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
Don Bluth: [the music box] Grand Empress Marie gave the music box to young Anastasia so that she'll have something to remember her by before she returns home to Paris. Only the two knew the music from the music box as it is the "Once Upon a December" lullaby that Marie sings to Anya at bedtime. That music box, as well as Anya's memorization of its music, were to prove to Marie that Anya is her long-lost granddaughter, Anastasia. See more »
When Anastasia breaks into the palace looking for Dimitri, she finds the place almost intact, along with many precious items such as plates, fine tapestries, candlesticks, furniture, and, most notably, a painting in which she recognizes herself. Actually, the Winter Palace - depicted in the movie, as it is the only one located in St. Petersburg - was stormed and looted in 1917 by Russian revolutionaries of everything valuable. Besides, all the paintings where slashed with bayonets and, from the river, the cruiser Aurora used the facade for target practice. Moreover, by 1927, when the action is supposed to take place, the Palace was rebuilt and was seat of the Hermitage Museum, so the conditions in which Anastasia finds the Palace, as shown in the movie, are impossible. 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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