novel than Bluth's adaptation did.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKayden Toone

Sweet meta muffins.
How could this EVER sound like a good idea?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGrawh

Who the hell gives the thumbs up for these kind of things?!?! Don't they have to do reserch for this stuff? I mean who in their right mind would say "yeah a piss poor movie with horrible dialogue and cheezy jokes is a great way to remake a classic!' BOOOOO I really hope this is just one of those "talked about" things and not a product in the works.

Thursday, July 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSad

Do people run out of ideas so pathetically that they need to butcher everything that was done before ?

NIMH is one of my all time favorite animated films. And the best one Don Bluth ever made.
The animation was absolutely wonderful, the music powerful and wisely chosen. A dark and unique atmosphere skillfully adapted for children. Believable and deep characters, greatly designed in the film.
Like someone said, what is the point of remaking something already perfect?

So NO... Let's hope this NEVER happens.

Thursday, July 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRhynn

PLEASE DONT! This is one of my favorite movies as a kid. They will take away the beauty and depth of it. They will try to make it to PC and less dark and then that will just ruin the whole thing. I normally dont mind a remake but this one should not be redone. And why do they need to remake everthing are they that short on ideas!. PLEASE DONT!

Thursday, July 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdarkshewolf

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

Thursday, July 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrage

Looks like they`re going to do the Joel Schumacher to Secret of NIMH. By removing the dark mature story and realistic characters, they replace it with childish lightweight storyline, corny CGI critters and campy pastel schemes.

I guess Paramount only wants to insult the fans of the original NIMH, and please those who are fans of Dreamworks-esque idiot comedies or those who think that cartoons without flashy CGI,camp songs, love stories or bright atmosphere are weak (Little Mermaid-fanatics for example). Somebody needs to make some sense around here and revive the traditional animation as it once was.

Yet I think a stop-motion NIMH by Tim Burton would actually work. Nevertheless, they shouldn`t make NIMH look like the junker cartoons of this decade. At least the ones made in the 70s and 80s had some serious subject matters and old-fashioned craft in them.

Don Bluth`s NIMH deserves all the respect.

Friday, July 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVGBH

when will they air this in theatre, i wanna see it! Because im a fan of don bluth's film, Secret of nimh. PLEAAE DONT LET BURGER RUIN THIS PERFECT ORIGINAL MOVIE! THE ORIGINAL IS THE BEST AS IT IS! DONT YOU DARE MAKE IT TO A CGI, PROBABLY YOU WILL MAKE IT MORE UGLY AND AWFUL LIKE THE CHIPMUNKS AND G-FORCE! IF THEY MAKE IT TO A CGI, PEOPLE WONT DARE GO TO THEATRES TO WATCH IT, ANYWAY. HAH!

Friday, July 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteranne marie las pinas

Ok, as much as I love the original movie, this interests me. First off I could never understand the whole "a remake ruins the original" mentality, it don't make much of a difference if you ask me.

Now first off I found the most interesting that there going for the rights to the book, not the first movie. With any luck this will be a more direct telling of the book, witch I would love to see.

Now I will admit that bringing up G-force and Alvin and the Chipmunks in the same report did leave a bad taste in my mouth as well, but that is only talking about what it will likely be... and it by a reporter that just heard it's got rodents and just assumes.

I'll hold my judgment till I at least see something coming from the ones that are actually making the film.

Friday, July 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLynxan

NO, They shouldn't mess with a classic every thing that the fuckers in hollywood touch turns to shit , this was one of my faves and still is the animation was beatuifly done and colored, it was perfect and as someone said in their post why mess with perfection ?

why is not a concept that is familiar with the people of hollywood. If they all think that we have the tecnology to make it better, well wrong jsut beacuse we have all these programs to do 3d and what not does not mean that you can replace the hand crafted master peices that we have come to love.

Saturday, August 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCrawford

There have been enough remakes of great films that are terrible, and you know what? I just don't watch them. I pretend that they're not there. And it works perfectly fine for me. So don't worry. Put it out of your head. If you don't go to see it, then it's not really there. Existentialism, baby.

Saturday, August 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDreggor Gade

Sorry, Paramount. I'm afraid that that well was poisoned long ago by MGM when they got greedy and inflicted "SoN 2" on an unsuspecting fandom. Any remake is going to have the nigh-impossible task of trying to better the magnificent-in-spite-of-it's-flaws Don Bluth movie and will inevitably fall short. Save your money and put it into something that might actually succeed -- like, say, the inevitable sequel to the latest "Star Trek" movie. (Not that I'm bad-mouthing "Trek". I've been a fan of that franchise since practically forever...)

Monday, August 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterReynard

I agree with everyone else commenting on this post. THIS IDEA IS HORRIBLE! The only good that could come from it, is if it were given to Tim Burton or someone else with VISION (ie: Henry Selick a la Coraline).
As far as i'm concerned, all those Alvin & the Chipmunks and G-Force type movies are only serving to DUMB DOWN our children and SUCK THE LIFE out of their awesome imaginations (as well as all the rest of us adults). PLEASE will someone give Hollywood a KICK IN THE FACE!

Thursday, August 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMegs

I watched this movie all the time with my mom when I was a youngion with my mom, and it was a classic masterpeice for real, and to see it is being remade and reborn into the mondern day era? excites me but at the same time scares me, SOTM was like one of those classic toons that really touched your inner emotion, and remakes these days id say 70% of them fail, so...with that being said i am all for this remake as long as they keep the true emotion and the darkness feel to the cartoon as it once was, and when they remake this I hope they dont have little kids on their minds and try to make the film family oriented because thats not what this film was about, ((in other words whoever directs better not try to make it all family pg ofr a cheap buck)) please....make this a film remake that no one will ever forget.

Friday, September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTim H

Hell no. G force was a shitty movie. the only thing that made the movie just barely watchable was the impressive CG of the hamsters. Those were really well done.

And alvin and the chipmunks sucked. The character designs for the chipmunks stank. All i really wanted to exterminate those damn computer generated monstrosities.

seriously. Paramount. Stay away from this one.

Monday, October 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter=.=

Do any of you people realize they're not remaking Secret of NIMH but are instead doing a faithful adaptation of the book? The original movie was great, but it added way too much goofy magic and pseudo fantasy nonsense to a fairly straightforward novel. Let's give the new film a chance before we all poop our Pampers here.

Friday, October 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBiscuit Wheels

This is ridiculous! How is it that they have the nerve to take such a masterpiece and try to destroy it! Are they just trying to prove once again that almost all animation created in this generation is cheap, unartistic and stupid to say the least? Even the remade animation looks completely cheesy and uninspiring compared to the original artwork.

The message in "The secret of NIMH" is important and I find it hopeful that they would like to remind people of that story. However, remaking it in the proposed way would completely remove that and it's charm as well.

Please, please, please do not redo this movie chipmunck style!

Friday, October 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFish

It is possible to retain the etyle these days. Kung Fu Panda is a good example of how to incorporate style into CG animation.

Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFracture

Ok Look people. I would like to say that when I first read the article I was shocked and outraged just as much as the rest of you, However now that I have calmed down considerably I still believe that this is likely to devolve into the same kind of disaster that was Secret of NIMH 2. This could only be a good idea IF and only IF they manage to somehow retain the rather dark and serious tone that the original SoN movie had. Assumming that this might somehow turn out to be the case and this will not become the fiasco that everyone else believes it will be, I feel that it is entirely possible to do a good job on the movie using the same kinds of technology that was used in the making of Alvin and the Chipmunks and G-Force. In other words what I am saying is that esentially I HOPE that this movie turns out to be a well done remake of the original classic but am FAR more inclined to believe that this will turn out to be an atrocious movie..

Sunday, December 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGM_Seth

If I was Don Bluth, I'd sue.

Thursday, March 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHana

everyone is right! i LOVE this movie..it was one of my favs as a child and still is to this day! my mother taped it and i've watched it with my children! don't fix something that's not broken...the beauty of the story will be lost! why is it that most movies now days are remakes? where are everyones imaginations?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermindy

I hate G-force and The chipmunks! They are really ugly! And I hate it how they break out in song and dance it really p***es me off! I hate those movies and now they are going to ruin this movie! If they remake it and they sing and dance, I will hate Paramount forever and the fact that its going to Nickelodeon that just makes it even worse!

Friday, April 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterzelika

A remake of this cartoon using the effects found in the chickmuck movies and GI force would ruin it. The animation made it well magical. It was fantasy. Biscut on wheels I never read the book but in all honesty those chimpmucks and guine pigs on GI force are annoying. Call it what you like reimaging or remaking but most of those movies end up bad.

Sunday, May 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

I think that as long as they keep the darker aspects that are natural to the story the film might actually benefit from realistic rats as the leads. Also, with some luck they will try to cash in on the older movie and bring out a remasterized version in DVD and Blu-ray. The original was never too popular, so I'm guessing that a desire to remake it comes from an actual love of the original and not simple greed.

Saturday, May 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMint

i'm gonna at least give it a chance. all of you are completely over reacting because your so hung up over your own childhood. even if it ends up being really good you wouldn't like it because its not the same. i don't care how many people disagree with me, you need to get over yourselves.

Saturday, November 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermee

Neil Burger can go die.

Saturday, January 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGuy

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