Thursday, August 12, 2010

Somewhere Out There - An American Tail

What is your favorite cartoon movie of all time? Mine is this.An American Tail. Every time I would watch it, I would fall in love with the cartoon and its characters.

The Plot

In 1885 Shostka, Russia, the Mousekewitzes—a Russian-Jewish family of mice—decide to immigrate to America after an army of cruel cats destroys their village, believing there to be no cats in the New World. During the trip overseas, the family's youngest child, Fievel Mousekewitz, gets separated from the others and washes overboard in a storm. The Mouskewitzes arrive sadly in America believing they've lost their son.

Fievel, however, floats to America in a bottle, and after a pep talk from a French pigeon named Henri, embarks on a quest to find his family. He is waylaid by conman Warren T. Rat, who gains his trust and then sells him to a sweatshop. Fievel escapes with Tony, a street-smart Italian mouse, and they join up with Bridget, an Irish mouse trying to rouse her fellow mice to stand up to cats. When a gang of cats called the Mott Street Maulers attacks a mouse marketplace, Fievel realizes there are indeed cats in America.

Bridget takes Fievel and Tony to see Honest John, a politician who knows all the voting mice in New York City. But as the Mousekewitzes have not yet registered to vote, he can't help Fievel find them. Meanwhile, Fievel's sister Tanya tells her gloomy parents she has a feeling that Fievel is still alive.

Led by the rich and powerful Gussie Mausheimer, the mice hold a rally to decide what to do about the cats. Warren T. Rat is extorting them all for protection he never provides. No one has any idea what to do about it, until Fievel whispers a plan to Gussie.

The mice take over an abandoned building on Chelsea Pier and begin constructing their plan. On the day of launch, Fievel gets lost and stumbles upon Warren T.'s lair. He discovers that the rat is actually a cat in disguise and the leader of the Maulers. They capture Fievel, but a goofy, soft-hearted orange cat named Tiger takes a liking to Fievel and sets him free.

Fievel races back to the pier with the cats in pursuit, and Gussie orders the mice to release the secret weapon. A huge mechanical mouse, inspired by the bedtime tales Papa told to Fievel of the Giant Mouse of Minsk, chases the cats down the pier and into the water. A tramp steamer bound for Hong Kong picks up the cats and carries them away.

During the battle, Fievel is once again separated from those he loves, and falls into despair. But his friends and family team up for a final effort to find him, and his father's violin playing leads Fievel back into the arms of his family. The journey ends with Henri taking everyone to see his newly completed project—the Statue of Liberty, and the Mouskewitzes' new life in America begins.

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