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An American Tail
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From director Don Bluth and creator David Kirschner, this critically acclaimed full-length animated triumph chronicles the wide-eyed adventures of a courageous little mouse named Fievel. Journeying by ship from Russia to turn-of-the-century America, Fievel is lost at sea during a ferocious storm. Washing ashore in New York Harbor, Fievel braves the perils and wonders of a strange new world in a thrilling quest to find his family. Featuring the voices of Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn and Christopher Plummer, it's a rousing, heartwarming animated adventure for the entire family!
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Of course, you feel very happy.
And what is your reaction when you finally got it? Well, there can be two:
1) This is great! A remastered version presented in widescreen! And all is just like I remember it, only better! And look at all those special features!
2) What... what is this?!
My reaction with An American Tail DVD was #2. Because what I got was a #2 job.
Here is a short and easy-to-follow guide for every studio out there, that is planning to release a movie on DVD:
1. Do not make unnecessary changes.
2. Do not make unnecessary edits.
3. Present it in widescreen if that was the original aspect ratio.
Do you think Universal followed those easy steps?
Well..... mostly, NO.
Here is an incomplete list of changes (without spoilers):
-New "humorous" sound effects were added to scenes where originally there weren't any. They're not funny.
-New voices were added to scenes without dialog (or any noise, for that matter).
-The alley mice's voices were re-dubbed. Why???
-The cover art was changes from a beautiful theatrical poster by Drew Struzan, only to be replaced with... something MUCH less appealing.
As I said, this small list of changes is incomplete. There is more.
It should be mentioned that, despite what you might think, the movie was originally animated in fullscreen (fullscreen back then was 4:3). So, the lack of widescreen in this DVD release is actually justified. Even though it is a bummer.
Speaking of special features, there is zero. Enjoy those non-existing extras!
An American Tail is a film that combines the talents of Steven Spielberg and Don Bluth. It was the first animated feature ever to out-compete Disney. It won several awards, including a Grammy for "best song". It was screened at the Jewish Film Festival in Atlanta in February 2011 to celebrate its 25 year anniversary. It was a film that grossed $84,000,000 worldwide (a record for animation at that time).
And THIS is how you treat such a film, Universal?! I cannot hear you, Universal!~!
Through internet research I found out that the DVD version of American Tail had added sound effects and a few voice overs. I found a list of all of them and was dissappointed that I couldn't have the original version on DVD, I mean HBO showed it, why can't it be on DVD. Well anyway, I bought it here on VHS so I could have the original version. I also will buy it on DVD someday, even though the effects can be annoying sometimes and I feel they take away from the movie. The bullies in the end said different things and places where there was supposed to be silence or background music now has sound effects and people talking. There was only one thing added that was actually quite funny and didn't sound like someone just talking over the movie. Warren T Rat says "I wonder how you say 'trust me' in Chinese". The rest can get very annoying, but most I can deal with. Children probably won't know the difference or care and the animation and original character voices was not touched. THANK GOODNESS.
The VHS came in it's original shrink wrap wrapping and is from a 1990 release. I almost don't want to open it because it is quite interesting. Cost $17.96 at Walmart back then. There's even a $5 rebate offer if you purchase American Tail and Fievel Goes West that expires 9/30/92.
Anyway, DVD or VHS (or even Laserdisk) this is definitely a great film. Some may say it's really depressing. I'd agree it's sad and dark, but I feel it makes it more beautiful and heartwarming. If you love this film check out Secret Of NIHM. That's also a Don Bluth film and extremely good. Many say better than American Tail, but that's all opinion both are amazing.
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