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G MPAA rating
Rated G - General Audiences

This article is rated G, meaning it is appropriate for all ages.
Objectionable content includes: Contains infrequent mild scary scenes

An American Tail is a 1986 American animated musical comedy-drama adventure film directed by Don Bluth and produced by Sullivan Bluth Inc. and Amblin Entertainment. The New York Times. It tells the story of Fievel Mousekewitz and his family as they emigrate from the Imperial Russian territory of Ukraine to the United States for freedom. However, he gets lost and must find a way to reunite with them. It was released on November 21, 1986, to reviews that ranged from positive to mixed and was a box office hit, making it the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film at the time. Its success, along with that of The Land Before Time and Disney's Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Bluth's departure from their partnership, prompted Steven Spielberg to establish his own animation studio, Amblimation.

From the Creators of The Secret of NIMH.

Plot

In Shostka in 1885, the Mousekewitzes, a Russian-Jewish family of mice who live with a human family named Moskowitz, are having a celebration of Hanukkah where Papa gives his hat to his 5-year-old son, Fievel, and tells him about the United States, a country where there are no cats. The celebration is interrupted when a battery of Cossacks ride through the village square in an anti-Jewish arson attack and their cats likewise attack the village mice. Because of this, the Moskowitz home, along with that of the Mousekewitzes, is destroyed.

In Hamburg, the Mousekewitzes board a tramp steamer headed for New York City. All the mice aboard are ecstatic at the prospect of going to America as there are "no cats" there. During a thunderstorm on their journey, Fievel suddenly finds himself separated from his family and washed overboard. Thinking that he has died, they proceed to the city as planned, though they become depressed at his loss.

However, Fievel floats to New York City in a bottle and, after a pep talk from a French pigeon named Henri le Pigeon, embarks on a quest to find his family. He is waylaid by conman Warren T. Rat, who gains his trust and then sells him to a sweatshop. He escapes with Tony Toponi, a street-smart Italian mouse, and they join up with Bridget, an Irish mouse trying to rouse her fellow mice to fight the cats. When a gang of them called the Mott Street Maulers attacks a mouse marketplace, the immigrant mice learn that the tales of a cat-free country are not true.

Bridget takes Fievel and Tony to see Honest John, an alcoholic politician who knows the city's voting mice. However, he can't help Fievel search for his family, as they have not yet registered to vote. Meanwhile, his older sister, Tanya, tells her gloomy parents she has a feeling that he is still alive, but they insist that it will eventually go away.

Led by the rich and powerful Gussie Mausheimer, the mice hold a rally to decide what to do about the cats. Warren is extorting them all for protection that he never provides. No one knows what to do about it, until Fievel whispers a plan to Gussie. Although his family also attends, they stand well in the back of the audience and they are unable to recognize Fievel onstage with her.

The mice take over an abandoned museum on the Chelsea Piers and begin constructing their plan. On the day of launch, Fievel gets lost and stumbles upon the Maulers' lair. He discovers Warren there and that he is actually a small cat in disguise and the leader of the Maulers. They discover, capture and imprison Fievel, but his guard is a reluctant member of the gang, a goofy, soft-hearted long-haired orange tabby cat named Tiger, who befriends and frees him.

Fievel races back to the pier with the cats chasing after him. There the disguised Warren attempts to extort the mice again to surrender Fievel and their money in exchange for their safety, but when Tony removes Warren's disguise in front of the mice with the aid of a slingshot, they defiantly refuse. Warren then sets fire to the pier's entrance in an attempt to burn the mice alive, until Gussie finally orders the mice to release the secret weapon. A huge mechanical mouse, inspired by the bedtime tales Papa told Fievel of the "Giant Mouse of Minsk", chases Warren and his gang down the pier and into the water. A tramp steamer bound for Hong Kong picks them up on its anchor and carries them away. However, a pile of leaking kerosene cans has caused remnants of the fire Warren had started to ignite the entire pier, and the mice are forced to flee when the human fire department arrives to extinguish it.

During the fire, Fievel is once again separated from his family and ends up at an orphanage. Papa and Tanya overhear Bridget and Tony calling out to Fievel, but Papa is sure that there may be another "Fievel" somewhere, until Mama finds his hat.

Joined by Gussie, Tiger allows them to ride him in a final effort to find Fievel and they are ultimately successful. The journey ends with Henri taking everyone to see his newly completed project—the Statue of Liberty, which appears to smile and wink at Fievel and Tanya, and the Mouskewitzes' new life in the United States begins.

Cast

  • Phillip Glasser as Fievel Mousekewitz
  • Amy Green as Tanya Mousekewitz
  • John Finnegan as Warren T. Rat
  • Nehemiah Persoff as Papa Mousekewitz, the head of the Mousekewitz family who plays the violin and tells stories to his children.
  • Erica Yohn as Mama Mousekewitz, Fievel's mother. Countering Papa's dreamy idealism, she is a level-headed pragmatist, besides being stricter with their offspring than he is. She also has a fear of flying.
  • Pat Musick as Tony Toponi, a streetwise teenage mouse of Italian descent. His "tough guy" attitude suits his New York surroundings. The name "Toponi" is a play on "topo", the Italian word for "mouse". He hits it off with Fievel, acting as a surrogate big brother to the younger mouse, while falling in love with Bridget.
  • Dom DeLuise as Tiger, the most physically-imposing member of the Mott Street Maulers, whom he serves as an enforcer...and often as the brunt of their cruel jokes. Although he's hardly the brightest color on the rainbow, Tiger's heart is as big and soft as his sumo-esque belly. The warm nature of this hulking long-haired tabby endears him to mice and birds; it doesn't hurt that he's also a vegetarian (unless you count the occasional fish). He enjoys card games like poker and gin rummy, despite being terrible at them.
  • Christopher Plummer as Henri le Pigeon, a pigeon of French descent, who oversees construction of the Statue of Liberty.
  • Cathianne Blore as Bridget, an attractive Irish-born mouse whose parents were slain and devoured by the Mott Street Maulers. Kind, passionate yet soft-spoken, she acts as a surrogate big sister to Fievel...and also becomes Tony's girlfriend.
  • Neil Ross as Honest John, a local Irish-born mouse politician who knows every voting mouse in New York City. An ambulance-chasing drunkard, he takes advantage of voters' concerns to increase his political prestige. John is a caricature of the 19th-century Tammany Hall politicians.
  • Madeline Kahn as Gussie Mausheimer, a German-born mouse considered to be the richest in New York City, who rallies the mice into fighting back against the cats.
  • Will Ryan as Digit, Warren's British cockroach accountant who has a fondness for counting money, but is plagued by frequent electrical charges in his antennae whenever he gets nervous or excited.
  • Hal Smith as Moe, a fat rat who runs the local sweatshop. Fievel is sold to him by Warren.
  • Dan Kuenster as Jake, Warren's burly aide-de-camp. Among the Mott Street Maulers, he alone enjoys listening to his leader's violin music. Jake catches Fievel after a chase through the sewers. After Tiger takes pity on Fievel and sets him free, Jake and his fellow Maulers pursue the young mouse to the Chelsea Pier...only to face the "Giant Mouse of Minsk".

Trivia

  • Rated G (General Audience) with Contains infrequent mild scary scenes.
  • Suggested Running Times: 80 Minutes (NTSC), 77 Minutes (PAL).

Gallery

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