I'm curious to learn how Jerry Goldsmith became attached
to the project. After all those months working through
such independent means, it must have been an eye-opening
experience to have brought a composer like him on board.
We wanted Jerry Goldsmith from the start. We chose many
of his cues from other film scores that he had done in
the past to create a temp underscore for NIMH as we we're
making the film. We approached Jerry's agent in January
of 1982 and did a deal with him to write the underscore
for the film. At first he refused to look at the film
with our temp music, but after his music editor saw the
film and heard the temp score we pasted together, he encouraged
Jerry to look at the film with the music we assembled.
He was very impressed with what he saw...and heard, and
became very passionate about this film.
What was it like to collaborate with him? I believe 1982
was a busy period for him; he did SIX film scores that
He had 15 weeks to write the score and collaborate on
the the two songs, the lullabye and "Flying Wings"
(sic; the song is actually called "Flying Dreams")
with writer/singer Paul Williams. He would call us and
play his musical sketches. He would lay the phone down
on his grand piano and play the themes for us. It was
thrilling to us. We were working with Jerry Goldsmith!!!
He loved the project and what we were doing.
How did you feel when you heard the music performed for
the first time?
I (Goldman) cried the first time I heard the London Philharmonic
Orchestra play his music for NIMH. It was easy to recognize
each music cue, because of those sessions on the phone
and at Jerry's house.
I understand Goldsmith once said that NIMH was among his
personal favorite film scores, and he really enjoyed the
At our crew screening at the completion of the film, Jerry
and his wife, Carol, came out of the screening with tears
in their eyes. Jerry commented that "had I seen the whole
film in color before starting, I would have painted you
a different score." I still get goose bumps when I listen
to the 8 minute music cue, "The Tractor". I too,
think that this is one of Jerry's best. When we went to
London to record the score, he was still writing the score
in the early mornings and late at night, before and after
the daily recording sessions. He told me that he truly loved
Is it true that he was instrumental in introducing Spielberg
to NIMH, which paved the way for AMERICAN TAIL?
DBS: Jerry did introduce the film to Steven Spielberg, and
we subsequently met with him and eventually -- 2 years later
-- did An American Tail with Steven. Jerry was to
do the score for that film too, but had to bow out because
of a heavy schedule in 1986. James Horner was invited in
to do the score.
I always felt it was a shame you guys didn't collaborate
with him again.
Jerry stayed in touch after that, calling us regularly at
our Dublin animation facility back in '87 thru '89. However,
we never worked with him again. We met at the Hollywood
Bowl in 1997 when 20th Century Fox had a concert playing
the music of 20th Century Fox, where Jerry had written many
scores. We wish we had worked with him more, much more.
He was a lovely, lovely man.
... I (Gary Goldman) have his hand-drafted lead sheet to
the Main Title cue signed, "I love you Mrs. Brisby.
Jerry Goldsmith". It is framed and hanging, and lit
in a special alcove in my home.