The Ideology of the American Dream in "An American Tail"
The ideology of the American dream is resulted from the spirit which has originated from the time that the United States of America was established. The basic concept that supports the American dream is the idea of that everyone has the right to pursue happiness. This concept is expended to be that everyone can have all kinds of hope and people are allowed to believe in the impossible, since they have the "given-right" of trying to get whatever they desire to have and brings them pleasure. Thus, the American dream provides people with infinite possibility and a "promised" future.
The animation, An American Tail, is a typical "American-dream film." In the animation, it not only tells the audience never to give up but also encourages the audience to chase after their dream, although they may be stumbled on the journey to success, they would succeed one day. On the one hand, the audience can take this idea just as a stereotyped film of "encouragement." On the other hand, this is one of the spirit of the American dream, just like what the pigeon, Harri, sings in the animation, "Never say never." In the animation, due to the bad living condition, the characters (the mice) leave their countries for America to look for a better life, and also because they have heard people (or mice) saying that "There are no cats in America," or "there are crumbs everywhere on the floor in America." These two lines indicates that the American dream that the characters hold gives them a hope which makes them like the pioneers from hundreds years ago who went to the West to make their own lands and to explore it. The statements that are made in the animation shows how the idea of the American dream is used here. "In America, there are mouse holes under every wall." "In America, there are crumbs everywhere on the floor." "In America, you can say any thing you want." "In America, there are no cats." From these state, we see the basic spirit of the American dream. For example, they have the right to live a sufficient life, a life with freedom of speech and a life free from fear. In fact, these rights are connected by the idea of "given-freedom" and "possibility-in-realize-anything." Except from the above statements, we can find the trace of how those who believe in the American dream believe in that "every is possible" from an event in the animation. The mice are gathering in the park, and the rich lady mouse encourages her audience that they can fulfill what they hoped for the life in America as long as they get their freedom from fear (cats). In the end of the animation, Feivel, the leading character of the animation, is called "the American mouse. The title gives the audience a feeling of that Feivel has become a mouse with the American value, which is never to give up and always with hope. The success of the mouse represents the victory of the American dream over despair and hopelessness.
Life can not be 100 % satisfactory and no one can always have everything his or her way. Yet, in the ideology of the American dream, things are simplified. One can have any kinds of hope, which corresponds to a line said in the animation, "America, the place to find hope." Nonetheless, just like what happens to the characters, when reality and the ideology meet, there are gaps revealed. It is just that the bad outcome of the event is omitted, because the optimistic attitude in the American dream, "always look on the bright side," overpowers the calamity in life. This is supposed to be what the animation producer tries to convey.