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An American Tail Video Worksheet

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An American Tail Video Worksheet
"An American Tail" is more than just an entertaining children's cartoon.
Produced by Steven Spielberg, the story is derived from the
experiences of immigrants who came to the U.S. from Eastern
Europe (including Russia) between 1880 and 1924.
In the movie, a family dreams of a new life of freedom,
safety and opportunity in America. They leave their home and
most of their possessions behind as they make a gloomy,
crowded and sometimes dangerous trip across the ocean. Upon
arrival, they find that things are not exactly as they dreamed and
that making a new life in America may be harder than they
thought.
Of course the twist is that in this movie, the main characters are mice and those
that threaten them are cats. It is your job to see past this and appreciate the story for
what it really is: A tale of the joys and struggles of immigration – An “American” Tale.
1. What is the last name of the mouse family?
2. What year does Fievel and his family leave Russia?
3. Why do Fievel and family have to leave Russia?
4. In what way do they feel America is like a fairy tale?
5. From what European city does the family board a ship to America?
6. What is the only food to eat on the ship?
7. What were conditions like on the boat?
8. Where do the immigrants land in New York? (What is the name of the immigration station?)
9. As the immigrants are being “processed”, what does the official sometimes change?
An American Tail Video Worksheet
10. What is under construction on the island where Fievel lands?
11. What are they selling outside of immigration?
12. What type of machine are the women using with their feet when Fievel is forced to work?
13. What new Thomas Edison invention fools Fievel into thinking he has found his Papa?
14. Describe the conditions in the New York City streets that Fievel wanders.
15. Honest John writes the name of the dead mouse in his book – why?
16. Why do the mice think Honest John might know where Fievel's family is?
17. Who are the Mott Street Maulers? What might they represent in the “human world”?
18. In their big plan, given to them by Fievel, where are the mice going to send the cats?
19. What is different about the firefighting equipment used in the movie versus what we might see today?
20. Why doesn’t the Statue of Liberty look green?
21. What do you think the cats in the movie actually represented?
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