In the boat-ride over, the mice sing about their problems across Europe. This begins to set-up the struggle of one gang (the mice) and how the second gang (the cats) have terrorized them.
After reaching America, the cats show-up when Fievel (Phillip Glasser) least expects it and wrecks things for the mice. They just tear through the area and destroy things.
Politics are also used to attempt to distract the audience from realizing this film is about gangs battling it out for territory. Honest John (Neil Ross) and Gussie Mausheimer (Madeline Kahn) band “together about the cats” and have a rally.
The “wowy” (rally) represents the mice becoming one unit, a political gang hell-bent on getting rid of the cats.
When we finally see the cats, they are shadier than the mice. They play “poker” and disguise themselves to trick the unsuspecting mice.
Ultimately, the gang war occurs on the pier. The cats attach the mice with fire and the mice answerback with fireworks. The mice won the battle and sent the cats to China, but who won the war?
Tiger (Dom DeLuise) is the wild card in this film. He befriends Fievel because he “like[s] mice”. He represents acceptance and integration. Maybe with the help of these two heroes, integration of cats and mice could be possible.
Do you love An American Tail and all movies involved? There is a whole page dedicated to this little mouse family.
Tropes and idioms from this iconic movie!
Thank you for reading! See you next week for another Second Thursday Sequel!