Anastasia is a 1997 American animated musical film produced and distributed by Fox Animation Studios and 20th Century Fox. The film, directed by former Disney animation directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, is based on the legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, who escaped the execution of her family. It tells the story of Anya, an eighteen-year-old orphan who, in the hopes of finding her family, sides with a pair of con men who want to take advantage of her resemblance to the Grand Duchess. Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd, Hank Azaria, Bernadette Peters, Kirsten Dunst, and Angela Lansbury lend their voices to the film.

This animation is an adaptation of Anastasia 1956; the most famous film version on the mystery of Anastasia’s alleged survival.

13 fun facts about the movie Anastacia (1997)

(1) The music box in this movie actually existed. It was given to the real Anastasia by the real Marie Feoderovna for her thirteenth birthday, but was silver with a ballerina on top.

(2) A spaniel appears in the family portrait in the ballroom. The spaniel did exist. Joy, Anastasia’s brother Alexei’s spaniel, was discovered alive at the house where the family was murdered. Jimmy, Anastasia’s dog, did not survive.

(3) The real Anastasia once wore a dress almost exactly like the one Anya wears in the last scenes of the movie. This same dress was seen in Anastasia (1956).

(4) Just as was suggested in this movie, the real-life Anastasia Romanov loved playing practical jokes. This made her quite notorious among her family and the palace staff.

(5) Gregori Efimovich, a.k.a. Rasputin, was a controversial figure in real life who served as the Romanovs’ advisor and Tsarina Alexandra’s most trusted confidant. According to legend, Rasputin warned the Tsarina that he was about to be assassinated and that if one of her relatives killed him, the Romanov family would all perish within a year.  While these facts were obviously too disturbing to include in the film, there is a reference: during the song “A Rumor in St. Petersburg,” an old woman tells Dimitri to buy “Count Yussupov’s pajamas,” while offering a pair of ragged clothes. Yussupov, who actually was a prince, really existed, was indeed related to Alexandra Romanov and was the one who killed the real Rasputin, along with a group of noblemen.

(6) When Anya returns to the palace in St. Petersburg and enters the ballroom you can see the painting of the coronation of Alexandra and Nicholas on the left hand side being the first picture (it is a real painting).

(7) The drawing the Empress holds when she and Anya are reminiscing (the same one we see little Anastasia give her at the beginning of the movie) is a picture the real Anastasia had drawn for her father in 1914.

(8) The real Anastasia was indeed born at the Peterhof Palace, which was called “The Farm” by her family. It was designed in imitation of the Palace of Versailles, in France.

(9) The character of Dimitri was based on a European prince who vouched for Anna Anderson’s identity as Anastasia. The prince had only met Anastasia once and during her childhood, though, so he was not considered a very credible source.

(10) The character of Vladimir is based on Count Vladimir Frederiks, Tsar Nicholas’ Chief Court Minister. He was very close to Tsar Nicholas and his children and remained in Russia for years after the revolution, wearing his court uniform in protest.

(11) The Parisian bridge on which the confrontation between Rasputin, Dimitri, and Anastasia occurs is the Alexander III bridge, named after the real Anastasia Romanov’s grandfather on the occasion of his state visit to France in the 1870s.

(12) Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Pryce, and Tim Curry were considered to voice Rasputin. Meg Ryan was in her mid-thirties when she voiced the eighteen-year-old Anya.

(13) Vladimir tells “Anya” that Anastasia means “she will rise again”. Anastasia does, in fact, mean resurrection.

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