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
In May 1994, The Los Angeles Times reported that Don Bluth and Gary Goldman had signed a long-term deal to produce animated features with Twentieth Century Fox with the studio channeling more than $100 million in constructing the animation studio. For the location of the new animation studio, Phoenix, Arizona was selected because the state offered the company about $1 million in job training funds and low-interest loans for the state-of-the-art digital animation equipment, with a staff of 300 artists and technicians, including a third of which worked with Bluth and Goldman in Dublin, Ireland for Sullivan Bluth Studios. For their first project, the studio insisted they select one out of a dozen existing properties in which they owned where Bluth and Goldman suggested adapting The King and I (1956) and My Fair Lady (1964), though Bluth and Goldman felt it would be impossible to improve on Audrey Hepburn's performance and Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's score. Following several story suggestions, the idea to adapt Anastasia (1956) originated from Fox Filmed Entertainment CEO Bill Mechanic. They would later adapt story elements from Pygmalion with the peasant Anya being molded into a regal woman. 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 first part of the initial set of the credits shows clips of the film. 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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