5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Vive la Anastasia!,
This review is from: Anastasia (DVD)
I don't care how unaccurate this film is. I just care that it is a great movie to watch. I love the characters, the animation is spectacular, and the songs are unforgettable! I always believed in the stories of Anastasia, but I was sad when I learned the truth about her and her family. If this movie was real, it would really convince me that Anastasia would be a true princess.
The story begins in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1916, as a ball is being held in honor of the 300th anniversary of the ruling of the czars of Russia. One of the guests is the Dowager Emperess Marie (Angela Lansbury, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Murder, She Wrote, Beauty and the Beast), who loves her youngest granddaughter, Anastasia (Kirsten Dunst, Jumanji, Mona Lisa Smile, Spiderman). The emperess is leaving for Paris, which makes Anastasia sad. So, the emperess gives her granddaughter a music box to remember her by, as well as a necklace that reads "Together in Paris". The party is interuppted when Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd, Angels in the Outfield, Taxi; sung by Jim Cummings, the voice of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger), an evil holy man, sends a curse upon the Romanov family that they will die within the night. After the party, the revolution begins, and the Romanovs are trying to escape. Anastasia forgets her music box and runs off to her room, with her grandmother running close behind her. Suddenly, the protesters burst into the castle! A small servant boy helps the princess and the grandmother into a special door hidden in the wall so that they could escape. Rasputin meets the two on the ice, where he is sure that Anastasia could not escape. But then, the ice breaks, and Rasputin drowns to his death. By the time Anastasia and Marie get to the train station, the train is already leaving! Marie gets on, but Anastasia is running as fast as she can so she could get on, too. Marie grabs onto her granddaughter's hand, but it slips from her grasp, and Anastasia falls. Since then, Marie has been searching for granddaughter, but all she finds are frauds. Can she ever see her granddaughter again?
10 years have passed since the revolution, and a rumor has been started that Anastasia is alive, and the Dowager Empress Marie is offering 10 million rubles to anyone who can bring Anastasia to her. Two men, Dmitri (John Cusack, Must Love Dogs, America's Sweethearts) and Vladmir (Kelsey Grammar, Frasier, Cheers) are willing to take that chance, but only for the money since they are con men, or those who use fake people to pretend they are a real person. Meanwhile, at an orphanage, an 18 year old girl named Anya (Meg Ryan, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail) is sent off to go get a job at the fish factory. She has no memory of her past, except a necklace that reads "Together in Paris". She can't shake off the feeling that she may be someone special. Anya doesn't know what to do. Then, a little encouragement from a stray dog leads her to St. Petersburg, where she decides to get a ticket to go to Paris. But she has no exit visa, which she can't get a ticket. So then, she goes off to the old palace to seek out a man named Dmitri. While exploring the palace, she imagines herself at a ball, dancing in the arms of those who love her, feeling safe and warm. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Dmitri and Vladmir appears. As Anya tries to run away, but is stopped by Dmitri, who looks at her while standing at the painting of the Russian family. She looks a lot like Anastasia. Anya tells her story to the two men, who want to help her get to Paris, but the third ticket is reserved for Anastasia. Then, they try to convince her that she could be the princess. Anya catches on, and agrees to go with them. But, unknowingly, a bat named Bartok (Hank Azaria, The Simpsons, Bartok the Magnificent) watches from above, and realizes that Anastasia is alive. The reliquary, which belonged to Rasputin, plunges down to the underworld, taking Bartok with it. When he tells Rasputin that Anastasia is alive, he is enraged and vows to kill the remaining member of the Romanov family. Will Rasputin get his revenge? Is Anya really Anastasia? And what will Dmitri and Vladmir do if they get the rubles?
This movie is fantastic. I loved every minute of it, except the part where Anastasia learns that Dmitri is a con man. The songs are simply lovely. I love Aaliyah's version of "Journey to the Past". She did a great job. I'm sorry to see her go unexpectedly. I also liked "At the Beginning" by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis. And a big shout-out to the composers. They rock!
It doesn't matter if this movie is historically correct or not. It matters that you learn a big lesson from it. A couple, actually. The main lesson is follow your heart. It will guide you to your true heart's desires. Buy Anastasia today! The special features of this DVD are good, too. It's a real journey to the past!