I try not to get upset when things I loved as a child get rebooted/re-adapted/re-whatevered. I try to look at the positives a new version can bring to the table. I’m usually able to maintain a level head (or at least a practiced apathy) when it comes to these kinds of news stories.
Today is not one of those days.
Deadline reports that MGM is planning to kick Don Bluth in the teeth by taking another swing at Robert C. O’Brien’s novel, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I’ll admit this: Don Bluth’s film (which our own Danielle Ryan has written about on Dark Side Cinema) isn’t the most faithful adaptation of the source material. I’m sure this new film is going to claim fealty to the book in order to assuage the older folks’ reservations.
Let’s now discuss why that assuaging won’t amount to a shovelful of dirt on top of Dom DeLuise’s grave.
The worst part of this new film is the involvement of Ehren Kruger, Freddy’s mentally disabled half-brother. You may recognize Kruger’s name from such scripts as Blood and Chocolate, Scream 3, and the last three films in the hate machine that is Michael Bay’s Transformers. He’ll be producing, leaving the writing duties to Michael Berg. You’d only know Michael Berg’s name if you’re a die-hard Ice Age fan, since that’s all he’s written. I guess he got tired of all of his writer pals calling him Ice Berg.
Another element to this that makes me believe that the Antichrist walks among us is that MGM wants to make this a live action/CGI hybrid film, such as cinematic masterpieces The Smurfs 2 and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. This will be as magnificent a fusion to behold as Brundlefly/telepod. That’s unfair. Brundlefly/telepod is a thing of beauty.
The Secret of NIMH is a killer animated flick, filled with just the right amount of darkness and genuine danger that any half-intelligent kid (and fully intelligent adult) would recognize and enjoy. I guarantee that this new film will lose a whole lot of its edge in order to play to the widest audience possible.
Get your blood sacrifices ready, Chewers. This must be stopped.