A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Teaches about the immigrant experience in the United States and a little about the history of Native Americans.
Strong messages of equality, tolerance, and equal working conditions for all people (and mice!). But also some dated stereotypes about Native Americans and immigrants.
Positive Role Models
Papa stands up for Tony and fights for the rights of all immigrants in America.
Violence & Scariness
Suspenseful scenes of peril such as Fievel almost getting hit by a train or flooding lava; scary skeletons that lead to a treasure map; and a scheming villain and his police thugs who beat up protesters with a baton and threaten more violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some very mild flirting and one kiss on the cheek.
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Some racist terms such as "injuns" used by the bad guys.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Villains drinking and scheming in a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island is another adventure of Fievel the mouse and his immigrant family. This action-adventure has a strong message about tolerance and equality for all but also has quite a few suspenseful scenes and a lot of cartoon violence, including some disturbing scenes of police beating up protesters, which may be too scary for some young viewers. There also are some pretty dated ethnic stereotypes of various immigrants and Native Americans. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of Indiana Jones will definitely recognize and appreciate the scenes of Fievel and Tony navigating the underground world of Manhattan in this sometimes fun adventure tale. But, unlike previous American Tail adventures, this dreary flick is short on hope and long on injustice. There are too many near misses for Tony and Fievel, and Mr. Grasping and his police thugs are just too brutal -- seeing them viciously beat a protester with a baton, even if it is in silhouette, feels excessive. Fievel's cheery enthusiasm isn't enough to outweigh the gloom that pervades the entire movie.
Also, though there are definitely some inspiring scenes of Papa rallying everyone to fight against injustice, it's hard to overlook the dated and cringe-inducing stereotypes used to depict the Native American mice. Stick with the original An American Tail and skip this one.
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.