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Universal Studios Home Video and UNICEF Join Forces as Fievel Mousekewitz From `An American Tail' Series is Named Official Icon Promoting Worldwide Understanding and Friendship Among Children.

Business & Entertainment Editors

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 10, 2000

Star of Animated "An American Tail" Series Becomes Symbol

For International Children's Rights

Fievel Mousekewitz, the beloved star of the popular animated "An American Tail" home video series that was inspired by the hit motion picture, will become the official icon for UNICEF, The United Nations Children's Fund, it was announced today by Marjorie Newman-Williams, director of communications for UNICEF, and Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Video.

In a ceremony held today at Ellis Island in which Fievel was honored as an inspirational model for children immigrants, the character was cited as an ideal symbol to promote worldwide understanding and friendship for the plight of children, especially those facing challenging new experiences as immigrants.

"Fievel Mousekewitz is a popular and endearing character for children everywhere," said Newman-Williams. "His immigration experiences reflect the adventures and triumphs of all cultures and their children. That's why we welcome this excellent series from Universal, because it touches on so many themes that will ring true for families around the world."

"The pairing of Fievel and UNICEF is a natural union," stated Kornblau. "Both Fievel and UNICEF embrace the same values which salute and celebrate our richest treasures -- children of the world. We are so proud to be associated with UNICEF and look forward to a long relationship."

In his prestigious new position as a UNICEF symbol, Fievel will promote universal friendship and understanding, and celebrate cultural diversity worldwide. Fievel, a young immigrant mouse who experiences a series of adventures while adjusting to a new life in a new land, will spearhead advocacy campaigns for children through UNICEF.

In the series, which includes "An American Tail," "An American Tail: Fievel Goes West," and the newly released direct-to-video sequel, "An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island," Fievel and his family immigrate to the United States at the turn of the 20th century to escape persecution and build a better life in the "Land of Opportunity."

Encountering many of the same challenges that new immigrants, especially children, must face, Fievel and his family make new friends and discover peace, harmony and understanding, through respect for one another's nationalities and cultural differences. A fourth sequel, "An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster" is slated for release later this year.

On Dec. 10, 2000, UNICEF will present The International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB). Sponsored by the International Council of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The International Children's Day of Broadcasting is an initiative aimed to inform people around the world about children's rights through public service campaigns produced by many of the leading children's program producers.

In addition to playing a significant role in this event, Fievel will also be featured on several UNICEF public service announcements, and will be a featured spokesperson on the UNICEF Web site, located at www.unicef.org.

Founded in 1946, UNICEF advocates and works for the protection of children's rights, to help the young meet their basic needs and expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF, the only organization of the United Nations dedicated exclusively to children, works with other United Nations bodies, governments and non-governmental organizations to lighten children's loads through community-based services in primary health care, basic education, and safe water and sanitation in developing countries.

Note to Editors: Universal Studios Home Video is a part of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com), a unit of The Seagram Co., Ltd., a global entertainment and beverage company.
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Date:Mar 10, 2000
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