An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (also known as An American Tail 2: Fievel Goes West or An American Tail II) is a 1991 American animated Western comedy film directed by Phil Nibbelink and Simon Wells with producer Steven Spielberg for Amblin Entertainment and animated by his Amblimation animation studio and released by Universal Pictures. A sequel to 1986's An American Tail, the film follows the story of the Mousekewitzes, a family of Jewish-Ukrainian mice who emigrate to the Wild West. In it, Fievel is separated from his family as the train approaches the American Old West; the film chronicles him and Sheriff Wylie Burp teaching Tiger how to act like a dog. Fievel Goes West was the first production for the short-lived Amblimation, a studio Spielberg set up to keep the animators of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) working.
It's also the only Amblimation film to use cel animation, the last in the series to do so, and the last to be released in theaters.
While the animation medium was transitioning to computers in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Spielberg wanted almost all of the animation of Fievel Goes West to be hand-drawn, describing animation as "an arts-and-crafts business". He also wanted the animation to have a "live-action" feel. While the first film was directed by Don Bluth, direction was handled by Phil Nibbelink and Simon Wells in their directorial debuts for the sequel. Phillip Glasser, Dom DeLuise, Nehemiah Persoff, and Erica Yohn reprise their roles from the first film for Fievel Goes West. Tanya's original voice actor, Amy Green, was replaced by Cathy Cavadini, and new characters were voiced by John Cleese, Amy Irving, Jon Lovitz, and James Stewart in his final film role. James Horner returned as a composer and wrote the film's song "Dreams to Dream", which garnered a Golden Globe nomination.
Premiering at the Kennedy Center on November 17, 1991, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West began its American theatrical run on November 22. This was the same day Walt Disney Pictures' Beauty and the Beast (1991) was distributed, making it the third time in history that two animated films were released on the same date instead of separate ones, after The Land Before Time and Oliver & Company in 1988, and The Little Mermaid and All Dogs Go to Heaven in 1989. Fievel Goes West was promoted with a wide array of tie-ins and started in the top ten at the box office. The film grossed $22 million in the US. Some film journalists and executives attributed this to having to compete with the Disney film.
Upon its release, Fievel Goes West was panned for a lack of perceived innovation compared to other animated films of its time. However, it found success when it came to home video sales, quickly reaching the top of the video charts when released on tape in March 1992; at the time, the film held the record for shortest theater-to-home-video transfer and it has since gained a large cult following. In addition to garnering more home media releases, TV airings, and video game adaptations later on, the film has made numerous 2010s retrospective best-of lists from online publications, especially best Netflix-available Western films. Fievel Goes West was followed by a short-lived CBS series named Fievel's American Tails and two direct-to-video sequels and prequels: An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island (1998) and An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster (1999).