Of the 165 comments (at last look) on last night’s comment diversion asking what your favorite children’s book was, there was only one mention of Robert C. O’Brien’s Newberry Medal Award winning Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. The movie, of course, was the source of the 1982 animated Don Bluth film, The Secrets of NIHM. I never actually saw the original because I was seven when it came out, and I had more important things to do, like play Pac-man, run from Johnny Law, and bed the ladies of my second-grade class. I busted a lot of caps in asses that year, and I didn’t have time for cartoon rats.
All of which is to say: If Hollywood wants to remake NIMH, you won’t find any objections from me. And why not? Rodents are more popular than Twitter these days. Kids love rabies-infected vermin! G-Force was the number one film over the weekend; Ratatouille was a big hit two years ago; The Fantastic Mr. Fox is due out at year’s end; and it’s only a matter of time before Caddyshack’s Gopher gets his own spin-off.
The movie follows a mouse — Mrs. Frisby, re-named Mrs. Brisby in the MGM movie — faced with a crisis when her son falls ill and she must move her family to escape a farmer’s plow. The original was fairly dark for a G-rated movie — Mrs. Brisby slept with the farmer to save her family — though the remake will likely be a live-action/flatulence hybrid.
Paramount is developing the remake; Neil Burger (The Illusionist) is working on the script. And a series of big-name Hollywood talent is, no doubt, lining up to collect a big paycheck for little work. Bruce Willis and Steve Carrel are shoe-ins.