An American Tail

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An American Tail is a 1986 American animated musical adventure film produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, and directed by Don Bluth, centering on a mouse who struggles to reunite with his family after being separated on their voyage to America.

Directed by Don Bluth. Written by Judy Freudberg and Tony Geiss.
Meet Fievel. In his search to find his family, he discovered America.

Fievel Mousekewitz[edit]

  • Papa!
  • But there are no cats in America. What are you all afraid of? Cats, cats, cats, cats. Papa told me. Everyone knows it. There are no cats.
  • [to Gussie] He's not a rat. He's a cat. He's their boss!
  • You're right, they don't care! And if they did, they would have found me. Well, if they don't care, I don't care! I don't care if I never see them again.
  • I'll never find them again anyway. Never. This is my home now.


  • I'm your guard, Tiger. Don't make any sudden moves, 'cause I'm crafty and I'm quick. I've got the instincts of a cat. What am I saying? I am a cat!
  • You lost your family? Oh, dear. That's terrible. I lost my family, too. Years ago, I mean. [sobs] Eight brothers. Ten sisters. Three fathers.
  • 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.
  • [after Warren fires him] Good. I'm glad. I never liked you. And besides, your music stinks!

Tony Toponi[edit]

  • Hey, Filly! I been lookin' all over for ya! [chuckles] Pardon the expression, but ah, you look like somethin' the cat dragged in. [chuckles again]
  • Stick with me, kid. [Fievel holds on tightly to Tony's arm] Hey, hey, hey! What, are we engaged or something?

Warren T. Rat[edit]

  • Remember what Shakespeare said, and I quote: "Opportunity knocks, but..err... but... but... but once! Taken at the tide, 'twill lead to fortune. If denied, 'twill never return".
  • [After his false nose has been shot off by Tony] Disregard the nose! What's in a nose? For a nose by any other name would smell as sweet-[Tony knocks off his false ears]
  • Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, wait a minute! Who are you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes?
  • Don't worry, gentlemen, don't worry. There are plenty of mice in Hong Kong.
  • Hey, I wonder how you say "trust me" in Chinese.

Tanya Mousekewitz[edit]

  • Papa, why'd they change my name to Tilly?

Papa Mousekewitz[edit]

  • Fievel, this is the last time I take you to America.
  • We'll be alright. As long as we're together, we'll be alright.
  • Ah, so, Mr. Curious, you've discovered the herring.
  • Fievel, you'll get hurt!
  • FIEVEL!!!
  • My Fievel. I thought I would never see you again.
  • My son. Now... you are a mouse.


  • This is America! We have free speech! We can say "cat" here! Cat, cat, cat, and double-cat!
  • Wait a minute! Honest John, at Tammany Hall.

Gussie Mausheimer[edit]

[Heavy German accent, scarcely says "R" or "L" - spelling is intentional to show the sounds she makes]

  • Today was the wowst day evewr. Those cats are kiwwing eveweone. They don't even know the diffewences between wich and power! The wetches.
  • As you know, I have dedicated my wife to hewping those who awe wess fowtunate than, that's evewyone. And now, I need you to hewp me.
  • We must have a wawwy. You know, a wawwy. A warge gathewing of mice fow a weason.
  • Money is not evewething. I know because I have money, and I have evewething. But what awe they worth without fweedom?
  • Wawwen, you'we thwough. Washed up, wuined! Heh... You'ww never get another cent fwom any mouse, anywhere.
  • Wewease the secwet weapon!

Honest John[edit]

  • [At the wake of Mickey O'Hare - he is rather intoxicated] Poor lad. So young. He never had a chance to vote. Well, he'll vote from now on. I'll see to that. [Shakily writes Mickey's name on a notebook under "Ghost Votes"]


  • Qu'est-ce que c'est? A little immigrant. Now they are coming by bottle.
  • This is just an island at the doorway where I, Henri Le Pigeon, am putting up my Statue of Liberty.
  • Now, are you ready to go and find your family?
  • Never say "never".


Mama: Fievel, Tanya, will you stop that twirling, twirling? I mean it!
Papa: But Mama, it's Hanukkah.
Mama: For you, every night is Hanukkah.

Papa: For Tanya, a new babushka. Happy Hanukkah.
Tanya: Oh, Papa, thank you.
Mama: You have only one parent?
Tanya: Thank you, Mama.

[Warren is playing the violin]
Warren: Rats! This nose, this nose keeps getting in the way.
Digit: You could stop playing.
Warren: That's funny. I've never known a cockroach with good taste, but I've known plenty that taste... [laughs evilly] ...good.
Digit: [nervously] Heh-heh. Play, play, play!

Henri: Where is your Papa, your Mama, huh?
Fievel: I don't know. They were on a boat to America.
Henri: Then you are in luck, my little immigrant. This is America.
Fievel: America. But I thought it was bigger.
Henri: Oh, it is bigger. All of that is also America.

Henri: I know, my little immigrant. You want to find your family. And you will.
Fievel: But how? They're so far away, and it's so big. I'll never find them anyway.
Henri: J'me excuse pardonnez, but 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 your family. So never say never.

Fievel: [stops in front of other passengers] Look Papa, water. Is it the ocean?
Papa: Yes. Keep walking.
Fievel: [the passenger right behind Fievel ushers him to continue walking, but he stops again] Look Papa, smoke. Is the boat on fire?
Papa: [slightly annoyed] No no no! Keep walking!
Fievel: [is ushered again by the same passenger; once again, he stops, but this time, he is knocked off the rope, but hangs onto Papa's tail] Look Papa, birds! Are they seagulls?
Seagulls: Keep walking!!
Papa: [pulls Fievel back up onto the rope in front of him with his violin bow] Keep walking!
Passengers [piling through Papa: to Fievel] KEEP WALKING!!!
Fievel: I just wanted to see.
Papa: [sighs] Fievel, this is the last time I take you to America.
Fievel: [looks back and waves] Buh-bye!

Henri: Now, are you ready to go find your family?
Fievel: Yes!
Henri: Chantal! Take my little friend to Immigration. You will find your family there. Everyone goes through Immigration. I would take you there myself, but then I would never finish my statue.
Fievel: [amused] Henri, you said "never"!
Henri: Oh, so I did!

Fievel: I'm looking for my family.
Warren: Hey, you've come to the right fella, kid. I know exactly where they are. Follow me.
Fievel: But Henri said I would find them here.
Warren: Have it your way, kid. But remember what Shakespeare said, and I quote: "Opportunity knocks but... uh, but...”
Digit: Psst! Once.
Warren: "... but-but-but once! Taken at the tide, t'will lead to fortune. If denied, t'will never return".
Fievel: Do you really know where my family is?
Warren: Heh-heh. Trust me, kid, trust me.

Papa: Ah, so, Mr. Curious, you've discovered the herring.
Fievel: Herring? I thought they were fish.
Papa: [laughs] But, Fievel, herring are fish.
Fievel: Really, Papa?
Papa: Oh, yes. In the ocean, there are many kinds of fish, and herring is one of them.
Fievel: All kinds?
Papa: Yes. Tiny fishes, not so tiny fishes, fishes as big as this boat.
Fievel: Wow! Let's go up and see the fish!

Tiger: I like butterflies with big, golden wings, and blue and green tips.
Fievel: Me, too!
Tiger: Yeah? I like Swiss cheese ice cream.
Fievel: Me, too! Me, too!
Tiger: You too-too? Hmmmmm. Wait a minute. What's your favorite book?
Fievel: Uh, The Brothers Karamousov.
Tiger: The Brothers... [laughs] I can't believe it! I can't believe it!

Mama: Well, Mr. There-Are-No-Whats-In-America? Hmm?
Papa: Cats. [laughs sheepishly]

Digit: Would you please put out that filthy thing? I'm suffocating down here!
Warren: You don't like it? Hey, you know you're not the only cockroach in New York City. There are millions of roaches who give their left feet to work for Warren T. Rat.
Digit: Good! Fire me! I'm fed up with that filthy smoke in this pocket! I've seen kitchen shelves cleaner than this place! Look at my suit!

Warren: Tiger, how did he get away?!
Tiger: He overpowered me.
Warren: You're fired!
Tiger: Good. I'm glad. I never liked you! And besides, your music stinks!

Papa: In America, there are mouse holes in every wall.
Mama: Who says?
Papa, Tanya, and Fievel: Everyone!
Papa: In America, there are bread crumbs on every floor.
Mama: You're talking nonsense!
Papa: In America, you can say anything you want, but most important, [whispers] and this I know for a fact, in America, there are no cats.

Gussie: We must have a wawwy.
Honest John: A wawwy? What's a wawwy?
Gussie: You know, a wawwy- A warge gathewing of mice for a weason.
Honest John: Oh, a rally!
Gussie: That's what I said! A wawwy.

Warren: Just throw down that kid!
Tony: Oh, yeah? [knocks off Warren's fake nose with his slingshot] Bullseye!
[the crowd murmurs]
Warren: Disregard the nose. What's in a nose? A nose by any other name would smell as sweet-
[Tony knocks off Warren's fake ears]
Crowd: Great whiskers! He's a cat! [other voices] Hey! A cat! A cat! Cat!
Warren: Hey, hey, hey! Wait a minute. Who are you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes?

Warren: If music be the food of love, play on, McDuff, play on.
Digit: [miserably] I don't know which is worse, the music or the Shakespeare?

Tiger: [playing cards] I got it! I got it! I got it! Rummy!
Moe: Tiger, for the hundredth time, we're playing poker.
Tiger: [chuckles nervously] I knew that. I knew that, but who can concentrate with all that, you know, noise?
Jake: Hey, Tiger, when the boss plays, it's culture.

[Fievel sees Warren's true form from behind the mirror]
Fievel: Warren T.!
Warren: [laughs, but sees Fievel and gasps] You!
Fievel: You're not a rat, you're a cat!
Warren: How'd you get in here? Come here, you little-
[he grabs Fievel, but Fievel bites him, pushes the mirror on him, and runs off]
Warren: Gentlemen, cat's out of the bag. [throws the mirror off him and to the ground] Get me that mouse!

Fievel: I want to get out of here.
Tony: [chuckles] You and me both.
Fievel: I have to find my family.
Noodles: Oh, shut up! Go to sleep.
Pee Wee: [offscreen] Pipe down.
Roc: [offscreen] Oh, be quiet!
Fievel: I wish we had that mouse with the long hair. She could drop her hair out the window, and we can all climb down.
Worker: Sure. Out the window.
Pee Wee: Oh, fairy tales!
Tony: Wait a minute. This kid may have something. Tony Toponi's the name. Put her there, eh-
Fievel: Fievel. Fievel Mousekewitz.
Tony: Fievel? Ooh! That name's got to go. Hey, I'll tell you what, though. Filly!
Fievel: [giggles] Filly?
Tony: Yeah, fits you perfect. Hey, Filly. You got any idea where your family is? Filly! Filly Mousekewitz! Hey, Filly! Sheesh!

Mouse Cop: We've got to do something about them cats.
Honest John: Besides paying Warren T. Rat for no protection.

Mama: Oh, my little boy, back from the dead. America, what a place.
Papa: My Fievel. I thought I would never see you again. [sniffles]
Fievel: Never say "Never", Papa.
Papa: Oh! [laughs] Oh, I nearly forgot. Here, Fievel, your hat.
[he drops the hat back on his son's head; this time, Fievel strains, and moves the hat up with his ears]
Mama: Your hat, it fits!
Papa: My son! Now, you are a mouse.


  • Meet Fievel. In his search to find his family, he discovered America.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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