[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/secret_of_nimh_poster_9791.jpg]]

->''"My child, we can no longer live as rats. We ''know'' too much."''
-->--'''Nicodemus'''

'''This page is about the animated film ''The Secret of NIMH''. If you are looking for the article about the book or its literary sequels, see ''Literature/MrsFrisbyAndTheRatsOfNIMH''.'''

''The Secret of NIMH'' is Creator/DonBluth's first feature-length film; it is based ''[[AdaptationDistillation very]]'' [[AdaptationDistillation loosely]] on Robert C. O'Brien's Newbery Medal Award-winning novel ''Literature/MrsFrisbyAndTheRatsOfNIMH''.

Mrs. [[WritingAroundTrademarks Brisby]] (voiced by Creator/ElizabethHartman) is a widowed mouse and mother of four living near a farm. With spring fast approaching and the frost melting from the ground, her family has to move in order to avoid the farmer's plow -- but one of the children, Timothy, has come down with pneumonia and can't be moved for a few weeks. Taking the advice of an [[OurDragonsAreDifferent all-knowing owl]], Mrs. Brisby seeks the aid of the Rats of NIMH, a group of escaped lab rats that were rendered super-intelligent via experimental drugs. After meeting with the rats' leader, Nicodemus, Mrs. Brisby finds out that her late husband Jonathan had been a good friend of the rats -- and died while helping the rats carry out a plan to leave the human world behind. Nicodemus agrees to help Mrs. Brisby move her home, but some of the other rats have plans of their own...

''The Secret of NIMH'' was Don Bluth's first feature film after leaving Disney; it was even produced a decade after Disney itself had turned down adapting the original story. Bluth used traditional tools and methods as a way of fighting back against the movement towards lower production costs (and lower quality animation). The film was commercially a moderate box office success, costing $7 million and earning $14 million; this modest revenue was, in part, due to competition with ''{{Film/ET The Extra Terrestrial}}''. ''NIMH'' eventually managed to seduce the director of ''E.T.'', {{Creator/Steven Spielberg}}, into teaming up with Bluth; together, they made two rather high-grossing (and well-regarded) animated films: ''{{WesternAnimation/An American Tail}}'' and ''{{WesternAnimation/The Land Before Time}}''.

''The Secret of NIMH'' [[VindicatedByHistory became regarded as a masterpiece of animation in the years after its release]]; lots of animation enthusiasts and film critics [[EarnYourHappyEnding regard it as Bluth's best work]]. The film was released on DVD twice -- once as a single-disc with no special features, and once as a two-disc "Family Fun Edition" that included a feature-length commentary from Bluth himself -- and 2011 saw a Blu-Ray release for the film.

Years after the original film, MGM released a DirectToVideo sequel called ''Secret of NIMH II: Timmy to the Rescue''. The film was, predictably, [[TheWoobie produced without Bluth's involvement]].

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!!The two ''Secret of NIMH'' films contain examples of the following tropes:

* AdaptationPersonalityChange:
** Jeremy is a comic relief character in the film and his traits are more PlayedForLaughs, unlike in the book where he was more of a 'na´ve' character. He also becomes a CloudCuckoolander and a ButtMonkey. A few years after the film's release, the original author's daughter Jane Leslie Conly wrote two sequels which incorporated Jeremy's more absent-minded personality.
** In the film, Jenner is an ObviouslyEvil villain, while his book counterpart was an average character.
** Mr. Ages is portrayed as a GrumpyOldMan with a HiddenHeartOfGold rather than a more kindly character.
* AdaptationalVillainy: In the book the film is based on, Jenner is a much less villainous CommanderContrarian, and doesn't [[spoiler: kill Nicodemus]] like his film incarnation does.
** [[spoiler:Martin]] in the sequel, although due to [[BrainwashedAndCrazy brainwashing]].
* AmuletOfConcentratedAwesome: The amulet Nicodemus gives Ms. Brisby.
* AnimalFacialHair
* [[AttentionDeficitOohShiny Attention Deficit - OOH, SPARKLY!]]: Jeremy. Justified in that he ''is'' a crow.
-->'''Jeremy:''' ''You'' found a ''sparkly''!
* BarefootCartoonAnimals: Most of the rats, with Nicodemus as TheOneWhoWearsShoes.
* ButtMonkey: Jeremy, a lonely compassionate crow who just wants to help out and find love; unfortunately, he is also a hapless klutz, tending to cause more problems than he solves. He's constantly reprimanded by [[BewareTheNiceOnes Mrs. Brisby]] until she eventually gets rid of him by having him see to [[YouGetMeCoffee trivial minor duties]], both of which he fails miserably with too. He does at least get his "Miss Right" at the end of it though.
** He and Cecil retain this role in the sequel, albeit toned down somewhat; this is likely due to the zanier setup (Jeremy at least seems to have warmer relations with the characters, especially Timmy).
** Mrs. Brisby acts somewhat as one in more comical moments, though probably leans more towards woobie territory.
* CatsAreMean: The cat in question is ''named'' [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Dragon]]. Invoked again in the sequel with Muriel and Troy, the two alley cat minions ([[IneffectualSympatheticVillain albeit in a more pitiful sense]]). It is refreshing change in that this cat who acts just like a cat is considered bad, but doesn't get an undeserved comeuppance.
** What is very interesting about this is that, in the scene where Mrs. Fitzgibbon is hanging out the laundry and Dragon is sleeping near the back step (a scene which takes more of an omniscient camera view than the first-person view of the mice), he doesn't come across nearly so horrifying. Part of this may be due to him being drugged at the time, but it also comes across as him seeming a normal cat here but a monster in all his other scenes [[FridgeBrilliance because that is how a cat would look and sound to a mouse]]. (See TranslationConvention.)
** Inverted in the sequel. Muriel and Troy are actually brainwashed by [[spoiler: Martin]] to do his evil bidding, and are suggested to be the only villains that [[spoiler: don't escape the fire and thus possibly meet their demise]].
* CleverCrows: This trope is inverted, with Jeremy being a rare dumbass corvid.
* CloudCuckoolander: Jeremy isn't the most stable of characters sometimes. [[spoiler: Martin under the influence of NIMH's experimentation in the sequel may count as a villainous example.]]
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Jeremy spends most of both films irritating the other protagonists with his clumsy behaviour. However, he is a graceful flyer and counts as the only character in the first film to outright attack Dragon to save Mrs Brisby.
* DeadpanSnarker: Only a short period in the company of Jeremy can turn even sweet Mrs. Brisby into an irritable snark. Even on the rare occasions Jeremy isn't causing trouble for her, she is [[ComedicSociopathy unusually condescending and dismissive]] towards him.
** Jenny plays this trope hard on occasion in ''Timmy To The Rescue''.
** Justin also does this in one moment of the first movie.
-->'''Jenner''': ''(He's been talking about how Nicodemus's plan to move is the idea of idiots and dreamers)'' We were just talking about you.
-->'''Justin''': Well that's refreshing Jenner, usually you're screaming about us.
* {{Disneyfication}}: Averted somewhat. While the movie has some traditional changes from the original book (eg. more whimsical and slapstick-esque characterization and dialogue), some aspects are actually darker compared to its original material. The death count of pivotal characters is higher in the movie, for example. The sequel plays this straight, complete with musical numbers and numerous [[CanonForeigner comic relief extras]].
** In a way, this trope is {{double subverted}}; while Mrs. Brisby goes through much more hardship than in the book, this allows more emphasis on the power of courage and love. The theme was absent in the original book in favour of a greater focus on the rats' responsibility to stop stealing (which was itself mentioned in the film, although it was more about the moral issues of stealing rather than the practical ones).
* DisneyVillainDeath: Averted, though the villain still falls. [[spoiler:Jenner dies in full view, as well as his (former) henchman Sullivan. Sullivan throws a dagger into Jenner's back before dying of a sword wound.]] They ain't comin' back.
** Arguably [[spoiler: Muriel and Troy]] in ''Timmy To The Rescue'' [[spoiler: falling down an elevator shaft. The tone of this is comical, though the fact they aren't seen escaping as NIMH as it is set ablaze leaves suggestion whether they survived]].
* FunWithAcronyms: NIMH - '''N'''ational '''I'''nstitute of '''M'''ental '''H'''ealth.
** Another use of NIMH is '''NI'''ckel-'''M'''etal '''H'''ydride, which is a common type of rechargeable battery.
** [[TruthInTelevision NIMH is a real organization.]]
* GoshdangItToHeck: In the sequel with Aunt Shrew ("Oh, to ''heck'' with him...").
* GracefulInTheirElement: Jeremy in the air, naturally.
* HalfDressedCartoonAnimal: The Brisby family. Most of the rats as well.
* HumansAreBastards: Aside from the NIMH scientists, mostly averted through lack of presence.
** The rats don't seem to hold any real grudge against humans in general, preferring to simply avoid them. When Nicodemus reveals the rats' story and the nature of the Plan, he makes it clear that stealing food or electricity from the humans is wrong.
** The one human who directly encounters Mrs. Brisby actually goes out of his way to ''save'' her from the cat, and puts her safely into a cage with food and water. Not so bad, considering how mice found loose in people's houses are usually dealt with.
* JerkassFacade: Brutus, the huge intimidating guard to the rat's hideout, is revealed as such in the original novel. The original film, which makes him far more intimidating, at first only vaguely hints to this ("Oh, that's just ''Brutus''..."), but he does try to help pull up the Brisby home; you hardly see him, and wouldn't know it was him if Justin hadn't called out his name, but he's there.
--> '''Justin:''' I'll get a line around the stones, now...''Brutus, quick!'' Get some rope; tie off those block lines!
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold:
** "Auntie" Shrew. She is first introduced as a pish-posh busybody who walks around [[DramaQueen with an incredible air of self-importance]], but [[spoiler:she soon demonstrates great bravery by warning all the animals about the plow and rescuing Mrs. Brisby from the tractor.]]
** Mr Ages is for the most part a cranky, unsociable hermit though he nevertheless assists Mrs. Brisby with every plea she makes to assist her family plus is revealed to have been quite the badass himself, being the one [[spoiler:previously tasked with ''drugging the cat'' before he injured his leg, as well as playing a part in the rats' escape alongside Jonathan Brisby]].
** Cecil the Caterpillar; despite being a con-man and a bit on the cowardly side, he goes out of his way to help out the protagnists with little motive. [[spoiler:He is introduced saving Timmy and Jenny from an eagle]].
** See also Brutus under JerkassFacade, above.
* KindheartedSimpleton: Jeremy means well, but his denseness usually does more harm than good.
* TheKlutz: Again, Jeremy.
* MindControlEyes: Jeremy after glancing at Mrs. Brisby's "sparkly" in the original. [[spoiler: Evil!Martin]] also shows an occasional gaze of these in the sequel, for relevant reasons.
* MouseWorld: Several, designed by the rats and mice of NIMH.
* NeverASelfMadeWoman: Mrs. Brisby would not have gotten any help for her situation if she wasn't "Mrs. Jonathan Brisby".
* OnlyOneName[=/=]LastNameBasis: Mrs. Brisby is never referred to as anything other than Mrs. Brisby. The closest they get to giving her a first name is calling her Mrs. Jonathan Brisby, but that's referring to her husband.
** Per WordOfGod her first name is Elizabeth in posthumous honor of Elizabeth Hartman, her late voice actress.
* ThePowerOfLove. "You can unlock any door, if you only have the key." According to Music/PaulWilliams' ThemeSong ''Flying Dreams'', "Love is the key."
-->'''Nicodemus:''' Courage of the heart is very rare. The Stone has a power when it's there.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere:
** Sullivan, despite threats from Jenner, ultimately refuses to play part in [[spoiler: murdering Nicodemus]] in the original movie.
** Jeremy and Cecil also refuse to join Timmy and Jenny in entering NIMH in the sequel (though both [[ChangedMyMindKid change their mind later on]]).
* ShooOutTheClowns: In both movies, the comical Jeremy more or less disappears halfway through until the main climax is over. Cecil the Caterpillar is taken out briefly in the sequel as well, though does get some involvement in the final action (see above).
* TheSociopath: Jenner.
* ThievingMagpie: Jeremy the Crow can't resist "sparklies."
* WhatMeasureIsANonCute: A rare example of both mice ''and'' rats being good.

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!!Tropes exclusive to ''The Secret of NIMH'':

* ActionMom: Mrs. Brisby is an interesting example of this trope, as she is ''only'' doing what she does to protect her children ("Timothy... remember Timothy!") It is certainly not because she enjoys adventure or action. In fact, the film clearly shows that [[CowardlyLion she's scared out of her mind by the tasks she must do, but she is still courageous enough to pull through]], expecially when the action really gets going.
* ActualPacifist: Sullivan, Jenner's ally on the council of the rats. Jenner hatches a plan to murder Nicodemus and make it look like an accident with Sullivan's help, but Sullivan wants to back out at every step of the way and abhors the idea of killing. Eventually he [[DeathEqualsRedemption redeems himself while dying]] by [[spoiler:throwing a dagger [[InTheBack into Jenner's back.]]]]
-->'''Jenner:''' No taste for blood, eh? They've taken the animal out of you.
* AdaptationExplanationExtrication: The sequence in the book where the rats are taught how to read is overlooked in the film, making it look like the injections alone gave them the ability.
* AdultFear: It's scary enough for the single mother Mrs. Brisby having to deal with her critically ill son, but during the climax when her children are stuck in their cement block house and it's sinking into the mud the fear is amped up ten-fold.
* AgeLift: Nicodemus was middle-aged in the book. In the film he is very old-looking, considering the injections given to the rats slowed their aging.
* AirVentPassageway: Seen in the flashback to the labs. {{Justified|Trope}}; ...they're rats.
** And when the air conditioning's turned on, RealityEnsues and several of the rats still die.
* AllPowerfulBystander: Nicodemus is quite adept at scrying and can see Mrs. Brisby's dilemma and is ready to help her before she even goes to consult the Great Owl. Why he doesn't just save time by sending for her immediately is never addressed. Justin knew Jonathan Brisby and considered it an honour to meet his wife, so he could have invited her to the rosebush. Even Mr. Ages despite his normal grumbling nature would have been up to the task, considering he was all for helping her during the council session. The only plausible explanation is that Nicodemus couldn't risk extending his hand to Mrs. Brisby first while the Thorn Valley plan was still being debated for fear of his political enemy Jenner accusing him of going soft or senile or mad and using it as an opportunity to gain power.
* ArcWords: "Courage of the heart is very rare. The stone has a power when it's there".
* AscendedExtra:
** Jeremy, though a lot of his relevance to the main story diminishes after his role portrayed in the book.
** [[spoiler: Jenner]] also is promoted to the movie's BigBad; in the book, he's only mentioned in the backstory.
** Sullivan. In the novel, he is only mentioned once and has one line.
** Auntie Shrew becomes a babysitter for the Brisby children in the film. She is merely referred to as "the shrew" in the novel.
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: Jeremy the Crow can't resist "sparklies." Drifts into StalkerWithACrush[=/=]ICantBelieveItsNotHeroin territory when Jeremy says with a touch of darkness, "You know, I've always wanted a sparkly ''of my very own''" while leering / menacing over Mrs. Brisby.
* AvoidTheDreadedGRating: Don Bluth and company attempted to get ''NIMH'' a PG rating to have it appeal to a larger audience (the film ''definitely'' isn't very kid-friendly): there was a superfluous (though understandable given the circumstances) "Damn!" spoken by Justin, several on-screen deaths, visible blood, and a fair amount of nightmare-fueling scenes. For reasons beyond all understanding, the MPAA [[AnimationAgeGhetto still gave them a G]]. One would almost have to assume they didn't bother to watch it.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: The injections administered to the rats in the [=NIMH=] flashbacks are much, much too large for a one-pound rodent to receive without dying of heart failure. The proper veterinary dosage for such tiny animals' injections has a volume of a fraction of a mL. However, this may just be the rats' imagination, seeing as the lab also looks quite unsanitary.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The ink Nicodemus uses to write in his journal in the opening scene. It sheds golden sparkly fairy dust all over the place, and the text he writes doesn't become visible until after a two-second delay.
* BadassNormal: Though the rats are no less frightened of Dragon than are the mice, rats are too large to get into the house to drug him, leaving the mice to do it. Jonathan dies in one attempt (in his defense, he also did it [[BadAss countless nights for]] ''[[BadAss four years]]'' before finally being caught), and Mr. Ages breaks a leg in a subsequent one. Both are genetically modified, but Mrs. Brisby is the one who succeeds with just a scratch.
* BadlyBatteredBabysitter: Poor Jeremy...
* BeardOfEvil: Jenner has one.
* BlatantLies:
--> '''Jenner:''' It would be an honour to assist Jonathan's widow in any way. We are but your humble servants.
* ByTheLightsOfTheirEyes:
** Nicodemus, full stop. His eyes ''always'' glow. It's never explained why.
** The Great Owl's eyes are exactly the same. Glowing eyes seem to be associated with great age and wisdom and some kind of unexplained power. Another reason why The Great Owl is certifiably RuleOfCool incarnate. He's even voiced by JohnCarradine!
** ''Possibly'' justified, as [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapetum_lucidum owls (and, indeed, most nocturnal vertebrates, rats included) do have light-reflectant eyes.]] Why it's only obvious with these two probably falls under RuleOfCool.
* CapeSwish: Jenner has mastered this move (which one feels he picked up from [[Disney/SleepingBeauty Maleficent]]).
* CarnivoreConfusion:
** Lampshaded: "Owls eat mice!" "Uh...only after dark." There are bones strewn about the Owl's lair. Owls compact all waste into a pellet-like solid, bones and all (though these are probably from disintegrated pellets; the Owl isn't too concerned with tidying his lair). The Owl seems to be completely nonplussed by this mouse but he'll gladly eat a passing bug.
** A more standard example is the fact that Mrs. Brisby is friends with a shrew. Shrews eat mice.
** As do crows.
** As do ''rats'', under normal circumstances.
** Every non-relative she has a conversation with in the entire film would've tried to eat her in RealLife, except Mr. Ages. ''He'' might've eaten her kids if he was hungry enough.
* CatScare: A rabbit is used instead. The ''cat'' is the monster. After all [[FridgeBrilliance the protagonists are a mouse and a bird...]]
* CatchPhrase: Scuse me, pardon me. seems to be Jeremy's favorite words
* ChekhovsGun: The amulet, [[spoiler:which grants Mrs. Brisby major telekinetic powers, enough to move a block many times her weight several feet.]]
* CobwebJungle: The Great Owl's lair. The Great Owl ''himself'', come to mention it. Hey, it [[RuleOfCool looks awesome]]!
* CoolOldLady: Auntie Shrew is a bossy old DramaQueen, but when necessary she is an absolute {{Badass}}, shutting down a tractor single-handedly.
* ColdOpen: The film starts with Nicodemus recording in his book about the death of Jonathan Brisby, and putting away a red medallion while talking to John in spirit. Obviously, this proves to be important later.
* CoversAlwaysLie / ContemptibleCover: The suggested solution for your long-awaited two-disc widescreen edition DVD is to print the BadAss poster art seen above and paste it over the official art.
** It gets worse. The movie is now being sold along with the sequel, and guess who's hogging the cover? Timmy Brisby, from the sequel.
* ConspicuouslyLightPatch: While the characters' fairly straightforward animation is understandable in contrast to the sumptuously painted backgrounds, when something in the background needs animating, it can be rather jarring. The mud sloshing around the Brisby's house as they're trying to move it is particularly obvious.
* CowardlyLion:
** Mrs. Brisby, despite the heroics and limits she goes to save her family, has a visibly meek and fearful disposition. This is a movie that never forgets that its heroine is a mouse.
** Doubling as a CowardlySidekick, Jeremy, even if most of his acts of bravery are [[UnwantedAssistance usually in vain]] due to being equally [[TheKlutz bumbling and dim-witted]]. That said, the guy ''directly attacks Dragon'' to protect Mrs. Brisby and [[CrowningMomentOfHeartWarming retrieves Timmy's medicine from the scuffle]] (''everyone'' is terrified of Dragon).
* [[StabTheScorpion Crush the Giant Spider]]
* CrystalBall: Essentially, Nicodemus' [[BuffySpeak whirling bronze portal-thing]], which allows him to scry on others from a great distance.
* DarkIsNotEvil: The Great Owl, who is neutral. Also, Nicodemus; not only is he scary and ugly (the "ugly" being mostly because of how [[UncannyValley disturbingly anthropomorphic he is]]), but also actually quite dark in himself (largely thanks to the fact that the colours in the movie are [[RealIsBrown quite dull and brown]], as was the style in fantastic films of the time).
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler:Near the end of the film, Nicodemus is killed by Jenner. This does not happen the novel, as Jenner had already left the rats and Nicodemus goes to Thorn Valley in the end.]]
* DeathEqualsRedemption: Sullivan, who after being [[spoiler:slashed across the throat by Jenner, uses his last breath to throw a knife in Jenner's back as he prepares to kill Justin]].
* DeusExMachina / ChekhovsGun: The ending. It can count as either. ChekhovsGun in that the stone ''was'' mentioned to have a power early, but DeusExMachina in that the power wasn't fully explained. In other words, it's a type 2 or 3 DeusExMachina.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: Jenner's plan is clever in theory: [[spoiler: destroy the Brisby House and kill Nicodemus]] so that the rats are stuck on the farm and he can become their ruler. The flaw in the plan is that he won't be able to rule them for very long because soon the rosebush will be destroyed and they'll all die. Not such a MagnificentBastard after all?
** It's not so much he didn't think of that problem, as much as he is so stubborn (and somewhat unhinged) in his efforts that he [[CassandraTruth refused to believe it]] when warned.
* DisguisedInDrag: PlayedWith. Jeremy while helping Mrs. Brisby reach the rosebush to find the rats decides [[CloudCuckooLander it'd be a great idea]] to disguise himself by sneaking around inside a pair of ladies' bloomers.
* DramaQueen: Auntie Shrew is a stereotypical gossipy dramatic put-upon old woman, yet is an epic {{Badass}} when called upon.
* TheDreaded:
** Dragon, the farm cat is truly monstrous and feared by all the woodland animals save for the rats who know how to pacify him.
** The Great Owl is this towards the woodland animals, for obvious reasons.
** The rats of NIMH who live in the rosebush are this to some of the woodland creatures, especially Auntie Shrew. The same Auntie Shrew who single-handedly faces down a tractor and ''wins'', later tells Mrs. Brisby to show courage in asking an owl for help, and captures and ties up a crow, [[OhCrap visibly panics]] at the sound of the rats arriving.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: The Rats colony below the rose bush.
* EveryGirlIsCuterWithHairDecs: Teresa Brisby and the large bow she sports on her head.
* EvilGloating: After [[spoiler: murdering Nicodemus]], Jenner cannot resist spilling the beans about it as soon as Justin figures it out and accuses him.
* EvilSoundsDeep: Jenner has a ''very'' impressive speaking voice.
* EyepatchOfPower: Dragon is blind in one eye and it doesn't make him any less effective as a menace.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: [[spoiler: Jenner slashing Sullivan across his ''throat'' with his ''sword'' is startling even to ''adults''.]]
* FauxAffablyEvil: Jenner is possessed of a singular charm and charisma that makes it easy to see how he manipulates others around him. However, almost all of his charm and courtesy towards others is solely to meet his ends, and when things start to turn against him [[VillainousBreakdown he devolves into a feral creature]], and there is no one he won't kill in cold blood to keep his plan in motion.
* FlatCharacter: Timothy in the first film; he has exactly one line of dialogue, and is little more than a bed-ridden plot device that gives Ms. Brisby a reason to go on her adventure.
* FourLinesAllWaiting: There are at least four ongoing plots tied together in the original film--Ms. Brisby trying to save her children from the farmer's plow, the Rats of NIMH trying to leave for Thorn Valley, Jenner trying to sabotage their moving plans by [[spoiler: murdering Nicodemus in a staged accident]], so in turn he can usurp leadership of the Rats of NIMH, and [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers Jeremy the Crow trying to find a love interest]]. And if you count the tiny subplot of the [[spoiler: farmer interacting with people from NIMH who are searching for the rats and plan to destroy them]], that's a grand total of five. Surprisingly, the sequel directly followed up on that last plot thread.
* FurryConfusion: The Rats angst over this quite a bit. Though, looking at the farm animals, all of them show intelligence and act somewhat like humans -- to a point. Only the insects play fully realistic parts.
** Jenner devolves into an animalistic rat during his fight with Justin for a brief moment.
* {{GASP}}: Brisby does this when she sees bones from the Great Owl's previous kills falling after she slips on some.
* GiantSpider: In the Great Owl's lair, before it's crushed to a to pulp.
* GiantWaistRibbon: Cynthia
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Subverted. Although two characters look evil and have glowing eyes, they do no harm to anyone.
* GoodIsNotNice: Mr. Ages and Auntie Shrew are both rude and haughty at the best of times, but are also amongst the most courageous characters next to Mrs. Brisby herself.
* GoryDiscretionShot: Both played straight and averted. While [[spoiler: Nicodemus's death]] occurs off-camera, we see the owl causally devour a still-living insect, Mrs. Brisby's cut (hey, it's a G-rated movie, any blood is gore), two characters stabbed, and some rather graphic depictions of animal experimentation, even if only for a few seconds.
** Technically, we do see [[spoiler: Nicodemus]] get hit pretty hard with a pulley and knocked off the rock, which may have [[spoiler: killed him]] before the block did.
* GrumpyOldMan: Mr. Ages is an abrasive misanthrope, but [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold his heart is very much in the right place.]] Auntie Shrew who is a [[GrumpyOldMan grumpy old woman]] herself, even refers to him as ''"that old flim-flam"''.
* HannibalLecture:
-->'''Jenner:''' Yes! I killed him. He wanted to destroy everything! I've learned this much: take what you can...when you can!
** ShutUpHannibal:
--->'''Justin:''' Then you've learned ''nothing''.
* HeelFaceTurn: See DeathEqualsRedemption above.
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Johnathan Brisby.
* HeroicFantasy: The movie is the book's plot redone as a Swords and Sorcery epic, and goes a long way to explain some of the odd depictions and CarnivoreConfusion:
** Mrs. Brisby as a peasant girl, beset by forces beyond her understanding;
** Mr. Ages as the grumpy local apothecary (and GadgeteerGenius);
** Auntie Shrew as the Town Crier and gossip (and very useful when danger comes calling);
** Jeremy as the helpful but bumbling village idiot (Any crow flock would certainly consider ''him'' an idiot!);
** The rats as a powerful [[HiddenElfVillage Hidden Elf Kingdom]], complete with court intrigue;
** Dragon as a troll/griffon/other fantasy monster, not too bright but cunning, the primary local hazard.
** Jenner as the ambitious nobleman, scheming to turn the situation to his advantage to kill Nicodemus and take his throne...
** Nicodemus as a powerful mage, a literal Wizard King, and secretly aligned with...
** ...the Great Owl as the ''real'' dragon, an ancient, cave-dwelling "Great Wyrm" that offers Mrs. Brisby salient advice at Nicodemus' behest...
** .. and so on.
* HumansAreCthulhu: Debatable, but humanity does seem pretty Cthulhuish in several respects here. In particular, the Rats of NIMH are understandably terrified of what humans would do if they found a society of transgenic sentients living in a rosebush in some farmer's front lawn. Makes more sense in the context of HeroicFantasy, above.
* IdenticalStranger: Despite being different species and knowing each other, Nicodemus and the Great Owl have the same glowing eyes, same big eyebrows and same-length moustaches. See picture above.
** WordOfGod: [[http://www.adammcdaniel.com/DonBluth/Don_Bluth_Interview3.htm Don Bluth mentioned]] that they were meant to be mirror images of one another; both "godlike" in their own realms and thus styled very similarly, which would explain the close alliance they had.
* [[IllGirl Ill Boy]]: Timmy.
* LargeHam:
** Mrs. Shrew seemed to think she was in a perpetual [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespearean]] play, TrrrillingRrrs and all.
** Jenner as well: "...and the WEIGHT of it will CRUSH his BONES!"
* LastBreathBullet: Knife, actually. It's how [[spoiler:Jenner meets his end]].
* LeaveHimToMe: Jenner pulls this, as he wants to [[spoiler:crush Nicodemus under a hoisting crane]]. Oddly, this is done as a murder plot and not (as it usually is) during a heated battle. He also says this word-for-word when Sullivan asks him what to do about Justin.
* LuddWasRight: The Rats of NIMH angst over their dependence on electricity, as they must steal it from the farm. The whole plan to move to Thorn Valley hinges on their becoming entirely self-sufficient. It's not that they don't ''like'' technology or advancement; stealing electricity from the humans just is dangerously conspicuous activity for hyperintelligent rodents on the run. That and they're starting to gain some human-like morality and deeper emotion, such as the feeling of ennui as they realize that a life living entirely off the back of another was robbing them of self-worth.
* MagicalAccessory: Mrs. Brisby wears The Stone as a pendant.
* {{Magitek}}: The rats' technology is human artifacts, mixed with Nicodemus' technomagery.
* MamaBear: Not as violent as standard examples, but any mouse (especially a semi-anthropomorphic one) who'll enter the dark spooky lair of one of her natural predators, in order to save her children, deserves a mention.
* ManipulativeBastard: Jenner.
* MeaningfulName: Farmer ''Fitzgibbon'', as in "son of an ape". Not helped by the fact that the prefix "fitz" was, in medieval times, widely used for the surnames of acknowledged illegitimate children - thus making it into "bastard son of an ape". Which is far more insulting, when you think about it.
* MinionWithAnFInEvil: Sullivan doesn't really do anything to further Jenner's plots. [[spoiler: He can't bear the thought of killing Nicodemus and refuses to swing his sword at the crucial moment, leaving Jenner to do the dirty deed. He even tries to stop Jenner from going over the edge and gets his throat cut for his troubles. He lives just long enough to redeem himself by stabbing Jenner InTheBack before he kills Justin.]]
* MrExposition: Nicodemus, but he actually does it well. Mr. Ages and Justin too.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: "Oh, that's just Brutus." Also Dragon. [[RunningGag Only a bastard son of an ape]] would give their pet ''that'' name.
* NeverLiveItDown:[[invoked]] Justin suggesting to Mrs. Brisby that she remove her cape. The action also highlights Mrs. Brisby as a HalfDressedCartoonAnimal.
* NeverSayDie: Averted, consistently, in that even the youngest characters confront death head on and discuss the possibility openly.
* NiceHat: Invoked by Jeremy ("Oh, what a lovely hat!") to Auntie Shrew when trying to sweet talk her.
* NoControlGroup: Averted; in the flashback, when Nicodemus escapes from his cage, the row below his are clearly marked "CONTROL GROUP" (though this was hard to make out in the [=VHS=] version). The book more clearly mentions them. In the film, they're using wild-caught specimens, which rather negates the control group in RealLife with lab animals that you can buy from breeders. (Yes, there are purebred lines of lab rats and mice.)
** Explained a bit better in the book, as domestic lab rats are reared in plain cages and thus don't get the mental stimulation that wild ones do. Using wild-caught rats for both the experimental and control groups gave the researchers' subjects an intellectual head start, even before being injected with brain enhancers.
* NotNowKiddo: Auntie Shrew won't listen to the youngest Brisby child when she tries to tell her that her brother is sick.
* ObviouslyEvil: Jenner wears an OminousOperaCape, with BigOlEyebrows that he's constantly arching, and has a [[BeardOfEvil long goatee]]. He may as well walk around wearing a sign around his neck saying "Evil Megalomaniac."
* OffModel: During Nicodemus' "We Know Too Much" speech to Ms. Brisby, at one part his eyebrows inexplicably disconnect from his head for a few frames! The same occurs with Jenner when he tells Sullivan, "Accidents could happen."
* OlderThanTheyLook: Nicodemus mentions to Mrs. Brisby that the genetic manipulation slowed their aging process, and that Johnathan would have continued to live on and still look young while she grew old.
* OminousOperaCape: Jenner, and he uses it for an impressive CapeSwish.
* PapaWolf: Jeremy ''tries'' to act as one, but ultimately his clumsiness intervenes -- as well as inadvertently falling under the wrath of a MamaBear in the process. That said he does act out a pretty valid showing of this for Mrs. Brisby, and to a lesser extent, Timmy.
* PlayingWithSyringes: The scenes set within NIMH.
* PluckyComicRelief: Jeremy, somewhat.
* PlummetPerspective: Used a few times.
* PosthumousCharacter: Jonathan Brisby.
* PowerGlows: Nicodemus is the king of Glowy Thingies of Power.
* ThePowerOfLove: Mrs. Brisby's greatest gift.
* PowerStrainBlackout: Mrs. Brisby, immediately following the film's climax, wherein she uses The Stone for the first and only time to move her home. She collapses as its power subsides, then passes out.
* PrecisionFStrike: "Damn..."
* PsychicPowers: Nicodemus has Telekinesis, and Mrs. Brisby pulls some tricks at the end.
* QuicksandSucks: [[spoiler:A house made from a cinder block is disposed of like this-after being dropped by crane onto Nicodemus. As a murder weapon. The residents are also still inside.]]
* RedFilterOfDoom:
** During Brisby's encounter with Brutus.
** Also much of the fight between Justin and Jenner is filmed/animated in reddish hues.
* RedStringOfFate: This may or may not be an intentional usage; when Mrs. Brisby first meets Jeremy, he is tangled in red string, which he is retrieving to build a "love nest" for his future "Mrs. Right".
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation: One of the (if not ''the'') real instigators of it; animated films hadn't been made as seriously as this for quite a while when it came out and it would still be a few good years before ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'' was made.
* SceneryPorn: A lot of it, especially in the rat colony.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: ''Hugely'' averted in this film. Just look at the size of the plow and Dragon to the rest of the rats and mice of NIMH.
** Played straighter however in that Dragon is a little ''too'' big for even a good-sized housecat, being closer in size to an almost medium-sized dog.
* {{Schizotech}} - crosses over with HammerSpace when Justin and Jenner pull out their '''swords'''. Considering that the rats adapt human technology based on their functioning understanding of it (well, at least in the novel), one might wonder where they managed to come up with the idea that full-on medieval swords in tiny miniature version would be a good idea. Especially considering the kinds of heat needed to shape metal when they live in a flammable environment (it's a rose bush). In any case, for some this might lean into FridgeLogic country, and for others it leans in the opposite direction, however you can't deny that the combination of electricity, elevators, lighting... and magic and swords is a little schizoid.
** Possibly the swords are justified, as the rats did need some means of defense against predators such as snakes or weasels. While they probably had the know-how to build firearms, those would be too noisy for creatures that live in hiding.
** It also goes right along with the idea of the whole thing being a HeroicFantasy; ''of course'' our medieval warriors would have swords, the rest of their technology being {{Magitek}}.
* ShipTease: Justin and Mrs. Brisby flirt a bit over the course of the movie, but both have more important things on their minds.
* ShoutOut: Ms. Brisby [[spoiler: raising her house with the medallion at the end]], at least how its visually presented, is very likely a homage to Yoda using the Force to raise Luke's X-Wing in ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack''.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler:Justin, who becomes the leader of the rats after Nicodemus' death. Justin supposedly died in the novel by getting poisoned by NIMH. [[UnexplainedRecovery He gets better]] in the book's sequel.]]
* StealthInsult
-->'''Jenner:''' The Thorn Valley Plan is the aspiration of ''idiots'' and ''dreamers''! We... ''(sees Justin and Mr. Ages and [[SmugSnake chuckles]])'' We were just talking about you...
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: In the movie, how the uplifted mice and rats manage to make their way out of the labyrinthine building their lab is in. The book describes their escape in detail; the movie limits it to a couple of brief scenes (albeit one that's pure, distilled NightmareFuel).
* TranslationConvention: In an interesting variation, Dragon's meows are rendered (except in a brief scene centered on the humans) as horrific, dragony roars to reflect that, as far as his prey is concerned, he lives up to his name.
** Possibly justified, as mouse ears are attuned to higher-pitched sounds than humans. A cat's yowls could quite plausibly be at the far low-frequency end of Mrs. Brisby's range of hearing, even though they'd sound high and plaintive to humans.
** In the scene when Mrs. Brisby is imprisoned in the cage, and Mrs. Fitzgibbon goes to let Dragon in the back door, we hear him make perfectly normal feline meows. Like the scene where she's hanging the laundry, this moment is shown from more of an omniscient viewpoint than Mrs. Brisby's first-person angle, suggesting we're not seeing things from a mouse POV anymore.
* TruthInTelevision: The research lab the rats and mice break out of is based off the real-life National Institutes of Health [[http://www.capitolmarkets.com/files/2012/09/Building10-640x458.jpg Building 10]], the largest hospital in the U.S., where all their clinical trials (and many animal labs) are located. The picture shows about a quarter of the building; it's as big as a ''city block'', and ''people'' get lost in there routinely. Try to imagine escaping from a building that size if you are a rat or mouse...
* UnwantedAssistance: Mrs. Brisby gets irritated by Jeremy's continued antics, which are more likely to bring the wrath of Dragon down on her head than aid her. Eventually, she tricks him into leaving her alone by claiming that she needs him to look after the children while she is gone.
* VerbalTic: Aunt Shrew sure loves to [[TrrrillingRrrs roll her R's]].
* VillainousBreakdown: Jenner spends most of his time in the film being a FauxAffablyEvil SmugSnake. When it looks like his plans have come to fruition near the end [[spoiler:once Nicodemus is dead]], Mrs. Brisby comes to warn the rats of their impending demise at the hands of NIMH. Jenner is so frustrated that he loses all semblance of civility and attacks her, trying to take the amulet and then engages in a feral swordfight with Justin, freely admitting his part in trying to stop the plan.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Jeremy gains a strong liking and responsibility to help Mrs. Brisby throughout her turmoils. [[TheThingThatWouldNotLeave Mrs. Brisby on the other hand is more along trying desperately to brush the clingy nuisance off her back]] (in a progressively less gentle manner). She does seem to like him when he isn't causing trouble for her, however.
-->'''Jeremy:''': "So....do ya like me?"
-->'''Mrs. Brisby:''': "Of course I like you. Bye now!"
* WalkingDisasterArea: Jeremy, oh so much.
* WizardBeard: Nicodemus.
* [[WritingAroundTrademarks Voice Acting Around Trademarks]]: Late in production, concerns arose that the name "Frisby" would land them in legal trouble with the makers of the Frisbee toy. Many of the voice actors returned to the studio for additional ADR work in order to replace every instance of the name "Frisby" in the film with "Brisby". Only Elizabeth Hartman and John Carradine--the actors for said character and the Great Owl--could not, so their lines were mechanically edited.
* WouldHitAGirl: Near the end, Jenner smacks Mrs. Brisby out of the way when she tries to warn the rats that NIMH is coming.
* YouDirtyRat: Averted for the most part. The rats even gain a sense of morality and even consider it wrong to steal from humans, the very species who locked them up and experimented on them. However, this trope is played frighteningly straight with Jenner.

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!! Tropes exclusive to ''The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue'':

* ActionGirl: Jenny, who is arguably more responsible in stopping [[spoiler: Evil!Martin]] 's plans than Timmy. She does get a few odd DistressedDamsel moments however.
* AdultsAreUseless: Every adult in Thorn Valley appears to have TookALevelInJerkass inbetween the end of the first movie and the beginning of this one; for starters, they keep telling Timmy not to be so selfish, when they're the ones piling on the pressure and constantly comparing him to his father. Then, when somebody comes to them for help, [[WhatTheHellHero they say no for no real reason and keep her prisoner]].
** They say no because they believe the mission could be a risk to Thorn Valley's location (especially since scientists from NIMH are apparently searching for their lost experimental animals at the beginning of the film). It doesn't quite befit their actions elsewhere in the movie however, since they entrust several other people (including [[CloudCuckooLander Jeremy]] of all people) with it's location without holding them captive.
* AesopAmnesia: Timmy, at least ''three times over''.
-->'''Timmy:''' I should have listened!
* ArtEvolution: Averted; The sequel employs none of the harsh, dark imagery or highly intricate and realistic backgrounds that lent the original film its strong edge, and instead the the animation is bright and colorful to supplant the much more kid-friendly tone of the sequel; this is made especially jarring after the opening prologue which consists of a montage of clips from the original film.
* AscendedExtra: Though Timmy was a large plot point of the original movie, the character itself had little of a role or spotlight. In the sequel he is in the starring role. This role promotion is identical to that of the book's sequels.
* AnthropomorphicShift: Especially jarring since they show clips from the original movie at the beginning.
* BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil: This may be the reason why Martin became evil. But the most shown of this is him being put through electroshock treatment.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: Martin.
* ChangingOfTheGuard
* ChekhovsSkill: Timmy's ability to use a slingshot.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Jeremy's "Miss Right" from the end of the first film is not seen or even mentioned in the sequel.
* DemotedToExtra: Mrs. Brisby appears for only a few minutes of the opening scenes and a split second appearance in the ending.
** In fact nearly every character with the exception of [[AscendedExtra Timmy]] has a noticeably smaller role in the sequel.
* DisneyAcidSequence: Evil Martin's VillainSong. ''Good lord''.
* DreadfulMusician: Not many of the people who have their own musical numbers in this movie can actually sing.
** Eric Idle and Creator/DomDeLuise as usual kind of skirt around this, but their tendency to do so deliberately for laughs (in addition to the overwhelming NarmCharm in Idle's number) more than makes up for it.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: Mrs Brisby. The rats worship her husband for helping them but seemed to forgot that she warned them to move to Thorn Valley to escape from NIMH in the first movie. She doesn't even get a statue. For that matter neither does Nicodemus, who they seem to almost worship now.
* DudeWheresMyReward: Mrs. Brisby doesn't get a statue, despite being the hero of the first movie.
** Jenny also was equally responsible for saving Thorn Valley than the prophesised Timmy as well. She escaped NIMH alone, she went on a dangerous journey to Thorn Valley alone, and she was willing to go back and defeat the villains ''alone.'' She braved ''much'' greater dangers than Timmy, and later is, in fact, directly responsible for stopping the bad guy!
* EvilBrit: When Martin becomes evil in the sequel, he inexplicably gains a British accent.
** And later he loses it when he [[spoiler: becomes good again, and he reverts back to his young age without explanation!]]
* EvilSorcerer: While his powers are all based around technology, [[spoiler:[[BrainwashedAndCrazy Martin]]]] of ''The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy To The Rescue'' certainly seems to enjoy the trappings of this trope. Complete with robe and staff.
* EvilIsHammy: Arguably [[HamAndCheese one of the better parts]] is Evil Martin's dramatically hammy performance in the later portion of the film performed by Eric Idle, who seems to have loads of fun delivering every last line. He doesn't just chew the scenary as Evil Martin, he gobbles it up whole, shats it back out, and then gobbles it up again, rinse and repeat twice more. ("You'll be happy. Oh, so happy, if '''you''' '''''just''''' ''''' SAY YYYYYYYYEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!'''''")
* FailureHero: Timmy is a complex example of this; Although everyone around him is insistent that he will rise to be a great hero like his father before him, Timmy's inability to think things through due to his own impatience and brash manner often only leads to him and his friends getting into danger, and ultimately captured by Evil!Martin at NIMH itself.
** Additionally, although he does thwart the invasion of Thorn Valley by Evil!Martin's minions, the manner in which this is accomplished comes off as rather anticlimactic; plus, it is not Timmy but Jenny who ultimately defeats Evil!Martin, and it is his friends who save the captives of NIMH as opposed to himself.
** Finally, although NIMH is destroyed in the confusion Timmy creates inside the facility, most will pick up on the fact that he never actually does anything to destroy NIMH directly, the fires that destroyed NIMH being set entirely ''by accident''.
** That said, one must wonder what Timmy did to deserve either the praise of Thorn Valley or even the bloody statue awarded to him at the end...
* FangsAreEvil: [[spoiler:Evil!Martin's]] teeth are pointed and fang-like to emphasize his role as a villain.
* HalfDressedCartoonAnimal: Everyone, even the previous exceptions from the previous film (eg. both Mrs Brisby and Aunt Shrew wear large gowns).
** The sequel makes a ''strange'' joke about the rats wearing underwear, but the characters are clearly still not wearing pants.
* HollywoodHealing: [[spoiler: Martin's]] wounds (and even insanity) are cured at the end.
* HumanoidFemaleAnimal: Jenny has noticeable breasts, despite also being a rare female variant of HalfDressedCartoonAnimal.
* IdiotBall: Timmy, who's constant arrogance and tendency to act before he thinks often puts himself and worse yet his friends in danger all throughout the movie.
** Martin to an extent, for having run away from home out of jealousy of Timmy even when NIMH was still about searching for the rats.
** Everybody in Thorn Valley, for having been so eager to fashion Timmy into a hero because of Nicodemus' warning of worse things yet to come from NIMH; ironically, their actions in reverence to this prophecy may have inadvertently put their home at even greater risk than it otherwise would've been; see SelfFulfillingProphecy below.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: [[spoiler: Evil!Martin]] with Jenny, intending on making himself a BrainwashedAndCrazy spouse.
* LaughablyEvil: [[spoiler: Evil!Martin]] is a sadistic maniac who desires to have the whole of Thorn Valley destroyed ForTheEvulz. On the other hand he is also a LargeHam of the highest order and offers some of the funniest dialogue in the movie. Being voiced by Eric Idle helps as well.
* LighterAndSofter[=/=]DenserAndWackier: Following the similar direction of the sequels to ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'', it converts the universe into a zany musical.
* LoveableRogue: Jeremy and Cecil, [[GetRichQuickScheme posing as the Great Owl and offering advice to animal civilians in exchange for "sparklies"]]. [[StrangelyEffectiveDisguise The scheme was actually pretty successful]] until Jeremy's mask fell off...
* OffModel: Most of the film has standard but relatively consistent animation throughout most of the movie, but then the animation gets kind of sloppy when it comes to [[spoiler: Evil!Martin]], with his facial structure (especially his nose, going from mouse-shaped to a more elongated rat-like shape in some expressions) changing a lot during his scenes.
** Although the film makes the poor decision to include some footage from the first film as an introduction; the reason this is a poor decision is both because the sequel has very little to do with the original, [[InNameOnly save the names of the characters]], but mainly because the first film was animated by Creator/DonBluth's studios. The sequel was not.
* RageAgainstTheMentor: Very mild version; Timmy just decides he's had enough of everyone's bullshit and helps Jenny escape via [[{{Balloonacy}} the Thorn Valley equivalent of a hot-air balloon]].
* RoleReprisal: Dom Deluise and Arthur Malet both reprise their roles as Jeremy the Crow and Mr Ages.
* SaveTheVillain: Well, the villain [[spoiler: ''is'' Timmy's brother, Martin]], so he had a good excuse to save him.
* SelectiveEnforcement: The rats are very protective of Thorn's Valley's secrecy, even borderline holding residents hostage to avoid risk, this is despite the fact characters such as Jeremy were shown freely entering and leaving it prior.
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: Had Timmy not been sent away to Thorn Valley, a large part of the film would never have happened. In fact, any of the Brisby children could have gone instead of Timmy and the film's plot would have been exactly the same. You can even go so far to say that if Timmy hadn't been prophesised to be a great hero, then [[spoiler:Martin wouldn't have run off to prove that he could have been the hero, getting himself kidnapped & becoming BrainwashedAndCrazy]].
* SissyVillain: Doctor Valentine. Might as well call him "the camp evil scientist that wears eye liner" (seriously).
** It also doesn't help much that on top of being nonexistent in the original film and having no speaking lines whatsoever, Jenny still builds him up to be an absolutely depraved villain hellbent on the capture and destruction of the rats, only for him to finally emerge at the climax as nothing more than Evil!Martin's mindless ''pet''. Literally.
* VillainSong: "If You Just Say Yes"
* VillainousCrush: Partially straight with Martin and Jenny. He wanted to make Jenny his queen by lobotomizing her, but Tim managed to stop him in time.
* WeCanRuleTogether: [[spoiler: Evil!Martin to Timmy, with the added bonus of some sort of implied lobotomy so Timmy will be just as evil and ''oh so happy'' as him.]]
* WellDoneSonGuy: "So, Timmy, your dad was practically a living god. We just can't stop praising him and, since some random prophecy said you were going to be the hero of this movie, we WILL make you be just like him. No complaints. Questions?"
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