Anastasia – wait, what?

When I was going through the movies my relatives have collected to my grandma’s house I came across a VHS tape for Anastasia. For some reason I wanted to check the package, which lead to a surprise. The cover was familiar, but the text on the back was not. “A family friend takes the unconscious Anastasia to a farmhouse. Since she has lost her memory, the farmer couple lies that she is their daughter, and she is put to hard work. One day Anastasia meets Aleksander, who helps her escape from the evil family and discover her royal heritage”.


Uh, what? I’ve seen the movie already, and there was no evil adoptive family, she was in an orphanage! And the dude was called Dimitri! And the movie was definitely feature-length, but the VHS says this story is only 50 minutes! I must find out what is going on.

Only shoddy photos of the TV because I really can’t be bothered to do all the technicalities to get proper screen shots for a film like this. So the pics are horrible, but so was the movie, so it’s not that much a problem.

It took approximately 2 seconds to realise that this thing has nothing to do with the other film (other than the subject of course). The animation was… not as impressive as in the Fox Animation Studies film, to put it nicely. Also, very soon it became evident that the (Finnish) dub was atrociously bad as well. Apparently they only had one female VA so it sounded like the imposter mother was voiced by a man, and overall the lines were stupid, often contained even grammatical mistakes, and the delivery of the voice actors was pretty awful and flat.

Like in the Fox Animation Studios film, this one too gives Anastasia a canine companion. Which was of course awful, the mutt, it was supposed to be a wolf cub or something if I remember right, served little purpose and was primarily there just to look ‘cute’. Why is the stupid sidekick thing so obligatory anyway in cartoons? Other similarity between the two movies is that both had a jewel trinket keepsake which proved the titular character’s true identity.


To this story’s credit, it actually tackles the historical situation of Anastasia a bit more. While Rasputin from the Fox movie was an okay villain I guess and he had an awesome song, he felt awfully unnecessary and detached from the story. With the revolution going on there should have been plenty of people after Anastasia’s head even without some magical zombie with a rainbow bug army, but the film brushes the revolution under a rug and I don’t remember it playing any part in the plot after the first few minutes.

But anyway, this film does touch the “Romanov family vs Bolsheviks” conflict. Which would be cool, but it felt a little bit biased in the Romanov family’s favour. I don’t doubt that the Bolsheviks did questionable actions, but this story paints them as cackling morons. And the narrator expects us to sympathise with Anastasia’s plight at the farm, because good Lord, the princess had to do a lot of hard work, and that is horrible! It’s not like it was the same work millions of commoners had to do anyway, but a princess having to do hard work! Good thing she got away from it to where everyone acknowledges her status!

All the Bolsheviks after Anastasia (I mean, both of them) were complete goons who couldn’t achieve anything at all. It takes them ten seconds to get their revolvers out because they’re apparently stuck in the holster, and when they finally get them out they can’t fire, because they forgot they don’t have any bullets! Free guns this year, free bullets next year, that’s what this revolution is about lol! Then they can’t catch the heroes who travel with a horse, because their motorbike keeps breaking all the time. And then some hawk who was apparently affiliated with the heroes, I missed what its story was, dropped a beehive on them which caused a bear to attack them. Can’t have a Russian story without a bear!


If I had to say something positive about the film, it would be that I guess it was surprising that while the impostor mother was set up as a traitor who’d betray Anastasia’s location to the Bolsheviks (which she did in fact do), but it turned out to have no effect because she was just thrown out since nobody believed her inconceivable story about how the supposedly dead princess Anastasia having worked on her farm for months. And at the end they fooled the Bolsheviks by making them believe that the umbrella that was pointed at their backs was a gun was somewhat witty too I guess. I believe it says a lot about the quality of the writing when I’m impressed by something like this…

But anyway, horrible and flat characters, stupid story, next to no tension, dubious historical-wise, forced sidekicks and bad animation and voice acting. So Bottom tier only because I don’t have any lower rank. Sofia the First may have been bad, but I’ll much rather watch it over this at least.

(and the answer to the “what’s going on?” question is obviously that someone decided to leech off the bigger and better movie’s popularity and use it for the cover instead. Not in most skilled way possible even, it even reads “Fox” on the cover! Though if I had looked a bit more carefully, I would have noticed the “Anchor Bay Entertainment” in the back cover.)


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3 Responses to “Anastasia – wait, what?”

  1. Sara Says:

    I wasn’t sure whether I should ask you this here or in deviantart but here goes: Are you going to, by any chance, do a Frozen review. I don’t want to seem impatient but I’m just really hyped at seeing your opinion on it. Please tell me when the review comes out? 🙂

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