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Anastasia-movie-poster-1997

Anastasia is a 1997 American animated musical historical fantasy film produced and directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman from a screenplay by Susan Gauthier, Bruce Graham, and the writing team of Bob Tzudiker and Noni White. The film stars the voices of Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd, Hank Azaria, Bernadette Peters, Kirsten Dunst, and Angela Lansbury. Based on the legend of the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, youngest daughter of the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, and set in an alternate version of 1926, the film follows eighteen-year-old amnesiac orphan, Anya, who, hoping to find some trace of her past, sides with two con men who wish to pass her off as the Grand Duchess to Anastasia's paternal grandmother, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, amidst the rumors that the Grand Duchess had escaped the execution of the royal family. The film shares its plot with the 1956 film of the same name, which in turn was based on a play by Marcelle Maurette. Unlike those treatments, this version adds a magically empowered Grigori Rasputin as the antagonist.

Anastasia was the first 20th Century Fox animated feature to be produced by its own animation division, 20th Century Fox Animation, through the animation studio Fox Animation Studios.

Plot[]

In 1916, Tsar Nicholas II hosts a ball at the Catherine Palace to celebrate the Romanov tricentennial. His mother, the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna, is visiting from Paris, and gives a music box and a necklace inscribed with the words “Together in Paris” as parting gifts to her youngest granddaughter, the 8-year-old Grand Duchess Anastasia. The ball is suddenly interrupted by the sorcerer Grigori Rasputin, the former royal advisor of the Romanovs until he was banished by Nicholas for treason. Seeking revenge, Rasputin sold his soul in exchange for an unholy reliquary, which he uses to place a curse on the Romanov family, sparking the Russian Revolution. During the siege of the palace, only Marie and Anastasia are able to escape with the aid of a servant boy named Dimitri, who shows them a secret passageway in Anastasia's room. Rasputin confronts the two royals outside on a frozen river, only to fall through the ice and drown. The pair manage to reach a moving train, but only Marie climbs aboard while Anastasia falls, hitting her head on the platform and suffering amnesia.

Ten years later, Russia is under communist rule and Marie has publicly offered 10 million rubles for the safe return of her granddaughter. Dimitri and his friend/partner-in-crime Vladimir search for a look-alike to bring to Paris and pass off as Anastasia so they can collect the reward. Elsewhere, Anastasia, now 18 years of age and known as Anya, leaves the rural orphanage where she grew up. Accompanied by a stray puppy she names Pooka, she decides to head to Saint Petersburg in order to arrange transportation to Paris, inspired by the message on her necklace and believing it will lead her to her family. She is unable to leave Russia, however, due to not having an exit visa, but an old woman advises her to see Dimitri at the abandoned palace where he has made residence. Dimitri and Vladimir are impressed by Anya's resemblance to the Grand Duchess Anastasia. After learning that she wishes to go to Paris, Dimitri manages to convince Anya that, because of her lost memories, she cannot rule out the possibility that she is the Grand Duchess. This leads to Anya agreeing to accompany Dimitri and Vladimir to Paris to see Marie, without knowing anything of the reward, which Dimitri has no intention of splitting with her.

Bartok, Rasputin's albino bat minion, is nearby and notices his master's dormant reliquary suddenly revived by Anastasia's presence; it drags him to limbo, where Rasputin survives. Enraged to hear that Anastasia escaped the curse, Rasputin sends his demonic minions from the reliquary to kill her. They fail, forcing Rasputin to travel back to the world of the living to kill Anastasia himself.

Anya, Dimitri, and Vladimir eventually reach Paris and go to meet Marie, but learn that she has given up the search, having been nearly fooled numerous times by impostors. Despite this, Marie's cousin, Sophie, meets with Anya and quizzes her to confirm her identity. Anya offers every answer taught to her, but Sophie then asks Anya how she escaped from the palace ten years ago - a question which Dimitri and Vladimir had not anticipated. Anya, however, vaguely recollects a servant boy and a secret passageway, causing Dimitri to realize that Anya is the real Anastasia. Sophie, also convinced of Anastasia's identity, arranges a meeting with Marie at the Palais GarnierOpera house. There, Dimitri tries to establish an introduction, but Marie refuses, having already heard of Dimitri's initial scheme to con her. Anastasia overhears the conversation and angrily leaves, feeling used. Dimitri then kidnaps Marie and takes her to see Anastasia, showing Marie the music box he recovered during their escape. Anastasia finally meets Marie and regains her memories as they converse, convincing the empress of her identity. The two are joyfully reunited.

Marie offers Dimitri the reward money, but to her surprise, he refuses it and leaves for Russia. Marie finally recognizes him as the servant boy who saved her. That night at Anastasia's return celebration, Marie informs her of Dimitri's gesture, leaving Anastasia torn between staying or being with him. Pooka suddenly runs off; Anastasia chases him to the Pont Alexandre III, where she has her dress torn and is attacked by Rasputin. Dimitri returns to save her but is injured and knocked unconscious while Bartok abandons Rasputin. In the struggle, Pooka manages to get hold of Rasputin's reliquary and Anastasia crushes it under her foot, which destroys Rasputin and he finally disintergrates and avenging her family.

In the aftermath, Anastasia finds Dimitri awake and the two reconcile; they then elope, and Anastasia sends a farewell letter to Marie and Sophie, promising to return one day.

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