The Mister and I have been watching The Secret of NIMH over several nights because we could not stand to watch the whole thing in one sitting. As this is a movie with a run time of 82 minutes, that is saying something.
Robert C. O'Brien's Newberry Award Winning Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a wonderful book: one of the very best rodent books around. It's a book which I will re-read soon and review. It's a book which deserves better than the mess of a mystical movie very loosely based on it.
Perhaps because if I didn't love the book so much, I would be less dismayed by the movie. That the lead mouse's name is Brisby (to avoid a lawsuit with Wham-O, makers of the Frisbee Disc), that the tension of escaping from NIMH and internal arguments about rat governance have been replaced by sword fights, and that that final resolution rests with a charmed stone, might not irk me if I didn't know a much better plot exists. However, unlike many viewers and fans, even if I didn't know they committed complete book assination in the creation, I don't think that there would be anything about the movie that would wow me. The animation is well done and the land created fantastical, yet I don't think I could have cared about rats with glowing orbs instead of eyes and charms (somehow from the National Institute of Mental Health) that cure all ills.
Read the book. Or watch the Rescuers for fun 1970's mouse animation. Or Ratatouille for a good rat movie.