Parents' Guide to

An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster

By Michael Scheinfeld, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

A mystery with spunk, courage, and heart.

Movie G 2000 75 minutes
An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Poor example of a focused girl character.

Sure, the film is fun filled including fun songs and good messages for children, but Tanya here is a sad example in this film including how she wanted to mature at an early age (between 9-11). Her parents are not even concerned about her attempted relationship with an older man, even Fievel viewed this is okey. What were the writers thinking? In other words, negligence.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (4 ):

For kids, there's plenty of humor and adventure. Fievel and company trek through New York's underground society, meeting Scottish and Chinese mice during their perilous mission, which culminates in an exciting climactic battle and flood sequence. Kids relate to Fievel's fears and learn valuable lessons about cowardice and courage. The story cleverly points out that it's okay to be afraid, because this instinct can protect you from danger, but that our imaginations can sometimes be scarier than reality. This video offers a gentle alternative to most contemporary cartoons, featuring sweet characters, lots of action, some easy-to-take songs, and a worthy moral.

While the original An American Tail contained a strong emphasis on religious, historical, and cultural values in its tale of late 19-century immigrant Jewish mice, the later series entries have concentrated more on action and comedy. AN AMERICAN TAIL: THE MYSTERY OF THE NIGHT MONSTER is no exception, but it also includes a fair share of period flavor and a warm portrait of Fievel's elderly parents. Old New York is colorfully drawn, replete with trolleys and a detailed depiction of the intricate sewer system where Madame Mousey and her gang hide out. The workings of an old newspaper office are also interesting, showing how a printing press and a pneumatic tube messenger system operate. Older viewers get a chuckle out of feisty reporter Nellie Brie -- who employs a tart, Katharine Hepburn-ish accent -- and her wisecracking romantic comedy-like relationship with her irritable editor. And movie buffs are amused by a nod to the classic Odessa Steps sequence from The Battleship Potemkin.

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