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Papa Mousekewitz

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An American Tail

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Bernard Mousekewitz is the overarching protagonist of An American Tail franchise. He is a friendly and kind father who enjoys telling his children old folk tales and legends, and playing the violin. The story he tells Fievel and Tanya at the beginning of An American Tail about the Giant Mouse of Minsk plays a bigger role near the end of the film. According to his account in the song 'There Are No Cats In America' he was orphaned at a young age due to a cat attack. He made money in Russia building violins, however once in America he found that this simply wasn't enough to support the family. He became a tailor when he first arrived in America, as evidenced by examining the small purse the Mousekewitz family called home when they first moved to New York, with "Mousekewitz Tailor" above the entrance. In the third film he works at a cheese factory, his spirit broken by the harsh working conditions, and in Fievel Goes West the main reason he chooses to leave New York is because he is so poor he can't afford any birthday presents for Fievel. He finally lived out his dream in Green River by running his own music instrument shop, Mousekewitz Fine Violins.

He was particularly hard hit by Fievel's disappearance in the first film, coming to the conclusion that Fievel had drowned. He would hear none of it whenever Tanya begged him not to give up hope because she felt Fievel was alive somewhere. However, he is overjoyed when he is the first to be reunited with Fievel at the end of the movie at the Orphan alley. He was always a strong believer in the American dream, and he shows many of the same adventurous, optimistic and aspirational ways of thinking that Fievel and Tanya develop. So yes, this is where they get it from. And occasionally, he is taught to be more optimistic by his children, particularly in the third film. After being overworked and having all hopes and his confidence shattered, Fievel reminds his father of the reason they came to America and Papa sees his son as his inspiration. Later in the film, Papa regains his confidence and, with help from Tiger, saves Dr. Dithering from being killed during a trial for cooperating with the Indian mice. He then talks sense into the angry mob at the trial, making them realize that their enemy never was the Indians, but the factory owners. At the end of the movie, he is chosen to be the negotiator with the factory owners, who are now forced to give the citizens what they want otherwise go broke.


Papa is portly and tall, with a gray beard, tan shirt and brown pants, with small glasses on his snout. After giving Fievel his hat he never wears another one. His appearance changes very little in Fievel Goes West, besides being animated in Amblimation's style rather than Don Bluth's.

In the direct-to-video sequels he looks more scruffy and worn down, perhaps because of the terrible working conditions at the cheese factory aging him. He is missing teeth and has an untrimmed mustache.


  • In Fievel's American Tails, his first name is revealed as Bernard. This is preempted from the later DTV movies as he is referred to just Papa Mousekewitz, sometimes only his last name as used in The Treasure of Manhattan Island. The reason for this was part of retconning the event that took place in Green River.
  • Papa is more out-of-character in The Mystery of the Night Monster alongside Mama as he appears to be more negligent to his daughter Tanya. Notably when being rescued by Tony Toponi from the cats, he never questions about Tanya's whereabouts but only Fievel's.


You can find Papa Mousekewitz gallery here.

The Mousekewitz Family
Family Members Papa MousekewitzMama MousekewitzTanya MousekewitzFievel MousekewitzYasha MousekewitzSophie Mousekewitz
An American Tail
Characters Papa MousekewitzMama MousekewitzTanya MousekewitzFievel MousekewitzYasha MousekewitzTigerHenriTony ToponiBridgetGussie MausheimerHonest JohnWarren T. RatDigitMott Street MaulersMoeThe Bullying Orphans
Locations Shostka, RussiaStatue of LibertyNew YorkCastle GardenMoe's SweatshopOrphan Alley
Songs There Are No Cats In AmericaNever Say NeverSomewhere Out ThereA Duo
An American Tail: Fievel Goes West
Characters Papa MousekewitzMama MousekewitzTanya MousekewitzFievel MousekewitzYasha MousekewitzTigerWylie BurpCat R. WaulT.R. ChulaCactus Cat GangMiss KittyOne EyeFeloniusGeronimouseHawkOwlScorpion
Locations New YorkGreen River
Songs Way Out WestDreams to DreamThe Girl You Left Behind
Spinoffs Comic BookVideo GameA Musical Adventure With Fievel and Friends
An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island
Characters Papa MousekewitzMama MousekewitzTanya MousekewitzFievel MousekewitzYasha MousekewitzTigerTony ToponiCholenaChief WulissoLenape MiceMr. ToploftyMr. GraspingMr. O'BloatChief McBrusqueScuttlebuttDr. Dithering
Locations New YorkLes Club Des Grands FromagesCheese Factory
Songs We Live in ManhattanAnywhere in Your DreamsFriends of the Working Mouse
An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster
Characters Papa MousekewitzMama MousekewitzTanya MousekewitzFievel MousekewitzYasha MousekewitzTigerTony ToponiNellie BrieReed DaleyMadame MouseyTwitchBootlickSlugLone WoofThe Dog High Council
Locations New YorkThe Daily Nibbler
Songs Get the FactsCreature de la NuitWho Will