HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Brother Bear
Raiders of Buddhist Kung Fu
County Lines
Polytechnique
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Covert Action
Strangler's Web
Host
Nimic
House of Bamboo
Murder Me, Monster
Hell and High Water
Possessor
Flint
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
Agency
Blue My Mind
Thumbelina
Proxima
Aprile
Assassination Nation
Golden Key, The
Image Book, The
On Body and Soul
Unhinged
Eyewitness
Girlfriends
   
 
Newest Articles
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
   
 
  American Tail, An Eek A Mouse
Year: 1986
Director: Don Bluth
Stars: Erica Yohn, Nehemiah Persoff, Amy Green, Phillip Glasser, Christopher Plummer, John Finnegan, Will Ryan, Hal Smith, Pat Musick, Cathianne Blore, Neil Ross, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise
Genre: Musical, Animated, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: In the Russia of 1886, the mouse family of the Mousekewitzes lived happily in a village - as long as there were no cats around, for even mention of the C word was banned among the rodent population. Little Fievel (voiced by Phillip Glasser) liked to hear the stories of his Papa (Nehemiah Persoff), especially when he started to rhapsodise about America where the family hoped to go one day; it was the land where no cats lived, according to the old man. But come winter and the pogroms occurred, bringing disaster to the mice and forcing them out of their homes...

An American Tail was an attempt by Steven Spielberg to beat the Disney cartoon industry at their own game, not that difficult in the Western animation climate of the eighties you might have thought. And more so in that the man in charge was Don Bluth, an ex-Disney animator himself and setting out in this decade to bring back a high degree of quality to cartoons that he felt had been missing, particularly in light of the amount of cheap excuses to sell children toys which were plaguing the television stations as programming for younger viewers. All very noble intentions, but how did this effort play?

The answer was sluggishly, as while the affection that was lavished upon the characters and the handpainted backgrounds was evident, this was far too worthy and lacking a plot that dealt in anything but hackneyed aspects to really come alive and dance as it was supposed to. It didn't help that Fievel was a somewhat annoying little tyke who starts off his own adventure through nobody's fault but his own when he insists on heading off by himself during a storm on the immigrants' ship which separates him from his family - parents, sister and incredible disappearing baby - and prompts him to spend the rest of the film trying to be reunited with them.

Fievel was intended to be a cutesy creation with his too-big clothes and hat and ready grin, but only goes to show how such obviousness can be resistable if layered on too thickly as it is here. A pro-immigration story was at least brave in the Reagan era, especially as it bolstered its championing of the aliens as utterly patriotic, but that's another reason why it didn't really play outside of its homeland and below the ages when its messages would be lost on the youngsters plonked down in front of it to keep them quiet for a while. For a potential poster boy, Fievel veered too close to the pathetic to be someone to look up to for the disadvantaged, and besides, he'd already mastered the American accent well before his arrival there.

Notably when Bluth insisted on having him sing the hit song Somewhere Out There, best known from its Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram version, but here murdered by the tone deaf stylings of the junior cast members in a dreadful scene of misjudgement. As for the adventure, it was uninspired stuff once it was acknowledged that there were indeed cats in the States, with the little mouse running away from them and making friends who wish to assist him as he bumbled through the streets of New York City. The whole "God bless America" part was slopped on with a trowel, so much so that it seemed to be an advertisement for the immigration board even if it admitted life was not plain sailing for those forced to up sticks and move country, but more than that this wanted to be a sincere tribute to many of the filmmakers' European Jewish roots, which was fine, but made this too close in tone to some dry historical lesson, even with songs and Dom DeLuise as a friendly kitty. The sequel wasn't bad, though. Music by James Horner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4167 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Don Bluth  (1937 - )

American animator who started his career with Disney working on features such as Robin Hood, The Rescuers and Pete's Dragon. However, Bluth and a number of his fellow animators were unhappy with the declining standards at the studio and walked out to create their own cartoons, starting with The Secret of NIMH. What followed were increasingly mediocre efforts, from An American Tail and The Land Before Time to All Dogs Go To Heaven and Rock-A-Doodle.

Bluth is also famous for Dragon's Lair, one of the of the first Laser Disc games and a marvellous cartoon in its own right. He followed that up with Space Ace... both brilliantly animated, even if the gameplay was excruciatingly frustrating! Netflix have reportedly commissioned a Dirk the Daring film!

By the nineties, Bluth just wasn't competing with Disney anymore, despite his talents, and films like Thumbelina and The Pebble and the Penguin were being largely ignored. Anastasia was a minor success, but Titan A.E., touted as a summer blockbuster, was a major flop and Bluth has not directed anything since.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: