Watching The Secret of NIMH tonight with the kids I’m reminded of how wonderful Don Bluth was in the 80’s and just how different – though similar – his stuff was from standard Disney fair. A little bit darker and grittier, though they both have their share of parental death.
I don’t remember many Disney films from my youth, but I can recall The Secret of NIMH for how magical and mysterious it is. The creepy old Owl, the scary cat “Dragon”, the amulet. Still holds up over 35 years later.
I never realized Wil Wheaton and Shannen Doherty did the voices of Mrs. Brisbee’s older kids, so that was a nice surprise to learn.
Watching the movie also reminded me of every trip I ever took to Showbiz Pizza in the 80’s. I must’ve lost countless quarters to Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace – two video games that used LaserDisc and which were produced by Bluth – that are still a little bit ahead of their time in terms of graphics and storytelling.
If you haven’t seen the movie in a while, or if you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it.
And if watching it sets you down a path of nostalgic cinema, I’d also like to recommend The Black Cauldron (Disney’s 1st PG animated movie AND one I could’ve sworn was also done by Bluth), Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, The Last Unicorn, and The Dark Crystal. All awesome animated/anime/puppet movies of the early 80’s that really shaped my love for dark fantasy and sci-fi.