An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)

american tail fievel goes west poster 1991 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Decent looking film with a good cast

So-so story feels small screen

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  An American Tail:  Fievel Goes West

Studio:  Amblin Entertainment

Genre(s):  Animated/Musical/Western/Family

Release Date(s):  November 22, 1991

MPAA Rating:  G

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An old Western showdown!!!

New York hasn’t lived up to the expectation of the Mousekewitzes and with growing promises the promise of change, the family sets its eyes toward the West. Cat R. Waul tricks the mice to join him in a venture in the desert town of Green River. When Fievel learns that Waul intends to kill the mice, Cat R. Waul has his agents strand Fievel in the desert. Fievel must reach Green River and convince his family and friends of Waul’s evil plans. While Tanya tries to achieve her goal of being a singer, Fievel finds himself teaming with Tiger (who is trying to impress his on-and-off again girlfriend Miss Kitty) and his idol Wylie Burp to stop Cat R. Waul and his men in a Wild West showdown.

Directed by Phil Nibbelink and Simon Wells and produced by Steven Spielberg, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is the big screen follow-up to the 1986 Don Bluth film (who allegedly left due to creative differences with Steven Spielberg). The movie made a lot less than the previous installment and was met with so-so reviews. The movie featured the voices of Phillip Glasser, Nehemiah Persoff, Dom Deluise, Amy Irving, John Cleese, and the final performance of Jimmy Stewart as Wylie Burp.

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Mouse tongue depressors…a cat’s dream

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West was a tough sell. The movie lost some of the Bluth style and storytelling with the change in directors, and in 1991 Westerns were only having a little revival with Young Guns in 1988 and Back to the Future Part III in 1990 (and mostly not aimed at children).

The Western format was pretty much dead in 1991. Kids weren’t playing “Cowboys and Indians” in 1991, and jokes like having a character named Miss Kitty (an obvious reference to Gunsmoke’s Miss Kitty), Casablanca lines, and a High Noon feel couldn’t connect to the audience the film was trying to reach. It has some decent writing for adults, but a plot scripted for children.

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I can look trashy and sing!!!

The animation in the film continues to be strong and the Wild West setting is a big contrast to the world created by Bluth in An American Tail. An American Tail was kind of dark and dingy and this is a bright, hot world. If the movie had revisted the new world of New York City, it would have felt more repetitive (which it fortunately didn’t…though Fievel does prove himself to be Macaulay Culkin of Home Alone by getting lost twice).

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West doesn’t have any wrong with it, but it just feels like an average animated film. Kids will probably enjoy it, but it won’t necessarily be something that they clamor to watch over and over again. An American Tail: Fievel Goes West was followed by a TV series Fievel’s American Tails in 1992 and the straight-to-video film An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island in 1988.

Related Links:

An American Tail (1986)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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