An American Tail: Return of the Dragon Cats (Addition of Moustaches)

Somewhere out there....

We know our listeners have been waiting for this one!
After our NIMH episode revealed we have some pretty big Don Bluth fans listening, we're excited to bring the next chapter of Bluth goodness.
That's right, it's 1986's 'An American Tail'.

Original Poster

Aly doesn't have too much to go on this week, as this is an original story. She talks a little bit about the book that was worried it would be sued, but it is really quite different. She gives us a little bit of backstory on Ukranian Immigration into American as well as the conditions that immigrants to New York in the 19th century faced, which is really what this film is about.

Sarrah dives deeper into Bluth territory and examines what issues erupt when you combine the world of animation (Don Bluth and his animators) and the world of live-action film-making (Steven Spielberg). We learn a lot about the studio side of things and get a lesson on storyboarding vs beat boards.

Aly (at the height of fashion here) posing next to the Feivel sign at Universal Studios Orlando

Aly (at the height of fashion here) posing next to the Feivel sign at Universal Studios Orlando

Our walk-through has us applauding some patient parents (and some great Mama one-liners), questioning pacing, and groaning at the huge amount of near-misses!

So sit back, and relax, because there's no cats in America! Let's all go on a trip with Feivel and his family in 'An American Tail'.

Stars 3 and Half.png

An American Tail Rating:
Voice Acting: Full - Every character had so much expression and personality. For a seven-year-old Phillip Glasser (Fievel) was so well done! Shout outs to particularly great performances by Dom DeLuise (Tiger), John P. Finnegan (Warren T. Rat), Neihemiah Persoff (Papa), and Christopher Plummer (Henri).
Script & Story: Half - Original story that was touching and had an important message, but there wasn't enough time spent on the emotional moments.
Music & Songs: Half - It was technically a musical, and it didn't deliver as such. The score was great, but out of the four songs sung, only one was truly memorable and even then as a pop song. It's not remembered for being part of this film.
Animation & Technical: Full - Once again, beautifully animated and executed.
Style: Half - We're bringing personal bias in. Aly thought it was too cluttered, and Sarrah didn't buy their attempt to honour old-school Disney films like Pinocchio. But Bluth has a distinctive style that we couldn't dislike if we tried. Backgrounds and character designs were beautifully done. But it just isn't our favorite!

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Our Sources:

Podcast Music By:

IMDb for An American Tail
Wikipedia Article for An American Tail
An American Tail Wikia
Wikipedia Article on Sullivan Bluth Studios

Wikipedia Article on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
Wikipedia Article on Little Ukraine
Wikipedia Article on US Immigration Acts Article on Themes of Racism and Immigration in An American Tail Article on 12 Facts on An American Tail

The Complete Maus: A Survivors Tale. Art Spiegelman. Pantheon. Hardcover. 1996.
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