Neil Burger Penning The Secret of NIMH Remake


With Hollywood suddenly finding itself in the midst of a wave of adaptations of classic children’s books (Where The Wild Things Are, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Alice in Wonderland), Paramount has decided to bring back one book that was already a proven success on the big screen back in the early ’80s. Robert C. O’Brien’s Newbery Medal-winning book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH provided the source material for the animated film The Secret of NIMH, which was released back in 1982 to moderate commercial success and huge critical praise. I remember loving this movie when I was younger, perhaps because it was a bit darker than a lot of the other animated films of the time (it was produced by an independent studio of ex-Disney employees).

According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Neil Burger (The Illusionist, The Lucky Ones) is in talks to write a new screenplay based on the book, with Cary Granat (Spy Kids, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Scary Movie) on board as a producer. The somewhat depressing part of this news is that they will likely turn it into a live action/CG hybrid “in the manner of Alvin & the Chipmunks“. While I can appreciate that they are doing something a little different with the material, I can’t help but turn up my nose every time I hear someone mention Alvin & the Chipmunks as a point of reference for a new film. What do you think, is it time for a new generation to experience The Secret of NIMH or does the original still hold up today? If you want to revisit it, you’re in luck because the entire movie is now available for free on Hulu!

  • Neil Hamburger should be penning this script.

  • Elizabeth Hartman is rolling around in her grave.

  • Bob The Slob

    Yes, the original still holds up. God I hate that fucking question.

    sorry, Secret of NIMH is my favorite animated movie ever…so of course it needs chipmunk feces all over it.

  • Dear God…why? What, was NIMH II not horrible enough? They’re going to remake one of the most beloved traditionally animated movies in history into a live action/ CGI hybrid??? And it’ll be like the Alvin and the Chipmunks remake?? How dare they!!

    To quote Darth Vader, “NOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo!!!!!”

    I can just see them trying to add potty humor and over-used pop culture references to it and everything and make it all kid-friendly. This is the worst thing they could ever do. Are you happy now Hollywood? You’ve remade and ruined so many classics already, now you’re going to mess with NIMH?

    The only thing worse now would be a CGI An American Tail remake…*knocks on wood, quickly*

    But who knows, maybe they’ll suprise me and it won’t be made like G-Force, Kung-Fu Panda, Shrek and that dreaded Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. I’m too scared to go see it though

  • Kayden Toone

    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.

  • Ovenball

    Lame. Leave this one alone.

  • Gafoxtaur

    Actually, if the book were followed more closely than Bluth did, the story is a rather good science-fiction story. While the animation on the film was ground-breaking and incredibly well-done, the storyline made me wince, as I had read and re-read the actual book many times.

  • Dave

    Hey, Jay C.

    Rodney said his kids got bored watching The Secret of NIHM. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?

  • Katy

    Please leave my childhood alone.

  • Austin

    Oh God. I might cry.

    What the hell is this?
    These people have no imaginations, so they just have
    to go and rape my childhood?
    Leave NIMH alone and make your own movies, you bastards!
    This better not come to pass..

  • Cr0

    Someone should send suicide bombers to Hollywood.
    These guys definitely need to make frickin’ polls each time when they are planning a remake of some classics, to see if fans agree. But nooo, as long as they can fill their pockets with mo’ money, they’ll remain deaf and blind in front of fans raging.
    Everyone needs to organize and make an online (less likely out in public) protest, demanding Hollywood to give up on such blasphemy.

  • rev919

    you know…the idea isnt a bad 1…i grew up watch SoN and i still enjoy it..but i always thought that the story had certain elements that if they had been more fleshed out could be great and could make for an awesome epic style cgi movie..but thats the only way i see success in a remake is if the went more towards a serious animated film like 9 instead of going for a lil kids version…id love to see it turned into a serious toned 2 and a half or 3 hour movie with beefed up action and more adult character development and story elements…

  • Ian

    I can see 3 possible outcomes for this

    1. This movie will be Epic/more Epic than the original.

    9 did exceptionaly well, with its dark tone and awsome action sequences, If hollywood had any sense, they would atempt to repeat this achievement, so we might be safe where the tone and action are concerned (key emphasis on MIGHT). I just hope they make it MORE THAN 72 FRICKIN MINUETS LONG! *glares at 9*


    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was one of my favoret childhood movies, AND THEN THEY MADE THAT REMAKE AND SCREWED IT ALL UP! It’s like the people who wrote the remake didn’t even see the original! If the past is any indication of the future, then it is safe to asume that a remake of NIMH will be horrible. may god have mercy on our childhoods.

    3.Ehh, nothing special

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for AT LEAST this, the movie is’nt bad, but not great. It wouldn’t be destruction of our childhoods, but it might be slightly embarasing to think about.

    In any case, I want to see a trailer before I get worked up.

  • jake

    im not so sure about this i love the original a lot of legendary actors in it but i think it is time for the new generation to see it. it shouldnt be a cgi they should get all the old files animations etc. use that work for the remake. if they dont it may turn out to be nimh 2 all over again. thats just my thought tho

  • I’d say the original one still holds up. Definitely. It’s of a quality so amazing I can’t remember watching anything better looking.

    If they make it CG-LA; I’ll cry. What the heck is wrong with making movies in the good old traditional cartoon style?

  • aaron nathan

    This would NOT be a remake – The BOOK is the original source, not the 1982 film!

    I LOVE the film in its own right, but my first experience was with the book, and I was alway disappointed that the movie deviated so wildly from its very Orwellian overtones. It really isn’t even comparable to the book.

    That being said, a GG/Live Action hybrid sounds pretty terrible.

  • Andrew

    No… Not the CGI curse… anything but that… And Cary Granat? The force behind Spy Kids and that nauseating Journey to the Center of the Earth remake? Why do they want to punish us so?

  • NO NO NO!

    NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!! NO!!!! NO!!!!! NO!!!!! NO!!!!!! NO!!!! >:( NO!!!! NO!!!! NO!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! NO!!!!!! NO!!!!!

  • Nick

    mmmm I’m thinking it might be like the Dragonball movie. It was a great show and they must it up. But if it’s more based on the book. Something we’ve havent seen before. That might—might be good

  • Alex Z.

    At this point, a remake of The Secret of NIMH doesn’t sound so bad. I’d really like to see something closer to the book–where the rats’ plan to move the Frisby (aka Brisby) household actually works. Here are some of my suggestions for a voice cast:
    Mrs. Frisby (in this version, her first name could be Maia, which means ‘good mother’): Elizabeth Perkins
    Teresa Frisby: Taylor Schilling
    Martin Frisby: Eric Lloyd
    Timothy Frisby: Alexander Gould
    Cynthia Frisby: Kelly Gould
    Jeremy: Jacob Smith
    Great Owl: James Cromwell
    Mr. Ages: John Cleese
    Auntie Shrew: Sandy Duncan
    Nicodemus: Liam Neeson
    Justin: Matthew Broderick
    Brutus: Mike Starr
    Arthur: Will Ferrell
    Jenner: Matt Frewer
    Isabella: Elle Fanning

  • Alex Z.

    Other good choices would be Dustin Hoffman as Nicodemus and Hardy Rawls as Brutus.