Paramount “re-imagines” Don Bluth’s The Secret of NIMH.

Posted on 28 July 2009 by Quaid

The Hollywood Reporter is telling us that Paramount is developing a new big-screen adaptation of the 1971 children’s book “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.”

SecretofNimhPosterI’ve never read the book, but I sure did wear out a VHS of the 1982 Don Bluth directed movie based on the story.  The Secret of NIMH was a childhood favorite of mine–one of the rare non-Disney animated movies that was able to capture the tone of a classic children’s story.

Neil Burger, the writer behind The Illusionist, is set to write the screenplay, and Cary Granat will produce the tale of Mrs. Frisby, a mouse who must race to relocate and save her sick son before the farmer’s plow comes.  Along the way, she discovers amazing secrets about a group of lab rats running a highly evolved society.

It looks like the movie will be a live-action/CGI hybrid, and, having grown up on the Bluth film, it’s almost impossible for me to imagine that.  The first movie is dark and magical and doesn’t contain a hint of pop-cultural wackiness, which seems to be what the live-action movies about talking animals are all like nowadays.

I suppose it’s time to hold judgment about this one.  I’m one of the few that really enjoyed The Illusionist, and, oddly enough, that film’s tone is actually pretty similar to some elements in the original 1982 movie.  Maybe they’re taking the talking animals genre and doing something totally interesting and original with it?  I doubt it but will hold out hope regardless.


6 Comments For This Post

  1. ShepRamsey Says:

    You liked The Illusionist? Eh. You lose.

  2. Quaid Says:

    It’s paul friggin’ Giamatti and Edward Effing Norton! You’re telling me you found NO redeeming qualities? Given, the ending was ridiculous and given I’ll never watch it again, but I’m glad I saw it once and I really dug the tone.

    Don’t judge me.

  3. matt Says:

    I loved the original Secret of Nimh and also wore out the tape when i was young. I hope the new one is just as good, otherwise i’ll be investing in the classic for my daughter to enjoy as well.

  4. Gordon Says:

    1) The book’s title is Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

    2) Why is “re-imagines” in quotes? Nobody in the source article says anything about re-imagining anything. They’re just re-doing the book. Will stuff change? Probably. But we don’t know yet.

  5. Quaid Says:

    Thanks for catching the typo. I’m just so obsessed with the movie I err on the side of Bluth. Fixed now.

    “Re-imagines” is in quotes because 1) We’ve had some running commentary on the site for the past few months about the difference between re-imaginging, remaking, and re-adapting. So it has to be in quotes because who the hell knows which word to use. And 2) As I said in the article, I’m original movie-centric, so any other version of this will be tied to the 1982 movie for me. I also think it will be impossible for any filmmaker re-adapting a book to ignore the previous (and beloved by some) incarnation of the source material.

    Just my two cents; feel free to disagree and thanks for the comment!

  6. gray stanback Says:

    I wish Don Bluth were directing this! He hasn’t done a movie in AGES!!!!!

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