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An American Tail- Fievel Goes West

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is a 1991 American animated comedy western film and sequel to the 1986 film "An American Tail."

It was released on November 22, 1991 by Universal Pictures. It was produced by Amblin Entertainment and Amblimation.

PlotEdit

A few years after immigrating to the United States in 1885, the Mousekewitz family discovers that conditions are not as ideal as they had hoped as they find themselves still struggling against the attacks of mouse-hungry cats.

Fievel spends his days thinking about the Wild West dog-sheriff Wylie Burp while his older sister, Tanya dreams about becoming a singer. Meanwhile, Tiger's girlfriend, Miss Kitty, leaves him to find a new life out west, remarking that perhaps she is looking for "a cat that's more like a dog."

Soon after, Cat R. Waul, an aristocrat cat forces the mice into the sewers, including the Mousekewitzes. Using a mouse marionette, Cat R. Waul entices the mice into moving yet again to a better life out west.

Tiger chases the train, trying to catch up with his friends, but is thrown off course by a pack of angry dogs. While on the train, Fievel wanders into the livestock car, where he overhears the cats revealing their plot to turn them into "mouse burgers."

After being discovered, Fievel is thrown from the train by Cat R.'s hench-spider, T.R. Chula, landing him in the middle of the desert. His family is devastated once again over his loss and arrive in Green River, Utah with heavy hearts.

Upon arrival at Green River, Chula blocks up the water tower, drying up the river. Cat R. approaches the mice and proposes to build a new saloon together, although intending to trick the mice into doing the bulk of the work and then eat them afterwards.

Meanwhile, Fievel is wandering aimlessly through the desert, as is Tiger (who has found his way out west as well) and they pass each other.

However, they each figure that the other is a mirage and continue on their separate ways. Tiger is captured by mouse Indians and hailed as a god. Fievel is picked up by a hawk, dropped over the mouse Indian village and reunites with Tiger.

Tiger chooses to stay in while Fievel catches a passing tumbleweed, which takes him to Green River. As soon as he makes his arrival, he quickly reunites with his family but is unable to convince them of Cat R.'s plans to kill them. However, Cat R. hears Tanya singing and is enchanted by her voice.

He sends Tanya to Miss Kitty, who is now a saloon-girl cat, and she reveals that she came at Cat R.'s request. He tells Miss Kitty to put her on stage. With a little encouragement from Miss Kitty, she pulls off a performance for the cats. Meanwhile, Fievel is chased by Chula and briefly taken prisoner, but flees.

While walking out of town, Fievel stops to talk with an elderly bloodhound sleeping outside the jail, discovering that he is actually Wylie Burp. Fievel convinces him to help and train Tiger as a lawman and as a dog.

Tiger is reluctant at first, but relents at the suggestion that a new persona might win back Miss Kitty. They go back to Green River to fight the cats, who attempt to kill the mice at sunset during the opening of Cat R.'s saloon using a giant mouse trap.

Tiger, Wylie and Fievel intervene and battle the cats.

When Chula threatens to kill Miss Kitty, however, Tiger rescues Miss Kitty and uses a pitchfork and Chula's web as a lasso with him trapped on it to hurtle Cat R. and his men out of town by having them piled on part of the trap which the heroes use as a catapult. The cats fly into the air and land into a mailbag which a passing train picks up and leaves.

Enamored by his new personality, Miss Kitty and Tiger are reunited with each other. Tanya becomes a famous singer and the water tower flows with 9,000 gallons of water again, making Green River bloom with thousands of flowers.

Fievel finds Wylie away from the party who hands him his sheriff badge. Fievel is unsure about taking the badge, but he realizes that his journey is not over.

Voice CastEdit

  • Phillip Glasser as Fievel Mousekewitz
  • Cathy Cavadini as Tanya Mousekewitz
  • Nehemiah Persoff as Papa Mousekewitz
  • Erica Yohn as Mama Mousekewitz
  • James Stewart as Wylie Burp
  • Dom DeLuise as Tiger
  • John Cleese as Cat R. Waul
  • Amy Irving as Miss Kitty
  • Jon Lovitz as T.R. Chula

ProductionEdit

"An American Tail: Fievel Goes West" was the first production for Spielberg's Amblimation animation studio (a collaboration of Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment) whose offices were located in London where over 250 crew members worked on the project (which began in May 1989).

At the time, Amblimation was also developing "We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story", "Balto", and a screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Cats" (which never saw completion).

Don Bluth (who had partnered with Steven Spielberg on both the original film and "The Land Before Time") was supposed to direct and have Sullivan Bluth Studios provide the animation, owing to creative differences, but they parted ways.

With no Bluth in sight for the sequel, Spielberg instead relied on Phil Nibbelink, a former Disney animator, and Simon Wells, the great-grandson of science-fiction author H. G. Wells, to direct the project; the result was that the film's animation style was distinctly different from that of its predecessor.

The Frankie Laine song "Rawhide" is played at the tumbleweed scene, although the version used is from The Blues Brothers.

In addition to a new voice actress, the character of Tanya was heavily redesigned as well. Instead of her red babushka headdress and blue and yellow dress, she wore a different colored dress, was given bangs and a ponytail and was a couple inches taller than Fievel.

Tiger also underwent minor changes (such as removing the "M" from his shirt), as did baby Yasha and Fievel

James Horner returned to write the score to the film, reusing old themes and introducing new ones.

John Lithgow & Martin Short were considered to play Cat R. Waul and T.R. Chula, but Jon Lovitz signed to play Chula & John Cleese turned down the role as Cogsworth in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" to play Cat R. Waul.

Box OfficeEdit

"An American Tail: Fievel Goes West" opened at #4 at the box office (behind films "The Addams Family," "Cape Fear" and "Beauty and the Beast"), grossing $3,435,625 during its opening weekend.

Domestically, it grossed $22,166,041 and $40,766,041 worldwide.

ReceptionEdit

"An American Tail: Fievel Goes West" has received mixed reviews from film critics.

On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an approval rating of 45% based on 11 reviews with an average rating of 5.4/10.

The staff of Halliwell's Film Guide gave it two stars out of four, calling it an: "Enjoyable and high-spirited animated film that borrows plot and attitudes from classic Westerns."

Roger Ebert gave it two-and-a-half stars out of four and wrote: "There is nothing really the matter with An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, except that it is not inspired with an extra spark of imagination in addition to its competent entertainment qualities."

In their review of the film, the New York Times wrote: "The film is really a bland, randomly connected series of adventures involving the Mouskewitz children, Tiger and Miss Kitty, a sultry barroom chanteuse. While the quality of the animation is above average, the film's visualization of the American West is surprisingly dull. The movie has little narrative drive or emotional resonance, and its final action sequences seem perfunctory and tacked on."

By Rita Kempley of the Washington Post called it "an animated squeak-quel full of fuzzy creatures and bouncy tune."