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A spellbinding mix of adventure, comedy, romance and music, this acclaimed animated spectacular tells the thrilling story of the lost Russian princess Anastasia and her quest to find her true identity. When the shadow of revolution falls across Russia, the royal family's youngest daughter barely escape with her life. Years later, Anastasia and a band of heroic companions must battle the evil Rasputin, his sidekick Bartok the bat and a host of ghostly minions in a headlong race to reach Paris, reclaim her rightful destiny and solve the greatest mystery of the 20th century.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is loosely based on a stage play, based on the rumours that one of the Romanov daughters, (thought to be Anastasia since it was most poetic, her name does mean 'to rise again') somehow escaped when her family was excecuted. This was due to onne of the bodies being missing at the time. While most would like to believe she did, DNA evidence has confirmed that Anastasia did die with her family. So this movie is indeed just a fantasy based on rumours and wishful thinking.
Still, this is a fun movie, with charming characters, suspensful action scenes, memorable songs such as 'Once Upon a December', and a wacky villain. It's also a very family friendly movie, though I have my doubts that young boys will be very interested in it. The animation is slightly off at times, but many of the hand drawn sequences are absolutely breath taking. It's definitly worth a watch for any fan of Princesses, but history buffs might lose their minds.
This film is based on some speculation that Princess Anastasia actually survived the attack on the royal family (she was thought to be tied to Anne Samson). Although this film is very loosely based on historical facts, I love how Bluth incorporated the story of the Romanov family and made it PG with plenty of songs for everyone to enjoy.
Overall, I fell in love with this film when it first came out in the later 90s (1997?) and haven't fallen out of love with it ever since.
And that is exactly what it is: a movie for CHILDREN. It's supposed to be FUN, not teach you history. If you want to see a portrait for the political struggles in Russia at that time - go read a book about it!
Yes, the movie's characters are portrayed as black and white - the Romanovs are good, Rasputin is bad. Has it ever been different in Disney movies (yes, I do realize this is not a Disney movie)? Yes, maybe Lenin would've made a more logical bad guy, but Lenin didn't have magic powers (as far as that goes, Rasputin is the way more interesting character). Why yes, maybe they should have portrayed the hardships of revolution and the two years that the Romanov family had been held captive. Why YES, maybe they should have made Alexei a sickly boy and the whole thing utterly hopeless. It would have been more realistic and appealing to all you fine members of the politically aware adults. But no seven-year-old (as I was at the time I watched this movie) would be particularly interested in that kind of story.
As to my personal opinion, I love this movie. The songs ("Once Upon a December" is beautiful), the characters, the dialogue, the graphics, the mood, everything is just stunning. Sometimes it gets a little mushy, I suppose, as in the starting scene - but those parts are easy to overlook when viewing the wonderful whole.
When the Russian empire falls (in a fortnight due to Rasputin's curse), young Anastasia escapes with her life but not her memory. An old member of the court and an old member of the palace staff look for a girl they can pose as Anastasia in order to collect a reward. The girl they pick turns out to be the genuine article. After some harrowing adventures made more difficult by the efforts of Rasputin from beyond the grave, Anastasia is reunited with her grandmother. Then, just as all obstacles and plot complications are out of the way of romance the final showdown with Rasputin occurs.
One of the main reasons I had wanted to see this film was that it was the first true challenge to Disney's animation empire. I was very surprised to find out that Don Bluth (All Dogs Go To Heaven and other dogs) was behind the film. Bluth seems to have finally figured out how to make a good film and Anastasia will hopefully not be the last.
There are a few faults (of course) with the overall plot and the dealings with history but if one accepts this as alternate history they are not a real problem. For one, Rasputin dies by accident (although he does drown). Anastasia is found and reunited with her family. The Russian Empire is likened to Camelot where all is good for everyone. Rubles seem to have worth outside of Russia. But if you can handle that, you should have no problem with the story. The only real problems I had with the production involved the musical numbers and the animation. There was some good music but it just wasn't as clear as it should be. Oftentimes one had to guess what the song was about.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The plot and animation is well done for the 90s. The music numbers are entertaining and keep the kids enthralled.Published 16 months ago by Janelle
Just a wonderful show to watch with little girls wanting to be a princess who finds her prince.Published 17 months ago by Jean
I love this movie one of my al time favourites once upon a December!Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer