Recently, I looked into the Notes received for this group and I read a note that has been sent 3 months ago, weeks before the 30th AAT anniversary mark. This note was simply hilarious, utopic and sad at the same time. This person gave a list of whishes of what Universal would do for the 30th anniversary. Here's what the note says:
"I really love going on your site! I notice that next year is An American Tail's 30th Anniversary and the 25th Anniversary of Fievel Goes West. Universal should do something proper to celebrate those milestones (they missed out during the 25th Anniversary four years ago). Here's what I wish Universal would do:
1. Re-release both An American Tail and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West wide in theaters, each with new 4K restorations that do both films justice.
2. Restore the first film's original theatrical audio in a new 7.1 surround sound mix.
3. Give both special Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray and DVD releases, loaded with special bonus features (Commentary, behind the scenes, Deleted scenes, etc.) An American Tail presented in both full screen and widescreen versions, and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West in widescreen.
4. Do special and proper promotions and promotional tie-ins to both films.
I love the first 2 An American Tail films, and I want Universal to finally give them respect again, as well as introducing them to the next generation. There's a current generation that hasn't even experienced these films properly. Please respond to me."
Personally, I find this note pretty unrealistic and utopic. Let's read every wishes again, shall we?
"1. Re-release both An American Tail and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West wide in theaters, each with new 4K restorations that do both films justice."
You mean that Universal should re-invest in millions of dollars on publiciting a 30 year old movie? The thing is, Universal isn't Disney who can allow themselves to re-release movies in theaters such as The Lion King in 3-D Stereotopic and they earn billions of dollars after this. Personally, this practice and so cheating (and breaks the box-office records in animated films ever) and it should be allowed to release a movie in theaters only once! Honestly, who would want to see An American Tail nowadays except us fans here? When the featured animation films are exclusively
CGI since the last decade? I personally think that this recent generation of kids who has grown up with CGI around wouldn't be receptive to 2D animations. I see this plausible theater re-release as a immediate commercial failure, even we don't think it would fail be since we'd have been watching it to support the movie. And for the 4K resolution, maybe at that point, the image quality would be terrible.
"2. Restore the first film's original theatrical audio in a new 7.1 surround sound mix."
I'm sorry, but Universal could have done it when the Blu-Ray version was released three years ago. We have the same edited audio for 13 years straight: Additional voices in the background, "cartoon" sound effects and same Orphans "new" voices. So it would be a miracle if Universal does so.
"3. Give both special Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray and DVD releases, loaded with special bonus features (Commentary, behind the scenes, Deleted scenes, etc.) An American Tail presented in both full screen and widescreen versions, and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West in widescreen."
As we all know, the movie original ratio is 4:3. Why? Because of every documents, every pictures and storyboards we seen so far, it's obvious that the film has never been in 16:9 format in the first place. So to adapt to the high-definition Blu-Ray format, they released the movie into its Theatrical format, which is cropping the original 4:3 format to fit into a 19:6 display. I must admit it that Universal could have let us chose both format, but the Full screen 4:3 format is obsolete a decade ago; everything is now in widescreen. Universal wouldn't find any interest to do so. I thought that, after the AAT release on Blu-Ray, they would also have released Fievel Goes West on Blu-Ray (since the movie is originally 16:9 format) but they didn't.
About special bonus features, they could have done it on it's first DVD release back to 2004 but they gave us an interactive game, a song-along and a commentary audio. They then re-released both An American Tail and Fievel Goes West into a double-sided DVD in 2005 (the one I own) and nothing changed, it was exactly the same content. Then, not only they re-released the movie into Blu-Ray with no original VHS audio fans asked for, the Blu-Ray version had less contents!
And to add more salt to the wound, Universal even re-released the movie again
a year later on DVD... with a ugly plain orange background and Fievel's face in close-up. Tell me about respect! Who would find it appealing with a such ugly cover?! Even worse, it seems this year Fievel Goes West will also get the same "ugly cover" treatement, judge by yourself...
"4. Do special and proper promotions and promotional tie-ins to both films."
Now by seeing this ugly Fievel Goes West will get, we'll more likely get a double ugly combo. And that's pretty the end of this note.
I don't want to sound mean with my response to this note. I'm simply realist more than optimist. Let's be honest and face the truth: Universal don't care a single bit about their classic animations anymore, such as An American Tail and The Land Before Time. They barried them in their grave long ago. They only care about their 3D animations. For them, all these 2D animations are things of the past. Universal won't do anything to give justice to the AAT franchise as long they hold the intellectual property of it.
So, sorry for this long journal and sorry again if I sounded mean but I had to make the point about the actual situation on the AAT franchise. All matters guys is that you still love this franchise. If you have kids, share these classics to them and so they pass these movies to the next generation. That's all we can do for now as long the franchise is in Universal hands.