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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Purely designed as entertainment, though kids might want to know more about animal testing after the movie.
Includes themes of animal cruelty and animal experimentation, but also teamwork and freedom.
Positive Role Models
Mrs. Brisby is brave for her family, and several other characters are helpful and kind, even if they seem a little creepy. One villain is power hungry and plots a murder. Characters demonstrate teamwork, perseverance, and courage.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of creepy, dark imagery, only occasionally lightened with humor. A scary and dramatic sword fight between rats with a little blood that results in the death of one rat. Two bad rats plot to kill a main character and make it look like an accident; they are successful. Mrs. Brisby's children are in great peril and almost drown in the mud. Rats, as well as dogs, cats, and monkeys, are subjected to scientific experiments including a scene of an injection in a flashback. A big spider crawls toward Mrs. Brisby before it's crushed by a giant owl. Characters eyes glow and might appear scary to some.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The crow talkes about "looking for a lady" and "making a love nest." Some flirtation between a male and female crow.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The rats drug the cat on occasion to make it sleep.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this The Secret of NIMH about a group of intelligent rats who escape from an animal laboratory is suspenseful and rather dark. Several scenes include animal children in peril and a sword fight between rats ends in one death with a little blood. The worst part for sensitive viewers: a flashback shows the animated animals being imprisoned and injected with a needle. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Conceived as a return to the lush, "old-fashioned" style of such Disney classics as Pinocchio, this animated movie is an impressive example of cartoon art. It features fully animated character motion and a three-dimensional look. The animation is rich and warm, filled with exquisite detail and color, which brings the dazzling, set pieces to life (including a duel during a lightning storm, and the finale involving the magic amulet).
The voice cast is also excellent, boasting such names as the distinguished British actor Derek Jacobi, veteran character actor John Carradine, the reliably comedic Dom DeLuise, and even a young Shannen Doherty as a mouse. However, parents should be strongly cautioned that the story's tone frequently careens from cheerfulness to grimness, which may frighten children. The Secret of NIMH does not shy away from being downright terrifying at times, most notably during a gruesome flashback showing animals being tortured.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.