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An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island

An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island, titled in the film as An American Tail III: The Treasure of Manhattan Island was the first direct-to-video and third film in the An American Tail series, but second installment chronologically. This film was first released in the UK in 1998. It was released by Universal Studios Home Entertainment in the United States in 2000, and stars Thomas Dekker as Fievel Mousekewitz.

Plot

The story starts off in a New York setting sometime after the first movie, presumably 1886 or later, and has Fievel recalling a strange dream in which he and his family went west. (Which many think retconned the previous film and TV series out of existence, though both this film and An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster actually take place before An American Tail: Fievel Goes West and the TV series, which can be proven by the younger appearance of Fievel, Tanya and Yasha. Perhaps Fievel's dream of going west was a foreshadowing instead of a retcon.) Fievel and Tony discover that an ancient treasure lies underneath Manhattan when snooping around an abandoned subway (the Beach Pneumatic Transit system) and stumbling upon the remains of a dead mouse clutching a treasure map, and they decide must find it with the help of an archaeologist Tony knows Dr. Dithering, along with fighting five villains as well.

The movie focuses on the relationship between the over exploited workers of a sweatshop (in this case a cheese production line) and the factory's rich owners (Mr. Grasping - played by Ron Perlman, Toplofty - played by Tony Jay, and O'Bloat - played by Richard Karron) here the villains. It also focuses on the plight of the Native Americans in the United States.

The treasure under Manhattan turns out to be a group of Native American mice living a long distance beneath the surface (far below the sewers and an underground pressurized train) that decided to hide when they saw how the first Europeans only brought war and disease with them, and didn't want to wait for the European mice to do the same to them. An emotional scene ensues when Fievel must struggle with how cruel his own people the Europeans were (and still are at the time the film takes place) to the natives of America.

The sachem decides to send his daughter, Cholena to the surface to see if they have "changed their ways". Upon their return, Stuttlebutt (one of the members of the expedition to find the treasure) reports to the villains unbeknownst to the rest of the members of the expedition, who then decide to use this to their advantage. They tell all the workers of the sweatshop about Cholena (obviously not by name) and that she is their enemy.

The mouse NYPD (Chief McBrusque - played by Sherman Howard, and McBrusque's henchman / Dr. Dithering's associate Scuttlebutt - played by John Kassir), who also report to the villains, engage in a bout of police brutality, burning down "every mouse house and rat hole" until they find her. After what basically degenerates into a street riot as the worker mice try to capture Cholena and anyone else involved with her, Fievel and his friends decide to take Cholena back underground, but the police find out and go after them. Upon returning Cholena to her home and telling the chief what is happening, he gives them a bomb for them to collapse the tunnel connecting the Native Americans to the outside world. This floods it, together with the evil McBrusque and Scuttlebutt.

The movie ends with Fievel's papa forming a worker's union, and the villains agreeing amongst themselves to negotiate "with that riff-raff" because otherwise they'll go on strike and make them go background; while Tiger the cat, now the new police chief, watches them.

The second-last take shows Fievel seeing, through a foldable telescope, Cholena and her father disappearing into a hidden door at the foot of a statue. The last take being simply Fievel smiling as we fade to black.

Characters

  • Fievel Mousekewitz (voiced by Thomas Dekker): A little mouse boy and the main character.
  • Tanya Mousekewitz (voiced by Lacey Chabert): Fievel's sister, she is very spunky, and is upset throughout the movie over the fact that Fievel gets to have all the adventures.
  • Mama & Papa Mousekewitz (voiced by Erica Yohn and Nehemiah Persoff): Fievel's parents; Papa is employed in a sweatshop during this movie.
  • Yasha Mousekewitz (not voiced): Fievel's baby sister.
  • Tiger (voiced by Dom DeLuise): The only cat friend of the Jewish-Russian mouse family.
  • Tony Toponi (voiced by Pat Musick): Fievel's friend, who has returned from An American Tail. His girlfriend from the first movie, Bridget, is strangely absent in this film (especially given that An American Tail: Fievel Goes West had a cameo of them as a couple with a child), and Tony focuses his desires instead on Cholena.
  • Cholena (voiced by California Native American, Elaine Bilstad): Daughter of the Chief of the underground mouse tribe. She is innocent and unaware of some of the European mice's devious intentions. She also resists Tony's flirtation throughout the film.
  • Dr. Dithering (voiced by Rene Auberjonois): The good doctor of the Museum.
  • Chief Wulisso (voiced by David Carradine): The chief of the underground Indians / Cholena's father.
  • Chief McBrusque (voiced by Sherman Howard): The ferocious chief of the NYPD (New York City Police Department). He's looking for the find that Indian girl, Cholena, until captured. He was on by his bosses Grasping, Toplofty, and O'Bloat. He see that Papa is being a troublemaker for the factory.
  • Scuttlebutt (voiced by John Kassir): Dr. Dithering's associate, and McBrusque's assistant.

Fievel's Dream

In the film, Fievel mentions a dream he had in which he was a "famous gunslinger" in the Old West. Although, chronologically, the film is set before An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, it is believed to be a set up for the next film. However, the film's opening titles state the film as An American Tail III which can also lead an audience to believe that Fievel Goes West was the dream Fievel had. But in Fievel Goes West he becomes neither famous nor a gunslinger. There is conflict over whether or not the direct to video movies are even canon themselves, depending on whether they can be regarded as sequels or spinoffs.

Soundtrack

"We Live in Manhattan" Written by William Anderson

"Friends of the Working Mouse" Written by William Anderson

"Anywhere in Your Dreams" Written by Wayne Tester & Sharon Rice

See also

References

External links

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