Monday, January 7, 2013

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)

Rating: 80%
Ah now here's another film I grew up and totally loved when I was a kid. Let's not waste any more time and talk about it.

Plot: While still living in New York with his family, Fievel dreams of going west and meeting his hero, Sheriff Wylie Burp. Then a gang of cats chase his family and all the other mice to the sewers where a cowboy mice convinces them to move out west to a place called Green River where cats and mice live in harmony. But on the train ride there, Fievel finds out that it's all part of a plan from the evil Cat R. Waul who intends to turn the mice into mouse burgers, but is thrown over board by Cat R. Waul's sidekick Chula and so has to find his family (again) to warn them.

Alright so the first thing I want to make perfectly clear is that fact that when I grew up with this film, I had no idea that it was a sequel at all. In fact I think I was in middle school or maybe older when I finally saw the first one. But while some fans may disagree completely with me, I think this one is a lot better. I know that's biased since this was the one I grew up with and everything, but I think I have justified reasons to like this one better. The first American Tail movie may have a couple of songs that are more classic, but it was a really dark and depressing movie. I don't doubt that kids enjoyed it despite that with it still having some comedy relief and stuff like that, but I honestly feel that if I did grow up with both of them, I still would like this one better. It's lighter, it has better animation, the moments with Tiger are a little overdone now that I've seen it again but are still memorable, I remember really liking Cat R. Waul as a villain and how John Cleese did his voice, and it just had so much more adventure and excitement. Which I remember is something that I particularly loved about not just this film, but also Rescuers Down Under, Prince and the Pauper, and Hook when I grew up. Honestly, the only issue that I noticed after recently seeing it again and one issue that I've heard other people mention was that it was a little rushed. I mean as a kid I thought it was really long because...well I was only a kid, but looking back, some of the pacing was quicker then I remembered. I mostly found this to be a problem with the songs. I mean don't get me wrong, I love those songs. Way out West, Catchy. The Girl You Left Behind, fun. Dreams to Dream, personal favorite. But watching them again, I found them to be a lot shorter then I thought and I couldn't help but really wish they were a lot longer then they really were. I especially felt that way with Dreams to Dream. This one is my personal favorite even as a kid because it had a really nice emotional kind of romantic melody to it that as I kid I would imagine it really working in some really big, complex, dramatic love story. So with that said, hearing it again I feel it could work out much more a much longer and more developed song that maybe wouldn't be Oscar winning or even fit in this film, but I still felt it could've been more then what it is. But despite any of those issues they're still very enjoyable. And it has a very cheery and fun climax and...really, If you need only one itty bitty reason to see this film that's not for all the G-rated adventure and fun it has, do it because it's the very last film that James Stewart ever did before he stopped making film and died a few years after this film came out.

And that's my review for An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. It may be more rushed then I remembered - especially with the songs, but it's still very light, fun, exciting, adventurous, making it easily a film for people like me to remember growing up with and otherwise a film that I would recommend even if you think the first film is so much better.

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