Anastasia (1997 movie)Anastasia
is Don Bluth's 1997
animated film, with music by Stephen Flaherty and David Newman, in which it is imagined that Anastasia, daughter of the last Russian tsar survives the slaughter of the royal family, loses her memory, battles the ghost of the evil monk Rasputin and his sidekick Bartok, a singing fruit bat, convinces her grandmother of her true identity, and falls in love with the kitchen boy who helped her survive.
The movie featured the voices of Meg Ryan as Anastasia, John Cusack as Dimitri, Kelsey Grammer as Vladimir, Christopher Lloyd as Rasputin, Hank Azaria as Bartok, Bernadette Peters as Sophie, Kirsten Dunst as the young Anastasia, Angela Lansbury as Dowager Empress Marie, Rick Jones as Emperor Nicholas II, Liz Callaway, and Andrea Martin.
While it may seem uncourteous to cavil at inaccuracies in a fictional film in which a bat can sing, the movie did inspire some controversy as many history teachers quailed at the prospect of having to correct the misimpressions of a generation of students educated only by its tutelage.
Some of the differences with actual history are recorded here:
- Though the body of two members of the Russian Imperial Family, including one of the daughters, have not been found, there is no evidence that any family members, including Anastasia, survived.
- In the film, it is a curse from the monk Rasputin, actually a friend to the Imperial Family, rather than Russia's dismal performance in World War I, which brought about the Russian Revolution.
- The film depicts Anastasia as escaping from the Imperial Palace during the Revolution, when in fact she stayed with her family, living at first in Tsarskoe Selo and later in Tobolsk in Siberia until they were executed by the Bolsheviks in Yekaterinburg more than a year after the Revolution.
- In the film, Anastasia is only a young child at the time of the Revolution, when in fact, she was nearly 16.
- The Dowager Empress did not live in Paris, either before or after the Revolution. She lived in Russia until 1920, when she evacuated the Crimea with White forces, and thereafter in her native Denmark.
- At the times the story takes place, St. Petersburg was known as Petrograd or Leningrad, not St. Petersburg, as it is called in the movie.