Hey guys! Gerawallstar here, and I am here to review the 1997 Don Bluth film, Anastasia. Anastasia at the time was credited as a comeback for Don Bluth after critical/financial disasters such as Rockadoodle and A troll in central park where it was a critical success and it made $140 million dollars making it the highest grossing Don Bluth film and the highest grossing non Disney animated film until The Rugrats Movie in 1998. This movie is great.
The story is about a evil sorcerer Rasputin sells Anastasia’s soul and her trying to find her family after suffers years from amnesia. This is my biggest issue with the story. And no my problems with the movie has nothing to do with the history aspect of it. That another story for another day. But the problem with the story is that the plot is too complicated. You have scenes where Anastasia tries to find her grandmother, but she is revealed that she is the lost princess, two con artist try to find the lost princess to get the lost money, and then you have the plot where the villain tries to kill Anastasia after being alive a few years ago. It is just too much for a story like this, and they are not blended well either. I guess this is equivalent to the princess and the frog where the story is complicated and confusing over there, right? Yeah. But at least in that film, despite that, the story does have a simple premise and there is a lot of good in the story too. Here, I couldn’t find a lot of good things about the story. The good thing I like about the story is the reunion scene of Anastasia and her grandmother. I even liked the sweet ending. Another issue I have with the story is the misunderstanding cliche towards the third act. It is forced and frustrating. The climax between Anastasia and Rasputin is admittedly good. The story is confusing and filled with cliches. I give the story five stars.
The animation is fantastic. It is breathtaking with the way the visuals are presented. What sold me of the visuals is the rotoscoping of the characters blended in a 3D environment. It looked very impressive for it’s time and still to its day. I loved the characters designs. Don Bluth did a good job with the designs. The colors are great especially with some coming from the villain. My biggest complaint about the animation is the dated CGI in most aspects such as a chair. The animation is phenomenal. I give the animation 9 stars.
I have mixed feelings on the characters. I liked Anya. She’s a likeable character, and I feel for her when she is on the journey of finding not just her family but herself. Dimitri is a great antihero where he starts off as a conman, but grows to respect and cherish Anya. Vlad is memorable. Anya grandmother is very memorable. The characters I dont like are Rasputin and his sidekick Bartok. Rasputin is a boring villian, while Bartok is irrelevant and annoying from the voice acting. Speaking of Voice Acting, the voice acting here is phenomenal. I loved seeing the performances from legendary actors/actresses such as Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd, Angela Lansbury, etc. The only voice acting I despise is Hank Azaria as Bartok. His voice was so ear grating. The characters are charming but excels in the voice performances. I give the characters eight stars.
The songs are great and fun to listen to. The beginning song “Theres a rumor in St Petersberg” is fun and catchy. “Journey to the past” is fine but the version sunged by the late Aaliyah is great. “Once upon a December” is amazing with its creepy but gorgeous visuals. The best song in the movie is the villain song “in the dark of the night”. Everything from the cartoony movements, colors, and thr choir makes this villain song a blast. The songs I dont really care about is “you can do it too”. Its catchy but it’s more of a montage song. “Paris holds the key” is forgettable. The songs are surprisingly good. I give the songs eight stars.
Don Bluth may have had his troubles in the 90s with his films being too hard like Disney, but Anastasia is a rare example of a Disneylike film paid off. The story may have its issues and the villain is weak but the animation, character, and songs are what makes this movie good. I give the movie eight stars out of 10.

About Author

1 thought on “Anastasia(1997) Review

  1. Anastasia has its good moments (once you keep in mind that it is more fairy tale than reality and its portrayal of Rasputin’s relationship with the Romanovs is far from historically accurate), but it suffers from it being a bit too crowded.
    The film has some pretty jarring bits of Mood Whiplash where Rasputin makes attempts to kill Anastasia, but then she and the others are just resuming their little journey as if nothing happened. It seems like there’s at least two different plots going on, and Rasputin really is not very well integrated into the main plot of Anya’s search for her surviving family, and herself. The moments where Anya is seeing Paris and meeting her grandmother seem like they come from a different movie than the one where Rasputin is doing his undead sorcerer thing in his attempt to finish what his curse started.
    All in all, the movie has a lot of great songs, and it’s the best that a non-Disney film got at copying the formula that was working very well for Disney in the 90’s, but it’s still a very uneven movie.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.