Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin is the main antagonist of the 1997 Don Bluth feature film, Anastasia. He was voiced by legendary actor Christopher Lloyd, while his singing voice was provided by the popular and renowned voice actor Jim Cummings.
He is based loosely on the real-life Grigori Rasputin: however, in the film, he is depicted as a far more malevolent being of black magic than the real-life Rasputin, though the two share the common title of "Mad Monk". Rasputin was banished for treason by the czar, Nicholas Romanov.
Eager for revenge, Rasputin plans on destroying the Russian royalty. He sold his soul to the otherworldly forces of darkness in exchange for an unholy amulet that held the powers to destroy the czar and his family, in the process becoming a lich (a type of undead creature with magical powers). He then returns to the Russian palace and inflicts on the czar's family the deadly Romanov curse. All of the royals are killed by Rasputin and the Russian soldiers, except for the czar's mother, the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna, and his eight-year-old daughter, Grand Duchess Anastasia. Rasputin eventually attempts to murder Anastasia while chasing her across a frozen river but drowns after falling through the ice, losing his amulet in the process and he is unable to die until he completes his curse.
Role in the Films
Rasputin is an evil megalomaniac sorcerer and the self-proclaimed "most mystical man in all Russia". He used to be the confidant and personal advisor of the czar, claiming he was a saint, but it was eventually discovered that he was only a charlatan, and he was chased out of the palace, and killed by well-intentioned conspirators. Or, more precisely, they thought they had killed him. The crazy and revengeful Rasputin made a deal with Hell to become immortal and came back to the palace with his new powers in 1916. However, he was killed again after breaking up a grand ball in the royal palace, during which he attempted to kill the Romanov family, including then eight-year-old Anastasia.
When Bartok informs Rasputin that Anastasia and her grandmother have escaped his guards at the palace, he decides to confront them himself and finish the girl with his own hands. The two Romanovs try disappearing by going under the Alexander Bridge, hastily running along the frozen river that passes underneath. Rasputin adheres to their plan and quickly leaps from the top of the bridge. Lazily tossing his magical reliquary aside, the evil man nearly misses the girl altogether but manages to swiftly grasp her right foot between his bony hands. The girl screams in fear as the empress helplessly tries pulling her away from the evil man. All hope seems lost for the fate of the young girl, but the ice beneath Rasputin begins to crack just as he violently tightens his grip on the girl's ankle. With one more plea to get off of her, Anastasia wretches herself free as the evil man plunges through the ice into the water. The empress hurries the girl away from the scene as Rasputin desperately flails his limbs for survival. She watches as he ultimately drowns in the river, Bartok being left to retrieve the reliquary left behind.
Ten years later, it is revealed that he survived in Limbo as a living corpse, unable to die until Anastasia is killed. Bartok, his bat servant, explained that Anastasia was still alive in St. Petersburg. Bartok also provided Rasputin with his magical reliquary, thus restoring his old powers. Rasputin summons a legion of Gargoyles to kill Anya and completes his revenge, resulting in two failed attempts. This includes a narrow escape from a separated train with an engine and baggage car from the dining car and coaches in Poland that Anya, Vladimir, and Dimitri jump off the train 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.
Rasputin takes advantage of Pooka leading Anastasia into a garden maze and traps her there to reveal himself. He then tries to kill her on the Alexander Bridge over an icy Seine River; mimicking the same tragic night on the ice they once shared before. Dimitri returns to save her but is injured and knocked unconscious of the Black Pegasus.
Anastasia survives and is filled with hatred. She attacks Rasputin and they both wrestle body to body. Anastasia manages to destroy Rasputin's reliquary by crushing it under her foot. With the reliquary gone, Rasputin is unable to keep his end of the devil's contract, so his gargoyle minions turn on him, causing him to disintegrate into dust, his soul awaiting eternal damnation with his hunger for revenge unfulfilled.
Although he doesn't officially appear in Anastasia's spin-off, in the scene the Bartok explains his adventure to the people of Moscow, a man that looks a lot like him appears trying to touch the potion.
- Character animation was supervised by Len Simon.
- In reality, the real Rasputin died of homicide on December 29, 1916, and he had no magic powers to end the Russian Empire.
- Christopher Lloyd also worked on the films "Back to the Future" (his most well-known work), and in Who Framed Roger Rabbit as the sadistic ruthless Judge Doom. Lloyd also voiced Merlock, the main antagonist from 'Ducktales the Movie:Treasure of the Lost Lamp', Lloyd also voiced Pagemaster in from The Pagemaster, who like Rasputin is a sorcerer for long-term goal and abuses his sidekick. Lloyd is also known for voicing the Woodsman in Over The Garden Wall.
- Grigori's last name is Rasputin.
- He could be a lich because he's a sorcerer, his soul is in a reliquary that if destroyed results in his death and he's undead.
- He was voiced by Joachim Kemmer in the German voice-over of the movie, who also portrayed Jafar in the German voice-over of Aladdin, and The Return of Jafar.
- He is considered one of the evilest Don Bluth villains, next to Jenner.