There are two kinds of people in this world: those who will tell you that Anastasia is one of the best non-Disney animated films out there, and those who thought the movie was actually made by Disney. Back in 1997, 20th Century Fox and Don Bluth brought the world Anastasia! A magical, animated feature film based on the real life mystery of the grand duchess who supposedly went missing back in 1918 and that many hoped had survived when her family was executed. This movie became a critical and commercial success and is even seen by many as a classic that can easily stand toe-to-toe with some of Disney’s best efforts.
The Movie In a Nutshell
Just to recap briefly, this movie takes place in early 19th century Russia where Tsar Nicholas II is hosting a grand ball and his mother, Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna, is visiting from Paris. Marie gives a music box and necklace to her youngest granddaughter Anastasia as a parting gift. However, Rasputin interrupts the event. He places a curse on the Tsar and his family for banishing him and tells them they will all be dead within the fortnight.
I'll see you in Paris, Grandmother.
Rasputin’s curse sparks the Russian Revolution that sees an end to the monarchy and the demise of the royal family, with the exception of Marie and Anastasia who managed to escape. They almost break free completely, but Anastasia fails to board a train with her grandmother, and is left behind, hitting her head and losing her memories...
Anastasia loses her memories.
Ten years later, Russia is now under communist rule and Marie is offering ten million rubles (Soviet currency) to anyone who could reunite her with her granddaughter. The now older Anastasia meets Dimitri and Vladimir – two con men that want to use her resemblance to the lost duchess to get the reward money from Marie.
It is only through their travels together that they discover that she really is the missing Anastasia and then go on to eventually reunite her with her grandmother in Paris. Rasputin attempts to kill Anastasia, but fails and in the end is destroyed. Dimitri and Anastasia elope, giving the movie a happy ending that families everywhere could enjoy.
Doesn’t that ending make you feel all happy and fuzzy inside? Then you better grab a flashlight, because things are going to get real dark..