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DOUBLE FEATURE: PLAGUE DOGS / SECRET OF NIMH

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
by Joshua Miller: link

Animal testing cartoons!
post #2 of 25

I remember catching NIMH doing a babysitting gig as a 16-YO. Really dug the dark style, and the thin layer of mysticism that had been dribbled over it.

post #3 of 25

Great idea for a double feature.  The ending of The Plague Dogs is sort of fascinating.  In the original edition of the book, Adams kills both of the dogs in the sea, but in the subsequent editions, he has a conversation with the readers and ends up writing a happier ending (which I find far easier to stomach). I wonder why he did that, beyond the obvious.  As far as the movie goes, the animation of the dogs is done quite well.  Getting animals to move correctly in animation is very hard, but the dogs in the film move the way dogs do.  A credit to the film maker.  It almost makes up for that horrible song and the very misleading trailer for the film.

post #4 of 25

I absolutely adore The Secret of NIMH, and have found that kids really take to the film mainly because of its dark nature; it doesn't treat them like idiots, and engages them as an actual audience member, not just trying to sell them something. It's a shame it wasn't more of a hit, because I'd have loved to have seen where Bluth and Aurora Pictures would've gone from there. Almost certainly not Thumbilina, I hope.

 

On top of that, Jerry Goldsmith's score (his first animated score!) is flat out, full blown Romantic wet dream. The Flying Dreams cue when Brisby lifts the house still gives me chills.

post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post

I absolutely adore The Secret of NIMH, and have found that kids really take to the film mainly because of its dark nature; it doesn't treat them like idiots, and engages them as an actual audience member, not just trying to sell them something. It's a shame it wasn't more of a hit, because I'd have loved to have seen where Bluth and Aurora Pictures would've gone from there. Almost certainly not Thumbilina, I hope.

 

On top of that, Jerry Goldsmith's score (his first animated score!) is flat out, full blown Romantic wet dream. The Flying Dreams cue when Brisby lifts the house still gives me chills.


Well I can't add very much to that other than to say get outta my head Greg. NIMH is one of the truly beloved films of my childhood I don't mind admitting. The same cue Greg mentions above still makes the hair on my arms stand up and gives me a lump in my throat to this day.

 

While I was emotionally scarred for life by Watership Downs, I've never watched Plague Dogs. I may need to rectify that.

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post




Well I can't add very much to that other than to say get outta my head Greg. NIMH is one of the truly beloved films of my childhood I don't mind admitting. The same cue Greg mentions above still makes the hair on my arms stand up and gives me a lump in my throat to this day.

 

While I was emotionally scarred for life by Watership Downs, I've never watched Plague Dogs. I may need to rectify that.


It's currently on Netflix instant.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildoubt View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post




Well I can't add very much to that other than to say get outta my head Greg. NIMH is one of the truly beloved films of my childhood I don't mind admitting. The same cue Greg mentions above still makes the hair on my arms stand up and gives me a lump in my throat to this day.

 

While I was emotionally scarred for life by Watership Downs, I've never watched Plague Dogs. I may need to rectify that.




It's currently on Netflix instant.


Unfortunately us antipodeans can't enjoy the Netflix revolution. Boo.

post #8 of 25

Devildoubt, if you're referring to the Alan Price song Time and Tides, used in the beginning and the end, then I greatly disagree. That song sets the perfect tone for the film, it's melancholy, but also hopeful (not that the film necessarily shares the latter quality). It's especially fitting for that horribly disturbing opening scene, where it's warped and given that dark undertone.

 

Anyway, I started a thread on Plague Dogs a while ago: http://www.chud.com/community/forum/thread/125382/plague-dogs

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post





Unfortunately us antipodeans can't enjoy the Netflix revolution. Boo.

Yes, but Aussies are the only ones that can buy the uncut version of Plague Dogs. I special ordered it. It's a better film when made longer. Even more brutal.

 

Congrats on the article, and congrats for avoiding the obvious Watership/Plague Dogs pairing.
 

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe Powers View Post


Congrats on the article, and congrats for avoiding the obvious Watership/Plague Dogs pairing.
 


Well, I certainly don't want anyone to slit their wrists.

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Miller View Post




Well, I certainly don't want anyone to slit their wrists.

 

Ha Ha.

 

I'm a huge fan of Plague Dogs, to the point that I created an article for DVDActive about 'underseen' movies to build around it. If it got 2 people to see it I consider it worth the effort. I'd actually mark the performance among John Hurt's best, which given his career is really saying something. Secret of Nihm is one I assume everyone has already seen, but recently I realized the people I hang out with that aren't within 5 years of me didn't have it as part of their childhood. It was apparently really one for kids that were around gradeschool age when it came out, I think.

post #12 of 25

Yeah, I think the general awareness of NIMH beyond a specific age-group is not great. It's definitely one of those "If you've seen it, you probably love it" films. The problem is that not that many people have seen it. Though as times goes by I think its place in history is becoming slowly intact. It helps that it is a kids movie, so all the people who grew up on it are slowly (or will soon be) showing their kids the film on DVD. Speaking of DVD, when is someone going to do a legit release of the film with a Bluth sponsored restoration?

 

I just realized... 1982 was really the year for ballsy Artistic Success/Financial Failures  - NIMH, TRON, THE DARK CRYSTAL.

post #13 of 25

Yeah, I've never seen NIMH. Gonna have to rectify that.

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z.Vasquez View Post

Devildoubt, if you're referring to the Alan Price song Time and Tides, used in the beginning and the end, then I greatly disagree. That song sets the perfect tone for the film, it's melancholy, but also hopeful (not that the film necessarily shares the latter quality). It's especially fitting for that horribly disturbing opening scene, where it's warped and given that dark undertone.

 

Anyway, I started a thread on Plague Dogs a while ago: http://www.chud.com/community/forum/thread/125382/plague-dogs



Aw man, I just can't get into the tune.  It reminds me of all the things I hate about Roger Waters's solo material, and that gospel section doesn't work at all.

 

Thematically, having an upbeat song at the end of the movie lets the audience off the hook.  At the end of the original novel (and the movie) the dogs drown.  Giving it an upbeat ending tries to soften the blow.  Bollocks, I say.  If you're going to punch people in the gut, don't pull your punch at the end. 

 

And don't get me started on the tone of the trailer.  Talk about the bait and switch....

post #15 of 25

Is this a new column?  If so, love it.  If not, I am sorry I have missed previous installments.

 

This reminds me that I need to sit my kids down with NIHM and introduce them.  8 and 4...I figure I was at least 6 when I first saw this and have loved it ever since.

post #16 of 25

It is. And you definitely should.

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Miller View Post

Yeah, I think the general awareness of NIMH beyond a specific age-group is not great. It's definitely one of those "If you've seen it, you probably love it" films. The problem is that not that many people have seen it. Though as times goes by I think its place in history is becoming slowly intact. It helps that it is a kids movie, so all the people who grew up on it are slowly (or will soon be) showing their kids the film on DVD. Speaking of DVD, when is someone going to do a legit release of the film with a Bluth sponsored restoration?

 

I just realized... 1982 was really the year for ballsy Artistic Success/Financial Failures  - NIMH, TRON, THE DARK CRYSTAL.


...Blade Runner, The Thing... 82's almost my favourite movie year, but everything I really love from it either bombed hard or didn't perform all that well on release.

 

...and that's not to mention the middling success's like Conan The Barbarian, First Blood, The Verdict, Pink Floyd The Wall, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Diner, Fitzcarraldo, The Year Of Living Dangerously - SO MANY great films.

 

Yet what were audiences going to in droves that year instead? ET, Tootsie, Rocky 3, Porkys and The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. Some things never change.

post #18 of 25

ET is still a goddamned good film, but it is hard to love it when every '82 failure is blamed on it, especially The Thing and Blade Runner. Tootsie and Porky's can eat it though.

post #19 of 25

Thing is I actually really like Tootsie and Porkys - I just don't think they hold a candle to the movies the mainstream simply didn't seem to 'get' back in '82. E.T. I can understand being the biggest film of the year, I get why it was so loved - but The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas? That can suck my farts.

post #20 of 25

That goes without saying. Best Little Whorehouse is only worthy of Venture Bros. punchline. Ugh, I just looked at the top 10 money makers, and Annie was number 2. People really wanted to feel good that year, didn't they. And fucking Gandhi won the Oscar. Bleh.

 

In a perfect world the list would go like this:

 

1. Eating Raoul

2. Tenebre

3. Megaforce

4. Plague Dogs

5. Basket Case

6. Escape 2000 (Turkey Shoot)

7. Vice Party

8. The Thing

9. Blade Runner

10. ET

post #21 of 25

Tootsie is awesome and Hoffman should have gotten Best Actor for it. Meanwhile, is Poltergeist really that forgotten?

 

Back on topic: I'm reminded of another disturbing cartoon lab-animal-- that Robin Williams bat from Ferngully.

post #22 of 25

What in the fuck is this people dissing Tootsie? I will not have such smack talked about my favorite nutty hospital.

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post


...Blade Runner, The Thing... 82's almost my favourite movie year, but everything I really love from it either bombed hard or didn't perform all that well on release.

 

...and that's not to mention the middling success's like Conan The Barbarian, First Blood, The Verdict, Pink Floyd The Wall, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Diner, Fitzcarraldo, The Year Of Living Dangerously - SO MANY great films.

 

Yet what were audiences going to in droves that year instead? ET, Tootsie, Rocky 3, Porkys and The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. Some things never change.

 

You mention 1982 in film and leave out Wrath of Khan? Two days in the hole for you!
 

 

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post

 

You mention 1982 in film and leave out Wrath of Khan? Two days in the hole for you!


"Buried aliiiive... buried aliiiive!"

 

To be fair, the topic at hand is ambitious films that flopped. Khan did well.

 

My list of the great and near-great from 1982, here.

 

Regarding The Secret of NIMH: There's a part of me that wishes it had kept to a more down-to-earth interpretation. There's no justification for the mystical power of Nicodemus' amulet, given that the film retains the book's backstory of hard science. And only John Carradine could have sold "the lee of the stone" as meaning anything more cryptic than "move your house to the other side of the rock so the tractor doesn't hit it."

 

Stuff I like:

 

The voice-acting in general. Even Dom deLuise scores, and I find myself using "ExcusemePardonmePardonmeScuseme" to this day.

Goldsmith's score. He didn't dumb it down, and there's no damn singing interlude either.

"Damn!" First time I ever heard a cartoon character swear.

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post



 

You mention 1982 in film and leave out Wrath of Khan? Two days in the hole for you!
 

 

KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!

khaaan.jpg

 

Seriously tho, ST2 was one of the great successes of '82 - it was the sixth biggest film of the year - so it didn't really qualify for the point I was trying to make.

 

...and Greg, I aint knocking Tootsie - I'll fight anyone who's knocking Tootsie.
 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post

The voice-acting in general. Even Dom deLuise scores, and I find myself using "ExcusemePardonmePardonmeScuseme" to this day.



I still find myself calling pretty jewelry a 'sparkly' and referring to 'Miss Briz" even now. DeLuise was pretty frikkin great in NIMH. Some much needed comedic lightnoess and he pitched it perfectly.

 

Fun fact, one of Mrs.Brisby children, her daughter Teresa, was voiced by a then ten year old Shannon Doherty.

 

...and has anyone seen the 1998 straight-to-video sequel that was made? I simply couldn't bring myself to do it.

 

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