Anastasia (1997) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (Three Beers) –

One of the most controversial historical events in the twentieth century was the assassination of the family of the Russian Tsar, Nicholas II.  After this bleak tragedy, rumors circulated that his youngest daughter, the Grand Duchess Anastasia, might have survived.  She might have been murdered in real life on 17 July 1918, but her story has become legendary.  Since her tale is filled with mystery, it provided a great story for filmmakers.  Ingrid Bergman might have won the “Best Actress” Academy Award for playing Anastasia in the 1956 version of this compelling tale, but the 1997 animated film has remained (somewhat) of a modern classic even though it is not exactly the greatest animated movie of all time.

A Toast

One of the best elements of this film is its music.  Anastasia has gained fame over time for its Oscar-nominated song, “Journey to the Past” as well as a second nomination for its luscious musical score.  It is no surprise that this film would eventually be adapted as a Broadway musical in 2016 because of its rich and vibrant music.  The song “Once Upon a December” has also been popular thanks to a Golden Globe nomination as well as its somewhat haunting quality when the title character yearns to remember what had happened to her long ago.  This film might not be a Disney film, but it was coincidentally released during the “Disney Renaissance” of the 1990s, which shows that 20th Century Fox Animation tried to re-create the lucrative entertainment value of the House of Mouse.

Beer Two

Needless to say, this film is filled with countless historical inaccuracies.  They cannot all be listed here because that list would be too long for a MovieBoozer film review.  *Remember, this is an animated musical, not a history lesson.*

Beer Three

And unfortunately, this film can actually be pretty scary.  Some of the disturbing imagery in this film were made via computer animation, and Rasputin is a very disgusting and treacherous villain.  This film might have been marketed as a family film, but it does not mean that it is “family-friendly.”

Verdict

Some people might have assumed that this film was from Disney just because it is an animated musical.  Disney actually has some inappropriate films that might not be suitable for children, such as The Black Cauldron (1985).  Anastasia might not be the greatest animated movie of all time, but at least it can introduce audiences to one of the greatest mysteries of all time while also featuring a stellar cast that includes Meg Ryan and Angela Lansbury of Beauty and the Beast fame.

Anastasia (1997) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time people wonder who the real Anastasia is

Take a Drink: for every disgusting moment involving Rasputin

Drink a Shot: whenever Bartok does anything passive or or melancholic

And Cheers: for all of the lush animation that captures the beauty of both Russia and France

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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