in 1885 from Shostka, Russia, to the United States because, as Papa Mousekewitz funny explains: "in America, there are mouse holes in every wall", "bread crumbs on every floor" and "most important... there are no cats."
Pictures of characters with cast as voices
Papa, the head of the Mousekewitz family who tells stories to his children like "the Mouse of Minsk's tail was a mile long" (Nehemiah Persoff)
Tanya, Fievel's older sister, aka american name 'Tillie' [Amy Green (speaking), Betsy Cathcart (singing voice)]
Mama Mousekewitz, mother of Tanya and Fievel, is more practical "America. Hmm. What a place" (Erica Yohn)
Bridget, an Irish origin activist who fights for the rights of mice, girlfriend of Toni "This is America. We have free speech." (Cathianne Blore)
Gussie Mausheimer is the richest and most powerful mouse in New York City (Madeline Kahn)
Henri, a pigeon French nationality, cheerful and hopeful for Fievel "Ah, this is America, the place to find hope!" (Christopher Plummer)
Tiger, a very large orange vegetarian and friendly cat "Get out of my way! You just stepped on my tail!" (Dom DeLuise)
Irish Singer Mouse (Warren Hays) [ironically, this mouse has no tail of his own even he sings that a cat killed his true love and left nothing but her tail behind]
Honest John a careerist politician who knows every voting mouse in New York City (Neil Ross)
Italian Singer Mouse (Johnny Guarnieri, his final film)
Digit, a cockroach that calculates daily profit of Warren (Will Ryan)
Moe, a fat rat that has a factory where workers are treated like slaves (Hal Smith)
Pictures and full quotes from An American Tail part 1
MAMA: Tanya, Fievel? Will you stop that twirling, twirling? Uh, no. No more. That's it. Time for bed. Come.
PAPA: But, Mama, it's Hanukkah!
For you, every night is Hanukkah.
Papa, enough already. They'll never get to sleep.
PAPA: All right. All right.
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: Presents. What about presents?
PAPA: Presents? What presents?
MAMA: Oh, Papa.
PAPA: Just a joke. For Tanya, a new babushka. Happy Hanukkah.
TANYA: Oh, Papa. Thank you.
MAMA: You have only one parent?
TANYA: Thank you, Mama.
PAPA: And for you, Fievel, a new hat. And not just any hat. A new hat
that has been in the family for three generations.
It belonged to me, my father, and my father's father, and now, it belongs to you.
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: It's too big!
MAMA: You'll grow.
PAPA: Ah, did I ever tell you about the Giant Mouse of Minsk?
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: No.
TANYA: Was it anything like the mouse with the long hair that the prince climbed up?
PAPA: No. This mouse, the Mouse of Minsk, was tall as a tree.
His tail was a mile long.
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: Really?
PAPA: Really. He was so big, he frightened all the cats.
MAMA: Shh! Don't say that word. Talk about something else.
MAMA: Another fairy tale.
PAPA: America. What a place!
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: What a place!
TANYA: What a place!
PAPA: In America, there are mouse holes in every wall.
MAMA: Who says?
PAPA: In America, there are bread crumbs on every floor!
MAMA: You're talking nonsense.
In America, you can say anything you want.
But most important. And this I know for fact, in America, there are no cats.
MAMA: Shh. They'll hear you.
PAPA: How could they hear us?
MAMA: There, you see?
MAN: The Cossacks! The Cossacks!
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: Don't cry, Yasha. I'll scare them away.
PAPA: Fievel, you'll get hurt!
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: Go away! Go away, cats! Go away! Whoa! Whoa!
MAMA: Fievel, angel, are you all right?
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: Yes, Mama.
MAMA: Then never do that again!
TANYA: Mama, look.
PAPA: In America, there are no cats.
Look, Papa, water. Is it the ocean?
PAPA: Yes. Keep walking.
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: Look, Papa, smoke! Is the boat on fire?
PAPA: No. No. Keep walking!
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: Look, Papa, birds! Are they seagulls?
SEAGULLS: Keep walking!
PAPA: Keep walking!
ALL: Keep walking!
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: I just wanted to see.
PAPA: Fievel, this is the last time I take you to America.
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: Bye-bye!
ALL: Auf Wiedersehen. Auf Wiedersehen.
SEAGULLS: Ooh, auf Wiedersehen!
SEAGULL 1: You know I got a cousin in America.
SEAGULL 2: Ah! You and everybody else.
SEAGULL 1: Huh?
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: Are we there yet?
PAPA: Not yet. Soon.
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: How soon?
TANYA: Maybe we should have stayed in Russia.
PAPA: We'll be all right.
As long as we're together, we'll be all right.
PAPA: Ah, so, Mr. Curious, you've discovered the herring.
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: Herring? I thought they were fish.
PAPA: But, Fievel, herring are fish.
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: Really?
PAPA: Certainly. In the ocean, there are all kinds of fish, and herring is one of them.
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: All kinds?
PAPA: Yes. Tiny fishes, not so tiny fishes, fishes as big as this boat.
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: Wow! Let's go up and see the fish!
PAPA: Not now. Your mama's worried. Come back, Fievel. Wait!
LADY MOUSE: Oh, what am I going to do with you? You stay closer to home! Don't you go running off again!
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: Mama!
MAMA: Ah, so we return, hmm?
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: We saw some fish!
MAMA: Fish? Lucky you didn't see some cats.
ALL: Cats! Oh!
FIEVEL MOUSEKEWITZ: I didn't see any cats.
PAPA: Won't it be nice to get to America where we don't have to worry about cats anymore? There Are No Cats in America, but back home in mother Russia.
Directed by Don Bluth; screenplay by Judy Freudberg, Tony Geiss; story by David Kirschner, Judy Freudberg, Tony Geiss; music by James Horner; film editing by Dan Molina
The film was followed by a theatrical sequel An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991), the television series Fievel's American Tails, and two direct-to-video followups: An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island and An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster
Warren Hays (the voice of the Irish Singer Mouse) worked as the Systems Administrator and Systems Supporter of A Bug's Life (1998), the Information Systems Manager of Toy Story 2 (1999), the Information Systems Manager and Lead of Finding Nemo (2003), and Desktop and Infrastructure: Pixar Studio Team of Up (2009).
The opening scene of the ship's arrival in America (at Castle Garden) is based on a photograph in Christian Weekly magazine from March 28, 1874.
Watch original songs from soundtrack and other parts of movie