Now don't get me wrong, story is not one of his strong points. And I'm by no means a fan of rotoscoping and using stats....BUT, Don Bluth was a major influence on myself and others while going to Sheridan college studying animation. His early films are great and have great animation, layouts fx and colour.
It's hard to put into words but his stuff was the last of the old Disney style of animation. Animation that seemed to be based on placement of drawings for timing rather than futzing around with a program to get it right. The drawings themselves were beautiful to look at.
If you've ever had the chance to hear Don Bluth speak you'd find yourself mesmorized. He has a great ability to inspire based on his passion for the art form.
I suppose that's why people keep giving him money to make films like Thumbelina. It's too bad things worked out the way they did. However, we will always have Secret of Nimh.