History Headscratchers / TheSecretOfNIMH

29th Dec '17 10:21:27 AM Dgon
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** The term "NIMH" actually comes as a TakeThat against a guy named John B. Calhoun who made some horrible experiments on rats and mice in the '''N'''ational '''I'''nstitute of '''M'''ental '''H'''ealth known as the "Mouse Utopia". That was the real life MadScientist.

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** The term "NIMH" actually comes as a TakeThat against a guy named John B. Calhoun who made some horrible experiments on rats and mice in the '''N'''ational '''I'''nstitute of '''M'''ental '''H'''ealth known as the "Mouse Utopia"."[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_sink Mouse Utopia]]". That was the real life MadScientist.
29th Dec '17 10:17:31 AM Dgon
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** The term "NIMH" actually comes as a TakeThat against a guy named John B. Calhoun who made some horrible experiments on rats and mice in the '''N'''ational '''I'''nstitute of '''M'''ental '''H'''ealth know as the "Mouse Utopia". That was the real life MadScientist.

to:

** The term "NIMH" actually comes as a TakeThat against a guy named John B. Calhoun who made some horrible experiments on rats and mice in the '''N'''ational '''I'''nstitute of '''M'''ental '''H'''ealth know known as the "Mouse Utopia". That was the real life MadScientist.
29th Dec '17 10:16:44 AM Dgon
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Added DiffLines:

** The term "NIMH" actually comes as a TakeThat against a guy named John B. Calhoun who made some horrible experiments on rats and mice in the '''N'''ational '''I'''nstitute of '''M'''ental '''H'''ealth know as the "Mouse Utopia". That was the real life MadScientist.
21st Dec '17 3:11:52 PM Ingonyama
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** This is a rough question to give an answer because it might be prone to bad generalizations. There are very good reasons why there are domesticated rodents. However there also could be experiments out there with more specific requirements. As in some may say "a rat is a rat". but some might prefer wild over domesticated. As there are some stimuli and intelligence that an animal will have if they live in the wild that they won't ever have if raised in captivity.

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** This is a rough question to give an answer because it might be prone to bad generalizations. There are very good reasons why there are domesticated rodents. However there also could be experiments out there with more specific requirements. As in some may say "a rat is a rat". rat" but some might prefer wild over domesticated. As there are some stimuli and intelligence that an animal will have if they live in the wild that they won't ever have if raised in captivity.captivity.
** The time period the film was set may also play a role. It's possible at that time the scientists at NIMH weren't aware of all those possible diseases; that this was before tame rats had been bred for scientific use; or that even though this was before ethical protocols were put in place, they didn't want to draw attention to what they were doing and were thus forced to capture rats off the streets, rather than obtain them from people or organizations who would question their actions and motives. It could even be theorized that discovering the street rats had diseases or couldn't be tamed is ''why'' the breeding of tame rats for experimentation was begun.


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** In the case of Justin, it's likely that either they were afraid the children would be frightened by a rat coming into their home no matter how kind and friendly he was, or the rats were still trying as best they could to keep themselves a secret (yes, they're openly moving the cinderblock, but if no one inside sees who's doing it or how...). Also, Auntie Shrew was inside, and considering how she reacted to the idea of going to the rats, it's a good chance she wouldn't have even let Justin in, let alone explain anything. Mr. Ages might have had better luck, which is a headscratcher for sure, but then again Auntie Shrew didn't like him much either it seems. And finally, the idea was probably to move the block as quickly and easily as possible, in such a way those inside wouldn't even be aware of it, or it would be over before they knew it; if all had gone well and Jenner hadn't interfered, that's likely how it would have gone. They didn't know about NIMH coming, so had no real reason to rush (since the plow wouldn't be fixed for a while yet), and again, if not for Jenner this wouldn't have mattered. So, no need to scare the family or involve them needlessly. And it was likely also the case that without Mrs. Brisby there, Nicodemus or Justin didn't feel it right to impose and make decisions involving her family (in fact again, without her there to vouch for them, Auntie Shrew wouldn't have listened to any of them), and Jenner certainly wouldn't have cared about reassuring the family.
21st Dec '17 3:00:29 PM Ingonyama
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** Currently and for a couple of decades already, ethical protocols for the usage of animals in scientific experiments is common practice in most countries, and practically in all the West. Conditions today are much better, though can be improved. The use of rodents for medical investigation has diminished considerably for several reasons, both practical (like the fact that they aren't really that similar to humans so using them as test subjects is not as effective as once thought) and legal (again, the ethical protocols and most anti-animal cruelty laws are very harsh in many countries so using animals is sometimes very expensive and very legally complex). That's why experimentation with animals is not that common and currently many scientists go directly with human subjects. And of course there are many ethical consideration to apply also, but the fact that humans can consent to the experiments and many volunteer as it's sometimes paid and/or a way to have a free treatment makes it easier in some cases, more than finding the permissions for a chimpanzee for example.

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** Currently and for a couple of decades already, ethical protocols for the usage of animals in scientific experiments is common practice in most countries, and practically in all the West. Conditions today are much better, though can be improved. The use of rodents for medical investigation has diminished considerably for several reasons, both practical (like the fact that they aren't really that similar to humans so using them as test subjects is not as effective as once thought) and legal (again, the ethical protocols and most anti-animal cruelty laws are very harsh in many countries so using animals is sometimes very expensive and very legally complex). That's why experimentation with animals is not that common and currently many scientists go directly with human subjects. And of course there are many ethical consideration considerations to apply also, but the fact that humans can consent to the experiments and many volunteer as it's sometimes paid and/or a way to have a free treatment makes it easier in some cases, more than finding the permissions for a chimpanzee for example.
21st Dec '17 2:59:38 PM Ingonyama
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** Currently and for a couple of decades already, ethical protocols for the usage of animals in scientific experiments is common practice in most countries, and practically in all the West. Conditions today are much better, though can be improve. The use of rodents for medical investigation has diminished considerably for several reasons, both practical (like the fact that they don't really are as similar to humans so using them as test subjects is not as effective as once thought) and legal (again, the ethical protocols and most anti-animal cruelty laws are very harsh in many countries so using animals is sometimes very expensive and very legally complex), that's why experimentation with animals is not that common and currently many scientists go directly with human subjects, and of course there are many ethical consideration to apply also, but the fact that humans can consent to the experiments and many volunteer as is sometimes paid and/or a way to have a free treatment makes it easily in some cases, more than finding the permissions for a chimpanzee for example.

to:

** Currently and for a couple of decades already, ethical protocols for the usage of animals in scientific experiments is common practice in most countries, and practically in all the West. Conditions today are much better, though can be improve. improved. The use of rodents for medical investigation has diminished considerably for several reasons, both practical (like the fact that they don't aren't really are as that similar to humans so using them as test subjects is not as effective as once thought) and legal (again, the ethical protocols and most anti-animal cruelty laws are very harsh in many countries so using animals is sometimes very expensive and very legally complex), that's complex). That's why experimentation with animals is not that common and currently many scientists go directly with human subjects, and subjects. And of course there are many ethical consideration to apply also, but the fact that humans can consent to the experiments and many volunteer as is it's sometimes paid and/or a way to have a free treatment makes it easily easier in some cases, more than finding the permissions for a chimpanzee for example.
21st Dec '17 2:54:53 PM Ingonyama
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*** Mr Ages is clearly older than Johnathan in the flashback.

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*** Mr Ages is clearly older than Johnathan Jonathan in the flashback.
21st Dec '17 2:51:03 PM Ingonyama
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* Why was the laboratory the NIMH rats were tested on so filthy in the movie? Unless the movie is set in the 1920's or something it should be spotless, even housing rats.

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* Why was the laboratory the NIMH rats were tested on in so filthy in the movie? Unless the movie is set in the 1920's or something it should be spotless, even housing rats.
21st Dec '17 2:46:36 PM Ingonyama
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* One thing that bugs me about the movie is that the rats of NIMH aren't really any more intelligent than the other animals in the movie (with the exception [[CatsAreMean of Dragon]]). Take Mrs. Brisby for example: She wasn't one of the mice that were experimented upon, and yet she is appearantly smart enough to understand the concept of electricity and learn to read. And then there's the Great Owl, who (at least as far as we know) wasn't part of the experiment either, and yet he seems to be at least as wise as Nicodemus. So really, what did the experiment change for the rats of NIMH?

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* One thing that bugs me about the movie is that the rats of NIMH aren't really any more intelligent than the other animals in the movie (with the exception [[CatsAreMean of Dragon]]). Take Mrs. Brisby for example: She wasn't one of the mice that were experimented upon, and yet she is appearantly apparantly smart enough to understand the concept of electricity and learn to read. And then there's the Great Owl, who (at least as far as we know) wasn't part of the experiment either, and yet he seems to be at least as wise as Nicodemus. So really, what did the experiment change for the rats of NIMH?



** Really, it's simple when you realize that the Great Owl is actually filling the part of a ''Great Wyrm:'' an ancient, solitary dragon that has a very predatory (and well-earned) reputation but is a store of incredible wisdom for those brave enough to parlay with him in his lair. Like many neutral Great Wyrms of fantasy, he also is aligned with an ancient, powerful mage: Nicodemus. His eyes glowed to make him even ''more'' dragonlike, and he had cobwebs on him: something no bird would ever tolerate for long, but a dragon taking a 10-year nap might accumulate. The only thing missing was smoke and brimstone curling out of his nares.

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** Really, it's simple when you realize that the Great Owl is actually filling the part of a ''Great Wyrm:'' an ancient, solitary dragon that has a very predatory (and well-earned) reputation but is a store of incredible wisdom for those brave enough to parlay with him in his lair. Like many neutral Great Wyrms of fantasy, he also is aligned with an ancient, powerful mage: Nicodemus. His eyes glowed to make him even ''more'' dragonlike, and he had cobwebs on him: something no bird would ever tolerate for long, but a dragon taking a 10-year nap might accumulate. (And they even make his wings look more draconic!) The only thing missing was smoke and brimstone curling out of his nares.



*** They had a television set (use by the guards I think) in the lab IIRC, so maybe they watched Sesamo Street or something like that.

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*** They had a television set (use by the guards I think) in the lab IIRC, so maybe they watched Sesamo Sesame Street or something like that.



** Maybe it's a discarded cement block wedged in the dirt they fasioned into a house, and it's just unlucky it happens to be in the path of the plow.

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** Maybe it's a discarded cement block wedged in the dirt they fasioned fashioned into a house, and it's just unlucky it happens to be in the path of the plow.



** [[AllThereInTheManual This was explained in the book, too.]] The family only ever expected to use it for a single winter. They knew that it would be destroyed by the plow, but used it anyway because it was a very lucky find-it's much warmer and drier than any other shelter they could expect to find to spend the winter. The conflict comes from Timothy's sickness and Moving Day coming too soon. If Timothy had never become ill, they would have left with plenty of time to spare to their summer house (which is located next to a river and is too open and chilly to use in the winter) and looked for a different place to spend the next winter. As it turns out, Timothy's sickness becomes a blessing in disguise, because it means the block is moved to a secure place and can be used as a permanent winter residence.

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** [[AllThereInTheManual This was explained in the book, too.]] The family only ever expected to use it for a single winter. They knew that it would be destroyed by the plow, but used it anyway because it was a very lucky find-it's find--it's much warmer and drier than any other shelter they could expect to find to spend the winter. The conflict comes from Timothy's sickness and Moving Day coming too soon. If Timothy had never become ill, they would have left with plenty of time to spare to their summer house (which is located next to a river and is too open and chilly to use in the winter) and looked for a different place to spend the next winter. As it turns out, Timothy's sickness becomes a blessing in disguise, because it means the block is moved to a secure place and can be used as a permanent winter residence.



*** I once heard that Mr. Bluth was going on the idea that there was a lot more to this world than simple inteligence can reveal. Nicodemus and Mrs. Brisby tapped into some of these forces with the strength of their hearts and not their brains. Even as a fan of the book I like it.

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*** I once heard that Mr. Bluth was going on the idea that there was a lot more to this world than simple inteligence intelligence can reveal. Nicodemus and Mrs. Brisby tapped into some of these forces with the strength of their hearts and not their brains. Even as a fan of the book I like it.



* Why was the laboratory the NIMH rats were tested on so flithy in the movie? Unless the movie is set in the 1920's or something it should be spotless, even housing rats.

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* Why was the laboratory the NIMH rats were tested on so flithy filthy in the movie? Unless the movie is set in the 1920's or something it should be spotless, even housing rats.



** 2)Telekinesis requires concentracion. Not that easy to stop something huge falling down in it's tracks.

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** 2)Telekinesis requires concentracion.concentration. Not that easy to stop something huge falling down in it's tracks.



** Complete {{Fanon}} here, but it is believed that Nicodemus and Jonathan were both particularly receptive to the setting's BackgroundMagicField (which was also involved in how the rats became sapient — [[ItMakesSenseInContext long story]]). Thanks to their newly-acquired scientific wits, the two set about studying said Magic and creating {{Magitek}}. While some of what we see in the Rosebush Colony is just borin ol' electricity, the more out-there devices like the moving branches Mrs Brisb encounters, the blasting spear wielded by Brutus, and Nicodemus's scrying-device-thingy, were all magic-based creations. Their masterpiece was to be a stone that allowed even {{Muggles}} to use Magic; Nicodemus, seeing [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatResponsability the potential for misuse]] in such a device, insisted it be keyed to "courage of the heart". In particular, Jonathan felt bad that his wife, on top of a shorter lifespan, had no magical abilities; hence why he meant the stone to go to her. All this is the meaning of the sentence inscribed: the Stone is the "key" that Mrs Brisby could use to unlock "any door" (e.g., the obstacles that stand between her and living a dignified, happy, fully realised, human-like life like the Rats of NIMH).

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** Complete {{Fanon}} here, but it is believed that Nicodemus and Jonathan were both particularly receptive to the setting's BackgroundMagicField (which was also involved in how the rats became sapient — [[ItMakesSenseInContext long story]]). Thanks to their newly-acquired scientific wits, the two set about studying said Magic and creating {{Magitek}}. While some of what we see in the Rosebush Colony is just borin ol' electricity, the more out-there devices like the moving branches Mrs Brisb encounters, the blasting spear wielded by Brutus, and Nicodemus's scrying-device-thingy, were all magic-based creations. Their masterpiece was to be a stone that allowed even {{Muggles}} to use Magic; Nicodemus, seeing [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatResponsability [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatResponsibility the potential for misuse]] in such a device, insisted it be keyed to "courage of the heart". In particular, Jonathan felt bad that his wife, on top of a shorter lifespan, had no magical abilities; hence why he meant the stone to go to her. All this is the meaning of the sentence inscribed: the Stone is the "key" that Mrs Brisby could use to unlock "any door" (e.g., the obstacles that stand between her and living a dignified, happy, fully realised, human-like life like the Rats of NIMH).



* What the hell was Jenner doing at the end? His plan to kill Nicodemus went off without a hitch, he basically had the Rats of NIMH wrapped around his fingers, and what does he do when Mrs. Brisby comes in to warn them of N.I.M.H coming in to exterminate them? He goes crazy and tries to kill her, ''right in front of the rest of the Rats of NIHM.'' While killing any innocent person for simply warning of potential danger would call his ability as a leader into serious question, this was Mrs. Brisby he just tried to kill, the wife of one of the Rats of NIHM's most beloved members, to whom they felt they owed enough to delay their plan to ensure the survival of their society just to save the house and family of said widowed wife. At no point did Jenner develop a personal reason to want Mrs. Brisby dead, and neither is he presented as a particularly stupid plotter, so why didn't he just try to keep his cool and use his silver tongue to dismiss her warnings to the group, instead of bluntly attacking her and completely discrediting himself in front of everyone?
** I'm invoking heavy fanon here, but… the fanonical expalanation is actually very clever. See, firstly, half of the rats are [[FantasticRacism Fantastic Racists]] of the SmugSuper kind, who think non-NIMH-improved rodents are nothing but animals. Jenner is, of course, the head of this particular movement. So killing her in plain sight wouldn't be ''that'' career-killing a move. Furthermore, he tries to kill Mrs Brisby to get his hands on the Stone. His whole life, Jenner had been trying to get his hands on some of Nicodemus and Jonathan's {{Magitek}} device, and while he can't use the Stone himself (it's restricted to people with "Courage of the Heart", remember?), he thinks himself clever enough to build a similar device he ''could'' use if he has the original Stone to work with. Ruling the Rats is nice, but unlocking the Stone's powers would make him quite literally ''[[AGodAmI a god]]''. Thus, he lunges out at what seems like his best chance at getting it — this scene being the closest he's ever been to the Stone.

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* What the hell was Jenner doing at the end? His plan to kill Nicodemus went off without a hitch, he basically had the Rats of NIMH wrapped around his fingers, and what does he do when Mrs. Brisby comes in to warn them of N.I.M.H coming in to exterminate them? He goes crazy and tries to kill her, ''right in front of the rest of the Rats of NIHM.NIMH.'' While killing any innocent person for simply warning of potential danger would call his ability as a leader into serious question, this was Mrs. Brisby he just tried to kill, the wife of one of the Rats of NIHM's most beloved members, to whom they felt they owed enough to delay their plan to ensure the survival of their society just to save the house and family of said widowed wife. At no point did Jenner develop a personal reason to want Mrs. Brisby dead, and neither is he presented as a particularly stupid plotter, so why didn't he just try to keep his cool and use his silver tongue to dismiss her warnings to the group, instead of bluntly attacking her and completely discrediting himself in front of everyone?
** I'm invoking heavy fanon here, but… the fanonical expalanation explanation is actually very clever. See, firstly, half of the rats are [[FantasticRacism Fantastic Racists]] of the SmugSuper kind, who think non-NIMH-improved rodents are nothing but animals. Jenner is, of course, the head of this particular movement. So killing her in plain sight wouldn't be ''that'' career-killing a move. Furthermore, he tries to kill Mrs Brisby to get his hands on the Stone. His whole life, Jenner had been trying to get his hands on some of Nicodemus and Jonathan's {{Magitek}} device, and while he can't use the Stone himself (it's restricted to people with "Courage of the Heart", remember?), he thinks himself clever enough to build a similar device he ''could'' use if he has the original Stone to work with. Ruling the Rats is nice, but unlocking the Stone's powers would make him quite literally ''[[AGodAmI a god]]''. Thus, he lunges out at what seems like his best chance at getting it — this scene being the closest he's ever been to the Stone.
20th Jun '17 3:03:24 PM ScroogeMacDuck
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** WordOfGod confirmed they made the two look alike to [[MindScrew further confuse us]]. Sauce: http://www.adammcdaniel.com/DonBluth/Don_Bluth_Interview3.htm

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** WordOfGod confirmed they made the two look alike to [[MindScrew further confuse us]]. Sauce: Source: http://www.adammcdaniel.com/DonBluth/Don_Bluth_Interview3.htm


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*** Indeed. Though while not a prophet in the "believes in Fate" sense, it is possible he used his {{Magitek}} scrying device to gaze into the future, foreseeing his own doom and thus deciding not to fight against it since he was so old anyway.


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** Both questions, once again, are answered in {{Fanon}}. Jonathan was not only a hero in the original escape, but he was Nicodemus's closest friend and a talented inventor and wizard. His frequent visits and general niceness made it so that ''all the rats'' (but Jenner) liked him. As for Mrs Brisby, there is a not-insignicant number of Rats who side with Jenner on the idea that the rodents who did not come from NIMH [[FantasticRacism aren't really sentient and don't deserve any rights]]. After their poster-child and leader Jenner's death, it was probably thought best to let Mrs Brisby's efforts go mostly unmentioned so as not to piss off the remaining Jenner supporters enough for them to [[VillainousLegacy start a civil war]], which is the last thing the rats need at this point. Any new society must make compromises.
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