An American Tail movie poster

An American Tail is a 1986 American animated comedy-drama film directed by Don Bluth. The film was produced by Amblin Entertainment and Sullivan Bluth Studios and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film was released on November 21, 1986.


The Mousekewitzes, a family of mice living with a human family called the Moskowitz in Shostka, Russia, hold a celebration in which Papa Mousekewitz gives his hat to his son Fievel. Papa Mousekewitz tells his family of America, which supposedly has no cats. However, the celebration is interrupted when the Cossacks attack the village, and the Cossack cats likewise attack the mouse village.

The Mousekewitzes board a tramp steamer headed to the United States, hoping to finally be free of the cats. However, during a storm, Fievel is washed overboard the ship and presumed dead by his family, who nevertheless proceed to New York City.

Fievel floats to America, where he meets a pigeon named Henri, who encourages him to reunite with his family. On his quest, Fievel meets a conman named Warren T. Rat and his accountant Digit. Warren T. sells Fievel to a sweatshop run by a rat named Moe. While at the sweatehop, Fievel befriends an older mouse named Tony Toponi, who helps him escape. The two arrive at a mouse marketplace, where Fievel's family have also taken residence in. There, Tony falls in love with a mouse named Bridget, who attempts to inspire the other mice to stand up to the cats terrorizing them. Shortly afterwards, a gang of cats called the Mott Street Maulers attack the marketplace, causing Fievel and his family to realize that the tales of a cat-free county are false.

Bridget takes Fievel and Tony to see Honest John, a politician who knows all the voting mice in New York City. However, as the Mousekewitzes have not yet registered to vote, Honest John is unable to help Fievel locate them. Meanwhile, Fievel's sister Tanya tells her parents that Fievel may have survived, but they refuse to believe her.

Led by Gussie Mausheimer, the mice hold a rally to decide what to do about the cats as well as to discuss Warren T., who has been extorting the mice for protection against the cats that he doesn't provide. Fievel, inspired by his fathers tales, formulates a plan with Gussie. The mice take over an abandoned building in the Chelsea Pier and begin construction of their plan. On the day of launch, however, Fievel is separated from the other mice and stumbles into Warren T.'s lair, where he discovers that he is really a cat and the leader of the Mott Street Maulers. The cats imprison Fievel, but he befriends his guard, a cat named Tiger, who frees Fievel and allows him to escape.

Fievel returns to the pier, pursued by the cats, disrupting the plan as the cats had arrived earlier than expected. Tony exposes Warren T. as a cat, and the Maulers retaliate by setting the museum aflame. However, Gussie orders the mice to release their weapon, a giant mechanical mouse inspired by Papa Mousekewitz's stories of the Giant Mouse of Minsk. The cats are chased down the pier and they dive into the water below, where they are picked up by a tramp steamer headed for Hong Kong. However, the mice are forced to flee as human firemen arrive to put out the fire. In the process, Fievel is once more separated from the other mice and runs afoul of a group of orphans, who tell him that he should've given up on looking for his family years ago. Falling into despair, Fievel loses hope of ever reuniting with his family.

The Mousekewitzes overhear Tony and Bridget calling out for Fievel, and Mama Mousekewitz finds her sons hat. Tiger helps the family to try and locate Fievel, and Papa playing the violin leads Fievel back into his family, and they reunite. Some time later, Henri shows the family his newly completed project, the Statue of Liberty, and Fievel and Tanya fly off with Henri.