Cholena, the princess of the Lenape mice, the tritagonist and main heroine in An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island. She is one of the native mice who lived in an underground village beneath New York City. She shared a relationship with Fievel Mousekewitz.
She is voiced by the late Elaine Bilstad (Leeza Miller while singing).
Cholena has reddish fur and long black hair done up in pigtails. She has 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 Mousekewitz's dress her in a lovely pink Victorian dress and shawl. She always wears a blue bead necklace even when dressed as a European, which seems to carry some sentimental value to her.
Role in 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 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 "Chulu-Chulus" (pronounced "Zelozelos" in the movie, which means cricket in the Lenape mouse/ "Lemouse" language). She also gives Tony the nickname of "Poolaook" (whic 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 thens sings Anywhere in Your Dreams with Fievel as they go throughout the whole village (unknowingly being trailed by Tony, who is worried that Fievel may end up killing Cholena). 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 naturally 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 some more typical local 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 thanks due to a place changing 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 due 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 for her, and take her back 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.
- 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.
- Her voice actress, Elaine Bilstad, is Native American herself.
- This is Elaine Bilstad's last character role. She died of a heart problem the following year after voicing this character.
- This also marks The Treasure of Manhattan Island as Cholena's only appearance in the An American Tail franchise, as well. She is not even mentioned after that film, along with the Lenape Mice.
- 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.