Anastasia (1997)

So you know the Disney Princesses right? You flew through the air with Jasmine and Aladdin. You’ve sung along with Snow White and prayed the shoe fit with Cinderella. Now have you ever heard of Princess Anastasia?

The movie opens in 1916 where we are escorted into the tricentennial ball of the Romanov’s. Hosted by Tsar Nicholas II, we are welcomed greeted and thanked for all of the support as the ball ensues. The golden room, showered in crystals, sparkling glasses, and the footsteps of folks dancing away. Here we meet young Anastasia and her beloved grandmother Empress Marie Feodorovna, who is visiting from Paris. Deeply saddened by her grandmother’s departure Anastasia pleads her to stay by her side. To console her dear grandchild Empress Marie gives her a music box that plays their favorite song, “Once Upon A December” and the key to the box in the form of a necklace. Inside, the words “together in Paris are inscribed. After which chaos presented itself. His name is Gregori Rasputin, unholy sorcerer, and former royal advisor banished for treason.

Seeking his revenge on the whole Romanov clan, Rasputin proclaimed a curse that would kill every member of the royal family, thus ending their reign.With the whole castle under attack, everyone is forced to flee from the palace. Anastasia refuses to leave without the music box her grandmother gave her and runs back, nearly slipping into Rasputin’s grasp. Empress Marie saves her and with the help of a young servant boy named Demetri, Anastasia and Empress Marie escape to the train station. Caught in the mayhem of panicking people only Empress Marie manages to board the train before it shoves off as she clings to Anastasia’s fingers to heave her onboard. The speed mounds and Anastasia’s grasp slips and collapses on the ground, unconscious. Ten years later, we meet the orphaned child by the name of Anya, amnesia-ridden.

I know what you’re thinking, “Is she really going to stop here?” Yes, yes I am. How will I get you to watch the movie if I write all of it? What I will do however is tell you some things I love about the movie..

1. Anastasia does not walk into the movie with royal intentions. Her purpose is clear and pure and she just wants to find her family. Whoever they might be.

2. The relationship between Anastasia and her grandmother stands the test of time, 10 years to be exact. It is beautiful to see the relationship they shared and how her grandmother was relentless to find her beloved granddaughter.

3. This movie is actually based on real events. The Romanov family did exist but unfortunately, they were executed, thus ending the 3-century reign of the Romanov Empire.

A contemporary artist's depiction of the coronation of the new (and last) Romanov Dynasty Tsar - Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra.

(Artist rendering of the coronation the last Romanov dynasty of Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra)

4. Anastasia’s sidekick is not a talking crab or a series of mice, but an adorable shaggy mutt that she names Pooky.

5. The overall message of the movie that a life that is built on riches and wealth will never compare to one filled with family and love. As well as how important it is to know your roots, it really is the key to the past. 

I hope you guys will give one of Disney’s lesser known princesses a chance because it really is a beautiful film. If you do please let me know what you think! Happy watching 🙂

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