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|Index||173 reviews in total|
80 out of 92 people found the following review useful:
Based on a true story, but fictional..., 3 November 2004
Author: kittykatze from Oakville, Ontario, Canada
I first saw "Anastasia" in the theatre the last day of November, 1997,
the year it came out. I was eight, the year she is in the prolouge.
Ever since, I have been interested in the story of Anastasia Nikolaevna
Romanov, her life, and her untimely death.
While I know the movie is not historically accurate, I don't care! The movie is fiction after all- based on a true story (of Anastasia's rumored escape and women who claimed to be her), loosely, mind you- but perhaps it is not as unlikely as it seems: when the remains of the Romanovs were discovered back in 1991, Alexei (her brother,the Czarvitch) and one of the Grand Duchesses were missing. And with age analysis of the bones, scientists believe that the missing daughter is in fact Anastasia, and not one of her sisters, Olga, Tatiana, or Maria. But who really knows what happened?
My opinion of the movie is that it is wonderful. It draws you into the world of the lost Russian Princess, to a time that is "far away, long ago", that doesn't exist anymore.
The music and animation are stunning, and the photo research of St. Petersburg is amazing! Take the Catherine Palace and the magnificent gate you see, as well as the city itself. The 3-D animation is amazing; you look like you could reach out and touch it! The music is truly magical; "Once Upon a December" (especially Deana Carter's version)
is haunting yet beautiful. I own the soundtrack- I listen to it frequently
to help me relax.
But what I love best about the movie is the romance that occurs between Anya(Anastasia) and Dimitri. It starts out as a con, a trick for money, and turns into a love story. I think it shows that people really do have good in them, and that true love really exists. It's also heartwarming to think that a young boy who saved the girl he liked (princess or not) later helps her restore her identity and find a true place (in this case, happily together with him).
"Anastasia" is really my favourite movie of all time, even though now I'm almost 15. I'd recommend it to anyone, and advise historical literialists to look beyond the fiction and let yourself be taken on a "Journey to the Past" with the romance, comedy, and magic of this story.
56 out of 64 people found the following review useful:
Suspend any disbelief, and the movie is *outstanding*, 28 December 1998
Author: Kristin Molle from Riverside, USA
The best way to watch a movie is with suspension of disbelief - Just trust what the producers present you with and don't question it. With that, "Anastasia" is one of the most delightful movies I've seen in some time. It's like an old musical, with people spontaneously erupting into choreographed dance, but with modern dialog (And funny, at that!), an enjoyable romance, and action sequences to keep things moving. The music, while nothing to remember to the point of distraction, was perfect for humming, and even worked to advance the plot - Unlike so many animated songs put in for the sake of having a song. So it wasn't historically perfect - if it were, there'd be no story. Go ahead and feel smug that you know what really happened, but don't turn to comment to your neighbor, lest you miss one minute of the wonderfully unfolding plot.
47 out of 54 people found the following review useful:
A classic for all ages, 17 March 1999
Author: Oriel from Athens, Georgia
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.
43 out of 66 people found the following review useful:
DA!, 12 November 2004
I absolutely LOVE this movie! I am a little amused by all the people
having a problem with this movie not being historically accurate. Need
I remind people that this is a cartoon, not a documentary? I was
actually impressed with the attention to details: Nicholas looks very
much like he did in life, Anastasia's little brother's sickness is not
overlooked (he is walking with a limp), 'Once upon a December's words
'Someone holds me safe and warm... ' sound so much like a Russian Gypsy
That said, I do have to say that there are a few things that could have been prevented by hiring one Russian speaking person. Examples: When Dimitry and Anya first meet, he has a problem pronouncing her name. That would never happen. Anya is a very common name in Russia and would not be mistaken for anything else. Also, when Sophie opened the door she says something that IS NOT a Russian name, very silly. Another example would be Anastasia looking through her family album, when they make her memorize thing, remember the picture of uncle Vanya? ("Loved his vodka, got it Anya?") Well, he just looks like a common peasant, not a member of royal family.
Bartok . I wonder who thought of the name . It is not a Russian name My guess is that it was meant to be 'BRATOK' which means 'little brother', used to address a companion, a friend.
So.. those are my thoughts. All in all, I highly recommend the movie. Not as an educational historical reference, but as a wonderful entertaining musical animated movie! The fact that is NOT Disney is actually a big plus for me!
21 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Has the sumptuous look of a Broadway musical...delightful entertainment..., 22 May 2001
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
Some of the most beautiful animation and backgrounds in recent history are a
central ingredient of "Anastasia", a charming full-length feature based on
the famous title character and set against the period of the Russian
revolution. Expert vocal work by Angela Lansbury (Dowager Empress), Meg Ryan
(Anastasia), John Kusack (Dimitri) and many others, make the characters seem
more dimensional than in most animated features. Particularly Dimitri and
Anastasia, whose love-hate relationship seems startlingly real given the
The score is studded with some Oscar-nominated music and the sinister moments have the kind of villain you love to hate (Rasputin). Some of the scenes might be too intense for small children--as well as a realistic railway scene on a runaway car--but all in all, should delight young and old. Angela Lansbury's voice is especially effective as the Empress. The art of animation doesn't get any better than this! This Don Bluth/Gary Goldman production is as good as anything Disney might have attempted.
21 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful movie, amazing music :D, 27 November 2005
Author: cicci-4 from Sweden
Anastatsia is without doubt one of the best animated movies ever made,
for several reasons. It's an amazing story, filled with adventure,
romance, smart dialog and wonderful music. The story is set in Russia
and other parts of Europe, both in the wonderful palaces of the Czar
family and the french countryside. It tells the story of the lost
princess Anastasia, and uses the rumors that she as the only one of the
Romanov family survived the massacre during the Russian revolution.
Anya, a girl with no memory of her past, meets with two men of
questionable professions that promise to take her to Paris, if she's
willing to try to convince the Dowager Emperess that she might be
Anastasia... Unfortunately, the evil sorcerer Rasputin (the man who
killed the Romanov family) also knows that Anya is alive, and swears to
kill her, whatever the cost... So Anya is taken on a magical
adventurous ride through Europe, to find her family.
One of the best things about the movie is the characters. They seem so real, like real persons, not platonic, "a beautiful damsel in distress", "a handsome hero" end of story... The music is wonderful, better than in many Disney movies, and the story very good.
The only things I don't like about the film, is the things that's dangerous about making movies about real historical events. The Romanov Family weren't the innocents victims they're painted out to be, and the fact that the story is based on that... But I've only started to think about this now when I'm older, so... Anyone who likes a good movie, rent or buy Anastasia. It's worth it.
I should recommend the Swedish version, if someone here was to see it. Helen Sjöholm is the singer of Anya's role, and she is one of the best singers in Sweden...
23 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
commenting on the music and charm of the movie, 20 October 2004
Author: rboller-3 from Bartlett, IL
I thought this movie (maybe a bit graphic for young children) was still
charming. It was able to make me laugh and feel with the characters
during the more heartfelt scenes. I thought the animation was
beautiful, and the storyline was well-developed.
There weren't gaps in the plot, leaving the audience to suspend their disbelief and make up excuses as to what or why something occurred.
The music was not only memorable, but it had a range of style, including haunting melodies and catchy beats. And the singers weren't concerned with sounding like pop singers, taking the audience out of the movie, which I appreciated.
23 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
Step aside, Mickey Mouse!, 28 January 2000
Author: obiwan-27 from New England
Finally, an animated film that not only lives up to the high standards set by Disney, but also surpasses them in some ways. My husband is a HUGE Disney fan/apologist/defender, and even he likes this one in spite of the fact that it is made by that "traitor" Don Bluth. ;-) I thought the animation in this movie was great, but that's not the main reason I enjoyed it. I really liked the storyline that is actually interesting to adults. Disney cartoons are great, but often I find myself bored with them after a while because they have the same theme over and over (teenager breaking out of their boring life by mixing with VIPs). ANASTASIA thankfully added more to the basic plot of growing up and moving on. The only complaint I have is that the villain (Rasputin) and his weirdo bat friend didn't seem to have much of a point in the film. I can easily forgive that though, since everything else was so great. Meg Ryan and John Cusack both did a wonderful job voicing their characters. Yeah, the history here is totally screwed up, but I guess I'm a pig-headed American because I have no trouble looking past that. Overall I give this a 8/10. Hats off to Don Bluth for crafting a wonderful bit of competition for the Mouse.
20 out of 35 people found the following review useful:
Is Disney Overtaken by Ex-Members?, 29 April 2003
Author: MovieAddict2013 from UK
The story/legend of Princess Anastasia of Russia is an unlikely tale to be
told in an animated musical. But it works, mainly because it doesn't confuse
its main audience, children; but yet, at the same time, it provides enough
entertainment for its older audience, adults.
"Anastasia" is based loosely on the same legendary tale as the 1956 motion picture starring Ingrid Bergman. Supposedly, as the legend goes, Russia's ruling Romanov family was murdered in the upheaval of revolution, and one child, Anastasia, escaped the carnage and survived to make a valid claim for the throne. Anastasia was the granddaughter of the Dowager Empress Marie (voiced, in this film, by Angela Lansbury), who herself escaped to Paris and now wearily rejects one imposter after another.
Meg Ryan provides the vocals for Anastasia. The film opens with her escaping from Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd); the only survivor is Anastasia and her grandmother. She spends years in a cruel orphanage, losing all memory of her earlier days. Then as a lithe and spirited teenager, she falls into the clutches of two con men named Dimitri (John Cusack) and Vladimir (Kelsey Grammer). They both worked in the royal court and have insider knowledge; their scheme is to tutor an imposter until she can fool the Dowager Empress. The irony, which the movie makes much of, is that this impostor is, in fact, the real thing.
The only minor problem with "Anastasia" is how it tries to fill in the story with an overly-evil (and truly unbelievable) villian. The ending is more than ridiculous. If the entire tale was a "Sleeping Beauty"-type-story, it might be more believable, but right as we are led to believe this story is BASED on something somewhat true and based on true events, they throw in a living-dead-monster, Rasputin, to try and kill Anastasia. Good if the movie was a fantasy set up from the beginning, but it wasn't. It was a more serious 'toon turned into a fantasy one by the end.
The film's directors and producers (and former Disney artists) Don Bluth and Gary Goldman put together this film. Their film credits include "An American Tail" and "All Dogs Go to Heaven." No surprise, because the film, "Anastasia," like the other films, is darker than most fairy-tale-Disney-movies. It's more graphic, gritty and real, which is why the end is so disappointing.
In a time when CGI seems to be taking over the animation world, "Anastasia" is a good reminder that cartoon films can still be made good. A "Monsters, Inc.," it isn't, but it is definitely good.
I would give "Anastasia" a solid "4," but the end was ridiculous and predictable, and way out of turn for a film of its nature. It set itself up as a serious animated film, but then dropped everything and switched to fantasy. Its only blunder is this.
3/5 stars -
5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A disappointment, 5 May 2006
Author: wnterstar from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I went into this movie with high hopes...I've always thought that the
story of Anansatsia was intriguing and romantic. I saw who was doing
the vocalizations and I was thrilled.
Too bad it didn't live up to the hype.
I guess my biggest disappointment was Rasputin. The real Rasputin was a strange enough character without making him an immortal evil antagonist.
Yes...I know it's a kids movie (although, it's too scary for little kids!)but I feel it could have been handled better.
Having said that, the rest of the movie is OK. There are two songs that really stick with you at the end, and the animation is great.
All in all, it's a bland treatment of what could have been a terrific story.
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