‘The Rats of NIMH’ Movie Gets a Director

Rats of NIMH series

If you were a bookworm-y kind of kid, you may remember Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, the Newberry-winning adventure written by Robert C. O’Brien and illustrated by Zena Bernstein. If you were more of a movie-loving type, you might be more familiar with the 1982 movie version, called The Secret of NIMH and directed by Don Bluth. Either way, it’s a story that’s made a huge impression on countless children over the past half-century. Now a whole new generation can get to know it through a new movie in the works, from director James Madigan.
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Rats of NIMH series

The children’s book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH has been adapted to film once before. When Don Bluth and his compatriots broke away from Disney to form their own animation studio in the late ’70s their first feature effort was The Secret of NIMH, which adapted the book. (And did so pretty liberally in some ways.) Now MGM has picked up rights to Robert C. O’Brien‘s book, and plans a new hybrid live-action/animated Rats of NIMH series. Read More »

nimh

Neil Burger is negotiating with Paramount to script and direct a new big-screen version of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Robert C. O’Brien‘s novel was first brought to the big screen as an animated picture by Don Bluth, retitled The Secret of NIMH. No official indication as yet if the latest version will be live action or animated or both (as if live action didn’t already mean both, particularly when the lead characters are animals) but I’m think Burger suggests a live-action route.

Bluth’s film did digress from the novel a little, even so much as killing off characters in sword fights, mixing in a little quasi-spiritual mumbo jumbo and shifting the structure around quite considerably. Nonetheless, I think it’s a winning work in its own right and fully commendable attempt to fit the book into a feature film. having said that, I wouldn’t want Burger to take the same approach but instead brew up something new again.

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