a discussion in 2007 regarding Fox's remastered DVD re-release:
I was happy to learn that www.aintitcoolnews.com,
a popular site about the entertainment industry, included
a discussion of THE SECRET OF NIMH as part of their look
back at 1982 as "the best genre year ever." (I'd volunteered
to write about it, only to be informed that someone else
was already on top of it!)
was excited by the film's DVD re-release, but it wasn't given
the comprehensive, deluxe, "all out" treatment that it deserved.
Is there anything you wish could have been included
Actually, this re-release will not be the HD Blu-Ray release,
but it will have the color corrections made by Gary (Goldman),
and the new master was digitally cleaned up and ridded of
scratches and dust by the technical people hired by Fox Home
Entertainment (for MGM/UA). The HD version will come out later.
folks at Fox Home Entertainment marketing have decided that
this first re-release will not be the "25th Aniversary Edition,"
but a Fox Family Fun Edition, with a Fox Home Entertainment
choice of cover art and an edited interview to service family
audiences. It will also have a producer/director commentary
over the film as part of the extras.
provided the "Extras" producer with several links
and leads to materials that could be used in the extras, but
I do not believe that interviews were done with the likes
of Dom DeLuise, or Wil Wheaton, or Shannen Doherty, or the
beloved Derek Jacobi. That would have been great.
are a lot of the animators who have gone on to have great
careers and some have even directed animated features. Maybe
for the HD Blu-Ray version we can get the extras producer
to go after these contributors and expand the backstories
of many of those involved.
you and all the other fans will enjoy the color-corrected
remastered film, and the extras that have been made for this
release. By the way, we haven't seen a release copy yet, only
the remastered digital copy on professional equipment...but
it looks great!
(credit: Philip Renda): I just read on The Digital Bits website
that a remastered Special Edition of The Secret Of NIMH
is going to be released on DVD on June 19....including both
letterboxed and fullscreen versions, with deleted scenes and
Yes, NIMH has had a new master created and I (Gary
Goldman) was there to supervise the color fixes. I don't know
anything about "deleted scenes" being in the extras. I don't
recall any deleted scenes in our first film. We were on a
pretty tight schedule, in fact our schedule was even cut by
2 months, from 30 months down to 28 months, because the financiers
and MGM/UA marketing wanted a fourth of July release. So everything
we had done went on the screen. We usually try to edit at
the storyboarding stage, before we spend money animating.
The new color looks rich and saturated.
new master is HD and has been digitally cleaned of film negative
scratches and dust, however, a standard TV definition print-master
has been created from the new digital master for this particular
re-release and it is supposed to have a full screen and a
1:1.85 letterboxed version to choose from, plus a Don & Gary
commentary and a short, on-camera interview.
not aware of a 10 minute "making of" section or 5 set-top
games. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is distributing
for MGM/UA and this first release is called the "Fox Family
Fun Edition". Hopefully, when they release the 16X9 HD Blu
Ray version, it will be titled 25th Anniversary Edition
and not necessarily be geared towards kids. We sure would
like to see the packaging art stand out among all those other
(credit: Henrik Andersson): As much as I'm looking forward
to the new DVD, it honestly hurts to see how MGM is treating
it. That new cover is terrible -- since when is Jeremy blue?
An idea could be to persuade them to make a two-sided cover,
where you would design the other side and let the fans decide
which one goes in their collection! ... The thing is that
some of the lighting effects and colouring is pretty different
in older and newer versions of the film.
Well, your comment seems to be the argument. But, we really
do not hold the power to get the marketing people to agree
with our artistic sensibilities. Maybe it's just our pride
of product and feel that this release of the DVD should not
be promoted as a "Family Fun Edition", and that it deserves
either new packaging art or art that refects the product.
Our recommendation was to use Tim Hildebrandt's original art
for the theatrical poster for the new cover, with the quote
"Right before your eyes and beyond your wildest dreams..."
and reference to the 25th Anniversary. This was denied. They
want something bright and colorful and "happy" or "fun"...sort
of like all of the animated movies being distributed to little
fear: that The Secret of NIMH will get lost in that
sea of bright colors in the kiddy section of video stores
and Wall Mart. Also, the reuse of the packaging art they have
selected is the same as the most recent DVD release by MGM/UA
and they won't move off the decision to use this art(???).
We can only hope and pray that they will come to the same
conclusion that using this art will be confusing to the buyer.
(Are they getting the new remastered version or the same product
in the 2000 release?)
were not involved with approval of any of the MGM/UA's prior
releases, neither the packaging art or the content. Fox Home
Entertainment's involvement is the first time we've been invited
in to supervise the remastering, which is great. But they
are not interested in our opinion on the ad art. By the way,
love your idea of a two-sided cover, so the buyer can decide
which cover to use on their own copy in their video library.
... The new transfer is nicely saturated, with good contrast
and looks better than the original theatrical release. We
hope that the master duplication transfers consistantly to
all of the DVD copies being distributed. We assume that it
I wondered if you had originally developed your own potential
sequel storyline for NIMH, and if so, would you be willing
to shed a little light on it?
We've talked about it often but never actually wrote anything
(credit: Lenny Carson): I know you didn't have involvement
in any of the ... sequels, but would you have ever considered
working on them if you were asked?
In late 1987, early 1988, we were asked and we did consider
a sequel to An American Tail, however, Universal wanted
us to produce the film for the same price as the first one
-- $9.6M. We were about 2/3 complete with The Land Before
Time with a similar schedule and a higher budget, which
allowed increases in salaries for our staff. For us to agree
to the lower budget, we would have had to decrease salaries,
or layoff about 35% of the staff. We declined to make the
sequel. We understand that the sequel was made in London at
a facility called Amblimation and/or Universal Cartoon at
a cost of US$25M, plus fees on top of that for the executive
were not asked to be involved with any of The Land Before
Time sequels. As you might know, we moved forward with
All Dogs Go to Heaven, which we did for less than The
Land Before Time (by only about $200K, but it was less).
1995, we were also asked to be involved with the sequel to
The Secret of NIMH, however, we were busy on Anastasia
for 20th Century Fox at the time. Aurora and MGM/UA proceeded
with a completely different animation crew. So far, we've
done no sequels for our films but we did do a sequel to the
video game Dragon's Lair.***
Though it wasn't a sequel, Don Bluth's team did
make a direct-to-DVD "prequel" to Anastasia,
titled Bartok the Magnificent.)