The sailor of legend is framed by the goddess Eris for the theft of the Book of Peace, and must travel to her realm at the end of the world to retrieve it and save the life of his childhood friend Prince Proteus.
A wild stallion is captured by humans and slowly loses the will to resist training, yet, throughout his struggles for freedom, the stallion refuses to let go of the hope of one day returning home to his herd.
A canine angel, Charlie, sneaks back to earth from heaven but ends up befriending an orphan girl who can speak to animals. In the process, Charlie learns that friendship is the most heavenly gift of all.
The daughter of the last Russian Tsar, Nicolas II, Anastasia is found by two Russian con men, Dimitri and Vladimir, who seek the reward that her grandmother, the Dowager Empress Marie, promised to the ones who'll find her. But the evil mystic of the Tsar family, Rasputin, still wants the Romanov family to be destroyed forever.Written by
The drawing the Empress holds when she and Anya are reminiscing (the same one we see little Anastasia give her at the beginning of the movie) is a picture the real Anastasia had drawn for her father in 1914. See more »
When they are at the ballet, the back of Anastasia's dress had two straight tails. Later, when she was packing, it was connected at the bottom. 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 first part of the initial set of the credits shows clips of the film. 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 »
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 -
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