Parents' Guide to

An American Tail

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Heartwarming tale of immigrant mouse has some peril.

Movie G 1986 81 minutes
An American Tail Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 8+

A Gem But Intense

A gem from my childhood that I remembered fondly. But an hour in, my kids 3 & 5 were in tears. I forgot how sad & scary this is, and it's throughout the film. Maybe not for the youngest kids.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.
age 10+

Enjoyable Movie with many Cultural Influences

An American Tail provides an educational and interesting view on immigration in the late 1800s. However, many parts in the movie and even the first song in the movie deal directly with different nations and cultures which younger children might struggle to understand. Many of the action scenes are dark and frightening, such as scenes including cats (which are represented as ruthless, wolf-like creatures), and the scene where the boat is attacked by the sea, which is personified as an old man. In terms of sexuality, a group of buxom pigeons show up during the second song. Later, an older mouse's hat loses a feather, which lands on her breast. When a male mouse reaches for the feather, his hand is slapped away. Finally, the character Honest John is shown drinking and noticeably drunk, and the movie's main villain smokes a cigar (which his cockroach side kick complains about). I rate this movie for older children, as younger kids wont understand most of the cultural context and the violent scenes might be to frightening for younger viewers.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (16 ):

This is a heartwarming animated tale about the experience of immigrants coming to America. Told from the perspective of an adorable young mouse, An American Tail should engage kids in an important part of U.S. history. The voice performances are charming, and the songs -- particularly the mega-hit "Somewhere Out There" -- are catchy.

Movie Details

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