The Michigan Daily Tuesday, July 20, 1092 Page 7
'The Secret of NIMH' is Don Bluth's (inset) first feature-length animated movie since leaving Walt Disney Studios.
By Chris Case
IF YOU'RE UNDER ten years old,
read only this paragraph. The Secret
of NIMH is great. The scene with the
cat is great. It's gross what the Great
Owl does to the spider and it's cool how;
you get down to where Nicodemus lives.
The whole movie is really cool. Make
your parents take you to it tonight.
Now for the boring stuff. The best
children's stories hold equal fascination
for both adults and kids. The Secret of
NIMH does not. This is not to say it is
bad or dull. The animation is done
beautifully, and, if you're a con-
noisseur, NIMH is probably worth
seeing on this merit alone. The story,
moreover, is nicely constructed and
loaded with narrative hooks, so it keeps
you wondering. Until it's over.
And that's when I start to have
trouble with NIMH. It's too simplistic, a
little too cute, and too neatly wrapped
up. I know it's a children's story, but so
are all the Winnie the Pooh books and
they don't suffer from the same
problem, which is why they are great
and NIMH is not. What's missing is this
story is the spaces between the lines,
the unanswered questions, the room for
expansion that might have made NIMH
as much fun for the parents as it
probably is for their kids.
I feel a little ridiculous criticizing a
cartoon in terms of characterization,
but I think it's necessary to do so here.
Mrs. Brisby (who, is, after all, the star
of the film) is agonizingly sweet, plain-
tive, and lugubrious. She's constantly
begging and wringing her hands and
it's all a bit much, perhaps for kids as
well as adults.
y Aside from those with Mrs. Brisby,,
not quite classic
the only real character problems are I usually can't stand) is terrific as the
with the film's Disneyesque tendency to voce of Jeremy the Crow, for instance.
polarize good and evil. This is a fault Visually, NIMH is a very impressive
regardless of what age group a film or work. If you have young children, you
book is targeted for. People are hurt, should probably take them to see it.
happy, mixed-up, sad, and a bunch of There were kids screaming in delight at
other things; they are not singularly the show I went to see, which is a nice
"good" or "bad." Why give kids the sound to hear and probably a better in-
wrong impression? Simplistic charac- dication of the film's entertainment
terization is both uninteresting and value for children that this review.
misleading. To give due credit: one of But the movie lacks the originality
NIMH's best characters, the Great Owl and the remanent mystery at the end of
arouses interest precisely because of a true children's classic. Its messages
his ambiguity. Will he help Mrs. Brisby and many of its characters are pat and
or try to eat her? too readly accessible, leaving a limited
The movie was created by Don Bluth amount of room for the mind to expand,
Productions, a company formed by regardless of age. Kids can take more
Bluth and several others who left than NIMH has to offer, and so,
Disney "over the issue of creative probably, can many adults. My own
quality." This would imply that Bluth feeling is that Don Bluth Productions
sets rather high standards for his work, has met its self-proclaimed standards
and indeed that seems to be the case. for quality, while falling a bit short in
The production and the animation are terms of creativity.
top-notch and there are occasional
strokes of genius. Dom DeLuise (whom
as Bond in
In spite of contract problems, Roger
Moore has been signed to star in James
Bond's next adventure, Octopussy.
Moore said of his negotiations with
producer Albert Broccoli to appear in
his sixth Bond film, "The poker game is
over. We both got tired of dealing so we
decided to cut for it. I think we are both
happy with the outcome."
Octopussy, the thirteenth in the Bond
series, will be directed by John Glen.
For years the second unit director on
other 007 films, Glen broke into direc-
ting last year with For Your Eyes Only.
Filming of Octopussy will take place on
locations in India, Germany, and the
United kingdom. It is expected to be
released in June 1983.
S T A L L O N E 6T,
TUES-4:00 600 , 7:55, 9:50
The happiest surprise
of the year to date."
-iImnCt Canby, NEW YORK TIMES
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