The daughter of the last Russian Tsar, Nicolas II, Anastasia is found by two Russian con men, Dimitri and Vladimir, who seek the reward that her grandmother, the Dowager Empress Marie, promised to the ones who'll find her. But the evil mystic of the Tsar family, Rasputin, still wants the Romanov family to be destroyed forever. Written by
The drawing the Empress holds when she and Anya are reminiscing (the same one we see little Anastasia give her at the beginning of the movie) is a picture the real Anastasia had drawn for her father in 1914. See more »
Sankt-Peterburg (St Petersburg) was called Petrograd during the period of the Great War because of anti-German sentiment. Subsequently, the Communists renamed it Leningrad after the Revolution (it did not revert to its Tsarist name until 1991). And yet everyone in the movie was referring to the city as St. Petersburg. See more »
Dowager Empress Marie:
There was a time, not very long ago, where we lived in an enchanted world of elegant palaces and grand parties. The year was 1916, and my son, Nicholas, was the czar of Imperial Russia.
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The version shown on HBO and related channels contains extra credits for the Spanish-language version of the film. The song over those credits, a Spanish version of "Journey to the Past," was on the film's soundtrack album. See more »
Let others carp about the disservices to history: this Anastasia rises above its flaws to offer an engaging, emotionally resonant story of a girl's search for identity. Within its historical, quasi-factual context, the film presents a situation almost everyone can relate to--that of trying to find one's place in the world. Orphaned Anya's quest for her past (and, consequently, her future) strikes universal emotional chords: singing "Journey to the Past," she sets out with both trepidation and hope to find her identity and her place in the world. The haunting, poignant "Once Upon a December" sequence, one of the finest scenes in any recent film, is unforgettable, as we watch Anya's yearnings take the form of a ghostly dance with memories of a vanished life. And the final reunion where hostility melts gradually into acceptance, is one of the most moving and satisfying moments in film. Everything about the film bespeaks loving attention and quality: the magnificent animation and design re-create lavish Russian and Parisian locations (complete with recognizable artworks and cameos by celebrities of the '20s), and the screenplay balances action, humor, and genuine emotion. Villain Rasputin is clearly aimed at children, and some of the repartee between Anya and unlikely hero Dimitri may seem jarringly anachronistic, but viewers of any age should still enjoy this timeless coming-of-age story.
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