The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue
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The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue is a 1998 animated direct-to-video film produced by MGM Studios. It's a sequel to the popular 1982 film The Secret of NIMH. The original film was produced by Don Bluth, but the sequel was made without his help. The film is unrelated to Racso and the Rats of NIMH, a sequel to the book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.
The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue is not well loved by NIMH fans. In fact, the film is deemed to be the worst animated sequel of all time and "every NIMH fan's worst nightmare".
The very beginning of the film starts off with a prologue sequence showing half-color/half-black and white footage from the original first movie being not-so-wisely narrated by Peter MacNicol, telling of a prophecy that Nicodemus made before he died (which is never actually shown in the first movie). The prophecy is that NIMH will come and threaten the rats again in Thorn Valley, and a son of Jonathan Brisby would be chosen to save them.
The film then cuts to Timothy Brisby (the youngest son of Mrs. Brisby) racing his brother, Martin who is the oldest brother, on walnut shells being pulled by rabbits. Timothy (Timmy) accidentally slips off his shell on a tight turn and gets lost. He decides to take a shortcut through the woods back home, only to unintentionally run into a cage. Two scientists from a laboratory called NIMH hear the alarm going off from the cage and hurry to investigate.
Martin hears Timmy cry out for help and hurries to free him from the cage before the scientists notice them. When safely hidden, Timothy believes that he ruined their last day together, before Timmy goes to Thorn Valley to fulfill his prophecy as the chosen child of Jonathan Brisby. It is revealed that Martin is just jealous of Timmy being the chosen child, saying that he should have been chosen since he was stronger and braver. To make Timmy feel better, Martin gives him a slingshot and tries to teach him how to use it. It doesn't go well. Timothy winds up shooting Jeremy (the crow from the first film and voiced by Dom DeLuise) down into a pond.
When Timmy gets ready to leave for Thorn Valley, Mrs. Brisby, now slightly aged (because of possibly the lack of the , tells him to listen to his teachers, Justin and Mr. Ages from the first film. Martin then tells Jeremy the directions to Thorn Valley, which are "South by south by south". Jeremy then flies off to Thorn Valley, with Timmy riding on his back. This is where we encounter the first musical sequence of the film, where Jeremy sings about what a joy Thorn Valley is.
When they arrive there, every mouse and rat greets Timmy like he's royalty. Justin and Mr. Ages then proceed to teach him about Thorn Valley and how he has to fulfill his prophecy. While Timmy grows up into a teenager, he sings about how he'll never equal his father's fame. The song sequence ends with a teenage Timmy Brisby voiced by Ralph Macchio from the "Karate Kid". Justin and some other rats then take Timmy out scavaging. Brutus (the rat from the first film) gives Timmy a whistle and tells him to blow it if he spots the guard dog, Killer. Timmy feels discouraged and tosses the whistle on the ground. He hears a sound from one of the garbage cans and goes to investigate, only to wind up stepping on the whistle by mistake.
It turns out that the noise was another mouse named Jenny McBride. Timmy is instantly smitten by her, but their greetings are cut short as Killer the guard dog begins chasing them. They all manage to escape with Jenny's help, who can apparently read (which is actually one of the characteristics of a rat from NIMH).
Later back at Thorn Valley, Timmy is punished for leaving his post. Timmy then tells Mr. Ages and Justin that Jenny can read. Jenny then tells them that her parents are trapped at NIMH and that something awful is going to happen on the full moon. She also tells them that she was sent to find them for help. Mr. Ages says they can't help them, believing it would be to great a risk of man finding out about Thorn Valley.
In frustration, Jenny and Timmy both escape in a hot air balloon to NIMH, but a hawk pops the balloon and they fall to the ground, unhurt. They then proceed to find the Great Owl, a character from the first film. It turns out that Jeremy the crow is actually posing as the Great Owl to fool the woodland animals out of giving him money, with the help of a con artist caterpillar named Cecil. After accidentally blowing his cover and causing a riot to the animals, Jeremy then flies the two mice to NIMH where they find two of the rats from Thorn Valley, Justin and Brutus. They also learn that Dr. Valentine, the head scientist, has made Martin insane. After being made insane, Martin took over the lab and brainwashed Dr. Valentine with a device similar to the one Valentine used on him and made him think he was a dog. Martin plans to use an army of lab rats riding a flock of ravens to take over Thorn Valley.
He asks Timmy to join him, but he refuses and is locked in a cage as Martin drags Jenny away to make her his queen. Timmy escapes with the help of Cecil and they go to free Jenny. Together, they knock out Martin and Timmy tricks Martin's army of ravens and rats to fly in the wrong direction. Timmy and Jenny then leave to find the others, only to find once everyone is free that NIMH is on fire. The survivors (Timmy, Jenny, and her parents) flee. Timmy goes back to save Martin. Before he leaves, Jenny tells him she loves him and he tells her the same. After being attacked by the crazy cats once again, Timmy sends them down an elevator shaft and finally finds Martin. Timmy and Martin are able to escape through the lab's skylight, with some help from Jeremy. Jeremy takes the survivors to safety. The mice return to Thorn Valley, Martin returns to normal and Timmy is now a hero. How Martin turned normal is left out of the film, but the device that turned Martin crazy could have been temporary and since Martin was shown doing it on himself several times this could be the reason. A likeness of Timmy is added to the statue of Jonathan as the people of Thorn Valley cheer.
- Ralph Macchio - Teenage Timmy
- Dom DeLuise - Jeremy the Crow
- Eric Idle - Evil Martin
- William H. Macy - Justin
- Arthur Malet - Mr. Ages
- Hynden Walch - Jenny
- Andrea Martin - Muriel
- Harvey Korman - Floyd
- Meshach Taylor - Cecil
- Phillip Glasser - Reformed Martin
- Phillip Van Dyke - Young Martin
- Andrew Ducote - Young Timmy
- Alexander Strange - Teenage Timmy
- Debi Mae West - Mrs. Brisby
- Doris Roberts - Auntie Shrew
- Steve Mackall - Dr. Valentine
- Darlene Carr - Helen
- Jamie Cronin - Teresa
- Whitney Claire Kaufman - Cynthia
- Jameson Parker - Troy
- Kevin Michael Richardson - Brutus
- Peter MacNicol - Narrator / Justin (opening sequence)
The sequel is universally hated by fans of the first film, who claimed that it lacked Don Bluth's dark mood and instead replaced with cheesy musical numbers. The film was widely panned for the really lame dialogue, incredibly dumb songs, memorable characters turned into something generic and forgettable, incomprehensible plot, and even the dreadfully cheap, uninspired and inconsistent animation (in comparison to the original film). TV Guide gave the film two stars out of four. Don Bluth himself had actually talked about making a sequel to the original film, obviously on one of his Toontalk magazines that are now rare to find, but unfortunately, this idea was dropped after MGM produced the sequel, without his permission.
Despite the bad critical reaction of this film, it somehow managed to get a motion picture soundtrack released on CD in 1999 by Sonic Images & MGM Records.
- "Prologue/Timmy and Martin" (instrumental by Lee Holdridge)
- "My Life and My Love" (Al Jarreau, Bobbi Page)
- "Come Make the Most of Your Life" (Andrew Ducote, Dom DeLuise, Arthur Malet, William H. Macy)
- "Timmy Says Goodbye/Soaring with Jeremy" (instrumental by Lee Holdridge)
- "Teaching Timmy/The Snake/The Wisdom of Mr. Ages" (instrumental by Lee Holdridge)
- "I Will Show the World" (Andrew Ducote, Alex Strange, Ralph Macchio)
- "Timmy Meets Jenny/Killer, the Attack Dog/Jenny's Story/Muriel and Floyd" (instrumental by Lee Holdridge)
- "Jenny's Plan/The Escape/Flight to N.I.M.H./The Hawk Attacks" (instrumental by Lee Holdridge)
- "Meeting Cecil/Search for the Great Owl" (instrumental by Lee Holdridge)
- "Magic Mystery Show" (Meshach Taylor, Dom DeLuise, Ralph Macchio, Hynden Walch)
- "Angry Animals/Another Escape/Evil Martin" (instrumental by Lee Holdridge)
- "Just Say Yes!" (Eric Idle, Ralph Macchio)
- "Taken Prisoner" (instrumental by Lee Holdridge)
- "All I Had is Gone" (Ralph Macchio, Hynden Walch)
- "Breakout/Muriel and Floyd Get the Shaft/Trapped by Martin" (instrumental by Lee Holdridge)
- "Escape from N.I.M.H." (instrumental by Lee Holdridge)
- "Finale" (instrumental by Lee Holdridge)