Fievel Mouskewitz
by Kristy Puchko
Over the years, my parents have fostered my love of movies with plenty of VHS tapes, DVDs, and Blu-rays each Christmas. While I can vividly recall the joy of unwrapping particularly hard-to-find titles, the movie-related gift that filled me with the most excitement was undoubtedly the plush doll of An American Tail's Fievel Mousekewitz I received in the Christmas of 1986.

The movie opened just a month before. I was fascinated by the story of a little mouse who escaped the oppressive cats of Russia, crossed the terrible and tempestuous sea, and made it to America, where the streets were not in fact paved with cheese, but where he found plenty of adventure and devoted friends. I still love this movie, but at four years old, I was absolutely enthralled by it. My parents had opted to get me the 22" plush, meaning the giftwrapped doll was enticingly large. I remember the feel of it as I prodded its wrapping trying to divine its contents, the give of its packaging—definitely a toy!

I was four years old, and a small-for-my-age four at that, so when I pulled back the wrapping, I was thrilled to see a doll that seemed as big as me! He looked just like the Fievel from the movie, aside from being exponentially larger. While many years have passed since that Christmas, I can still recall the soft fur and velvety texture of his clothes I felt upon my first of many Fievel hugs.

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