Anastasia is a tragedy about a revolution being launched against an Imperial Family and leaving behind apparently no survivors. This film, animated by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman under Fox Animation is one of several films that toyed with the idea that Anastasia Romanov, the youngest daughter of the last Tsar of Russia, had actually survived this gruesome massacre. Unfortunately it would later be discovered that none of the Romanov’s did escape. But that doesn’t lessen the beauty of this movie.
Once again we are dealing with an animated feature that is not related to Disney. This film provides more voices for a character than is probably necessary, and of course it’s our title character. Anastasia is voiced by Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man) and Meg Ryan (Everything) as a child and adult respectively while Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls) and Liz Callaway (like the go to singer when you’re doing an animated feature and you weren’t lucky enough to get Jodi Benson) again as child and adult. At least most of Disney’s films cast actors and actresses who could sing or weren’t afraid to do so.
Anastasia, after escaping the tragedy that night, conveniently falls and hits her head in such a way as to give her amnesia. Wandering alone in the middle of the snow, where upon no one recognizes the young girl they’re ALL looking for, she finds an orphanage where she is dubbed Anya and is raised in squalor. It isn’t until she’s a young lady and is kicked out that she goes on a cross country journey to find out who she is, during a montage no less!
Finding her way to the palace the plot truly begins as she meets Dimitri (John Cusack from 2012 and singing voice provided by Jonathan Dokuchitz) and Vladimer (Kelsey Grammer from X-Men Days of Future Past!) who are auditioning young women to play the role of their lives, Anastasia Romanov. How convenient!
It is around this time that Bartok (Hank Azaria), a talking bat, finds his master, Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) the instigator of the eradication of the Romanov family. Upon beginning his new plan he discovers that Anastasia is still alive and does what should be impossible at this age considering it was apparently impossible when she actually looked like the missing poster… he identifies her. Of course a wizard did it so that’s alright.
The movie is silly, fun, and entertaining. Beautifully animated with a score and soundtrack that gives it an edge over some other animated films not done by Disney. Anastasia is definitely worth your time.
1 thought on “Anastasia (1997)”
With it’s talking bat and undead zombie Rasputin I have so much love for this film, It was one of my favourites as a child, and it’s still as wonderful today. 1990’s vintage Meg Ryan could truly do no wrong.