Each Monday, I continue to share Western movie reviews as I go through the process of making my own 12 Westerns in 12 Months during 2020. I am watching these films not from an audience perspective but as a filmmaker, as a student of the genre.


Week Forty Nine: An American Tail: Fievel Goes West

Yes, I consider this a Western worth studying. I hadn’t seen it since I was a child and figured, why not give it another shot? I might learn something new.

One thing that surprised me from an adult perspective is the manic pace of this animated film. It is so high energy that it would equal the non-stop action of Mad Max Fury Road if it wasn’t a cartoon. The story barely stops to breathe in its short run time. As a Western, sure it’s silly but it also plays cleverly off genre stereotypes with enthusiasm, better than most live-action parodies.

It’s great to hear James Stewart in his final role, the one element that grounds the movie and really connects it back to the history of the Western. His final words are actually quite touching, especially in the context of it being his final performance.

Seen on VHS.