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Fievel's American Tails was a short-lived animated cartoon series, based on An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, that ran for 13 episodes in 1992 on CBS. It was produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblimation animation studio, Nelvana, and Universal Cartoon Studios. It aired for one season, and continued Fievel's adventures living in the sleepy town of Green River in the American West.

In the show, Cat R. Waul has returned to Green River to carry out more evil schemes, and like the film, Fievel is usually the only one who sees through them. Other villains Fievel must contend with include Sweet William's cat gang (former members of Waul's gang that have splintered off on their own) and some one-off villains. Also included are a few Slice of Life episodes centered around Fievel's relationship with his family. Phillip Glasser, Cathy Cavadini and Dom De Luise reprise their roles as Fievel, Tanya and Tiger respectively.

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In 1993 and 1994, MCA/Universal Home Video released eight episodes on four VHS video-cassettes and two Laserdisc volumes. These have been the only home video release of the cartoon in the United States. In the United Kingdom, the 13-episode series was released on six video-cassettes in 1995, which enabled the full series to surface on the internet in English a decade or so later. Episodes have been released on DVD in France, Germany, and Italy. Universal currently has no plans to release the show on DVD in the United States. At the end of each episode, Fievel, who was the national "spokesmouse" for the Reading Is Fundamental Foundation, did a "Reading Buddy" spot to encourage children to read. These public service announcements were not preserved on the VHS releases and may be considered lost, only existing through surviving TV recordings.

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Tropes

  • Aesop Amnesia: Everyone from the series has this condition, because it hardly even acts like Fievel Goes West happened.
  • Ascended Extra: A few of the extras from the film Fievel Goes West, such as Sweet William and Mr. Whiskers, went on to become recurring characters in this series.
  • Awesome Aussie: Cyrus, the town blacksmith, is your typical Crocodile Dundee-ripoff only as a mouse. One wonders how many Australian immigrants to the American West there were, and whether this stereotype even existed in the 1890's when the series is supposed to take place.
  • Babysitting Episode: The episode "Babysitting Blues", where Fievel must babysit his baby sister Yasha while his parents and older sister are busy.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: In the aforementioned Babysitting Episode, Yasha escapes the house (partly due to Fievel's negligence) and almost gets eaten by cats several times.
  • Body Wipe:
    • "The Case of the Hiccups": where Papa sends Fievel to bed, his arm fills the screen and the scene fades to the school.
    • "That's What Friends Are For": near the beginning where Fievel and Tiger are chasing Chula, Both Fievel and Chula's mouths fill the screen then Tiger's stomach.
    • "Bell The Cats": one close to the beginning where Tiger is being chased by a dog; done with his purple shirt. And another close to the end where the all the cats were being chased by dogs; one of the dog's ears fill the screen.
  • The Bus Came Back: Miss Kitty shows up for one episode, apparently touring the country as a singer and having seemingly broke up with Tiger.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Wylie Burp gets this, as a major character in the film who is never even mentioned in the series.
  • Diminishing Villain Threat: In Fievel's American Tails Waul becomes Laughably Evil and nothing more than an easily-defeated nuisance rather than the Big Bad. The danger he posed in the movie was directly related to the fact that everyone trusted him, which no one in their right mind would after The Reveal.
  • Evil Laugh: Cat R. Waul does these quite often, while he never did them in the film. Part of his Diminishing Villain Threat.
  • Fantastic Racism: Played with, where Cat R. Waul seems to adopt this attitude towards mice in general, frequently referring to them as "furballs", like a slur.
  • Flanderization: Just everyone. Fievel becomes so obsessed with cowboys that it's all he ever talks about, Tiger just becomes completely stupid, Waul loses almost all his Faux Affably Evil characteristics and becomes a Butt-Monkey, Tanya is Demoted to Extra in most episodes and the Aesops everyone learned at the end of Fievel Goes West are all completely forgotten... about the only character who actually sees some Character Development is Yasha, ironically, due to her being Suddenly Voiced.
  • Gold Fever: This overcomes the residents of Green River in "The Lost Mother Lode" after the discovery of Jeremiah's lost gold mine.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: The episode "A Case Of the Hiccups", where the whole town gets hiccups due to a candy that Dr. Travis T. Hippocrates had Fievel pass around to everyone. Unknown to Fievel, this is part of a scheme to get everyone in town to buy his placebo hiccup cure.
  • Limited Animation: The series is animated even worse than the later direct-to-video sequels.
  • Long-Lost Uncle Aesop: Fievel's Aunt Sophie from Russia visits for one episode in "Aunt Sophie's Visit", teaching Fievel not to judge based on first appearances, and teaching his father to let his son be himself.
  • Maintain the Lie: The episode "Law and Disorder" involves Fievel helping Tiger do this after he lied to Miss Kitty about becoming the Marshall of Green River while she was away on tour. She catches on, of course.
  • Put on a Bus: Miss Kitty is put on a bus for much of the show, which perhaps aided Tiger's Flanderization into a dopey bum who has nothing better to do but play with Fievel.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Dr.Travis T. Hippocrates is a classic Old West example, peddling his placebo hiccup cure only after giving everyone hiccups and creating the demand for his product.
  • Too Smart for Strangers: The episode "A Case of the Hiccups" utterly averts this trope. When a strange doctor named Travis T. Hippocrates comes to town offering free candy, Fievel's mother allows Fievel to become the doctor's assistant, and pass out free candy to everyone in town which gives mice hiccups so he can sell them a placebo "cure". After Fievel figures out what the candy is doing he tries to back out of his "partnership", but the doctor kidnaps Fievel and traps him in a jar. Fridge Horror ensues if you consider how the real life, non G-Rated-version of this scenario would likely play out.
  • We Used to Be Friends: In "That's What Friends Are For", after mishearing Fievel's father say Tiger was a bad influence on Fievel (he was actually saying Cat R. Waul was a bad influence on Chula), Tiger decides to break off their friendship, avoiding him and actually using the "furball" slur against Fievel. By the end of the episode, Tiger rescues Fievel from Cat R. Waul and learns it was all a misunderstanding

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