Marzgurl Discusses The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue
January 13, 2012
MarzGurl Re-Evaluates Titan A.E. and More
MarzGurl (vo): Would you believe me if I said that The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue is actually a worse movie than The Land Before Time sequels? Maybe not all of them, maybe it ties with a couple of them, but this is particularly bad, folks. It's a complete and utter embarrassment to the beautiful piece of work that Don Bluth helped create in 1982.
(Comparisons are shown for the different timelines between the aforementioned movies.)
MarzGurl (vo): To put it in perspective, the amount of time between The Land Before Time and The Land Before Time II was six years. The time between NIMH and NIMH 2? Sixteen! That's right, this movie wasn't released until 1998!
(Cuts to clips from the movie)
MarzGurl (vo): Who exactly were they trying to please? Anybody who might have originally cared about The Secret of NIMH while it was relevant could've pretty much grown up and moved on. What was MGM thinking? Well, I can tell you what they weren't thinking.
(Covers for Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and Rasco and the Rats of NIMH are shown.)
MarzGurl (vo): If you were a fan of the original Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH novel, you'd expect that a sequel would be based off the book sequel, Rasco and the Rats of NIMH, right? Wrong! MGM is not that clever.
(More clips are shown)
MarzGurl (vo): Well, okay, to be fair, if you were to read the synopsis of the Rasco book and compare it to that of NIMH 2, you'd see where MGM at first tried to be similar. But suddenly they took a way wicked turn away from it at its source; in fact, any similarities between these two titles is most likely nothing more than a coincidence. What's sadder still is the voice cast chosen for this movie. Not because the cast is bad, but because they're really good or surprising: Ralph Macchio, Eric Idle, Peter MacNichol, William H. Macy, Hynden Walch, Debi Mae West, Doris Roberts, and Phillip Glasser, freakin' Phillip Glasser, who was the original voice for the original Fievel in the original An American Tail! What in God's name went wrong here?! Well, take a look. Oh, great, flashback footage from the first movie, now sixteen years old.
Narrator (Peter MacNicol): The prophet Nicodemus predicted that NIMH would again thrust its evil on the rats, and a son of Jonathan Brisby would be chosen to save them.
MarzGurl (vo): When did he say that? Was that before or after Nicodemus was crushed to death in the last movie? I never heard him say that, did you? (sarcastically) Oh, I love this title screen; oh, you thought that from that animation, you were watching The Secret of NIMH? Psych, it's the atrocious sequel! Well, how bad is it in comparison? Holy crap, is this derpy! From shot numero uno, we're graced with loose, rubbery, barely even Saturday morning or after school cartoon quality animation, and it's incredibly apparent consistently over the course of the entire movie that the animators had very little communication with the sound technicians, because if they did, then the voice acting might have matched up with whatever the hell this is that the mouths are doing on screen.
Auntie Shrew: (badly synced) Well, my nephew's off on a grand adventure. What a lucky boy!
MarzGurl (vo): So Timmy is being told that he has to live up to the works that his father did with the rats of NIMH.
Mrs. Brisby: We all know what your father meant to the rats of Thorn Valley.
Young Martin: Yeah, yeah, yeah, he helped them get away from NIMH. Pop was a real hero.
MarzGurl (vo): But, why? According to you, movie, Nicodemus said that it had to be one of the sons of Jonathan Brisby. What about Mr. and Mrs. Brisby's other son, Martin? Why aren't you holding up high expectations for the both of them? You don't know it's supposed to be Timmy and if you do, how do you know? From an early point of the movie, the human animations make this obvious that Don Bluth had nothing to do with the animation. This bothers me as much as it does because I so highly praised Bluth for his human animations and so when you compare these two styles, it's literally painful. You know what else is painful?
Jeremy: So, let's hit the road! Well, when I say road, I mean, heh, the highway in the sky! (giggles)
MarzGurl (vo): Dom DeLuise is back as Jeremy. I really wished he'd gotten away, far, far away from whatever this disgusting thing is. If only he'd been able to save himself from the embarrassment. So off Timmy flies to Thorn Valley to go to school with the rats of NIMH, and for his arrival, they pull out the red carpet. No really, there's a red carpet and a whole metric ton more.
Justin: (singing) Help yourself to the greatest things in life / To the best and the latest things in life.
MarzGurl (vo): We welcome back the characters Mr. Ages and Justin, who was by far my favorite character in the last movie, and really, they kinda do nothing, well, aside from constantly cramming the idea into Timmy's head that he must fulfill the prophecy and be exactly like his father.
Mr. Ages: We're here to teach you.
Timmy: Teach me what, Mr. Ages?
Mr. Ages: Anything and everything to help you become the best you can be.
Justin: Timmy, you've got to be ready, mentally and physically! (laughs)
Timmy: Woo-hoo! Ready for what?
Justin: To fulfill your destiny.
Timmy: To fulfill my destiny? Everyone keeps saying that, but I don't know what I'm supposed to do.
Justin: Right now, nobody does,Timmy.
MarzGurl (vo): You don't know? You don't know?! Man, for NIMH giving you all that advanced intelligence, you guys sure are stupid! Blindly fulfilling a prophecy is not the way to prove one's intellect, and you know, that's something else, the rats are convinced that NIMH is going to come way out here to Thorn Valley, which totally looks far more like the Great Valley than anything else, but my question is why? Why would they do that? They're barely able to get two stupid scientists to drive from the city out to the old farm by way of dingy truck carrying butterfly nets. What makes you think they're gonna come after you all the way out here in this entirely uninhabited valley, which you apparently can only get to by crawling like rats or flying? How would they even know what direction the rats went at all? And the fact is NIMH never comes out to get the rats; you're worried for nothing!
Mr. Ages: If snakes go flying through the air, humans might find out about Thorn Valley, and we might be in real danger.
Timmy: From who?
Mr. Ages: From NIMH.
Timmy: What's NIMH?
Mr. Ages: Let's hope you never find out.
MarzGurl (vo): What's NIMH? What?! Why in the hell don't you know what NIMH is?! They were explaining it in the beginning of the movie, weren't they? Well, they at least explained to you that your father helped these guys escape from them, so how do you not already know?
Justin: You know, Timmy, when your father saved the rats of NIMH, he didn't know that was his destiny.
Timmy: But I'm not my father!
Justin: Well, let's let history be the judge of that, shall we?
MarzGurl (vo): Heh, it's like they're telling him,"Oh, you silly child, you keep denying you're your father, but the truth is, we know better. We're just going to phrase it like, let's let history be the judge of that so that you'd think you would remotely have the chance to worm out of it. We're pretty sure you're going to be our savior, anyway." So Timmy grows up, not sure how long it takes in mouse time, but let's assume that it's a really friggin' long time, and still, nobody knows exactly what it is Timmy's supposed to be doing. But now that Timmy's old enough, the rats take him out on a special mission; and what is this special mission?
Justin: Where the humans live, to collect things they throw away.
MarzGurl (vo): Oh yes, that's a fantastic idea, go back to the humans that mistreated you so terribly. If you're trying to avoid NIMH, then that's exactly what you should be doing! I don't get it, I thought that the rats specifically left the farm so that they can learn to do things on their own without the assistance of humans. They seem to be doing a pretty good job if, in their own words, there's candy galore and it's all made of cheese. What could they possibly need to go back to humans for?! Also, I love how Timmy is the savior of the rats and yet, they give him a whistle and tell him...
Justin: You're not ready to be a hero, Tim.
MarzGurl (vo): But how is he ever going to be a hero without some real world practice? How many times are you going to give him a job of "practice swinging over slow rolling creeks"? So while the others run off, Timmy discovers a lady mouse by the name of Jenny. Yeah, yet another real clever name to add to your cast of characters, and let me guess, they fall in love by the end of the movie, right? Yeah, it's just obvious. So after this mission goes completely wrong, the group runs back, Jenny tells the story of how she escaped from NIMH who still do terrible things to her family.
Jenny: They were both captured by Dr. Valentine. Everything has changed in the labs, Dr. Valentine is crazier than ever!
MarzGurl (vo): Crazier than ever? I never knew any Dr. Valentine, how do I know he's crazier than ever? What's his goal? Why is he doing the awful things he's doing? Be prepared to never have that explained to you.
Jenny: Something terrible's about to happen in NIMH! No one knows what it is.
MarzGurl (vo): Then why are we even having this discussion?! Oh, and in the midst of everything, there's some annoying cats (Muriel & Floyd) that are captured and experimented upon over at NIMH. They're useless characters, so useless that if you ever watched the Nostalgia Critic's review of NIMH 2, he never even once brought them up, and yet, they keep reappearing over and over again. Apparently, the cats can now communicate, like, talk to Dr. Valentine. Why can they do that? Well, why not, I guess. The rats of NIMH won't help Jenny save her parents and they also won't let her leave Thorn Valley. Why? If she wants to go get herself killed, why don't they just let her do that? But rather than doing it with permission from the rats, she and Timmy take off on a set of balloons. No, stop falling in love, you have no reason to be falling in love, stop it! Apparently, Timmy has his own personal motivation, as he now believes that his brother, Martin, the brother who he looked up to for so long, is potentially trapped inside NIMH.
Timmy: Martin's...my brother. (takes out a letter and unfolds it.) My mom's letter said he disappeared. She had no idea what happened to him.
MarzGurl (vo): Gee, movie, thanks for showing us this letter. How long ago did he receive that?! In the beginning of the movie, we see Martin run off, so either Timmy has had this letter about his missing brother for a really long time, or Mrs. Brisby has gotten so old and senile that it took her a really long time to care about her missing son. So off the two go to NIMH to save their respective families, but due to an attack by a hawk, they end up in the forest of the Great Owl. Oh, fantastic, that owl is friggin awesome! What does he have to say?
Jeremy: Remember me?
MarzGurl (vo): Are you kidding me? The Great Owl isn't the Great Owl, but rather, it's a worm (Cecil) doing some sly talking and Jeremy disguised as the Great Owl to make money. Why? Why?! If you watch the first movie and thought you were about to see the Great Owl, like I thought I was gonna, you're probably like me and are pretty pissed that you got gypped out of seeing him, cause guess what, folks? He doesn't show up, and nobody asks what happened to the Great Owl. Where is he? Did he go somewhere? Did he die? What happened?! But no, he's just not there. Jeremy is now portrayed as a jackass taking his place to steal everybody's money. You know, that makes me mad, too, this movie gets characterization all kinds of wrong: Mrs. Brisby now does nothing; Justin isn't nearly as cool as he used to be; and while Jeremy was really clumsy and absent-minded, he wasn't a thieving jackass! What happened in the making of this movie?! Well, Jeremy drops the mice off at NIMH where everything we've been building up to...I guess finally comes to...a head or something. Oh yeah, the rats decided to come along and help, too, that's nice of them. And yeah, the scientists are mad and stuff, cats can talk, humans act like animals, and the rats are now on...guard duty. But why?Just...why?! And when we finally get to Dr. Valentine...um, what? Okay, so it's obvious now that Valentine isn't running the show, so who is?
Martin (Eric Idle): I supposed I have changed a bit...
MarzGurl (vo): Who the hell is this guy?
MarzGurl (vo): What? What?! That is Martin?! He's not even the same friggin rat; they look nothing alike, and he's British now! I mean, I get that they're scientific experiments and they're doing stuff to these creatures, but Martin is seriously completely unrecognizable, though! So Martin, what have you been doing?!
Martin: (singing) I was far too smart / from the very start.
MarzGurl (vo): Okay, so why are you doing all of this?!
Martin: (singing) I began to grow / little did he know.
MarzGurl (vo): Hey, Martin, I'm asking you a question!
Martin: He thought I was tame / Ha, just my little game.
MarzGurl (vo): Right, and the answer is, no reason! There's absolutely no reason for Martin to be doing anything that he is doing! He's purely evil for the sake of being evil, and I hate it, I hate it so friggin much! Oh, but it's okay, they knock him out silly with a book and now he's completely out of commission! Well, that's rather anti-climatic. So then everybody has to escape from NIMH when the building lights on fire. Wait, on fire? Why is the building on fire? Was there a reason why the building was on fire? It's just suddenly on fire! Why?! WHY?! Did Martin start the fire? No, he's still dizzy from being hit in the head with a book! Why is this happening?!
Jenny: Tim! Where are you going?
Timmy: I'm doing what you said! I'm following my heart!
MarzGurl (vo): That's another thing about this movie, the dialogue makes no sense; the characters don't have a reason for saying half the things they're saying. You find yourself questioning why is it the characters have the lines they do, because in context, they make no freakin sense! It's like they took all the best lines out of all those cheesy after school specials and then threw them into the script of the movie sporadically and actually decided to keep them in the movie.
Jenny: I love you!
Timmy: Woo! I love you, too!
MarzGurl (vo): Why? Why do you love each other? Nothing has happened that is worth falling in love over. So they escape the fire, they return to the Great Thorn Valley, Martin no longer has Eric Idle's voice, and Timmy is a hero for some reason, even though he only saved a handful of people who all got themselves into their own trouble, anyway.
MGM, what happened?! Why did you decide that making a sequel sixteen years after the fact, with a plot that's crazy far removed from the original movie, would ever be a good idea?! How did you manage to get all of these names to come in and read these lines for your movie?! How is it that your animation was so cheap, rubbery, missing frames, and couldn't seem to convey the same words and emotions your actors were given to your characters?! What made you think that turning NIMH into a whole love story would be in any way tolerable?! And if you were going to make a movie about Timmy being a hero, what would've been so wrong about following the plot of the second NIMH novel where Timmy actually has to save Thorn Valley by helping everybody survive a flood?! That might have been cool to see, but instead, you just did I don't even know what with the source material! You pissed all over a great story and beautiful animation that, other than having the legal rights to use, you had no right to touch! Just because you legally have the right to do something doesn't mean it's a good idea to go ahead and do it. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue is even worse than most of the sequels in The Land Before Time series.
(I Will Show the World plays in the credits)