An American Tail (1986) by Starry Traveler’s Road – Ultimate 80s Blogathon

We’re nearing the end of week 2 of Ultimate 80s.  Please welcome the next contribution by Phoebe from Starry Traveler’s Road.  She doesn’t normally do movie reviews and she’s not exactly a movie fanatic by a long shot but she is one of my longest childhood friends.  I was her bridesmaids for her wedding and well..we have our stories. I totally appreciate her joining us in this awesome fun. Her blog is rather new and dabbles in areas like gardening and tidbit and tips on a variety of baby topics and she also likes to talk about cooking.  She’s also my designated foodie buddy (along with her family).

Give her some love and support.  Maybe we will turn her into a movie fanatic one day.  Let’s pass it over to her for her choice, An American Tail! 🙂


Hello everyone! First of all, big thank yous to Tranquil Dreams and Drew for hosting the Ultimate 80s Blogathon! This is pretty much one of my first “official” movie reviews, so please bear with me!

The movie that I have chosen is An American Tail as the animation holds a lot of sentimental value. According to my mother, its theme song “Somewhere Out There” was the very first song that she taught me and sang as a toddler. Now that I am a new mom, I do sing it time to time to my baby daughter (under 1 year old) in hopes it will become our first song as well!

I have not seen the movie since my toddlerhood; so, I watched it again while my daughter and I had lunch the other day for the purpose of this review and to see her reaction.

An American Tail (1986)

an american tail

Director: Don Bluth

Cast: Cathianne Blore, Dom DeLuise, John Finnegan, Phillip Glasser, Amy Green, Madeline Kahn, Pat Musick, Nehemiah Persoff, Christopher Plummer, Neil Ross, Will Ryan, Hal Smith, Erica Yohn

While emigrating to the United States, a young Russian mouse gets separated from his family and must relocate them while trying to survive in a new country. – IMDB

I am not terribly good with summaries. Anyway, Fievel, the main character, had to immigrate to the Americas with his family after an arson attack by the Cossacks and attack by their cats. During the boat trip, he got separated from his parents; yet, he still managed to reach the Americas through a bottle. From there, he meets various characters as he sets out to look for his family.

If you want to know my baby daughter’s reaction, there was a lot of squirming in her high chair and my arms during the movie. I was not surprised given it was 80 minutes long. Not terribly sure if she enjoyed it except she seemed to like some songs as she waves her hands in excitement (the only parts that I felt she paid attention to as she loves music!). So, I do not think this is a movie for anyone under 1!

Now that I am older and an history buff, I realized the toddler in me may not have possibly understood all the depressing historical details in addition to being a young child separated from his/her parents in a foreign country. One thing that I would totally agree with my daughter is how much I liked the songs to the point that I managed to sing along to Never Say Never and A Duo, songs that I have not heard in years. Anyway, I do like the storyline and animation, especially how the characters were drawn. I personally like this style of animation, it is so much better than 3D! Even if my daughter may not understand it, I took the opportunity to teach her not to wander off on her own or she will end up like Fievel and we will not know where to look for her! One thing that I truly appreciate was Fievel’s sister’s beliefs that her brother is still alive and his parents should continue to look for him. Her sense of hope is touching as I realized that I would have given up like their parents did.

Overall, I still think it is a decent movie even if it got 6.3/10 from Rotten Tomatoes. There are indeed things that I found strange like a disappearance of a character from the storyboard (probably due to cuts) and things here and there. If you ask me what scene that I remember the most other than the Somewhere Out There song segment before I re-watched the movie, it would have been burning of the houses and people escaping at the beginning of the movie.  So, I do think that parents/adults should watch with “older” kids (maybe 4 years and above) to provide some guidance on some darker historical stuff (e.g. prosecution, child labor, etc) just in case.

There is actually a sequel if you liked this movie. It is called An Americal Tail: Fievel Goes West. That is it for my review. Hope you have enjoyed it! 🙂