Review: An American Tail

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An American Tail opened on this date in 1986. The Amblin Entertainment animated film was directed by Don Bluth.


A young Russian mouse named Fievel, and his family, dream of a better life in America. During their trek to the United States, Fievel is separated from the group and believed to be dead. The young mouse tries to survive in the USA alone and locate his lost family. In his new country, he meets friends and encounters sinister enemies.


  • The music in An American Tail may be the most memorable aspect of this classic. Every song in An American Tail will stay with you long after the film ends.
  • The characters, especially Fievel, are appealing and likeable. Fievel is easily one of the most loveable cartoon characters to ever come out of an animated film. Everything from his voice to his design is perfectly crafted.
  • The animation is beautiful to look at and shows you how outstanding hand drawn art can be in movies.


  • There are some upsetting ethnic and racial stereotypes in An American Tail. The world was a lot different in the 1980s, but aspects of American Tail are hard to watch in 2017.
  • Like all animated films that were made before CGI took over the medium, An American Tail may be hard for kids today to accept. I find the animation beautiful to watch—but unfortunately it is quite dated.

In Closing:

An American Tail is a wonderful animated picture that delivers all the things you want in a family film. The music, characters and animation are all executed magnificently. It’s the rare kind of film that can truly appeal to all ages.

Rating: B+