An American Tail 4
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A monster is loose in New York! Mice everywhere are being swallowed up by the Manhattan Monster, leaving only their devastated homes with the same hole in the floor leading to a deep tunnel. Each mouse that survives the attacks describes a different monster - the Chinese mice see a dragon monster, the Scottish mouse sees one like the monster of Loch Ness... no-one can agree.
The story of the Night Monster becomes the favourite topic for the editor of the newspaper for mice "The Daily Nibbler" - Reed Daley (wow, a pun just ran over me with a steam roller! :-) ) who can see what a great paper-selling story the monster will be - mice everywhere are having nightmares about it, and with good reason... including Fievel!
Tanya, newly employed as Mr Daley's assistant, is talked by her parents into taking Fievel to the newspaper offices to meet their best reporter Nellie Brie, in the hope that she will be able to help ease Fievel's nightmares by telling him that the story is all rubbish (being a reporter she would know the truth if anyone does) Unfortunately this does not work. The mystery of the Manhattan Monster is a mystery to all, including those at the Daily Nibbler, and Fievel's fears only grow with each new monster attack.
Nellie, who prefers stories of political
intrigue and corruption takes Fievel along while she reluctantly
covers the monster story at Reed Daley's insistance, and together
they find themselves getting closer and closer to finding the
truth, but first they have to negotiate the clues - a psychic
poodle, a hairball, several large deep craters in the ground,
political intrigue (well, maybe not political intrigue), and a
set of glowing green eyes - that all leads them to discover that
maybe there really is a giant monster lurking below New York!...
Your opinion of
this film may well differ from mine, but I didn't find this film
as much fun as AT3, and even occasionally got the feeling the
story had been aimed at a younger age-group than AT3 (bourne out
by the Barney the Dinosaur and Maisie Mouse trailers at the
beginning of the [UK] tape)... the writers seem to have abandoned
tying the story into a particular historical context (unless
there is a context and I've just missed it!), and gone instead
with just a normal childen's story
Although the story theme is quite a good one, something gets lost in abandoning history. All of the preceding Tail features have been the story of coming to America through the eyes of a child (albeit a mouse!) which although just a story to me as a non-American, is part of Amerian history and the Tail films are a way for children to live in history for a while rather than have it thrust upon them in school. Of course "An American Tail" in the end is intended as entertainment, not as a history lesson!
The film does have lots of good lines scattered here and there that you have to listen for though, just like AT3, which along with the mystery story helps to make this another good AT sequal - not quite at AT3's level of quality (but close) because it lacks AT3's feeling of 'authentic history', but still good all the same! Don't get the idea from anything I've written here that AT4 is bad - it isn't. I'm sure AT fans will like it!
Am I crazy, or does
Nellie Brie look just like Miss Sawyer
in "Cats Don't Dance"?!
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This page was created Monday 6 March 2000