An American Tail
From Fan History Wiki
An American Tail was a Don Bluth film directed by Steven Spielberg. It was about a Jewish-Russian family of mice, the Mousekewitz family, moving to America to escape oppression from the cats, only to find that America had the same oppression. And along the way, Fievel Mousekewitz was separated from his family, and the film followed his search for them in New York City. The movie spawned three sequels, a short-lived television series, a playground at Universal Studios Florida, and a number of video games.
Below is a list of terms and their definitions that are used in this fan community.
- AAT - An American Tail
- FGW - Fievel Goes West
- DTV Sequels - The direct to video sequels "The Treasure of Manhattan Island" and "Mystery of the Night Monster".
- TanyaxWaul fans - fans of the pairing of Tanya Mousekewitz and Cat R. Waul
- RP - role play
- FAT - Fievel's American Tails
- fatties- A fan nickname for fans of Fievel's American Tails, not meant to be insulting.
- ship/shipping/shippers- words having to do with various pairings.
Below is a partial timeline of events that took place in this fan community.
- November 21,1986 - An American Tail premiered in theaters, becoming the first successful non-Disney animated film.
- November 22, 1991 - An American Tail: Fievel Goes West premiers.
- September 3, 1992 - Fievel's American Tails premiers on television, only to last for one season with 13 episodes.
- February 15, 2000 - An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island is released on video, though created in 1998.
- July 25, 2000 - An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster is released on video.
There is much debate over the third and forth sequels, one such debate is over whether or not Fievel Goes West was retconned from the canon in the third sequel. Many believe that when Fievel says 'I dreamed we moved out west and I became a famous gun slinger!' at the beginning of An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island, it retcons Fievel Goes West as a dream. However this line could have been foreshadowing, or could have not been meant to be taken seriously at all. It is generally agreed that the third and forth sequels take place before Fievel Goes West and Fievel's American Tails by those who do not think Fievel's first line in the third film was a retcon. Some argue however, that the direct-to-video sequels themselves are not canon at all and are instead spin-offs.
Many also reject the direct-to-video sequels because of the disappearance of Bridget, the Irish mouse-rights activist who was Tony Toponi's love interest in the first film. The sequels never explain what happened to her, and in The Treasure of Manhattan Island, Tony is seen flirting with and swooning over Cholena, a Native American mouse. Proponents of Fievel Goes West being canon can point to the brief cameos of Tony and Bridget, where for a second we see a mouse couple who look similar to Tony and Bridget besides their off-coloredness, carrying a baby. And in the other cameo closer to the beginning of the movie, during a cat attack in New York, Tony's appearance is unmistakable. So it can be deduced that at least Tony and Bridget are together by the chronological end of the series.
The fan pairing of Tanya Mousekewitz and Cat R. Waul is also the subject of much debate. Supporters mainly point to the scene in which Waul is captivated by Tanya's performance of "Dreams to Dream" in Fievel Goes West, as well as Cat R. Waul's protectiveness of her, referring to her as his 'diva' and her exemption from his evil scheme to turn the mice of Green River into mouseburgers. However, this pairing disgusts some fans, who argue against it because of the two character's obvious size and species difference, as well as Tanya's apparent rejection of her diva image by the end of the film (when she washes her makeup off), after she's found out Waul in fact tried to murder the mice of Green River as well as her own family. But the series offers little opportunity for a different pairing involving Tanya, as she is never given an official love interest.
Another common argument that comes up is how to spell Fievel's first name. In the beginning credits of An American Tail, it is spelled "Feivel". This would be the correct Jewish spelling. However almost everywhere else it is spelled 'Fievel', even in the title of the second sequel Fievel Goes West. 'Fievel' is really an Americanization, because in Germanic languages such as Yiddish, 'ei' produces a long 'I' sound, whereas in English it produces an 'ay' sound, usually. So it is likely that the spelling was changed in order to minimize confusion to the typical American audience.
In all, the An American Tail fandom is divided into a few different categories; those who prefer the first movie over all else, those who prefer the second movie over all else (a greater number it seems), fans of Fievel, fans of Tanya, fans of Cat R. Waul, shippers of Tanya and Cat R. Waul. The rest are a minority of other fans with differing individual focuses; perhaps a few fans of the direct-to-video sequels or Fievel's American Tails (the fatties), fans of the Irish mouse from "There Are No Cats in America", fans of Tony Toponi, fans of Warren, fans of Tiger, etc. Only a select few like nearly everything.
Tanya and Cat R. Waul especially are fan favorites, though not everyone who is a fan of these characters supports their pairing.
As of now the fandom is fairly scattered, with gatherings on DeviantArt, Myspace, Youtube, Dailymotion, and on forums. Fan pages are few, and most haven't been updated in years, except for one notable exception, the fansite Never Say Never Again. (see external links).
- An American Tail on IMDB:
- The making of An American Tail:
- Never Say Never Again!, a fan site, consistantly updated with lots of information, and a forum:
- Dreams To Dream, a Tanya Mousekewitz fansite, which is also still updated and hosts a forum.:
- The TVTropes page:
- A fan group on Dailymotion:
- A TanyaxWaul forum:
- An AAT yahoo group:
- A reliable fan page, though somewhat dated.:
- A fan page containing an interview with Phillip Glasser (however is chiefly dedicated to anime}:
- / Fievel's official RP Myspace page:
Below is a partial list of articles and academic sources to help you continue to learn about this community.