Review: ‘An American Tail: Fievel Goes West’

Complete with legendary James Stewart voicing broken-down lawdog Wylie Burp, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is an amiable sequel to the 1986 animated smash featuring the Russian immigrant mouse.

Complete with legendary James Stewart voicing broken-down lawdog Wylie Burp, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is an amiable sequel to the 1986 animated smash featuring the Russian immigrant mouse.

The story picks up the plucky Fievel and family living in grim, turn-of-the-century Bronx, menaced by omnipresent cats. The expansive shift to the Old West is welcome, as is the slowing of the pace to accommodate the relaxed, drawling and almost comatose personality of Fievel’s hero/mentor Wylie Burp.

Fievel Goes West cleverly draws on the oft-expressed thought that the mythic West was largely an immigrant’s wide-eyed dream of what America should be, in opposition to hellish big-city reality and the old country left behind.

Phillip Glasser’s sweet rendition of the mouse’s voice is a major asset, as are the voice parts of Dom DeLuise, as Fievel’s scene-stealing companion, a scaredy-cat who turns brave; John Cleese, as the unctuously villainous Cat R. Waul; and Amy Irving, as the brassy saloon entertainer Miss Kitty. There isn’t much of a plot to speak of.

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West

Production

Amblin. Director Phil Nibbelink, Simon Wells; Producer Steven Spielberg, Robert Watts; Writer Flint Dille Editor Nick Fletcher; Music James Horner Art Neil Ross

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1991. Running time: 74 MIN.
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