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An American Tail: Mystery of the Night Monster (2000)

AnAmericanTail-4After doing research online I learned that these clumsy sequels to “An American Tail” are actually intended to be in-betweenquels. “Fievel Goes West” is, as many fans have debated, the final film in the chronological timeline. That doesn’t make much sense since the character Tony is nowhere to be found in “Fievel Goes West,” and the Mousekewitz’s only have two children, rather than two and a half. In either case, it’s probably best not to think about it, and just accept these movies however you want to.

The final two films are just throwaway adventures you can attribute as in-betweenquels. Fievel, in the final two films gets in to danger, rather than accidentally finding himself in danger. Now, Fievel and sister Tanya (given a bigger supporting role this time around), dream of working for a local mouse newspaper. There’s been a mysterious monster running around New York kidnapping mice, and forcing them to toil and work underground. Tanya no longer dreams of being a singer apparently, as she now looks up to intrepid female reporter Nellie Brie.

She also has a crush on heroic editor Reed Daley, as played by Robert Hays. This final film is a lot less steeped in racial stereotypes, and garners a better premise involving more exploration of themes involving slavery and immigrant exploitation.  When Fievel and Tony help to investigate the mythical night monster, Fievel uncovers a large conspiracy that could harm his beloved mother and father. This sequel much like the previous one, lacks any of the memorable musical numbers we saw in the first and second film. Where “Somewhere Out There” became a standard for the nineties, there’s really nothing there you’ll remember.

You might even forget there were any musical numbers to begin with once the credits have rolled. “Mystery of the Night Monster” is not up to par with the original film, but it’s a nice diversion and mediocre finale to the animated series.