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#[[Once Upon a December Reunion]] - [[Anastasia (character)|Anastasia]] and [[Marie Feodorovna]]
#[[Once Upon a December Reunion]] - [[Anastasia (character)|Anastasia]] and [[Marie Feodorovna]]
#[[At the Beginning]] (''end credits'') - Donna Lewis & Richard Marx
#[[At the Beginning]] (''end credits'') - Donna Lewis & Richard Marx
#Journey to the Past (''end credits'') - Aaliyah
#[[Journey to the Past (''end credits'')]] - Aaliyah

Revision as of 16:58, November 2, 2011


Anastasia is a 1997 American animated film produced and directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman at Fox Animation Studios. The film was released on November 14, 1997 by 20th Century Fox. The idea for the film originates from Fox's 1956 live-action film version of the same name. The plot is based around the urban legend that Anastasia, youngest daughter of the last monarch of imperial Russia, in fact survived the execution of her family, and thus takes various liberties with historical fact. The animators admitted that they had taken creative license with actual events, but hoped it would capture an essence of the royal family. Executives at Fox gave Bluth and Goldman the choice of creating an animated adaptation of either the 1956 film or the musical My Fair Lady.


In 1916, Tsar Nicholas II hosts a grand ball at the royal palace celebrating the 300th anniversary of Romanov rule. During this celebration, his mother, Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna (Angela Lansbury), gives her favorite granddaughter, eight-year-old Grand Duchess Anastasia (Kirsten Dunst), a music box and a necklace reading "Together in Paris", which serves as its key. The ball is interrupted by the arrival of the megalomanic Grigori Rasputin, (Christopher Lloyd), a staretz who sold his soul to gain the power of sorcery. Rasputin plans to gain his revenge through a curse to destroy the Romanov family that sparks the Russian Revolution. During the storming of the palace, a servant boy named Dimitri, distracts the invading Bolsheviks and is knocked unconscious, but his action helps Anastasia and her grandmother escape the palace, however Anastasia loses her music box in the process. Dimitri saves the music box in hopes of remembering the royal family. Rasputin attempts to kill Anastasia himself, but falls through the ice in the river and drowns. Anastasia and her grandmother eventually reach a moving train, but only she is able to get on as Anastasia trips and hits her head on the station platform, forcing her grandmother to leave her behind. Ten years later, in 1926, Russia is now under Communist rule; Anastasia's grandmother, now back in Paris, has offered a monetary reward for anyone who can return Anastasia to her. Two Russian con men living in Leningrad, Dimitri (John Cusack) and Vladimir (Kelsey Grammer), decide to find a young girl to pass off as Anastasia. Elsewhere, an amnesiac eighteen-year-old orphan girl named Anya (Meg Ryan) who owns the same necklace as Anastasia, has just left her orphanage and has decided to learn about her past, because she has no recollection of the first eight years of her life. Accompanied by Pooka, a stray puppy, she heads to Saint Petersburg, and soon encounters Dimitri and Vladimir, who recruit her as their "fake" Anastasia. During the trip to Paris, the two men teach Anya how to behave like Anastasia and Anya and Dimitri realize a mutual attraction. In Dimitri's baggage is Anastasia's music box. Anya recalls some small facts that she remembers from her past, though nobody realizes it. Meanwhile, Rasputin is revealed to still be alive, but trapped in limbo as a living corpse: unable to die because Anastasia had not been killed. Bartok, his bat servant, reveals that Anastasia is still alive and in St Petersburg. He unwittingly brings Rasputin his magical reliquary, thus restoring his old powers. Rasputin summons a legion of demons to kill Anya and complete his revenge, resulting in two failed attempts. This includes a narrow escape from a separated train in Poland that Anya, Vladmir, and Dimitri jump off to avoid falling to their deaths, and a nightmare aboard a ship en route to Paris from Stralsund,Germany, where Anya nearly sleepwalks overboard until Dimitri rescues her, alerted by Pooka. These failures make Rasputin realize he must kill her in person. The trio eventually arrive in Paris and meet Sophie (Bernadette Peters), Marie's lady-in-waiting and first cousin, who is in charge of interviewing the Anastasia lookalikes. However, Marie, tired of heartbreak, has declared not to hold any more interviews. Despite this, Sophie sees Anya as a favor to Vladimir; Anya plays her part well, but when Sophie asks how she escaped the palace, Anya dimly recalls a servant boy opening a secret door, surprising both Dimitri and Vladimir when this was one fact they failed to teach her. Dimitri later reveals to Vladimir that he was the servant boy in her memory, meaning that Anya is the real Anastasia and has found her home and family; nonetheless, he is saddened by this truth, because, although he loves her, he knows that "princesses don't marry kitchen boys," (which he says to Vladimir outside the opera house). Sophie then arranges for Anya to encounter Marie at the Russian ballet. After the event, Dimitri attempts to introduce Anya, but the empress refuses to listen to him, having heard of Dimitri and his initial plans to con her. Anya eavesdrops on their argument and thus learns that she is a part of a con. Angered, she begins to leave and is confronted by Dimitri, who begs her to believe that his intentions have changed. She does not accept this, and leaves, intending to get out of their plot. Dimitri, determined to right the situation and reunite the two women, kidnaps Marie in her car and furiously drives back to the mansion where Anya is packing her things. Then he convinces the empress to meet with Anya by presenting her the lost music box. Upon meeting Anya at first, Marie remains guarded until the girl suddenly begins to remember personal childhood moments. Anya then inserts the end of her necklace into the side of the music box and winds it up, causing it to begin playing. As they sing the lullaby the music box plays, Marie finally realizes the truth, and the two reunite at long last. Marie rewards Dimitri the money, plus her gratitude. Although Dimitri accepts her gratitude, he refuses the reward money revealing that he cared more about Anastasia than the reward and leaves. Marie eventually tells Anastasia of Dimitri's actions at the ball, making her realize her error. When Pooka suddenly bounds for the garden maze, Anastasia runs after him and is trapped. Rasputin finally reveals himself to her and tries to kill her on the Alexander Bridge over an icy Seine River. Dimitri returns to save her, but is injured and knocked unconscious. Anastasia manages to destroy Rasputin's reliquary by crushing it under her foot, causing him to disintegrate into dust, his soul awaiting eternal damnation with his hunger for revenge unfulfilled. Afterwards, Dimitri and Anastasia reconcile, sending a farewell letter to Marie and Sophie, telling them that they have eloped, but will see them again in Paris. Anastasia and Dimitri then sail away on a boat with Pooka, before sharing a passionate kiss. Meanwhile, Bartok finds a beautiful female bat and they share a kiss as well.


  1. Once Upon a December Prologue - Young Anastasia and Marie Feodorovna
  2. A Rumor in St. Petersburg - Chorus, Dimitri and Vladimir
  3. Journey to the Past - Anastasia
  4. Once Upon a December - Anastasia
  5. Learn to Do It - Vladimir, Anastasia and Dimitri
  6. Learn to Do It (Waltz reprise) - Vladimir
  7. In the Dark of the Night - Grigori Rasputin, Demon chorus
  8. Paris Holds the Key (To Your Heart) - Sophie, Dimitri and chorus
  9. Once Upon a December Reunion - Anastasia and Marie Feodorovna
  10. At the Beginning (end credits) - Donna Lewis & Richard Marx
  11. Journey to the Past (''end credits'') - Aaliyah


Roger Ebert gave the film 3½ out of 4 stars describing it as "...entertaining and sometimes exciting!".[2] The movie also currently stands with a 85% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes.[3] Carol Buckland of CNN Interactive praised John Cusack for bringing "an interesting edge to Dimitri, making him more appealing than the usual animated hero" and stated that Angela Lansbury gave the film "vocal class", but described the film as "OK entertainment" and that "it never reaches a level of emotional magic."[4] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly said that the film "has the Disney house style down cold", but that the film feels "a touch depersonalized".[5]


See Anastasia/Transcript.

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