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The Secret of N.I.M.H.
Album Cover Art
1986 Album
1994 Album
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

Performed by:
The National Philharmonic Orchestra and The Ambrosian Singers

Lyrics by:
Paul Williams
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Varèse Sarabande

Varèse Sarabande
(October 11th, 1994)
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Both albums were regular U.S. releases, but the 1986 album was already long out of print by the time the 1994 album debuted.
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Decorative Nonsense
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you seek an impressive preview of Jerry Goldsmith's future wealth of strong, consistent music for children's fantasy and animated films.

Avoid it... if more of an outwardly dynamic and powerful spirit uninhibited by archival sound quality is what you seek in your Goldsmith material of grand scope.
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WRITTEN 6/4/03, REVISED 3/26/09
The Secret of N.I.M.H.: (Jerry Goldsmith) Animated films were undergoing a significant change in the 1980's, one which would eventually lead to the vast business of made-for-video animated pictures for small children. For a long time, Disney held a grip on the large-scale, animated film industry, but by the time The Little Mermaid revived their dominance in 1989 after a long string of underachieving entries, several offshoots of that industry were thriving. One such offshoot was director and producer Don Bluth, who had been a Disney animator until 1979, when he started his own animation business. Eventually, he would be best known for bringing to life the highly acclaimed An American Tail and The Land Before Time series. One of his early efforts was the animated, non-musical adaptation of Robert C. O'Brien's "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats N.I.M.H.," the tale of rats made intelligent in human laboratories that escape to try to form a community for themselves in the wild. Bluth certainly succeeded in stealing some attention from Disney, with The Secret of N.I.M.H. meeting with critical and popular success and remaining a sentimental favorite for many viewers decades later. One of the reasons for this positive response was the traditional score by Jerry Goldsmith. The early to mid-1980's were a remarkable time in Goldsmith's career (and some will argue with good reason that it was the best), and The Secret of N.I.M.H. was an entry during this period that represented a departure for the veteran composer. He had never scored an animated picture; in fact, his body of work was limited on the children's front, with the majority of attention paid to him for his horror, science fiction, and war drama scores at the time. Goldsmith admits that he at first did not know how to go about scoring the film, remarking that animated films require a different role for the music than their live action counterparts. His solution was to treat The Secret of N.I.M.H. as though it were one of his regular projects, allowing the music to maintain a sense of consistency that would assist the story reach organic appeal. The composer also noted that animated films need great continuity in their music to help ease the frequent transitions between quick scene and angle changes in the narrative. Thus, the end result of his work for The Secret of N.I.M.H. is a score that does not play like a post-2000 animated film score. There are no jumpy phrases, sudden parody blasts, or joke-line crescendos. Sparingly mixed into the orchestral performances by the National Philharmonic Orchestra are The Ambrosian Singers, a usual group of collaborators with the composer at the time.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.47 Stars
***** 155 5 Stars
**** 151 4 Stars
*** 127 3 Stars
** 72 2 Stars
* 60 1 Stars
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FVSR Reviews The Secret Of NIMH
Brendan Cochran - October 8, 2014, at 10:15 a.m.
1 comment  (314 views)
Truely enchanting music
Jouko Yli-Kiikka - February 10, 2007, at 9:28 a.m.
1 comment  (1891 views)
Since I was a Child
Joern - July 3, 2003, at 8:54 a.m.
1 comment  (2308 views)
A truly beautiful score
Philip - June 30, 2003, at 10:40 a.m.
1 comment  (2463 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1986 Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 48:31
• 1. Main Title (3:14)
• 2. The Tractor (2:58)
• 3. The Sentry Reel/Story of N.I.M.H. (6:04)
• 4. Step Inside my House (4:41)
• 5. The House Raising (4:34)
• 6. Moving Day (7:56)
• 7. No Thanks (2:01)
• 8. Allergic Reaction/Athletic Type (2:41)
• 9. Flying Dreams - Lullaby (3:17) - performed by Sally Stevens
• 10. Escape from NIMH/In Disguise (4:59)
• 11. Flying High/End Title (2:41)
• 12. Flying Dreams (3:25) - performed by Paul Williams
1994 Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 49:05

Notes Icon
The sparse 1986 album's insert contains a rare note from Goldsmith about the score. That product came with a foam ring to hold the CD in place (a definite sign of a very early CD product). The 1994 album's insert features a note about Goldsmith's career up to the date of pressing.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Secret of N.I.M.H. are Copyright © 1986, 1994, Varèse Sarabande, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/4/03 and last updated 3/26/09.
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