Chief Wulisso (father)
|Real world information|
Elaine Bilstad (speaking)
"This dream of yours is a wonderful thing, even if it has not always been taken to heart."
Cholena, the cute and very beautiful Lenape mouse princess, is the main heroine in An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island. She is one of the Native American mice who lived in an underground village beneath New York City. She shared a relationship with Fievel. Cholena is voiced by the late Elaine Bilstad and Leeza Miller (while singing).
Cholena has reddish fur and long black hair done up in braided pigtails and green eyes. She's a little taller than Fievel and Tanya but shorter than Tony, so she may be in her early teens. She wears a buckskin dress most of the time, but when she comes to the surface, the Mousekewitzs dress her in a lovely pink Victorian dress, matching shawl and frilly pantalettes, while also putting her hair in a bun. She always wears a blue bead necklace even when dressed as a European, which seems to carry some sentimental value to her.
An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island
- Cholena is only seen in An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island.
She is first seen in the Underground Village, where her father, Chief Wulisso asks her to be the guide for Fievel Mousekewitz, Tony Toponi, Tiger and Dr. Dithering. Tony finds Cholena rather attractive and is overly enthusiastic when she volunteers to be their guide, but an angry look from Fievel sets Tony straight. Cholena says that it's an honor. Scuttlebutt becomes confused when a large female from the tribe is hugging him tightly, but Cholena says that it is merely her handmaiden, Tankho, who has volunteered to be his guide.
She is next seen talking to Fievel and Tony during the feast being held for them. When Fievel grows curious as to what Cholena's father is doing, she explains that he is performing a ritual that will have the spirits "embrace" them. When Tony (who thinks the "embrace" is an actual hug) asks when they start, Cholena states that "it is merely a figure of speech" (which, secretly, leaves Tony disappointed). When Fievel asks several questions about the tribe, Cholena says that Fievel is "like a chirping cricket". Fievel apologizes, but Cholena says that there's no need and that (as Fievel puts it) "it's okay to be a cricket". Because of this, Cholena decides to call Fievel "Zelozelos" (pronounced "Chulu-Chulus" in the movie, which means cricket in the Lenape mouse/ "Lemouse" language). She also gives Tony the nickname of "Pulaook" (which means turkey in Lemouse language and leaves him annoyed).
Later, after Scuttlebutt has been caught stealing from the tribe, Cholena comforts Fievel. Though she insists that just because Fievel and his friends came for their treasure doesn't make them thieves because they had no clue that there were Native Americans there, Fievel is firm in his belief. Soon afterwards, Cholena reveals their treasure- wampum. Fievel, naturally, is crestfallen (most likely having hoped the treasure was monetary in nature), but Cholena tells him that treasure comes in many forms; for the Lemouse, it was their history with the Lenape and how they missed the humans they lived with. Fievel soon points out that the reason the Native Americans were driven away is because of the European settlers, who "just stomped in and took over"; Fievel then states (in a very emotional moment in the movie) "If that's the 'American Dream', I want nothing to do with it!" As Fievel begins to cry, Cholena comforts him, saying his dream is a wonderful thing. She then sings Anywhere in Your Dreams with Fievel as they go throughout the whole village (unknowingly being trailed by Tony, who is worried that Fievel would get Cholena killed). When the song ends, Fievel offers Cholena the chance to see their world since the Native Americans showed the travelers their world. Tony then shows up, tired from following them, before passing out.
Soon enough, the travelers and Cholena are leaving the village. Before going, Cholena's father says she is to keep hidden as much as possible and is to see if the surface-dwellers have become less greedy and savage then their ancestors. Despite the chief's worries, Fievel reassures him that nothing bad will happen to Cholena.
Cholena isn't seen again until Fievel's father returns from work. Mr. Mousekewitz is spooked, but Mrs. Mousekewitz and Tanya seem a bit less worried (having apparently been introduced earlier and having gotten to know Cholena a bit more).
The next day, after the young princess is given European clothes, Fievel, Tony and Tanya take Cholena on a tour of New York City, showing off the trains, Henri's home -the Statue of Liberty- and Coney Island. During the time at Coney Island, Tony tries to kiss Cholena when they go through the Tunnel of Love, but Fievel ends up receiving the kiss due to a seat swap from Cholena (whether Tony knows or not is not exactly made clear), as Fievel, once again, glanced firmly at Tony.
Cholena is next seen enjoying dinner with the Mousekewitzes and Tony. Unfortunately, Mr. Mousekewitz arrives home, frantic with worry; a mob is coming for Cholena (thanks to the cheese factory heads), and the police forces are working with them! While the Mousekewitzes frantically grab what they can in an attempt to flee, they explain to Cholena who the police really are and what they're supposed to do (much to Cholena's confusion) while also giving the Lemouse princess a disguise. All too soon, the mob arrives and, during the confusion, Cholena ends up split off from the Mousekewitzes and Tony.
Tony and Fievel rescue her as the police come to kill her, and take her back safely to her tribe. There she says goodbye to Fievel and Tanya, and kisses Tony's cheek. She is last seen at the end of the movie waving to Fievel from a distance and disappearing into a secret panel in a statue with her father.
- Cholena may be based on Pocahontas, who was also a Native American that explores outside her land and falls for a European.
- Her voice actress, Elaine Bilstad, was Native American herself.
- This was Elaine Bilstad's last character role. She died of a heart problem the following year after voicing this character.
- Elaine's last lines, as her character says goodbye to Fievel and Tanya, were "And I will never forget you. Farewell." in her acting occupation.
- Despite being omitted from the following sequel, Cholena is a limited character, as she was meant to only appear as a special focus in The Treasure of Manhattan Island for historical reasons on Indigenous culture (as according to the end credits that acknowledged the Mohican cultures). Further to that extent, the confirmed future relationship between her and Fievel have yet to propose, prior to the discontinuation of the film series in 1999.
- Many have taken Cholena kissing Tony on the cheek as he blushes near the end of the film as a kiss of romance. As a result from history, their skin color is attributed to blushing after being kissed by Indigenous women, except this is not a romantic goodbye kiss (though Tony takes this as such), but is more of a "thank you" kiss since she was rescued from danger in Manhattan ealier. This similar technique was used on Disney’s 1953 film Peter Pan.
- This technique would not be used on Fievel as he is far too innocent, as well as being voiced by an actual child actor, despite sharing his relationship with her.
- It is quite possible that Tankho is Cholena's older sister, though never outright stated. They look somewhat similar and Tankho is seen with Cholena and Chief Wulisso at the end of the film.
You can find Cholena gallery here.
|An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island|
|Characters||Papa Mousekewitz • Mama Mousekewitz • Tanya Mousekewitz • Fievel Mousekewitz • Yasha Mousekewitz • Tiger • Tony Toponi • Cholena • Chief Wulisso • Lenape Mice • Mr. Toplofty • Mr. Grasping • Mr. O'Bloat • Chief McBrusque • Scuttlebutt • Dr. Dithering|
|Locations||New York • Les Club Des Grands Fromages • Cheese Factory|
|Songs||We Live in Manhattan • Anywhere in Your Dreams • Friends of the Working Mouse|