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An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is the first sequel to An American Tail. The film was not directed by Don Bluth, due to stated Creative Differences with Steven Spielberg, but was instead directed by Phil Nibbelink and Simon Wells. It is the first Amblimation film released by Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment. It was released on November 22, 1991.

In it, picking up some years after the events of the first film, the Mousekewitz family is disillusioned with living in New York, with the final straw being a cat attack on their alley home. After the villain, Cat R. Waul, tricks them and a crowd of other mice into buying train tickets to a small town in the West via using a mouse puppet, the family boards a train to the Wild West. But, echoing the tone of disillusionment in the first film, it turns out the town of Green River is a Dying Town, and Cat R. Waul had more nefarious motives for bringing the mice there. Fievel is the only one who overheard Waul's plans, but the only one who will believe him is a washed up former hero sheriff, Wylie Burp (voiced by none other than James Stewart himself in his final acting job).

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Because of having different directors and a different animation team working on it, it differs considerably from the first film, in both look and tone, becoming more comedic and light-hearted, with heavily redesigned characters. The later direct-to-video sequels throw a veil doubt over the canonicity of this film, with the Mousekewitz family living back in New York and Fievel mentioning he "dreamed" that he moved west, but the truth of the matter seems to have been left up to Fanon.

Also of note, this film spawned a very short-lived animated series, Fievel's American Tails.


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Fievel Goes West provides examples of:

  • Aesop Amnesia: You'd think that Fievel would learn not to go wandering off on a transportation device he's not familiar with after what happened in the first movie. But he does, and once again gets separated from his family. You'd also think his mother would not jump to the conclusion that he's dead right away, after he turned out to be alive the last time he got separated from them. She does (though Papa assures her that Fievel will come back).
  • Age Lift: Tanya is aged up in this film, whereas she was closer to Fievel's age in the first film.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Played for laughs in when Wylie Burp teaches Tiger how to be a dog.
  • All Just a Dream: Done at the beginning where Fievel shoots a bunch of cats and gets a badge from Wylie Burp. A Dream Within a Dream, if you think about it.
  • Animation Bump: Say what you will about the sequel, but you have to admit that the animation was of amazing quality, even at the time it was released – it was even better than most of the Disney films out at the time.
  • Ax-Crazy: Chula doesn't have the ax, but his personality fits the bill.
    Chula: The inky-dinky spider, caught a mouse in its web. The inky-dinky spider bit off the mouse's head!
  • Babies Ever After: Tony and Bridget's cameos where they're seen with a baby.
  • Badass Longcoat: Fievel, Tiger and Wylie Burp all wear one for the final showdown with Cat R. Waul.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The conductor's Ironic Echo, "Next stop: mouth, throat, stomach, intestine, and – you guessed it – Green River."
  • Balloon Belly: When Tiger is told to suck in his chest, and he instead deflates like a balloon.
  • Berserk Button: Normally wimpy Tiger after Chula threatens to drop Miss Kitty to her death.
    • Cat R. Waul has a similar reaction to being called "Pussy Poo".
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Tiger, when his Berserk Button is pushed.
  • Be Yourself: It's what both Fievel and Tanya learn by the end, and it's shown that they've learned it more through action than words; i.e. Tanya washing her makeup off and Fievel turning his hat right-side-in so it's blue again and not a cowboy hat. Tiger goes back to acting like a cat once he saved the day.
  • BFG: Relatively, a human revolver operated by cats. More so in the hands of a mouse kid like Fievel.
  • Braids, Beads and Buckskins: Native Americans in both Fievel Goes West and The Treasure of Manhattan Island stick to this dress code.
  • ...But He Sounds Handsome: When controlling the mouse puppet, Cat R. Waul gets so into praising himself he gets distracted and forgets to control the puppet for a second.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: When Fievel is chased into a hole by a hawk, we see only his eyes, and the eyes of an angry scorpion.
  • The Cameo:
    • Tony and Bridget can be seen very briefly in a few scenes. The most noticeable examples are during the early cat attack sequence, and when the mice arrive in Green River and move in. They can also be seen in the crowd in the sewer, and in the audience sitting in the giant mousetrap, but in those scenes they are extremely Off-Model and thus can't really be distinguished without using freeze-frame.
    • Honest John is seen in "Way Out West" as one of the politicians.
  • Can't Move While Being Watched: The buffalo skeleton trying to pounce on Tiger. Subverted when he catches it upright, prompting it to dance and collapse, then complete its pounce after he dismisses the past event.
  • Cassandra Truth: Fievel's statements about Cat R. Waul's evil plans are dismissed by everyone including his family... except for Wylie Burp.
  • Character Action Title: Fievel Goes West.
  • Cowardly Lion: Tiger, at least until his Berserk Button is activated.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Marvel Comics did a Fievel Goes West comic. It's Off-Model.
  • Continuity Nod: In the film's opening Imagine Spot, Fievel introduces himself as "Fillie the Kid", a play on Billy the Kid and the nickname Tony gave him in the first movie.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Cat R. Waul gets either what could be seen as this (see Gag Boobs) or And I Must Scream.
  • Cousin Oliver: Yasha Mousekewitz is somewhat elevated to this in Fievel Goes West and the series Fievel's American Tails, despite having been in the first movie (she inexplicably disappears halfway through). In all the other movies, she's mostly not much more than a prop.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: After Fievel reunites with his family halfway through the movie, he tries to warn the mice population about Cat R. Waul's plot. Unfortunately, no one, not even his own family, believes him. He was right. Fortunately, Fievel managed to enlist the help of Tiger and Wylie to stop the plan.
  • A Day in the Limelight: It gives Tanya and Tiger a great deal more Character Development than the first film did, and isn't exclusively focused on Fievel (despite his name being in the title).
  • Death Glare: The Laaaaaazy Eye!
  • Demoted to Extra: Tony and Bridget.
  • Denser and Wackier: Or at least wackier than the original movie.
  • Desert Skull: Tiger runs into a buffalo skeleton that seems to come to life when he's not looking. Turns out it's being manipulated by native mice, who then capture Tiger.
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: Cat R. Waul gets a little too caught up in praising himself, almost forgetting that he's supposed to be talking through his mouse puppet (which goes limp as he searches for adjectives).
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Cat R. Waul shows up for a brief few seconds in the day dream Fievel has at the beginning of the movie.
  • Eye Pop: Weaponized by Wylie Burp, known as the "Lazy Eye". Used on full auto later in the movie.
  • Failure Montage: When Tiger trains under Wiley Burp in Goes West, bumbling through each exercise until he finally gets things right.
  • False Flag Operation: Cat R. Waul's plan. The main story starts when the cat gang terrorize all the mice in New York, leading to them taking refuge in the sewers where they meet a cowboy mouse (actually Cat R. Waul using a marionette) who convinces them that Green River is a utopia where cats and mice get along. It works and hundreds of mice – including Fievel's family – move out West where the cats maintain the facade to not only get Cat R. Waul's business up and running but also to put themselves in a perfect position to kill all the mice at once so they can eat them.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: A mixed example. While there are some revolvers, those only get aimed at inanimate objects or aimed so badly they don't come close to hitting anyone. When the cats (and one dog) have their shootout, it's with slingshots that use bullet and ricochet sound effects. Cat R. Waul has a revolver that's mounted and used like a BFG, as it's too large for the cats to hold.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Cat R. Waul is a shining example.
  • Flat "What.":
    Miss Kitty: You put a mouse on that stage and your saloon's gonna be as empty as Death Valley on a cold day in June when the snow don't fall.
    Cat R. Waul: What.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Just as Cat R. Waul is picking Tanya up in his paws while she sings "Dreams to Dream", one of the animators snuck in a lewd drawing for a single frame, where she has her mouth open. Hilariously Universal Studios was apparently unaware of this for more than 25 years, until the Blu-Ray release finally erased it.
    • A more innocuous example occurs at the beginning of that scene - when Cat R. Waul first hears Tanya singing, his ear extends with a treble clef appearing for a brief second as he's captivated by her voice.
  • Freudian Slippery Slope: Cat R. Waul's speech at the unveiling ceremony.
    Cats and gentle mice, lend me your ears. It is my distinguished pleasure to invite all of you... to share our dinner... Triumph! To share our triumph! Today we herald in a momentous, new feast... ival. Feastival... Festival. To mark this brilliant and illustrious snack... Occasion!
  • Gag Boobs: Cat R. Waul's owner smothers him with hers. Also a Marshmallow Hell.
  • Giant Spider: Voiced by Jon Lovitz.
  • God Guise: Tiger is worshiped by a tribe of Native American mice because he bears a striking resemblance to a rock formation.
  • Guns Akimbo: Fievel, of all characters, in his daydream with Wylie.
  • He Knows Too Much: When Fievel accidentally discovers Cat R. Waul's plan to trick the mice into believing they are good and eating them when their guard is down, instead of eating him, he has his lackey knock him off of the train into the badlands, in hopes that he won't be able to find his way to Green River and likely die. Thankfully. Fievel manages to get back to his family again.
  • Hollywood Mirage: Fievel hugs a cactus and Tiger kisses an owl because of the mirages they see while wandering in the desert. Then they mistake each other for mirages when they pass each other by.
  • Hollywood Natives: The Mousican Tribe, a tribe of native mice, complete with face paint, chanting, war cries, and everything. They plan on sacrificing Tiger until the Chief sees him hanging by his paws above the camp fire exactly matches a butte shaped the same, whereupon they believe Tiger is their god and then pamper him with a spread of fruits and vegetables.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Fievel imagines to have these. As in, he doesn't even have to aim.
  • Injun Country: Played somewhat offensively straight.
  • Instant Roast: Native American mice shoot fire crackers at a hawk, blowing it out of the sky, and a few minutes later some mice are shown carrying a fully-cooked and beheaded roasted hawk.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: "The itsy-bitsy spiiiiiiiiiider caught a mouse in his web...the itsy-bitsy spiiiiiiiiiiiiiiider BIT OFF THE MOUSE'S HEAD!"
  • Just the Way You Are: This is the moral of Tanya Mousekewitz's subplot. She gets a makeover so she can sing at Waul's saloon, but after discovering Waul is actually evil and tried to kill every mouse in Green River, she remembers what her friend Miss Kitty told her, that the real woman is what's underneath the mask, and she washes her make-up off.
    • Also, in a related play on this trope, Fievel realizes he can be a hero just the way he is.
  • Large Ham:
    • Cat R. Waul. It helps to be voiced by someone like John Cleese.
    • There's also Jon Lovitz as the psychotic spider Chula. He's actually the hammiest character of all since he has an high pitched No Indoor Voice and he's almost always hyperactive.
  • Lighter and Softer: This probably had something to do with Bluth not being present. It leads to a few instances of Angst? What Angst? as mentioned above. Milage varies on whether this was good or bad, depending on how much one liked the first film.
  • Literal Metaphor: Part of Waul's scheme is to "build a better mousetrap".
  • Mad Scientist: Cat R. Waul has one working for him.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Tanya can break glass with her singing voice.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Whenever Cat R. Waul's human owner finds him she shrieks "Pussy poo!" and shoves his face between her very large breasts, much to Waul's intense dismay.
  • Miss Kitty: She even has the same name. Kitty leaves New York for an exciting future in the west, and ends up being one of the head matrons to what is essentially a brothel.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: While it doesn't actually change him, when Cat R. Waul hears Tanya singing for the first time, he looks sincerely moved.
  • Nightmare Face: Tiger's version of the "Lazy Eye" in goes west has him with eyes alternately popping and going back in, his tongue flailing, and him gibbering like a maniac.
  • Now, That's Using Your Teeth!: Tiger catches a thrown knife this way during his No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of the villain cats, a la when he was learning to "fetch". Lampshaded by Wiley: "Hmm, I never taught him that one!"
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: An American Tail: [Insert title here]
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Cat R. Waul, voiced by the extremely English John Cleese, tries to fake a Texas accent when operating his mouse marionette. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Pain-Powered Leap: Cat R. Waul jumps straight through the ceiling after Fievel stabs him in the behind with a fork. It's also how Tiger catches the train — briefly — while being chased by a dog.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Fievel tried to tell his parents that Cat R. Waul was going to turn the mice of Green River into mouseburgers. But did they listen?
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Tiger. Tony Toponi takes over the job in the other sequels.
  • Politicians Kiss Babies: Cat R. Waul kisses Yasha to convince the mice that he's harmless. This is made more effective since Waul is of course a cat, and Yasha is a mouse who he easily could have eaten.
  • Popcorn on the Cob: During the scene in which the Native Americans are worshiping Tiger and feeding him, an ear of corn is raised over the fire, then turned into a bunch of popcorn which Tiger promptly catches in his mouth.
  • Projectile Webbing: While Waul is welcoming some mice to the town of Green River, Chula is told to issue water. Being a recalcitrant fellow, Chula hocks a loogie at a newlywed couple, which forms an instant web, trapping them inside an old boot. Waul flicks away the webbing and continues his Affably Evil schmooze.
  • Put on a Bus: Cat R. Waul is defeated by being put on a train, much like how Warren was shipped off to Hong Kong. Almost all the villains in the An American Tail series are always defeated non-lethally. The exception being the spy and the corrupt police chief in the third movie, who are implied to have drowned.
  • Rage Breaking Point: When Tiger sees Chula about to kill Miss Kitty, he gets enraged to the point of sending the cats on the mousetrap.
  • Reality Ensues: In the original film, they wanted to move to America because their home was destroyed in Russia and it wouldn't be wise to stay. While they do move to America, they realize that America isn't as great of a place as they thought it was originally, as they're still poor, still struggling to make ends meet and there are still cats that will try to eat them.
  • Recycled In Space: Or in this case, "Recycled OUT WEST!"
  • Retired Gunfighter: Wylie Burp. It doesn't take much convincing for him to help, as he made one small speech about how he was over the hill and then changes his mind. Fievel's pouty face works in mysterious ways.
  • Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: The opening ceremony for Cat R. Waul's saloon is a trap: cutting the ribbon would have triggered a giant mousetrap right onto the stands where the mice were sitting.
  • Right Out of My Clothes: Cat R. Waul does a Pain-Powered Leap out of his suit.
  • Rule of Funny: Tiger dancing to "Putting on the Ritz" with a skeleton for a few seconds, Tiger turning into a poodle at the mention of a dog, Tiger deflating like a balloon and falling off a cliff to a long farting sound... Fievel Goes West had way more moments like these than the first movie. Most if not all had to do with Tiger.
  • Rule of Symbolism: when Cat R. Waul asks the mice to help him develop Green River as part of his Evil Plan, his head is framed by the desert sun, resembling a halo and enforcing his efforts to cast himself as the mice's savior in the face of a water shortage (which, naturally, he himself caused).
  • Scary Scorpions: Fievel is really freaked out when he finds out he has entered a scorpion's den.
  • Self-Deprecation: The filmmakers seemed to have noticed just how sick everyone had gotten of "Somewhere Out There," as evidenced by the scene of Tanya getting fruit thrown at her by the neighbors as she sings it at the window.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: It follows this (though technically still in the same country, there's a world of difference between New York and Green River).
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: This is how Cat R. Waul talks.
    Cat R. Waul: Chula, I want the subversive who tried to assassinate me found.
    Chula: I just looove finding subversives! ...Hey boss, what's a subversive?
    Cat R. Waul: ...Someone who doesn't have very long to live.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: When Tiger is reunited with Miss Kitty at the end of the film, he kisses her and both tumble to the ground, out of sight of the screen. This is followed by Miss Kitty saying, "Oooo, Tiger!" As Wiley looks on, he smirks and says, "I never taught him that one."
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Tanya after her makeover.
  • Something Else Also Rises: Inverted. Tiger faces off with a masked gunslinger cat whose slingshot turns out to be bigger than his. Tiger's slingshot goes limp in response.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Gunsmoke, with "Miss Kitty".
    • The "Rawhide" theme is being sung by The Blues Brothers.
    • Also, many of the storefronts and signs in (the human-sized) Green River have the names of crew members on them, including both of the film's directors and several of the artists responsible for the background layouts. In addition, right before Fievel dispatches the villains, you can see a nameplate on the rear of the giant mousetrap (facing upside-down) which reads "Made in Acton, London" — which was the location of the animation studio where the film was produced.
    • Cat R. Waul screams "Revenge!" as he is driven out of town on the train, similar to his character in the Dirty Fork sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus.
    • Another one involves a mouse mentioning various destinations (one while boarding, the other before narrowly escaping being eaten by Cat R. Waul) while closing each phrase with "...and Green River", likely an homage to Mel Blanc's famous Jack Benny Show Catchphrase of a train leaving for "...Anaheim, Azuza, and Cuc-amonga".
    • The Tiger-shaped rock in the desert pulls a Cheshire Cat.
  • Showdown at High Noon: Well, at sunset, but same idea.
  • Stock Footage: Some celebrating mice at the end are actually reused mice from "There Are No Cats in America" from the first movie.
  • Train-Station Goodbye: Almost happens, though Tiger is too late to say goodbye to Fievel and his family when they board the train from New York (thanks to being pursued by dogs) he does try to chase after it.
  • Too Dumb to Live: How could the entire population of mice build an enormous fully functioning mouse trap and not have any single hint of suspicion?
    • Plus, how could they not notice that the cats in Green River are the same ones who attacked them in New York? (Also add on how they fell for the obvious puppet ploy early in the film, including Car R. Waul even forgetting to control it whilst favorably describing himself.)
  • Took a Level in Badass: Tiger, during the finale. He shows a surprising amount of competence during the first part of the finale, and goes into a complete Unstoppable Rage when he sees Miss Kitty in danger and proceeds to beat up every other cat in town.
  • Toon Physics: What Fievel's hat apparently runs on in this film, what with turning into a cowboy hat when pulled inside-out.
    • Tiger himself runs on Toon physics more than any other character in the movie, even morphing into a dog at one point.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer didn't spoil itself so much, but the fact that it was included at the beginning of every VHS release of the first movie after 1991 meant that it revealed the ending of An American Tail before the movie even started.
  • Training Montage: Tiger, the Cowardly Lion of the series, has a montage while training to be a dog so he can help Wiley Burp and Fievel take on Cat R. Waul. The montage includes Tiger doing push-ups, walking through tires, beating up a Cat R. Waul dummy, and fetching a bone.
  • Translation Convention: Averted with the Mousican chief. When he speaks to Tiger he's heard using his native tongue but there are not even subtitles. Makes you wonder what's he just saying...
  • Train Escape: Tiger escapes a pack of dogs by hopping on the back of a train. That whole scene is very Looney Tunes in spirit.
  • Underside Ride: There's a train car for mice beneath the real train cars.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Tanya's human neighbors throw fruit at her as she's trying to sing "Somewhere Out There". They're clearly more concerned about her keeping them up at night than the fact that there's a singing mouse living across the street.
  • Vague Age: Figuring out how old Fievel and Tanya are can be very confusing. Tanya, for example, suddenly looks much older than Fievel, while in the first movie, she looked around the same age as Fievel. And if we are to believe it's been a few years since the first movie, why is Yasha still a baby?
    • While Fievel and Tanya are kids from the First movie, Tanya in this sequel is much older and Fievel is still a kid, Tony and Bridget are already married and with child.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cat R. Waul is very much calm and cool when the heroes arrive to take him down – he just calmly sics his men on them. But when the heroes expose his mousetrap for all to see, he loses it.
    Cat R. Waul: (aiming not a slingshot but a real gun at the fleeing mice) FREEZE, YOU MISERABLE VERMIN!!! (shoots madly at the mice)
  • Vocal Evolution: Fievel's voice was changing as his voice actor Phillip Glasser got older.
    • How about Jon Lovitz as Chula? Throughout the film, he seems to keep changing the type of voice he's trying to use.
  • Vocal Dissonance: As Fievel rides through the desert in a sage bush some wild animals sing the "Rawhide" theme version of The Blues Brothers. A baby bird in particular sing the Ride'em in Rawhide part with Dan Aykroyd's voice.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Fievel chimes in "Let's go on that ride again!" after he and his family have a terrifying trip down a sewer waterfall in a discarded tuna can.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Jon Lovitz as a nasty, web-spitting (huh?) tarantula.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Tiger gets shocked out of his mind when he sees Chula, a spider. He also hates dogs. That all changes when Wiley trains to be like a dog. Tiger also snaps out of his arachnophobia when Chula threatens Miss Kitty.
  • Wicked Cultured: Cat R. Waul wears a top hat with a cane (though in the proper time period), speaks with a British accent, and adores high-class songs, making Tanya his own personal diva.
  • The Wicked Stage: Mentioned.
    Tanya Mousekewitz: Look, Mama, a singer... and an actor.
    Mama Mousekewitz: Tanya, stop that! You shouldn't stare at people less fortunate than yourself.
  • Young Gun: Fievel daydreams about being a Young Gun at the beginning, complete with his hero Wylie Burp telling him to 'get out while he still can', and Fievel blatantly disobeying him and shooting out a gang of villainous cats.
  • Your Mom:
    Tiger: Haha! Your mother was never housebroken!

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