A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Introduces the U.S. immigration experience of the late 1800s.
Don't lose hope or faith; keep trying, and believe in happy endings. Family is the most important thing, and friends can help you when you need it. Sheds a light on some of the dire circumstances that emigres experienced in the late 19th century.
Positive Role Models
Fievel is hopeful and determined; he perseveres and never gives up. H meets many characters from different ethnic backgrounds who help him find his family. The bad guy is deceitful and manipulative, but he's clearly not a role model.
Violence & Scariness
A village is burned, and cats attack mice (sometimes narrowly avoiding being eaten). Peril on a ship's deck results in a mouse being lost at sea and separated from his parents -- this scene could be very upsetting for young/sensitive kids. More close calls in the city, and Fievel is caught in a fire. Song lyrics mention mice being killed by cats. Funeral shows a dead mouse; Fievel's family believes he is dead (sad). The bad guy and his giant mechanical mouse could be scary to very little kids.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Young mice share a kiss. Buxom pigeons represent the French bird female population.
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"Shut up," "pipe down," "runt," "Geez, Louise."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Honest John drinks to excess at a wake. A mouse hiccups after drinking sparkling wine. Characters smoke cigars.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that An American Tail is a great introduction to the 19th-century U.S. immigration experience for young children. Although it's ultimately a feel-good story, the main character -- a young mouse named Fievel -- spends much of the film trying to find his family, whom he was separated from during a scary storm at sea. He faces many perils, including a fire, a near-drowning, and attacks from monstrous cats, during his journey, which may prove too much for the youngest viewers. Scenes of his family mourning his presumed death could also be upsetting for sensitive viewers, and there's a frightening mechanical mouse. Expect cigar smoking and a little bit of drinking; young mice share a kiss, and there are a couple of uses of "shut up," "runt," and the like. Messages focus on perseverance and the importance of family, and Fievel is a brave, optimistic character. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.