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Headscratchers: An American Tail
  • How do the Native Americans that appear in Fievel Goes West have all that food in the middle of a desert?
    • On a somewhat related note, in The Treasure of Manhattan Island...how in the heck are the Native Americans growing crops in an underground cave where there's no sunlight? Where do they get the huge fruits and vegetables we see them feeding Tiger?
      • As to the first question, there are numerous animals and vegetation that are capable of surviving in the desert, and there are trade routes between those who live out in the desert and those who live closer to oases.
  • How did NONE of the mice realize they were building an enormous, fully functional, and completely undisguised mouse trap?
    • Maybe they all just never pay attention?
    • Same reason Cat R. Waul has no trouble tricking them again in quite a few episodes of Fievel's American Tails.
  • Where did they get the idea that there were no cats in America in the first place?
    • Same way the human immigrants got their unfortunately false misconceptions about America.
      • Yup. "The streets are paved with cheese" was a reference to an actual belief, that America was so ridiculously rich that they paved the streets with gold.
  • Watching this movie as a kid, it really bugged me when, every five minutes, Fievel and his family would be moments away from reuniting without realizing it. It's a real Mind Screw for a seven year old child.
  • When the cats capture Fievel in the first film, why do they put him in a cage instead of just killing him?
    • Maybe they were planning on sending him back to the sweat shop.
    • Offscreen Villainy. We never see a mouse actually get eaten by a cat in the entire series, it's only implied that it happens (though Fievel gets almost eaten).
    • Warren could have been planning to use Fievel as some kind of bargaining chip, perhaps.
  • I get that humans can't understand the talking animals but do they not notice that they wear clothes?
    • They probably do, but in this universe there doesn't seem to be anything unusual about animals wearing clothes. The humans would just think of it as normal; maybe they'd notice it more if they saw an animal that didn't wear clothes. "Hey, look at that mouse, Bill, not a stitch of clothing on him! Times must be hard."
  • What is the point of the scene in the second movie where the human lady shoves the cat in her cleavage while shouting "pussy"? Like, is that supposed to be funny? It just seems so random and out of place, especially in a kids' movie.
  • Something that's always annoyed me: Fievel's dad in the second film telling him to effectively forget about Tiger because 'He was still a cat.' despite acknowledging that he was good - But they're going to Green River where apparently cats are good, too. Why?
    • They weren't under the impression that the cats in Green River were good until after they got there, right?
    • The villain used a puppet to pitch the idea of cats and mice in Green River getting along. Admittedly the father's line there (now that I really think about it) comes later on in the film. But that doesn't quite explain why they weren't too bothered about uprooting for a promised land, again.
      • Again, Truth in Television: Plenty of immigrants actually did head west because, again, they were told there was opportunity there. It was actually a bit closer to truthful, since even if they would still face social stigmas for being Irish/Jewish/Polish/whatnot, there was a semi-decent chance to make enough money or be invaluable enough that the social stigma didn't matter.
  • Why didn't Fievil follow the train tracks in the second film after going overboard?
    • Because he's a little kid and doesn't think things through very well.
  • In the first film, why did all the other sweatshop workers never think of tying their sheets together into a rope and going out the window before? Why did they need a little kid to tell them they could do that when at least one of them is clearly an adult (the one with a deep voice and a beard)? And what made them think Fievel was crazy and it wouldn't work?
    • How high they were up was probably a discouragement, and Feivel's idea was crazy. Crazy enough to work.
  • Why was Tony Toponi almost completely left out of the second film? This alone makes me dislike it a bit.
    • Tony's there. When the mice are moving in, he and Bridget are moving into an old boot with a little baby. He just wasn't essential the the current plot, so they didn't recognize him. Though they do put Bridget(and the baby) on a bus for the midquels.
  • Why is Tanya so arrogant in the last two films? In the first ones she was more close and lovely to Fievel.
    • She's growing older, and is entering the age where she begins thinking of herself as "grown-up" and "done with childish things." And so the younger Fievel, who is still playing around, comes across much more as an Annoying Younger Sibling in her eyes, hence she has less patience with him. It's not an uncommon phase for older siblings to go through.
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