An American Tail is a 1986 American animated adventure film directed by Don Bluth, produced by Don Bluth, John Pomeroy, and Gary Oldman, and filmed by Universal Studios, Sullivan Bluth Studios and Amblin Entertainment. The film tells the story of Fievel Mouskewitz and his family as they immigrate from Russia to America for freedom. However, Fievel gets lost and must find a way to help his family. The film was released on November 21, 1986. This is the first American Tail film that is followed by An American Tail: Fievel Goes West.
In 1885 Shostka, Russia, the Mousekewitzes — a Russian-Jewish family of mice — decide to immigrate to the United States after an army of cruel cats that belong to the Cossacks (a reference to actual pogroms occurring in Russia at the time) destroy their village. During the trip overseas, the family's young son, Fievel, gets separated from the others and washes overboard in a storm after decided to see the fish during the terrible weather by throw his hat on the deck. They arrive sadly in America, believing they've lost their son.
Fievel, however, floats to America in a bottle, and after a pep talk from a French pigeon named Henri, 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, a street-smart Italian mouse, and they join up with Bridget, an Irish mouse trying to rouse her fellow mice to stand up to cats. When a gang of some called the Mott Street Maulers attacks a mouse marketplace, the immigrant mice learn that the tales of a no-cat country is not true.
Bridget takes Fievel and Tony to see Honest John, a drunk (but reliable) politician who knows all the voting mice in New York City. But as the Mousekewitzes have not yet registered to vote, he can't help Fievel find them. Meanwhile, his sister, Tanya, tells her gloomy parents she has a feeling that he is still alive, but they urged her that the feeling would soon go away.
Led by the rich and powerful Gussie Mausheimer, the mice hold a rally to decide what to do about the cats. Warren T. Rat is extorting them all for protection that he never provides. No one has any idea what to do about it, until Fievel whispers a plan to Gussie.
The mice take over an abandoned building on Chelsea Pier and begin constructing their plan. On the day of launch, Fievel gets lost and stumbles upon Warren T.'s lair. He discovers that he is actually a cat in disguise and the leader of the Maulers who later capture Fievel. A goofy, soft-hearted orange cat named Tiger takes a liking to a crying Fievel and sets him free.
Fievel races back to the pier with the cats in hot pursuit when Gussie orders the mice to release the secret weapon. A huge mechanical mouse, inspired by the bedtime tales Papa told to Fievel of the "Giant Mouse of Minsk", chases the cats down the pier and into the water. A tramp steamer bound for Hong Kong picks them up and carries them away.
During the battle, Fievel is once again separated from those he loves and falls into despair when a group of orphans tell him that he should have given up a long time ago and he believes them. Papa Mouskewitz overhears Bridget and Tony calling out to Fievel, but is sure that there may be another "Fievel" somewhere, until he sees Mama picking up his son's hat. They team up for a final effort to find him, and in the end, Papa's violin playing leads Fievel back into the arms of his family. The journey ends with Henri taking everyone to see his newly completed project — the Statue of Liberty, and the Mouskewitzes' new life in America begins.
Cast and CrewEdit
- Director by Don Bluth
- Producer by Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy
- Screenplay by Judy Freudberg andTony Geiss
- Story by David Kirschner, Judy Freudberg and Tony Geiss
- Music by James Horner
- Erica Yohn as Mama Mousekewitz
- Nehemiah Persoff asPapa Mousekewitz
- Amy Green as Tanya Mousekewitz
- Phillip Glasser asFievel Mousekewitz
- Christopher Plummer as Henri Pigeon
- John Finnegan as Warren T. Rat
- Will Ryan as Digit
- Hal Smith as Moe
- Pat Musick as Tony Toponi
- Cathianne Blore as Bridget
- Neil Ross as Honest John
- Madeline Kahn as Gussie Mausheimer
- Dom DeLuise as Tiger