|Ah, to be young, recently immigrated, Jewish, and a mouse. Amblin Entertainment’s Fievel’s American Tails featured the Saturday morning debut of immigrant mouse Fievel Mousekiwitz, fresh off his success in the feature films An American Tail and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. The animated series picked up where the second feature left off, with the young animated rodent and his family living in the Old West.
Fievel, along with his mother, his Yiddish-speaking father, and sisters Tanya and Yasha, lived in the American frontier town of Green River—in a mouse-made city under the humans' General Store. In this series of continuing adventures, Fievel was learning to become a cowboy. He was also trying to avoid the wrath—and stomach—of the shady, monocle-wearing Cat R. Waul, who, along with his naïve sidekicks Chula the tarantula and Sweet William, set up shop at the Morton Walton Funerals Building.
Fievel had some assistance from Tiger the Cat, his occasionally bashful feline friend, who always kept an eye on the tiny mouse. Other members of Fievel’s multicultural community were an Australian mouse named Jack and a Hispanic mouse named Jorge.
The prominent themes in Fievel’s American Tails were ones of respect and peaceful coexistence, concerns just as important today as they were in the Old West. Fievel, ever the model mouse, often set the example by placing friendship and respect above everything else. But kind hearts and well-placed lessons couldn't compensate for struggling ratings, and Fievel's American Tails were cut off after a single season. The plucky mouse bounced back, however, landing another feature film, the direct-to-video An American Tail III: The Treasure of Manhattan Island.