The Mousekewitz family of the hit An American Tail returned to the big screen in 1991, this time heading west to chase the dream of a land without fear of cats.
As the feature opens, Fievel and family still live in gloomy New York City in the late 1800’s, and the cats are back on the prowl. Feline huckster Cat R. Waul promises the Mousekewitzes that out in the West, cats and mice get along just fine, and so the family heads west on a wagon train. Curious young Fievel overhears Cat R. Waul’s real plan: to make a nice mice meat pie out of his recruits.
When Fievel is discovered, he’s chased off the train in the middle of the desert. Luckily, fraidy cat pal Tiger is on the same trip (tailing the sultry Miss Kitty) and comes his little buddy’s aid. Things come to a showdown in the Old West town, complete with lawdog Wylie Burp, master of the menacing stare.
This second American Tail installment was lighter and more comedic than the first, zipping along at only seventy-five minutes. Screen legend James Stewart gave Wylie his slow Western drawl, toplining a voice cast that included Dom DeLuise, Phillip Glasser, Amy Irving, John Cleese, and Jon Lovitz as Cat R. Waul’s spider henchman, T.R. Chula. The film opened the same day as Disney’s powerhouse Beauty and the Beast, but still did well enough to help launch an animated Fievel’s American Tails series a year later.