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The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue is a 1998 direct-to-video animated film produced by MGM Animation and the sequel to the 1982 animated film The Secret of NIMH. In the film, Timothy Brisby, the youngest son of late Jonathan and widow Mrs. Brisby, goes to Thorn Valley wanting to become a hero like his father. Martin becomes corrupted and evil (although not by choice) when becoming a victim of his brainwashing by NIMH, and Timothy must confront him in order to save the Rats. At Thorn Valley, Timothy learns from a lovely young girl mouse that the mice who were presumed to have been killed during the escape from NIMH are still alive, so he and the rats mount a rescue operation.

The film, although a sequel, was created without Don Bluth's support or input. The film is unrelated to Racso and the Rats of NIMH, the sequel to the book on which the original film was based. It was also the most disliked Bluthless sequel compared to any other sequels based on Don Bluth movies.


The film begins with a prophecy, telling how one of Jonathan's and Mrs. Brisby's sons would save Thorn Valley from the "secret of NIMH". Timothy is chosen to go but his older brother Martin believes he should have been the one chosen. Martin decides to prove his quality, and goes off to find his own adventure. One day, years later, Timmy comes across a very beautiful female field mouse named Jenny McBride, whose parents were two of the lost six mice who tried to escape NIMH but were thought to have died. The Thorn Valley council decides it would be too dangerous to save the nine mice, so Jenny and Timmy go alone. They take a hot air balloon, but it is attacked by a hawk and crashes in the forest. Seeking help, they visit the Great Owl. They learn that a caterpillar named Cecil has teamed up with Jeremy, the crow from the first film, to trick the forest animals into paying them money. Jeremy and Cecil take the two mice to NIMH where they find two of the rats from Thorn Valley, Justin and Brutus. They also learn that Dr. Joseph Valentine, the head scientist, has made Martin insane. After being made insane, Martin took over the lab and brainwashed Dr. Valentine with a device similar to the one Valentine used on him and made him think he was a dog. Martin plans to use an army of lab rats riding a flock of ravens to take over Thorn Valley. He has even turned two cats crazy, which catch the others.

He asks Timmy to join him, but he refuses and is locked in a cage as Martin drags Jenny away to make her his queen. Timmy escapes with the help of Cecil and they go to free Jenny. Together, they knock out Martin and Timmy tricks Martin's army of ravens and rats to fly in the wrong direction. Timmy and Jenny then leave to find the others, only to find that NIMH is on fire. The survivors (Timmy, Jenny, and her parents) flee. In another part of NIMH firefighter get inside the lab freeing the scientists, barking like dogs. (which confused the Firefighter who freed them) Timmy goes back to save Martin. Before he leaves, Jenny tells him she loves him and he tells her the same. After being attacked by the crazy cats once again, Timmy sends them down an elevator shaft and finally finds Martin. Then the lab is destroyed by flames.

Timmy and Martin are able to escape through the lab's skylight, with some help from Jeremy. Jeremy takes the survivors to safety. The mice return to Thorn Valley, Martin returns to normal and Timmy is now a hero. How Martin turned normal is left out of the film, but the device that turned Martin crazy could have been temporary and since Martin was shown doing it on himself several times this could be the reason. A likeness of Timmy is added to the statue of Jonathan as the people of Thorn Valley cheer. Then the film ends



Differences from the novel 

  • The original book is called Racso and the Rats of NIMH.
  • In the original book, Timmy takes a walk in the forest and meets Racso who is never seen in the film.
  • Timmy gets injured by the owl and Racso takes him to Thorn Valley to get treated.
  • Timmy and his group plot to sabotage the dam the humans are building which was taken out of the film.
  • Jenny is never mentioned in the book but added in the film.
  • Cecil the Caterpillar is added to the film.
  • Timmy has a nightmare about his family living at the restaurant after the dam is built.
  • Nicodemus is still alive in the novel.
  • Jenner is alive up until he electrocuted himself to death.
  • Martin was never kidnapped and brainwashed by the scientist which only happened in the film.
  • NIMH was never on fire which only happened in the film.
  • The army of Rats never attempted to invade Thorn Valley which happened only in the film.
  • Timmy never visited NIMH nor did he rescue Martin.
  • Timmy never had a homecoming parade celebration.
  • Muriel and Floyd are added in the film.


  • This is the final fully animated NIMH movie.
  • Don Bluth has said that he would've made Martin Brisby the hero and Timothy Brisby the villain if he had directed the sequel.
  • Originally, Timmy to the Rescue was to be the second installment of a Secret of NIMH trilogy. The third film would have taken elements from the third book R-T, Margaret, and the Rats of NIMH in which Timmy and friends help two human children named Margaret and Artie. However, plans for the third film were canceled due to Timmy to the Rescue's negative reception and MGM Animation closing their studio when its founders Paul Sabella and Jonathan Dern left to make SD Entertainment.
  • Don Bluth and his animators were originally chosen to be involved with the sequel as early as 1995. However, due to scheduling conflicts with Anastasia (1997), MGM opted to have its in-house animation crew take care of the project.[1]


The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue was poorly received. It currently has a 23% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is currently the lowest audience score of any Don Bluth sequel listed on the site. Internet-based critic Nostalgia Critic panned the film, criticizing the animation and the writing as well as the decision to promote the previously minor character Timothy Brisby to protagonist status at Mrs. Brisby's expense. Also, Don Bluth has expressed his disapproval of the movie, and YouTuber, Vampire Hunter TK, calls it "What Bad Fanfiction Thinks The Secret of NIMH is."