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Meet Fievel, the spunky little mouse who journeys with his family from Russia to America late in the 19th century. Fievel gets lost during a storm at sea and washes up alone in New Your Harbor. Thrills and laughs follow as he meets new friends and survives some tricky situations. Fievel becomes a hero when he builds a 'Giant Mouse of Minsk' to scare away the bullying harbor cats. At last, he is joyfully reunited with his family.

  • Enchanting electronic storybook with nine chapter scenes.
  • 25 story screens with over 60 hidden animations.
  • Large-screen video segments help children's understanding of text.
  • Three fun-filled educational activities, each with three levels of challenge.
  • Nine jigsaw puzzles.

  • Beautiful illustrations create an enchanting, magical world to explore. Lots of 'clickables' in every scene.
  • Orphan Alley Game. It takes good matching and memory skills to reunite the little orphans with their families.
  • Fievel's dramatic and humorous adventures come to life in video clips from the original movie.
~ from the back of the box
Before The Land Before Time hit theatres in 1988, Don Bluth kicked off his collaboration with Steven Spielberg to create An American Tail, an anxiety ridden allegory for the immigration experience in the late 1880's. Over a decade later, WayForward Technologies (yes, that WayForward Technologies of Shantae fame) were commissioned to create an Animated MovieBook CD-ROM.

Copying the well-established formula of Disney's Animated Storybooks, these Don Bluth attempts look alright but don't really compare in terms of gameplay. The screens - of which there are 25 - don't contain much to do in each of them. Any little animations of skits are unimpressively animated and often non sequitur in concept. Even the video sequences taken directly from the film are implemented clumsily; they are found by finding a cheese in each of the locations.

Turn each page into a simple jigsaw puzzle (left).
Guide Fievel towards cheese in the Toboggan Run (right).

Then again, I'm not the target audience. I reckon tiny sprogs will get a giggle out of it all and the variety of extremely simple mini-games work well for those not old enough for full-time education. On every page, you have access to the most common one; a jigsaw puzzle. I can't really think of anything more to say than I did in the Land Before Time: Animated MovieBook review, but it's programmed well enough.

Out of the three original mini-games, the most notable is the Toboggan Run. It's basically a clunkier version of SkiFree. And considering how clunky that timewaster that came with early versions of Windows was, that's saying something. The aim is to collect cheese, but it's not a game you can particularly lose, you just eventually reach the finish line or get bored.

Spelling made boring in the Mouse of Minsk Spelling Game (left).
De-orphan souplings by playing pairs in Orphan Alley (right).

The Mouse of Minsk Spelling Game tests your logography in the slowest way possible. Much like The Land Before Time's variant, you are told a word to spell before clicking the correct letters in order. Is more likely to increase the youth dyslexia rate than anything else. Finally Orphan Alley is a pairs memory game, where you have to find the correctly coloured family members to their similarly dressed offspring. Considering they each have a family I've no idea why they're considered orphans, but I guess it fits in the the Americanised Dickensian theme that stood out in the movie.

Even though Sound Source put out a couple Interactive MovieBooks, as far as I can tell, this was first under the Animated MovieBook brand (there's remarkably little info out there on this series). It was one of WayForward's earliest games who at that point were best known for some small Windows 3.1 desktop games and Mickey's Ultimate Challenge on the most popular of 4th-generation consoles. On the back of this, I reckon their work here was used as a direct template for all of the forthcoming Animated MovieBooks. It's essentially the same game as The Land Before Time, even if that had a completely different developer. If you're into animated movies or you have young souplings that need occupying, it might satisfy a curious mind, but any of Disney's similar offerings fare much better.

(edit: I've since found out this wasn't the first Animated MovieBook but the second. All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 came out first making the speculation of that last paragraph just that. Doh!)

To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses the DOSBox-X build of DOSBox 0.74 running Windows '95. Help text file included. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.

IMPORTANT - Remember to shut down the emulated version of Windows before exiting DOSBox. This could potentially result in errors, lost saves and corrupt data. The program will automatically shut down when you exit the game.

File Size: 328 Mb.  Install Size: 535 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ


An American Tail: Animated MovieBook is © Universal City Studios, Sound Source Int & MCA Music Publishing
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

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