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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Directed by Don Bluth, Gary Goldman
Fox 11/97 DVD/VHS Animated Film
In this animated feature, the young daughter of the Czar of Russia and his mother Marie (voiced by Angela Lansbury) are the only ones to escape death when the evil sorcerer Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) sets in motion the downfall of the Romanovs. Ten years later, Anya (Meg Ryan) emerges from an orphanage with hopes of finding her place in the world. She meets Dimitri (John Cusack), an enterprising young man who with his friend Vladimir (Kelsey Grammer) is involved in a scheme to claim the reward money the Grand Duchess Marie is offering in Paris for the return of her lost granddaughter. Unable to remember the past, Anya is enlisted to impersonate Anastasia. On their way to Paris, Rasputin, now a demonic force from the underworld, tries to stop them. He is egged on by Bartok (Hank Azaria), an albino bat with a penchant for comic patter.
This entertaining animated feature by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman is a dream-catcher, tapping into the universal yearning for home, love, and the heart's deepest desires. The song score for Anastasia by Lynn Ahrens and Steven Flaherty is impressive, especially the lilting "Once Upon A Dream."
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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