on 4 August 2005
Firstly I have to admit that I am 21 years old and this is my favourite film of all time. I know this may make me seem a little immature but I just absolutely love this film. I must have seen it way over 30 times.
I think what appealed to me the most in this film was the growing relationship between Anya and Dimitri. In addition I have always been interested in the legend of Anastasia and I liked how the film dealt with this. The characters were all excellent and I loved the songs, especially 'Journey to the Past' and 'At the Beginning'. Although I have to admit that the character of Bartok does annoy me slightly (but I think he's created more for children to laugh at.)
A wonderful, wonderful DVD and in my opinion, I enjoyed it more than any Disney film I've seen (I keep crying at the end as well, no matter how many times I've seen it.) For children and adults.
on 9 January 2006
One of the last visually stunning traditional animated films with a beautifully developed story and loveable characters.
Everything is wonderful-- the sets, the animation, the dresses, the journey to France, Paris, the songs..
This should be a reminder of what Disney feature films could still aspire too, before greed and making a quick buck led them to completely rubbish out the 2d medium.
Kudos to Don Bluth and Gary Goldman yet again.
on 10 January 2002
Who would have thought that you could ever be entranced so much by computer generated characters...well I didn't, but I have been now through watching Anastacia. Learning about the demise of the Romanov family has always been one of those thing which I have wanted to do but have never got round to, until now, and although in a 'cartoon' form, the whole experience was thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding. Amazing songs which could grace any West End theatre with due credit and superb characterisation by voices of acclaimed actors such as Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammar and Bernadette Peters who should all be congratulated. Probably the best and most memorable moment was the singing voice of Kelsey Grammar who provides a truly oustanding moment in one of the film's romantic scenes (I won't tell you who between!).
The film tells the story of the Romanov family and the separation of Anastacia from her family during the demise of the Romanov family at the hands of the evil Rasputin. Anastacia loses all memories of who she is, and on returning to St Petersburg some years later, having lived in an orphanage, meets up with two characters of the Romanov court. Anastacia needs papers to go to Paris, which is the only place which has a link to her past, from a necklace which she has always worn bearing the words' together in Paris'. The two chacters played by Cusack and Grammar see a remarkable resemblance in the feisty young girl they meet to the long lost Anastacia and persuade her to pose as Anastacia in return for travel papers to Paris, where she will be passed off in front of The Grand Duches Marie as Anastacia in the hope of getting a reward. As you can guess the story unfolds and realisation hits that she is infact the real Anastacia. The storyline involves romance, friendship, humour provided by Rasputin faithful sidekick an albino bat called Bartok (Hank Azzaro) and moments of evil and terror from Rasputin himself, played by Christopher Lloyd. A memorable and unforgetable piece of animation which I have watched over and over again - don't miss out on this wonderful piece of escapism - you won't be disappointed.
on 13 June 2004
i had to watch this film with my little siter once and i thought oh god here we go 'princesses and princes singing and finding each other' so i was no looking forward to it. but when i watched it all the way through, i loved it, because it wasn't a 'thumbelina' or 'a swan princess'. i loved bartok and his 'crazy with the hips' and the gradual intimate relationship that anya and dimitri begin to have.
the songs made the film especially 'at the beginning' and 'learn to do it'. and it wasn't just for kids either, it can be for adults aswell. i now have this dvd and i watch it all the time. the voice talents in this film are superb and the singing talents too.
so one word of advice to you, BUY THIS FILM! because you won't be dissapointed.
on 12 May 2003
This gets a five star from me. Based in 1927 Russia, it tells the story of the lost Russian princess. The voice work is extremely praiseworthy. Meg Ryan is enthusiastic, fiery and brings the character of Anastasia to life with extraordinary depth. John Cusack portrays Dimitri, and his voice adds amazing warmth and glow to the character of the male protagonist. Kelsey Grammar lends his great talent as the voice of Vladimir, the character who portrays wisdom and feeling in the story. Christopher Lloyd as the villain Rasputin is Great and though some critics comment on his non required presence, I think he brings much of the comic relief in the story, just like his sidekick Bartok, the bat, voiced excellently by Hank Azaria. Kirsten Dunst and Bernadette Peters play their roles well, but the pivotal and my best character in the movie, the grand duchess Marie is voiced with excruciating depth by Angela Lansbury.
The music of the movie is awesome and equally good, albeit better than recent Alan Menken ones seen in later Disney movies like Hercules and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame. The songs “At The Beginning”& “Journey To The Past” are my favorites and the show-stoppers “Learning To Do It” and “Paris Holds the Key” are well composed. But the tune that lingers on and on is Once Upon A December. Liz Callaway is exceptionally good as the singing voice of Anastasia. The score, composed by David Newman ranks one above the recent Disney tries. In Fact, if not for Titanic, Anastasia, I believe would have come home with two most deserving Oscars for Best Song And Best Score. Well, at least it got the nominations.
But the elements which truly separates this movie from any other animated movie is HEART; EMOTION; SACRIFICE; DEPTH and FEELING. There are times when you just forget that its an animated movie you are watching, not a real one. The part where the Empress Marie says “Oh Anastasia My Anastasia!” is voiced with such extraordinary depth that every time I watch the re union of the Grandma with her grand daughter I cry. Imagine, A woman who has lost everything during a revolution, who has been hurt countless times finally knows that her grandchild is still alive. Anya too has never known love or home and this movie is about her quest to find it. The hero, a con-man transformed by love, gives up ten million rubles for her and the heroine leaves behind her royalty for him. These touching moments I have never witnessed in any animated movie (other than Pocahontas and The Prince Of Egypt) and needless to say, this is my best movie, animation or non animation.
Another thing I would want to say too; this is more an ADULT ORIENTED movie than a kid’s one. 10 year olds will hardly understand the emotional moments or the occasional verbal clashes between the two protagonists during the first half of the movie. Then again just because its an animated movie rated ‘G’ doesn’t mean that it has to be for kids. That is one reason, I think this movie did not do as well as it should have. Spunk and fast movies like Aladdin, Hercules and Beauty And The Beast no doubt are Great stuff (hey, I like them too), but this is just something different from the ordinary fun, laughter, sexy heroines and kisses you get from Disney movies. So if you like fast paced entertaining, Aladdin type stuff don’t waste your time on Anastasia; but if you are a true appreciator of emotional and artistic beauty and what it means for an orphan to know the meaning of Love and family, go watch this classic. As for me, it will always hold a special place in my heart.
on 14 January 2003
This warm and romantic film from Don Bluth and Gary Goldman has long been my favorite animated feature. This mostly fictional story of Russia's famous Anastasia and her search for her family is sprinkled with humor and great songs. The animation, from snowy Russia to glamorous Paris, is top notch and the story is both heartwarming and fun.
A great cast of voices, including Meg Ryan (Anastasia), John Cusack (Dimitri), Kelsey Grammer (Vladimir), Christopher Lloyd (Rasputin), and Angela Lansbury as Anastasia's beloved grandmother add depth to an enchanting film. Anastasia wants to leave Russia for Paris because the necklace she wears has the inscription, "Together in Paris," which she is sure holds the key to her journey to discover who she is and where she belongs.
Dimitri and Vladimir plan to pass her off as the real Anastasia for the reward in exchange for her visa out of Russia. The banter between Anastasia and Dimitri masks a growing attraction, of course, and when Dimitri discovers before she does that she really is Anastasia he knows he must step aside.
Complicating matters is the evil Rasputin, who has placed a curse on her family and sold his soul to destroy them. His little fruit bat Bratok (Hank Azaria) is a very funny creation and turns out to be not so evil at all. The story is peppered throughout with great songs, including "Journey to the Past" and the haunting "Once Upon a December." Anastasia is warm and involving, separating it from other animated films. When Anya discovers she really is Anastasia, it is bittersweet, as she now must choose between her past and her future. Love may conquer all, but not if the evil Rasputin has his way.
This is a heartfelt and funny animated feature you'll want to own and watch over and over. Don't miss this one.
on 7 September 2013
My sister and I used to love watching this film.
Now I have it and on blu ray the contrast and picture quality is great.
Loads of features and as an adult re watching a film you used to love as a kid, or as a kid watching this for the first time, this is still a great film.
on 4 November 2004
The film tells the story of Anya, an orphan who can remember little of her early life. She travels to Paris in the company of Dimitri, a conman who coaches her to impersonate the lost princess Anastasia. But her past, in the shape of the undead evil Rasputin, starts to catch up with her, as her memories of her early life begin to return. Although loosely based on real events and characters, this is obviously not meant to be a historically accurate film, so be warned if you're not comfortable with stories that mix facts and fiction.
The music is memorable (I found it improved on repeated listening), and the animation and storyline better than a lot of better known Disney films.
I would warn that some scenes are quite scary for young children - more so than the U certificate might suggest. I wouldn't leave a young child to watch this alone, at least the first time.
Rasputin's sidekick Bartok, a wise-cracking albino bat (I did mention historical accuracy!) also appears in the sequel video Bartok the Magnificent.
on 18 August 2011
I just thought I'd talk more about the packaging etc rather than the film itself, so buyers will know what they're receiving. We all know it's a great film, otherwise you wouldn't be looking at the Special Princess Edition, right?!
The Princess Edition is a 2-disc set. Disc One has "Anastasia" and special features, and Disc Two has another movie, "Bartok the Magnificent", and more "Anastasia" special features. It comes in a pink DVD case (cu-ute!) and the DVD case is encased in a cardboard slip cover (same design as the cover).
Overall gorgeous presentation, and when comparing with the standard one-disc edition, it seems worth the extra few dollars (or pounds) for the additional movie and special features.
on 7 September 2013
It may be a little of the mark historically speaking but who cares...the picture and sound are sumptious, the songs catchy especially Once Upon A December and Journey To The Past...and the animation gives Disney a run for it's money.