Saturday, September 21, 2013

An American Tail (1986)

Today's animated feature is An American Tail.  This movie came out when I was a baby, so I recognized all the songs but didn't remember much of the plot.  I was excited to show it to my daughter.  Later, after hearing one of the songs, she fell asleep.  This is a good thing.  Usually animated movies make her hyper and I am glad to find one that calms her down.  This gets extra points in my book.

I watched this for purely nostalgic reasons.  During this particular time, Don Bluth's animated films far surpassed those of the Walt Disney Studios, and for good reason.  But I'll talk about that much more next week.  This film is the first collaboration between Don Bluth and Steven Spielberg.

The story focuses on Fievel, a Jewish mouse from Russia, and his family.  Tired of being tormented by cats, they face a long journey to America.  This prompts the songs, "There are No Cats in America" which my husband randomly sings often.  Every mouse from different countries are all there to find the American dream.  And now as an adult, I'm wondering what "cats" are actually referring to.  Could it be lack of freedom or opportunities  a lack of jobs. The mice also says they now have freedom of speech, which means they can say "Cats!"  When I was little, I didn't even notice the actual humans in the film, but now I did.  The experiences of the mice coming to America mirror those of the humans.

On the way, Fievel is tossed off the boat, but manages to arrive unharmed in a bottle.  Once he reaches New York City, he tries to find his family.  While there, he makes new friends, including a cat!

I remembered this movie best because of its songs.  "Somewhere Out There" will always remain a favorite song from any movie.  This movie is darker than any cartoon made today, but my daughter greatly enjoyed it.  I will give it a 6/10.

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