A brave mouse. A New World. It's all in this An American Tail Trivia Quiz!
By: Julie Medina
About This Quiz
Lost in a new country with a family to find, a young mouse gathers the courage to immigrate, face American cats, and reunite with his family. Recall it all with this adventurous American Tail trivia quiz.
What is the name of the lost mouse in the movie?
The young mouse is called Fievel. His last name, Mousekewitz, is a play on the Jewish-Russian last name Moskowitz, the name of the human occupants of the house his family is living with at the beginning of the film. Phillip Glasser, who voices Fievel, was discovered by accident when Bluth and his crew overheard him auditioning for an Oscar Mayer commercial.
What is the name of Fievel’s older sister?
Fievel's older sister is named Tanya. She is optimistic, cheerful, and obedient. She continued to believe that Fievel was alive after he was washed overboard on the way to America. Tanya is voiced by Amy Green but the singing voice was provided by Bestsy Cathcart. Amy Green was a young actress who had done television series work and several commercials prior to this role.
What is Tanya’s name changed to at Castle Garden?
Tanya was given an American name at the immigration point at Castle Garden. Her new name is Tillie. Since songwriters had written the score much later than originally desired, scenes had to be dropped to save time and money, including a scene that gave a fuller explanation of the changing of names at Ellis Island.
What instrument does Fievel’s father play?
Nehemiah Persoff voices Papa Mousekewitz, the head of the Mousekewitz family who plays the violin and tells stories to his children. Persoff, a respected actor in many films, was chosen to play the part of Papa Mousekewitz mostly because he had a similar role as Barbra Streisand's father in Yentl.
What holiday is the Mousekewitz family celebrating when the movie starts?
In 1885, in Shostka, Russia, the Mousekewitz family of mice is having a celebration of Hanukkah during which Papa gives presents to his children and tells of a wonderful place called America, where there are no cats.
What gifts do the children receive for Hanukkah?
Fievel receives a hat that is a family heirloom and Tanya receives a babushka. A babushka is a headscarf tied under the chin, typical of those worn by Polish and Russian women.
What interrupts their celebration?
A battery of Cossacks rides through the village square in an arson attack and their cats likewise attack the village mice. Because of this, the Moskowitz home, along with that of the Mousekewitzes, is destroyed. The critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert both criticized how the movie gave little mention that the main characters were Jewish or that the attack on their home at the beginning was anti-Semitic, calling it "a Jewish parable that doesn't want to declare itself." They said it "chickened out on its ethnic heritage."
What is the name of the most popular song from this movie?
Although in the movie Fievel and his sister sing this song, it was decided a special song would be written for Linda Ronstadt to sing over the end credits with James Ingram. Linda Ronstadt at that time was the girlfriend of George Lucas. Somewhere Out There was composed by Horner and Barry Mann, with lyrics by Cynthia Weil. It was instantly a favorite and won a Grammy Award. In fact, it became one of the most popular songs from an animated feature since the 1950s.
From what country does the mouse family leave to go to America?
They leave from Hamburg, Germany, to reach America aboard a tramp steamer. Bluth, the Director and one of the Producers of the movie, utilized, among other techniques, the process of building models and photographing them. This was used particularly for the ship at sea and the Giant Mouse of Minsk. This is a technique also used in many Disney films.
What do we learn about the people going to America?
The movie does a good job of showing the melting pot that is America. It shows immigrant mice coming from Ireland, Italy, Russia, Germany, and many other countries. Tragedy has struck them all through a cat encounter. They all are coming to America to escape the cat persecution, as they have heard there are no cats in America.
What happens to Fievel on the journey to America?
During a thunderstorm, Fievel suddenly finds himself separated from his family and washed overboard. Unbeknownst to his family, Fievel floats to America in a bottle. Thinking that he has died, they proceed to New York City as planned, though they become depressed at his loss. Did you know that Fievel was the name of Steven Spielberg's grandfather?
Who finds Fievel when he floats to shore in America?
Fievel meets and gets a pep talk from a French pigeon named Henri. Christopher Plummer voices Henri, a pigeon of French descent. Henri was originally going to be voiced by comedian Sid Caesar and was conceived as scraggly and worn, but later Plummer was cast for the part and Henri was drawn with a more dignified look. Bluth, the Director/Producer, felt Henri was an essential character to act as a voice for the statue "welcoming" Fievel to the new world.
What statue is being built when Fievel is found by Henri?
It is appropriate that a French pigeon named Henri welcomes Fievel. Henri is in New York City while the Statue of Liberty is being built. This copper statue was a gift to the United States from the people of France. The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess, who bears a torch and a tablet evoking the law upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States. It was a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad.
Who pretends he knows where Fievel’s family is?
Fievel is conned by Warren T. Rat, who gains his trust and then sells him to a sweatshop. John P. Finnegan voices Warren T. Rat, the leader of the Mott Street Maulers, a gang of cats who terrorize the mice of New York City. He is accompanied nearly all the time by his accountant, a small, British-accented cockroach.
What type of animal is the real Warren T. Rat?
Warren T. Rat is a cat disguised as a rat and the leader of the Mott Street Maulers. His true identity isn’t revealed until later in the movie, but one can tell he is a con man through and through. He sells Fievel to a sweatshop, but the clever mouse escapes with Tony Toponi. Pat Musick voices Tony Toponi, a streetwise young mouse of Italian descent with a "tough New Yorker" attitude. The name "Toponi" is a play on "topo," the Italian word for "mouse."
Who is Tony in love with?
Cathianne Blore voices Bridget, an attractive mouse with an Irish accent. She is Tony's girlfriend. Kind and passionate, yet soft-spoken, she acts as a motherly figure to Fievel. Cathianne Blore is a voice actor well known in the animation industry.
What happens when Bridget makes her speech at the marketplace and keeps repeating the word “cat”?
It is not a pretty sight after Bridget makes her impassioned speech that they must do something about the cats and then the cats attack them in the marketplace. The immigrant mice learn the hard way that America is not a cat-free country. When Tony and Bridget emerge from the wreckage after the cat attack at the market, a bottle of "Pomeroy Hair Tonic," named after co-producer John Pomeroy, can be seen in the background.
Why do Bridget and Tony take Fievel to see Honest John?
Bridget and Tony take Fievel to see Honest John because he might know something about his family. Honest John is a drunk but reliable 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. Honest John is the stereotype of the 19th-century Tammany Hall politicians.
What important rat do they meet when they talk to Honest John?
Bridget, Tony, and Fievel meet Gussie Mausheimer when they are talking to Honest John. Gussie Mausheimer is a German-born mouse, considered to be the richest and most powerful mouse in New York City. Gussie wants to have a rally to discuss plans to rid New York City of the cats. She knows that Warren is extorting all the mice for protection he never provides. Gussie is voiced by Madeline Kahn, who was chosen by Bluth to use a voice similar to her character in Blazing Saddles.
At the rally, who comes up with the idea to get rid of the cats?
Fievel comes up with the idea, although he got the idea from one of his father’s stories. Speaking of stories, the scene in which Fievel presses up against a window to look into a classroom filled with American "school mice" is based on a story Steven Spielberg remembered about his grandfather, who told him that Jews were only able to listen to school lessons through open windows while sitting outside in the snow.
How do they make the Giant Mouse of Minsk?
The mice take over an abandoned museum on Chelsea Pier and begin constructing a huge mechanical mouse. They rig the mouse on a track so it can plow forward and scare the cats. It works and the contraptions chases the cats down the pier and into the water. A tramp steamer bound for Hong Kong picks them up on its anchor and carries them away.
Warren always has his cockroach accountant with him. What is the name of the cockroach?
The British-accented cockroach’s name is Digit, because he deals with them all the time. He adds up profits each day for Warren T. Rat. Also, Digit doesn’t have any digits on his hands to count with, but his antennae seem to help him compute. Do you recall when the cats are hanging on the anchor, on their way to Hong Kong, when Digit says that he needs to start learning how to count in Chinese and starts counting some coins? Digit actually counts in Mandarin in the scene, while the majority of speakers in Hong Kong speak Cantonese.
Prior to the mechanical mouse scaring the cats, Fievel gets lost and stumbles upon Warren’s lair. What secret does he discover?
Fievel discovers that Warren T. Rat is actually a cat in disguise and the leader of the Maulers. The Mott Street Maulers capture and imprison Fievel. However, Tiger, his guard, is a reluctant member of the gang and a goofy, soft-hearted cat. In fact, Tiger befriends Fievel and frees him. Don Deluise voices Tiger and even added material to the script at various points. During the song, A Duo, he suggested they stop the music where the lyrics mention "back scratch" and have Fievel actually scratch Tiger's back.
Who says this? “You lost your family? Oh, dear. That's terrible. I lost my family, too. Years ago, I mean. [Starts sobbing] Eight brothers. Ten sisters. Three fathers.”
Tiger says this. He is a very large, cowardly, long-haired orange tabby cat who also happens to be vegetarian (with the exception of the occasional fish). After the fire on the pier that destroys the mechanical mouse, Tiger helps Fievel’s family find Fievel.
Who says this? “Stick with me, kid. [Fievel holds on tightly to his arm] Hey, hey, hey! What, are we engaged or something?”
Tony is trying to look out for Fievel. He owes him one, as Fievel figured out how to escape from the sweatshop. Tony is in love with Bridget. You may notice that Bridget has a disappearing and reappearing parasol. From Bridget's first appearance, up until after she and Tony kiss, she has a parasol. It is last seen at her side when she sits down with Tony, right before Fievel tells the crowd that there are no cats in America.
Who says, “Listen, I like mice. [Fievel cries] Oh, no. Not like that. You see, I don't eat red meat at all. I'm a vegetarian. Oh, a little fish now and then, but what I really like is a nice piece of... shh... broccoli.”
Dom DeLuise voices Tiger. Besides voice acting, Dom DeLuise was an actor, comedian, film director, television producer, chef, and author. DeLuise is best known for co-starring with Burt Reynolds in the 1970s and 1980s. Together they appeared in the films Cannonball Run and Cannonball Run II, Smokey and the Bandit II, The End, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. DeLuise was the host of the television show Candid Camera from 1991-92. He is also well known for appearing in Mel Brooks' films. He appeared in The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Silent Movie, History of the World, Part I, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
Who says this? “Money isn't evewything. I know because I have money, and I also have evewything. But what are they worth without fweedom?”
Gussie Mausheimer, with her German accent, is voiced by Madeline Kahn, an actress, comedian and singer known for her comedic roles in What's Up, Doc?, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, History of the World, Part I, and her Academy Award-nominated roles in Paper Moon and Blazing Saddles. Kahn received the first of four Tony Award nominations for In the Boom Boom Room. She received subsequent nominations for On the Twentieth Century and the revival of Born Yesterday, before winning the 1993 Tony Award for Best Actress in The Sisters Rosensweig. She had previously won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1987 for an ABC Afterschool Special. Her other film appearances included The Cheap Detective, City Heat, Clue, and Nixon.
Who says this? “Qu'est-ce que c'est? A little immigrant. Now they are coming by bottle.”
Henri says this upon seeing Fievel emerging from a bottle that he rode the rest of the way to America. At the end of the movie, Henri is seen again. He wants to take everyone to see the completed project—the Statue of Liberty. As they all fly by, with the help of other pigeons, the Statue of Liberty appears to smile and wink at Fievel and Tanya. And the Moskowitz family's new life in America begins.
Who is Rat talking to as he plays the violin? Warren T. Rat: “Rats! This nose, this nose keeps getting in the way.” “You could stop playing.” Warren T. Rat: “That's very funny. I've never known a cockroach with good taste, but I've known plenty that taste - heh, heh - good.”
Will Ryan voices Digit, Warren T. Rat’s British cockroach accountant who has a fondness for counting money, but is plagued by frequent electrical charges in his antennae whenever he gets nervous or excited. Will Ryan is a voice actor, singer and comedian, probably best known for his voice work in the Christian radio drama Adventures in Odyssey and Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin. He provides the voices of Rabbit and Tigger, and the singing voice of Eeyore, in the Disney Channel's long-running series Welcome to Pooh Corner and in many other Pooh cartoons. He also provides the voice of Barnaby the Dog on the popular series Dumbo's Circus.
Who says this? “Excuse moi, pardon, did you say never? So young, and you've already lost hope! This is America, the place to find hope. If you give up now, you will never find them. So never say never.”
This conversation between Henri and Fievel segues into one of the top songs on the soundtrack. Spielberg's original vision for the film was as a musical—it is said he wanted a "Heigh-Ho" of his own (referring to the popular song from Disney's Snow White). The score for the film was composed by James Horner, recorded in England, and performed by The London Symphony Orchestra and the Choir of King's College.
What did the critics think of the film?
The film had mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie an aggregate rating of 69% "fresh" approval rating, with an average rating of 6.3/10. In his review for the Chicago Reader, Pat Graham panned its "flimsy characterizations," but added that "the overall quality of the animation—baroquely executed if rather conventionally conceived—makes it worth a look."
What did the fans think of the film?
The audience loved it. The film was a financial success. The film has grossed up to $47 million in the United States and $84 million worldwide. At the time of its domestic release, it became the highest-grossing non-Disney-produced animated feature at the time. It was also one of the first animated films to outdraw a Disney one, beating out The Great Mouse Detective (another traditionally animated film involving mice that was released in 1986 but four months earlier) by over US $22 million.
In what category did the movie receive both an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination?
The film received a Golden Globe nomination for "Best Original Song from a Motion Picture" and an Academy Award nomination for "Best Original Song," losing both to "Take My Breath Away" from Top Gun. The song, "Somewhere Out There," written by James Horner, received a number of accolades during the 1987–1988 award season, including Grammys for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television Show and Song of the Year.
How else might you enjoy Fievel and the movie?
A Fievel-themed playground was built at Universal Studios Florida, featuring a large water slide and many oversized objects such as books, glasses, cowboy boots, and more. It is the only such playground at any of NBC Universal's theme parks.
What else was inspired by An American Tail?
The film inspired a theatrical sequel called Fievel Goes West, directed by Phil Nibbelink and Simon Wells and produced by Steven Spielberg and Robert Watts. Also, a 13-episode TV series called Fievel's American Tails aired on CBS between September and December 1992. Two direct-to-video films were also later produced by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment: The Treasure of Manhattan Island in 1998, and The Mystery of the Night Monster in 1999.
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