96 user 31 critic

An American Tail (1986)

While emigrating to the United States, a young Russian mouse gets separated from his family and must relocate them while trying to survive in a new country.


Don Bluth


Judy Freudberg (screenplay), Tony Geiss (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Erica Yohn Erica Yohn ... Mama Mousekewitz (voice)
Nehemiah Persoff ... Papa Mousekewitz (voice)
Amy Green Amy Green ... Tanya Mousekewitz (voice)
Phillip Glasser ... Fievel Mousekewitz (voice)
Christopher Plummer ... Henri (voice)
John Finnegan ... Warren T. Rat (voice)
Will Ryan ... Digit (voice)
Hal Smith ... Moe (voice)
Pat Musick Pat Musick ... Tony Toponi (voice)
Cathianne Blore Cathianne Blore ... Bridget (voice)
Neil Ross ... Honest John (voice)
Madeline Kahn ... Gussie Mausheimer (voice)
Dom DeLuise ... Tiger (voice)


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 <silvamd@cleo.bc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A holiday event from Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment. See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In designing the look of the film and its characters, Don Bluth worked with Amblin Entertainment and the Sears marketing department (Sears had a major marketing push on the main character). He decided to make a stylistic shift from the more angular "modern style" of animation of the time to a style similar to Disney animation from the 1940s, where the characters have a more soft and cuddly feel. This proved successful, and at release many critics praised the "old fashioned style" of the film's look and feel. This was during a period when the market for nostalgia was particularly strong among baby boomers, who at this time were seeking products for their young children, and only three years before the beginning of the Disney Renaissance for the studio Bluth once worked for. See more »


In the opening titles, Fievel's name is spelled "Feivel". "Feivel" is the correct spelling from Yiddish, but due to misspellings on posters, merchandise and the title of the sequel, "Fievel" has come to be accepted as the correct spelling for the character's name. See more »


[first lines]
Mama Mousekewitz: Tanya, Fievel! Will you stop that twirling, twirling! Uh, no. No more, that's it. Time for bed, come.
Papa Mousekewitz: But Mama, it's Hanukkah.
Mama Mousekewitz: For you, every night is Hanukkah. Papa? Enough already. They'll never get to sleep.
Papa Mousekewitz: All right, all right.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The first half of the end credits feature period engravings of what New York City looked like in the 1880s. See more »

Alternate Versions

The following changes to the 2006 DVD and Blu-Ray version have been changed from the original VHS release including.
  • The opening of the DVD features the updated 1997 Universal logo theme song by Jerry Goldsmith, following with the original 1963 Universal title.
  • The Russian cats chasing Fievel through the snow now has a train sound effect.
  • When Fievel gets caught in the storm on deck, the waves make moaning sounds.
  • The original Dialogue spoken by the mouse seller no longer says the line, "Apples anyone?"
  • When Fievel falls on the record player the woman now screams, "Oh my word! A mouse! instead of "Ahh it's a mouse!" followed by 2 townspeople who ask "What's going on?"
  • Jake and Tiger of the Mott Street Maulers are having a conversion right before the camera cuts into the scene with Fievel in a cage crying.
  • The voices of the 2 bully mouse orphans were re-dubbed by different voice actors.
  • The original music score in the end credits by James Horner has been cut off and jumps into the ending theme song "Somewhere Out There".
  • At the end of the credits, 2 company logos called Deluxe Digital Studios, and CP Marcovision Quality Productions appears right before the DVD ends.
See more »


A Duo
Music by James Horner and Barry Mann
Lyrics by Cynthia Weil
Performed by Dom DeLuise and Phillip Glasser
See more »

User Reviews

"In America, there are no cats."
26 January 2016 | by utgard14See all my reviews

One of the better animated films to come out in the 1980s. Directed by Don Bluth and produced by Steven Spielberg, it's the story of a young mouse named Fievel who is separated from his family during their voyage from Russia to America, and his quest to be reunited with them. It's a nice movie, a little familiar in places, that uses animals to tell a very human story against the backdrop of late 19th century New York. The animation is excellent, rich in detail with some well-done action sequences. The voice work is top notch and the music is enjoyable, particularly the touching song "Somewhere Out There," which became a big hit at the time. The movie's only real flaws are its predictability and a dark palette that can leave you with a gloomy feeling while watching. I was a kid when it was first released and I remember leaving the theater underwhelmed. It plays much better to an older audience, I think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

21 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An American Tail See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,234,446, 23 November 1986

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby | DTS-Stereo (re-release) (1997)| DTS (re-release) (1997)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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