'Fievel' has fun for all

November 22, 1991|By Knight-Ridder News Service

The enormous success of "An American Tail" ensured that Fievel would return. In "An American Tail: Fievel Goes West," the feisty mouse survives all manner of close scrapes, but he can't do much about an accident of timing. It is the sequel's misfortuThe enormous success of "An American Tail" ensured that Fievel would return. In "An American Tail: Fievel Goes West," the feisty mouse survives all manner of close scrapes, but he can't do much about an accident of timing. It is the sequel's misfortune to arrive on the same day as Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," and what we have as a result is a rare lesson in the difference between a children's movie that is very good and one that's a masterpiece. It's really no insult to "Fievel Goes West" to declare that it's no contest.

"An American Tail" dealt with primal fears about separation from parents and loss. In sending Fievel out west, the sequel takes a lighter direction. "Fievel Goes West" aspires only to amuse and, on those terms, there's plenty of fun for junior "Tail"-gaters and enough sly asides for adults to keep everybody happy.

The animation is fast-paced, vivid and often inventive, and no one is going to be disappointed in "Fievel Goes West." At least, not until they have been touched to the core by the astounding "Beauty and the Beast."

'An American Tail: Fievel Goes West'

Featuring the voices of Amy Irving, Dom DeLuise, Jon Lovitz and Jimmy Stewart.

Directed by Phil Nibbelink.

Released by Universal Studios.

Rated G.

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