The 1970s children’s book trilogy, The Rats Of NIMH, will be getting its own adult-orientated animated series at Fox with partnership from MGM’s Orion Television. The books, first written by Robert C. O’Brien, then by his daughter Jane Lesly Conly, tells the epic adventure of a field mouse named Mrs. Frisby and her determination to save her family. While scurrying underground, she meets a highly intelligent group of rats. During the journey, Mrs. Frisby learns that the rats escaped the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), thanks to her late husband Jonathan.
The first book, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, was adapted into an animated feature titled The Secrets of NIMH, and was produced and directed by Don Bluth in 1982. Elizabeth Hartman and Dom DeLuise provided the voices of Mrs. Brisby (Frisby) and Jeremy the Crow respectively. To avoid copyright infringement with the Frisbee company, the heroine mouse’s name was changed from Frisby to Brisby.
The series will be centralized on the books. Fox has attained a script and is now in the search for a writer. Neil Burger, Michael Berg and Anthony and Joseph Russo (the Russo) Brothers of who were attached to the now shelved live adaption film will be tied to the animated NIMH series. It will also be an event series, but no date has been appointed yet.
Fox is looking to expand their animation block by green lighting new developments while also keeping classics such The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Bob’s Burgers – in which that all have been renewed for an additional two seasons- in production.
Fox Network president Michael Thorn stated via Deadline that while Fox loves their family shows, they wanted to go beyond family and explore more dramatic fare in animation.
Did you read the book trilogy or see the animated movie? And what do you think of NIMH being adapted into a series? Let us know in the comments.