YMMV / An American Tail

An American Tail
  • All Animation Is Disney: This is not helped by the fact that An American Tail and its sequels were regular showings on Disney Channel and Toon Disney, or the fantastic Award-Bait Song similar to the ones that Disney became so well-known for in subsequent years. The closest thing to it being Disney is that many of the animators once worked there.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Siskel & Ebert's complaint about the movie was that it was too dark and depressing for children to handle. They said much the same thing about every Don Bluth movie though. The box office money it made shows that kids and adults were watching it anyway.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "Somewhere Out There". Enough said.
    • James Horner's orchestration sets the tone of the film (and the first sequel; see below) quite nicely. In some places, it's hard to believe it was written for an animated film.
  • Ear Worm:
    • THERE ARE NOOO CATS IN AMERICA AND THE STREETS ARE PAVED WITH CHEESE.
    • Soooome wheeere, oouut theeere...
    • A duo, a duo ...
    • Never say never, whatever you do! Never say never, my friend!
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Tiger, enough to where he plays a huge part in the sequel while being minor in the first film.
    • For a time, the Irish mouse who sings during "There Are No Cats In America," despite only having two lines and no name, had an entire subset of the fandom dedicated to him!
    • Bridget. Three guesses as to why.
  • First Installment Wins: Though there was a stretch during the nineties where Fievel Goes West was equally well-known, due to being a decent film with a simple genre hook, and also a spin-off series to keep it in kids' minds. Since then it's slipped back below the original in terms of popularity.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Fans of this movie are generally on good terms with fans of The Great Mouse Detective even though they were Dueling Movies. The popular Olivia/Fievel Crossover Ship is probably a testament to that. Fans of this movie are also part of the greater Bluth fandom and generally get along with fans of other Bluth movies, too.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • When Tiger tearfully mentions that he lost his family, which consisted of 5 brothers, 10 sisters, and 3 fathers. A mother cat's litter can be fathered by more than one tomcat.
    • The Irish mouse specifically notes that the cat that killed his love was a calico. In other words, she was killed by a Black and Tan.
    • Warren's Shakespeare quote just before he sells Fievel to a sweatshop, "Oh pardon me thou bleeding piece of Earth, that I am meek and gentle with these butchers..." comes from Julius Caesar, specifically Antony's lament over Caesar's dead body after he was betrayed by Brutus. Meaning it was a clue that Warren was about to betray Fievel.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Universal Studios at least seems to be under this impression for the series as a whole, making a lot of merchandise and home video releases exclusively available in Europe and not America, in a weird inverted example of No Export for You. DVD releases of the short-lived spinoff series Fievel's American Tails, as well as an odd Playstation 2 video game adaptation of the first film, were only released in Europe. The first film did do extremely well overseas, so perhaps there is reasoning behind this.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Try to watch this movie the same way after watching Don Bluth being interviewed by Doug Walker, where he admits the film was heavily inspired by his rarely seeing his numerous siblings anymore, as well as how his marriage to his work, while he isn't ashamed of it, forced him to forego any kind of family of his own.
  • Iconic Character, Forgotten Title:
    • The movie is sometimes mistakenly called "Fievel" - that the sequel does have Fievel's name in the title likely doesn't help.
    • Interestingly, in most other countries Fievel's name is in the title. Take Germany's Feivel Der Mauswanderer (Fievel The Mouse Wanderer), Spain's Fievel Y El Nuevo Mundo or French's Fievel et le Nouveau Monde (Fievel And The New World), for instance.
  • Misaimed Marketing: Infamously, if unintentionally (one would hope), done by McDonald's. One of their special promotions tied into the film's winter release was a special offer involving Fievel... Christmas stockings, despite Fievel being obviously Jewish. The Anti-Defamation League was not pleased.
  • Narm:
    • Fievel looking like he's having a seizure right before a huge tidal wave sweeps him out to sea.
    • Any time Fievel Screams Like a Little Girl. Which happens frequently, unfortunately.
    • All of Don Bluth's animation trademarks are present here. Most of all; Papa rarely ever closes his mouth.
  • Narm Charm: Fievel and Tanya singing "Somewhere Out There", with their little mouse voices cracking when they hit the high notes. To some it might be annoying, but to others, it's so cuuute!
  • One-Scene Wonder: Moe. He's onscreen for less than a minute and has only two lines, but his appearance makes a pretty effective and memorable Jump Scare and he's regarded as one of the scariest characters in the whole movie.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Tony has a female voice actress and is a rare male example of Furry Female Mane, so it's inevitable that there'd be a little Viewer Gender Confusion for some. Though them having such blatant Les Yay with Bridget would be pretty unheard of in an animated movie today, let alone in 1986.
  • The Woobie: Fievel. Your mileage probably won't vary much.
    • Jerkass Woobie: The three orphan bullies, if you stop and think about it.

Fievel's American Tails
  • Memetic Molester: Dr. Travis T. Hippocrates, a traveling doctor who encourages Fievel to give strange candy to everyone in Green River (which ends up giving everyone hiccups, and he sells them a placebo "cure"). Fievel doesn't think twice about taking candy from a stranger. Later on when Fievel refuses to be a part of his scheme anymore, he grabs Fievel by the shoulders very suggestively and says "Fievel, my boy, I'm afraid that was the wrong answer.", and the scene fades to black.

The Direct-to-Video Sequels
  • Anvilicious: The Treasure of Manhattan Island and its constant reminders that the Europeans did some pretty awful things to the Native Americans. Granted, Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped, but it tends to go a little out of its way to do so at times.
  • Bizarro Episode: The fourth movie, The Mystery of the Night Monster, really doesn't have anything to do with the rest of the series. While the third movie at least made a few allusions to the first movie, the fourth one is just kind of all by itself canonically. At worst it seems like a recycled plot for a Scooby-Doo movie.
    • It was created at the same time Universal was producing two "spooky" themed Alvin and the Chipmunks Direct-to-Video movies, so it would seem The Mystery of the Night Monster was part of some spooky phase their animation studio was going through.
  • Contested Sequel: Though most fans agree that both films don't stand up to the first two movies, there is still disagreement over which of the direct-to-video movies is better than the other. Judging by forums, the third is much preferred over the fourth, but Rotten Tomatoes would beg to differ (where The Mystery of the Night Monster inexplicably managed to get a higher percentage rating than Fievel Goes West).
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: One of Madame Mousey's henchcats, nicknamed "Twitch", seems to have a small following on DeviantArt.
    • Madame Mousey herself, and to a lesser extent Nellie Brie, both also have a strangely sizable amount of fan work devoted to them.
  • Fanon: There are fan theories which link the direct to video sequels to Fievel Goes West, and several different explanations for why Bridget didn't appear in the 3rd or 4th movies but is seen with Tony in the second (which would have to have happened after the third and fourth movie chronologically for them all to be canon).
  • Fanon Discontinuity: For a lot of fans (especially if they really liked Fievel Goes West, due to the third film proclaiming it to be All Just a Dream) insist these movies never happened. On the other hand, the third film is remembered by fans of TMS Entertainment at least. Meanwhile, the above Fanon is usually followed with the understanding that the creators of the third movie probably wanted to Retcon Fievel Goes West. It's just more fun for fans to disregard that and try to make sense of the jumbled continuity themselves.
    • Some fans will also insist they're Interquels, and Fievel Goes West is actually set after these films; the dream is actually about future events. This may create its own continuity issues, however.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Tends to be the opinion of most fans when it comes to the direct-to-video sequels (as well as those who dislike Fievel Goes West due to Bluth's lack of involvement, though Spielberg was still involved in that one, as he was with the original). Then again, compared to other Bluth sequels, they could have been a lot worse.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Some of the moments with the mice children throughout.
    • The song Who will in Night Monster, which is perhaps the most sickeningly saccarine song in the entire series.
      • Tony's singing also counts as Narm.
  • Toy Ship: Fievel and Cholena have a few Ship Tease moments together, more than she and Tony do (their duet, "Anywhere in Your Dreams", being the example that stands out the most). For the most part they're the Fan-Preferred Couple of the film (also helped by fans who prefer Tony staying with Bridget).
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/AnAmericanTail