A young mouse named Fievel and his family decide to migrate to America, a "land without cats," at the turn of the 20th century. But somehow, Fievel ends up in the New World alone and must fend off not only the felines he never thought he'd have to deal with again but also the loneliness of being away from home.
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In truth, there is barely enough story here to make a film.
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By the time the dramatic fireworks start popping off, each one feels earned.
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The movie's neither hopeful in contrived ways, nor hopeless in different contrived ways. Somehow it manages to be wonderful
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An American Tail is cute. Not AS dark as other movies by Don Bluth, but it still carries his mark in the atmosphere. A family of mice emigrates from Russia to America where they have been told there are no cats and the streets are paved with cheese. A well made allegory to the migration towards The New World in the late 19th century. And the world of the mice is also frequently shown parallel to that of the humns. That's clever. Fievel is torn away from his family and tries hard to find them again and comes across many different characters in the streets of New York. Admittedly, I didn't find them very memorable, but they were good natured and served at least a purpose by helping Fievel on his journey. The best thing about it is how Fievel is tested by how much trouble and hardships he goes through. And it is heartwrenching seeing how close he comes to reunite with his family and still manages to avoid it. That makes us so much more eager to see him succeed and makes the reunion so much more delightful. An American Tail does not shy away from torturing its main characters emotionally, but it is still lighter in tone than the other movies with Don Bluth's signature bleakness in them.
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In 1986, Steven Spielberg released the first ever animated feature he had ever been apart of, An American Tail. Directed by animation legend Don Bluth, this film would beat out Disney's The Great Mouse Detective financially and would soon form Bluth as Disney's biggest competitor in the 1980s. So much so that Disney not only boosted up their game, but would soon create the Disney Renaissance and even beat Bluth out with classics like The Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast and The Lion King. But with that out of the way, how does this movie hold up?Right off the bat, this movie never pulls any punches when it needs to. The story centers around a Russian jewish mouse named Fievel Mouskewitz in the search for his family in New York City after getting washed ashore. While the movie does get really sad by constantly letting down poor Fievel whenever he thinks he's one step closer to seeing his folks again, it also has quite an optimistic feel to it. It's not hard to root for Fievel on his journey due to how determined he is to find his loved ones, especially with the help of others. The film lets Fievel down so much that when he finally reunites with his family at the end, it's an incredibly happy and heart melting moment that really makes all those hardships worth it.The characters besides Fievel are more of a mix, with some either being good supporters or being rather unnecessary. Obviously Fievel's family is the main goal of the film, but the kind spirited father, worrisome mother and sweet sister give the right amount of closure to make the audience want to see them back together with their little boy. The ones Fievel meets in America like Henri, Tony and Bridget do their best to help the poor guy out, but they tend to get caught up in their own situations. The most amusing characters are Honest John and Gussie Mausheimer due to their caricatured personas of rich folk in the 1880s and witty vocal deliveries from Neil Ross and Madeline Kahn. Of course there's Tiger voiced by Dom DeLuise, but he tended to be more annoying than funny and he could have done more in the film to make me remember him. In addition to James Horner's emotionally captivating music score, the songs are simply phenomenal. From the highly entertaining There Are No Cats in America, to the whimsically optimistic Never Say Never, to the comical and upbeat Duo, these songs really emphasize both the optimistic tone and the false belief that America is entirely free of criminals. However, the real stand out is Somewhere Out There; it perfectly captures the theme that even through the most difficult and dark times in life, it's important to look on the bright side because there's a good chance things will turn out for the better very soon. Not to mention, it's enough to even make an old man cry it's so emotional.The animation is the usual Don Bluth wonderment with the lovable character designs and animation, and some exceptionally well crafted colors and lighting depending on the scene (the dramatic ones stand out most). The backgrounds also have a very photographic aesthetic that really recreate the belief that the film takes place in New York during this time period. Rotoscoping was also used for the humans and some contraptions, and they do look quite lavish and smooth. The only complaint with the animation is that it's pretty obvious when some shots are reused, although that's more a fault of the small budget the film had. In terms of negatives, I think the film's story kinda went all over the place some of the time. I understand this is meant to be a series of escapades in one big city for a little mouse, but the side characters' goal to get rid of the cats doesn't even conclude at the very end and is kind of forgotten about by the time the third act begins in favor of wrapping up Fievel's arch. Also, I think the film would have been better without the inclusion of Warren T. Rat. While I get the intent to portray him as a conniving conman who lies even with his appearance, the dangers Fievel encounters in New York are villainous enough, and he could have easily been apart of the rest of the antagonistic felines. Nonetheless, I still think An American Tail holds up as an emotional albeit optimistic tale that helps prove Don Bluth's belief that children can handle just about anything as long as you give them a happy ending in return.
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Family Mousekewitz is a Russian-Jewish family who goes to America in search of a better life.But their son Fievel is separated from his family.Will he ever be reunited with his family? An American Tail (1986) is directed by Don Bluth.It's produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment.There are some great voice artists lending their voices to the characters.Phillip Glasser is the voice of Fievel.The veteran actor Nehemiah Persoff, who is 92 years old today, is the voice of Papa.Erica Yohn is Mama.Amy Green is Tanya.Recent Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer does the voice of Henri.John Finnegan is Warren T. Rat.Pat Musick is Tony Toponi.Madeline Kahn is heard as Gussie Mausheimer.Dom DeLuise can be heard as Tiger.This is something the whole family can enjoy.The adventure works, and dramatically it's a pretty great experience.Not to forget the music.Take "There Are No Cats in America" for instance.Very catchy.The film was a success and had a few sequels plus a TV series.
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When I was a child, my sister and I would love watching all sorts of animated films. One of these films was An American Tail. My interest in the film increased after watching All Dogs go to Heaven. I only remembered bits and pieces of it, so I finally got the opportunity to watch the film, and it was definitely worth seeing.Frustrated by all the cats in Russia, the Mousekewitz family to America, where there are supposedly no cats. During the voyage, Fieval Mousekewitz (Phillip Glasser) wanders off and is separated from the rest of the family. Fortunately, he lands in New York, where he is determined to find his parents. Fieval journeys through New York, meeting many friends, who include a French pigeon named Henri (Christopher Plummer), a young mouse named Tony Toponi (Pat Musick), and a large alcoholic mouse named Honest John (Neil Ross). He also discovers that there are cats in America, one of them being a scam artist named Warren T. Rat (John Finnegan).There are several satirical moments in the film, such as the depiction of cats in Italy as mobsters, the depiction of cats in Russia as Cossacks, etc. But the film, although enjoyable, has some minor flaws. The first and the most obvious flaw is that the film may get too depressing for children, and the other flaw is that the film is that the voices may get a bit annoying, but it never gets even remotely unbearable.Overall, An American Tail was an excellent animated film, and I highly recommend