A canine angel, Charlie, sneaks back to earth from heaven but ends up befriending an orphan girl who can speak to animals. In the process, Charlie learns that friendship is the most heavenly gift of all.
Fievel is a young Russian mouse separated from his parents on the way to America, a land they think is without cats. When he arrives alone in the New World, he keeps up hope, searching for his family, making new friends, and running and dodging the cats he thought he'd be rid off.Written by
Michael Silva <email@example.com>
During production, director Don Bluth staged a demonstration of the difference between limited TV animation and the full animation used in the film. He had his staff stack up animation cels by his feet into two piles, one representing two minutes of limited animation, the other two minutes of full animation. The TV pile reached only to Bluth's shoelaces; the film pile went all the way up to eye level. See more »
When Tony pulls Bridget from the wreckage at the market, she has a white petticoat under her dress. When she lifts her skirt up while searching for Fievel during the fire, only the underside of her outer dress is seen. See more »
The first half of the end credits feature period engravings of what New York City looked like in the 1880s. See more »
In addition to the altered voices, added dialogue, and extra sound effects, the 5.1 remix on the DVD and Blu-ray also has the end credits music edited differently. The transition from the score to the song "Somewhere Out There" is less seamless and comes later in the credits, and the violin solo near the end is completely removed. See more »
I was introduced to An American Tail after perpetually reading the 'book' of the second film, Feivel Goes West. I can't say which one I enjoyed more although at the time, I think I was seven, but this one I understood a lot better.
The sweet-hearted tale of a family of Russian mouse emigrants who travel to America, the 'land of opportunity' but on their way lose their son, really manages to perk up your day. It has all the classic elements of a family flick: great characters, wonderful score and songs, and of course a happy ending (You can't say you didn't expect that).
In some ways it's meant to be almost a satire, a parallel story of many Russian immigrant families who flee to America from the Cossacks: there is actually a scene in the beginning involving the ransacking of a Russian village by Cossacks, aided of course, as most history books conveniently omit, by their vicious slavering cats who destroy the mouse population. This satire is slightly lost once they reach America, but the simple plot of the mouse boy trying to find his family again works very well. It's quite frustrating at times as we see how close they all come to running into each other; a split second here and a well-timed door slamming there, and it could have been all over in thirty minutes of screen time. But where would be the movie in that?
Lastly, the voice cast does a great job. While I personally think the sequel had a better cast, An American Tail boasts some fine names as well - Dom DeLuise and Nehemiah Persoff who also did the sequel, Christopher Plummer, and Madeline Kahn all combine for a great effect. It's not necessary to see this to also see the sequel but it definitely deserves to be watched. Touching, light-hearted and with one of the most beautiful theme songs you will ever hear, it's a winner. ***1/2 / *****
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