An American Tail Movie Review Summary

Actors: Phillip Glasser, Nehemiah Persoff, Erica Yohn, Amy Green, Dom DeLuise, Christopher Plummer

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of An American Tail

A young immigrant mouse scours the new and strange world of New York City to find his family. Fievel Mousekewitz, is a wide-eyed child mouse who is separated from his parents when he is thrown from the ship's deck during a wild storm on the high seas. The ship's destination was Ellis Island. After being run out of Moscow by beastly cats, the family set sail for new home. Unfortunately, at this point, it seems to Fievel's family that their young son is dead and lost at sea, and they go on with their lives very sadly without him. It is only Tanya, Fievel's slightly older sister, who believes that Fievel is alive.
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Fievel soon meets Henri, a pigeon, who tells him to never say never, and to go and find his family. Fievel, upon seeing the sheer size of Manhattan is reluctant. But through a bit of song and dance, the Pigeon cheers up the wary little mouse. Henri's pigeon friend, Chantal flies Fievel to immigration. There he meets a rat named Warren T., who says he knows exactly where his parents are, but instead, Warren T. takes him to a sweatshop to work.   “Don't worry kid, you've got a job here. Just send me your salary, will ya?” Fievel bursts into tears but is quickly forced to work. There, he meets Tony Toponi, who follows him as he escapes in the night from the workhouse.

Tony takes Fievel to his neck of the woods, where Fievel meets Tony's crush, Bridgette, an Irish mouse, and Honest John, who tries to rally the poor mice to take up arms against the vicious cats that have been terrorizing them. Fievel stands up, explaining that there are no cats in America. His father told him so before they left Russia. Before he says another world a ferocious cat nearly eats Fievel. He runs and is saved by his friends. He is put to bed later that night by Bridgette and sings a song of hope. We see his sister singing too. They both know that the other is “Somewhere Out There.”

Later, the mice all go to a rally with both the uptown and downtown mice. They want to come up with a way to get the cats. Fievel whispers an idea to Gussie Mauseheimer, the richest mouse in New York.   Gussie loves it, and Fievel is lifted up to the crowd. Tanya is there in the crowd on her father's shoulders, but can't see because of a big hat. She thinks it's Fievel, but isn't sure. The crowd disperses. As they are running back to their holes, Fievel falls into a sewer and ends up in the lair of Warren T. He finds out that Warren T. is no rat, but a cat in disguise, who's been tricking mice for years, taking their money and on occasion leading them to the slaughter. After being caught, Fievel is looked after by a cat named Tiger, who is a vegetarian, loves Swiss cheese ice cream and The Brother's Karamatov, Fievel's favorite book. They become instant friends, and Tiger helps Fievel escape.

Honest John and his coalition of mice lay in wait to attack the cats with Fievel's great idea – a giant mouse machine that shoots off fireworks. The cats, however, arrive early, and Fievel goes to warn them. They eventually save the day, chasing the lying Warren T and his thug cats into the sea and onto a ship that set for China. But Fievel has not found his family yet.   Tiger, who's found the family, helps them look for him now that they know he's alive. Eventually, they hear each other in the wake of the attack, reunite. When Fievel's very happy father says he thought he would never see him again, he shares with him the lesson he learned, “Never say never, Papa.” The mice, Tiger, Bridgette, Tony, fly around the stature of Liberty with Henri and his pigeon friends, and live happily ever after.
Best part of story, including ending: This story may be a children's film, but it's more than that. It explains that the dream of America may not be perfect but it does allow ways for people to work together to work toward it. It also highlights love, family and friendship, which is never a bad thing.

Best scene in story: Fievel walks alone and hears his father playing his violin. He whispers, "Papa?" Then begins to shout for him. Then his father hears him and makes the rescue party stop and runs toward his voice. They reunite in a happy embrace. His mother and sister join them. Tony and Bridgette kiss. The snobby Gussie Mauseheimer hugs Tiger, the wannabe mouse cat's paw, and then Fievel fits a hat that was too big for him when his father gave it to him at the beginning of the film. He's grown up.

Opinion about the main character: If it were real life, I would not like that Fievel is a mouse, but since this is animated, I can over look it. Seriously, Fievel is an amazing written character. He stands up for what he believes in and though he often wants to give up looking for his family, he does not. This is a top-notch animated family classic not to be missed.

The review of this Movie prepared by Allison Marienne a Level 2 American Robin scholar

Script Analysis of An American Tail

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1600 to 1899 Animal or Object Story    -   Yes Kind of animal or object:    -   rodent family If a cartoon...    -   animated cartoon Animal talks?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Age:    -   a kid Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Russian


City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death If lots of song/dance...    -   lot of singing If this is a kid's movie...    -   Ages 5-10

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