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The Secret of N.I.M.H.
Album Cover Art
1986 Varèse
1994 Varèse
Album 2 Cover Art
2007 That's Entertainment
Album 3 Cover Art
2015 Intrada
Album 4 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
Labels Icon
Varèse Sarabande

Varèse Sarabande
(October 11th, 1994)

That's Entertainment
(October 10th, 2007)

Intrada Records
(August 17th, 2015)
Availability Icon
Both Varèse albums were regular U.S. releases, but the 1986 album was already long out of print by the time the 1994 album debuted. The 2007 That's Entertainment re-issue of the same contents was still commercially available when Intrada offered its expanded album in 2015, a product limited to an unknown quantity and retailing primarily through soundtrack specialty outlets for an initial price of $20.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on any of its albums 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 a more outwardly dynamic and powerful spirit uninhibited by archival sound quality is what you seek in your Goldsmith material of lyrical romanticism and grand fantasy scope.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 6/4/03, REVISED 4/12/16
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 competitor was director and producer Don Bluth, who had been a Disney animator until 1979, when, sensing a potential decline at Disney, 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 of 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. They encounter a family attempting to find a new home before they are obliterated by the harvesting of the farm on which they live. Between the amount of illness and death in the story and the dark fantasy concepts abounding, the story frightened more than a few small children. But Bluth certainly triumphed in stealing some attention from Disney, with The Secret of N.I.M.H., despite struggling initially to recoup its budget, meeting with critical and eventual popular success and remaining a sentimental favorite for many viewers decades later. One of the reasons for this positive response was the surprisingly traditional orchestral score for the movie 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 his best), and The Secret of N.I.M.H. was an entry during this period that represented a major 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.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.43 Stars
***** 150 5 Stars
**** 163 4 Stars
*** 138 3 Stars
** 82 2 Stars
* 62 1 Stars
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FVSR Reviews The Secret Of NIMH
Brendan Cochran - October 8, 2014, at 10:15 a.m.
1 comment  (717 views)
Truely enchanting music
Jouko Yli-Kiikka - February 10, 2007, at 9:28 a.m.
1 comment  (2221 views)
Since I was a Child
Joern - July 3, 2003, at 8:54 a.m.
1 comment  (2582 views)
A truly beautiful score
Philip - June 30, 2003, at 10:40 a.m.
1 comment  (2731 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1986 Varèse 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 Varèse and 2007 T.E. Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 49:05
2015 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 63:01

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. The insert of the 2007 That's Entertainment product offers no information about the score or film. That of the 2015 Intrada album presents notation about both.
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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, 2007, 2015, Varèse Sarabande, Varèse Sarabande, That's Entertainment, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/4/03 and last updated 4/12/16.
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