The daughter of the last Russian Czar, Nicolas II (Rick Jones), Anastasia (Meg Ryan) is found by two Russian con men, Dimitri (John Cusack) and Vladimir (Kelsey Grammer), who seek the reward that her grandmother, the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna (Dame Angela Lansbury), promised to the ones who'll find her. But the evil mystic of the Czar family, Grigori Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd), still wants the Romanov family to be destroyed forever.
The fourth theatrically released animated film to be scored by David Newman after The Brave Little Toaster (1987), DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990), and Rover Dangerfield (1991). 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 latter part of the end credits featured various ornamental wallpaper designs in the background. See more »
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 »
Anastasia is by far the only good Don Bluth movie from the 90's. Considering his earlier 90's movies which were terrible. This was the only one to make any money, and that is mainly because, let's face it, he surrendered to the hegemony of the Disney-formula with princesses and romance and musical song-and-dance numbers.
It's by no means the worst thing he could do, because the final product turned out pretty damn well. As long as you do not mind the history aspect of the story. It is fiction with characters named after historical personalities, nothing more. Just like Disney's "Pocahontas", but done a million times better.
The characters are well made and play off each other very well, indeed. The villain we get is well balanced between being silly and intimidating. And he, in my opinion, has the greatest song in the movie! Damn, "In the Dark of the Night" is awesome with great animated movement, a prominent choir which adds to the grandeur of it and a great build-up from start to finish.
The other songs are good, too. "Once Upon a December" is melodic and catchy
with a beautifully animated scene when it is being played for the first time in the movie. I sometimes wonder why that one wasn't nominated for the Acedemy Award for best original song, but settled for a Golden Globe nomination. Personally, I don't find "Journey to the Past" that spectacular.
I like Anastasia, but i'm still kind of torn on it, because it still buys so much into the Disney-formula that many casual movie-goers still refer to it as "that Disney movie". I like it, but I prefer Bluth's movies from the 80's.
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