The Secret of NIMH is about a mother mouse trying to get her children to safety. In the process she discovers that her deceased husband was a hero and savior of a group of super smart rodents. She needs the help of the rats of NIMH to save her children especially, Timmy. The Secret of Nihm
Mrs. Brisby (Elizabeth Hartman) is a widowed mouse with four children, Teresa (Shannen Doherty), Martin (Will Wheaton), Timothy (Ian Fried), and Cynthia (Jodi Hicks). The family lives in a cinder block on the Fitzgibbons' farm. One day Mrs. Brisby has to go to visit Mr Ages (Arthur Malet), a rude old mouse who lives in a machine on the farm. Ages tries to turn her away but she refuses to go. Brisby tells Mr. Ages that her sick son, Timmy, has a temperature and is rasping when he breathes. Ages tells her that Timmy has pneumonia and cannot go outside for three weeks. Ages makes Brisby a powder and tells her to put it in a broth before gruffly sending her a way. It is a problem that Timmy cannot be moved for three weeks because moving day is coming. It is the day all the field mice, rabbits, and ground hogs and such have to be out of their winter homes because the plows will be coming to till the land and their burrows will be destroyed.
On her way home Brisby meets a lovelorn crow, Jeremy (Dom Deluise), who is tangled in some string. Mrs. Brisby warns the crow about the farmer's cat, Dragon. Dragon likes to eat mice, birds, and is a general threat to small animals. While Brisby tries to help the crow Dragon sneaks up on the pair. Dragon chases Brisby after the crow flies away. In the process of running Mrs. Brisby loses the envelop of medicine in the river. After escaping to a watermill house the clueless bird meets up with an upset Mrs. Brisby. Jeremy returns the medicine envelop to the mouse. She thanks him and starts to go home. The clumsy crow tries to follow her. She tells him he needs to learn how to treat a lady if he wants to feather a nest, an issue he previously spoke of. He asks for her advice on women before she insists that she must be going home.
Back at the cinder block Auntie Shrew (Hermione Baddeley) is looking for Brisby which irritates Martin. Martin feels he is the man of the house and he also feels he is old enough to protect his siblings from the farmer and the plow. The children tell her that their mother is not there. Martin antagonizes the shrew because he is irritated that the shrew comes around butting in where she is not wanted. Auntie Shrew has had enough of Martin and begins to leave. On the way out she runs into Brisby. The shrew tells her that Martin is a brat and that Brisby needs to pack because moving day is upon them.
Mrs. Brisby talks to the children telling them the shrew means well and only wants to help. She makes the broth and feeds it to Timmy.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Fitzgibbons (Lucille Bliss) is keeping Mr. Fitzgibbons (Tom Hattan) awake with her concerns about a phone call she received from NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health). The NIMH representative wanted to know if the rats on the farm were acting strangely. Mrs. Fitzgibbons told the caller that the only strange thing was that the rats seemed abnormally adept at avoiding the mouse traps she has put out for them. At the same time the Fitzgibbon's are talking the rats were stealing a chord and taking it to the rose bush in the yard.
In the morning a rumbling sound wakes Mrs. Brisby and she goes to check it out. It is the farmer cranking his tracker to plow the fields. The farmer is plowing earlier than normal catching the field animals by surprise. Brisby cannot move Timmy which she tells the shrew. The shrew alerts the animals and the message gets out that everyone should run. Brisby sends her healthy children with the shrew and goes to stop the machine.
In the machine Brisby is joined by the shrew and the two disable the tractor just in time to save Brisby's house and Timmy who is still resting inside. When the two animals reach safety Auntie Shrew tells Brisby to go see the Great Owl (John Carradine) for guidance.
The crow flies Brisby to the owl. Mrs. Brisby is concerned that the owl will eat her but Jeremy says that the owl only eats at night. When they reach the owl's tree a cautious Mrs. Brisby and a frightened Jeremy are invited in the tree. Only the mouse enters the hollow in the tree. She tells the owl her situation but he only tells her to move her family. She asks for another way but he tells her there is no other way. When the owl asks for her name she tells him it is Brisby. The name makes him change his mind. He tells her to go to the rats in the rose bush near the farm house and ask for Nicodemus (Derek Jacobi). She is told the rats must move her house to the lee of the stone. The Great Owl leaves and Brisby meets up with the crow.
The next morning the crow and the mouse go to the rose bush. Brisby sends the crow to watch her children for her while she talks to the rats. In the bush she meets with a violent guard rat who tries to kill her. The rat chases her and she escapes behind a wall. Mr. Ages comes upon her while she is hiding. He rudely ask her why she is there. She tells him that the owl told her to find Nicodemus. He is surprised because no one comes back from the owl's tree alive. She asks him to take her to Nicodemus. He says yes and she follows him.
Nicodemus has been watching Brisby and narrating parts of the story the whole movie. He often talks to the deceased Jonathan Brisby. He says that he hopes he can repay the debt he owes Jonathan by helping Mrs. Brisby. He hopes that Jenner, a rat who lusts for power, does not find a powerful amulet that is in his protection. It was an amulet meant for Mrs. Brisby.
On the way to the colony in the rose bush the old mouse swears Brisby to secrecy about the location of the colony. They also meet Justin (Peter Stauss), the captain of the guard, on the way into Nicodemus' chamber. There is an instant attraction between the rat and Mrs. Brisby. In the transport to the chamber there it is revealed that there is a meeting. Justin and Ages talk about Jenner (Paul Shenar) who is Nicodemus' rival. The meeting is about the dispute whether to stay in the colony or to leave the colony for Thorn Valley. At the meeting it is revealed that she is Jonathan Brisby's wife and that the owl sent her to the rats to seek their help. There is an uproar because the meeting was interrupted by a stranger. During the commotion Jenner says to a colleague that a move like this is an opportunity to seize power. He plots to have Nicodemus killed during the move. Jenner then says to Brisby that they should be able to move her home.
Back at the Brisby home the shrew has Jeremy tied up. She tells the children to watch the crow before going off for help. Martin unties the bird's mouth because Jeremy helped Mrs. Brisby escape the cat and took her to the rats. Jeremy tells the children about the rats moving their house and they tie his mouth shut thinking he is crazy.
Meanwhile, Age's leads Brisby to a door and tells her he will come back for her. Behind the door Nicodemus is waiting. Nicodemus tells her that Jonathan was a great friend to the rats and it is an honor to meet her. Nicodemus tells her to read the book on a pedestal in the corner of the room. In the book it is recorded that Jonathan was helping the rats with a mission by drugging Dragon and he was killed in the process.
He tells her to look into a gyroscope type machine that starts to light up and spin.
A flashback scene begins revealing that rats of the rose bush were once normal rodents. Humans caught the rats and mice off the street and scientifically experimented on them. 20 mince and 11 rats where given a shot that transformed them into super intelligent beings. They gained the knowledge to read and understand. One night the rats and mice escaped the NIMH laboratory. The rodents used a air duct to get away but the mice were blown away and killed except two, Jonathan and Mr. Ages. Jonathan was a major part of everyone escaping. Nicodemus gives Brisby the amulet that he had been protecting. When the amulet is worn by someone with a noble heart it glows red. On the back the inscription reads “you can open any door if you have the key.” Mrs. Brisby is thankful for the amulet.
Nicodemus, Brisby and Justin prepare to leave to move her house.
Meanwhile Jenner is plotting to kill Nicodemus. When they are moving the mouses' house he gives his friend instructions to cut the ropes when the cinder block is above Nicodemus. Once Nicodemus is dead the plan to leave the colony will die with him.
Nicodemus and Justin take Brisby to the exit so she can go prepare her children for the move. Before she leaves the bush she offers to drug Dragon to keep the cat out of the way. Nicodemus agrees. Outside of the rose bush she asks Jeremy to find string.
At night Justin and Brisby are preparing to drug the cat. She waits until Mrs. Fitzgibbons leaves to let the cat in before she puts the sleeping powder in the cats' food bowl. Before she can get back to safety Brisby is caught by Billy Fitzgibbons. Brisby is put in a cage for the night. Justin decides to come back for her later.
The farmer receives a call from NIHM. It is revealed that the NIHM people are coming to bulldoze the rose bush in the morning. Mrs. Brisby decides to escape so she can relay what she had over heard.
Meanwhile that rats are moving the cinder block that the Brisby family lives in. The time comes for the ropes to be cut but Jenner's cohort gets cold feet. Jenner goes on with the plan and the block falls crushing Nicodemus.
Meanwhile Brisby escapes from the cage and runs home. She discovers that Nicodemus is dead and the equipment to move her home is in shambles. Jenner is giving a speech about how it is impossible to leave the rose bush now. He says they will leave the bush one day but not anytime soon. As the rats prepare to leave Brisby tells them about NIMH which upsets Jenner. He pushes Brisby into the dirt seeing the glint of her amulet in the process. Jenner wamts the amulet but Justin stops him from talking it. Jenner and Justin fight and Justin learns that Jenner killed Nicodemus. Jenner is killed. Unable to move the block the rats prepare to go home and go to Thorn Valley. Before the rats leave the block begins to sink. The rats pull together and try unsuccessfully to stop the block and the children from sinking into the mud. Brisby uses the power of the amulet to raise the block and save her children at the most dire moment.
The movie ends with Mrs. Brisby and her children talking. Their home is in the lee of the stone. Jeremy shows up and starts talking to her about never being able to find a woman. Another crow flies into his nest. It is a female. Mrs. Brisby has a safe home for her children. Jeremy has a girlfriend and the rats have gone to Thorn Valley.
Best part of story, including ending:
I really because it is unique. I have never seen or heard of another story about super intelligent lab rats. I also like the way the movie is drawn.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene is at the end of the movie when Timmy is feeling better. Mrs. Brisby is talking to her children you get the feeling everything will be okay.
Opinion about the main character:
I like the courage that Mrs. Brisby has to show. She constantly has to face her fears and press on.