: : : Anastasia

Story

Stomping out their usual cuteness and carbon copying Disney's grand animation style to a T, directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman (An American Tail) create a successful musical comedy from the story of the lost Russian princess. Adapting the story of imperialism and revolution is tricky, and subsequently the film's opening is weak. Once Anya (voiced by Meg Ryan, sung by Liz Callaway) is a teenager and on her own (suffering from some degree of amnesia), the film is quite pleasing though never refreshingly new.

Twentieth Century Fox's big-money gamble to horn in on Disney's realm is worthy. The songs, especially the recurrent "Once Upon a December," by Broadway team Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty are better than Disney's recent efforts. It's worth picking up the soundtrack. The mix of cell animation and computer work is vivid. The collection of vocal talent is also strong, from John Cusack (as Dimitri, who wants to earn the reward by bringing Anya to Paris) to Hank Azaria as an amusing albino bat. Kelsey Grammer helps turn a roly-poly sidekick into a warm and strong supporting character.

The biggest drawback is Bluth/Goldman's insistence on having a typical villain. Surprisingly, the story would be strong enough without one, and the undead corpse of Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) is unneeded and unoriginal. --Doug Thomas

DVD Features

  • Animated
  • Color
  • Widescreen

Cast

Meg RyanAnastasia
John CusackDimitri
Kelsey GrammerVladimir
Christopher LloydRasputin
Hank AzariaBartok
Bernadette PetersSophie
Kirsten DunstYoung Anastasia
Angela LansburyThe Dowager Empress Marie
Lacey ChabertYoung Anastasia
J.K. SimmonsEnsemble and Character Vocals

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  • Genre: Animated Movies
  • Theme(s): Family
  • Director: Don Bluth
  • Producer: Fox
  • Length: 94 min
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaNov 21, 1997
    EuropeMar 27, 1998
    JapanSep 5, 1998
    AustraliaJun 25, 1998
  • Ratings
    North AmericaG
    EuropeU
    AustraliaPG
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaOct 14, 2003
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