Auntie Shrew is the former tertiary antagonist in The Secret of NIMH.
She is the babysitter for Mrs. Brisby's children, though she is Martin's former arch-enemy and does not seem to like him much because of his impudence, and self-appointed community leader for the animals in the garden. She also used to be jealous of Brisby to an extent. She was voiced by the late Hermoine Baddeley and Doris Roberts in the sequel.
Auntie Shew is a close-minded pish-posh busybody who takes it upon herself to ensure that all the wild animals on the farm are safe, even to the point of intrusiveness. While sardonic, dry-witted, satirical , and often sarcastic and ironical, she has good intentions, wanting only to ensure the safety of her friends and neighbors, especially the meek Mrs. Brisby. She seems to be hard of hearing or simply too wrapped up in her own melodramatic air that she needs to be repeatedly told things before acknowledging them, as with Mrs. Brisby's children having to repeatedly tell her that their mother is not home and that Timmy is sick. Despite all this, she has shown to be quite brave, competent, and even athletic to some degree when she managed to stop the plow from harming Mrs. Brisby and even rescues the latter in the process.
Role in Film
Auntie Shrew is the guardian/homewrecker of the Fitzgibbons Farm, and the former archenemy of Martin. They tell each other to hush up, and exchange insults, until the Shrew is so fed up with him, that she starts to storm off, until Mrs. Brisby comes to her family's defense. Enraged to find out that Brisby is spoiling Martin on purpose, the biddy warns the mouse of the farmer's upcoming mowing the next day. When the Shrew leaves, Brisby scolds her children for the argument, and then proceeds to feed Timmy his medicine.
The next day, the Shrew shouts at all the animals to evacuate the field in order to escape the coming plow. When it threatens to destroy Mrs. Brisby's home, she jumps into the plow to sabotage the fuel injector and buy them more time. She also suggests asking the Great Owl for advice.
Later, the Shrew ties Jeremy in his own strings and accuses him of "snooping about," making the crow realize her rude colors, until the children interrogate him about their mother's whereabouts.
That evening, the Shrew hears from the children about the Rats, whom she thinks are barbarians, until the house is lifted off the ground, and the Shrew is knocked out cold by the debris, Her fate remains unknown afterwards.
- Despite being called Auntie, she is clearly not related to the Brisby, as she is not the same species. Likely, the term, "Auntie," is a term of respect and endearment.
- She seems to be bigger than Brisby's kids (especially Teresa), but quite smaller than Mrs. Brisby.
- Auntie Shrew is voiced by Hermoine Baddeley.
- Auntie Shrew's overbearing behavior caused her to appear as the main antagonist, but she was not a true villain. The real antagonist is Jenner.