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Anastasia (1997)

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The last surviving child of the Russian Royal Family joins two con men to reunite with her grandmother, the Dowager Empress, while the undead Rasputin seeks her death.

Directors:

Don Bluth, Gary Goldman

Writers:

Susan Gauthier (screenplay), Bruce Graham (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
2,793 ( 102)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meg Ryan ... Anastasia (voice)
John Cusack ... Dimitri (voice)
Kelsey Grammer ... Vladimir (voice)
Christopher Lloyd ... Rasputin (voice)
Hank Azaria ... Bartok (voice)
Bernadette Peters ... Sophie (voice)
Kirsten Dunst ... Young Anastasia (voice)
Angela Lansbury ... The Dowager Empress Marie (voice)
Rick Jones Rick Jones ... Czar Nicholas / Servant / Revolutionary Soldier / Ticket Agent (voice)
Andrea Martin ... Phlegmenkoff / Old Woman (voice)
Glenn Walker Harris Jr. ... Young Dimitri (voice)
Debra Mooney ... Actress (voice)
Arthur Malet ... Travelling Man / Major Domo (voice)
Charity James ... Anastasia Impostor (voice)
Liz Callaway ... Anastasia (singing voice)
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Discover the Adventure Behind the Greatest Mystery of Our Time


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | French

Release Date:

21 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Music Box See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$120,541, 16 November 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$58,406,347

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$139,804,348
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS (as dts) (DTS HD Master Audio 5.1) (5.1 Surround Sound) (5.1)| Dolby Digital (as Dolby Digital) (Dolby Digital 5.1) (5.1 Surround Sound) (5.1)| SDDS (as Sony Dynamic Digital Sound) (8 channels) (5.1 Surround Sound) (5.1)| D-Cinema 48kHz 5.1 (D-Cinema prints) (5.1 Surround Sound) (5.1)| Dolby Atmos (Dolby Atmos) (5.1 Surround Sound) (5.1)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The job of composing the score was offered to both Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell but they turned it down because of their work on Antz (1998) so it was instead composed by David Newman. See more »

Goofs

The 3d generated objects in the movie seem to clip very weirdly at some points.

For example, during "In the dark of the night" When he puts down the reliquary, then later leans in, his arm is in front of it at first, but if you watch his back arm phases from in front, to behind it, then his whole arm and cloak phase through it again, as well as when he is swinging away the smoke. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The first part of the initial set of the credits shows clips of the film. See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Perfect Therapy 3: Dawn of the Bite (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Once Upon a December
(Prologue)
Composed by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Performed by Angela Lansbury and Lacey Chabert
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Is Disney Overtaken by Ex-Members?
29 April 2003 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

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 -

John Ulmer


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