American Tail statue liberty island mouse fievel mouskowitz

An American Tail (1986)

The year is 1885.

An impoverished mouse family is accosted by the Cossacks and Catsacks which leaves their home burned to the ground. Somehow they travel 2,000 km from Shostka, Ukraine Russia to Hamburg, Germany to board a ship bound for America. We are almost treated to Fievel’s horrific death due to a complete disregard for his own life, but he miraculously survives and washes ashore on Liberty Island.

While looking for his family, Fievel escapes slavery, hunger, cats, and several musical numbers with limited accompaniment. He makes a couple political allies, but makes the critical failure of not knowing how to tell time and misses an important meeting. Instead, he thinks he can expose Warren T. Rat as a cat but gets captured.

ACT III

Fievel sings a duo with Tiger. The rest of the mice are preparing to oust the cats.

Why did Fievel lead the cats to the secret mouse pier hideout without fully knowing their plan?

If you’re still questioning Fievel’s decisions at this point, I don’t think you quite understand how cognitively incapable this mouse is.

Why do the mice believe there are no other cats in America?

If you use this as a baseline– the mice believe there are no other cats because they cannot see any other cats, then it’s easier to see that Fievel’s decision-making skills are not far off the norm (they’re still really poor, though).

Why can’t the cats swim?

Because it’s an easy explanation for why they are able to make their way to the rising anchor and not the nearby pier or shore.

How did Fievel wind up in Orphan Alley?

It’s a convenient visual.

Leave your questions about Fievel’s first adventure below.

~Phil

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