Thursday, 30 July 2009

Anastasia


Anastasia; Animated adventure, USA, 1997; D: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, S: Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, Kelsey Grammer, Hank Azaria, Bernadette Peters, Kirsten Dunst

World War I. Evil magician Grigori Rasputin stimulates the Russian Revolution in order to kill Czar Nicholas II and his family, in which he succeeds. But one child survives: girl Anastasia, who was saved by little Dimitri. Years later, they are grown ups and meets again in Saint Petersburg. She grew up as an orphan, while Dimitri plans to bring her to Paris where her grandmother offered 10 million Rubely to anyone who finds her. The trio travels with a train to Polish territory, continuing their journey with a ship, but Rasputin prosecutes them. When Anastasia's heritage gets confirmed, Dimitri leaves not taking the award. She goes after him, but they get attacked by Rasputin, but she breaks his medallion and he melts away. Dimitri and Anastasia fall in love.

The most detailed and delicately drawn animated film by director Don Bluth, "Anastasia" signaled a small comeback for the old master of animation after his weak contributions "A Troll in Central Park" and "The Pebble and the Penguin" which passed almost unnoticed by the critics and the audience. Even though it takes some liberties with history, "Anastasia" an interesting and meticulously animated film, with great dubbing from Meg Ryan as the main heroine and John Cusack as Dimitri. Even though the protagonists are grown ups and serious, this is a movie suitable for all ages, even though its not on the same level of Bluth's excellent '86 film "Land before Time". Some scenes do come across as somewhat embarrassingly sweet, while the finale including the villain Rasputin isn't especially poignant, but its still a much more beautiful, charming, alive and meaningful animated film that sweeps the modern competition with ease.

Grade:++

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