An American Tail | Chicago Reader

An American Tail

Rated G 80 minutes 1986

Steven Spielberg-produced animated feature about an immigrant mouse who comes to America in search of his family. Director Don Bluth (The Secret of NIMH), an erstwhile Disney rebel, brings a stylistic consistency to the animation that's eluded the recent multihanded projects of his old studio employer (e.g. The Black Cauldron), though Bluth seems constitutionally incapable of sustaining a basic story line: his Tail lurches episodically from one pyrotechnical extravagance to the next (in much the same manner as a Spielberg live-action feature) with little regard for overarching narrative design. Some flimsy characterizations to contend with also, as well as an overbearingly rah-rah Americana theme (sacrificing fantasy archetype for popular edification), but I don't want to be too hard on this small film: the overall quality of the animation—baroquely executed if rather conventionally conceived—makes it worth a look (1986).

Film Credits

Director: Don Bluth

Cast: Cathianne Blore, Laura Carson, Dom DeLuise, John Finnegan, Phillip Glasser, Amy Green, Madeline Kahn, Pat Musick, Nehemiah Persoff, Christopher Plummer, Neil Ross, Will Ryan, Hal Smith and Erica Yohn


An American Tail

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