The only Romanov to survive the Russian Revolution must escape to France and reclaim her birthright.
A fictionalised version of the events in Russia after the 1917 Revolution, this Don Bluth production presses all the requisite buttons in terms of songs, pretty heroines, square-jawed heroes, cute little doggies and monstrous baddies. It's also more coherent than Disney's recent Hercules but, trailing in the wake of such mainbstream flicks as Aladdin or The Lion King, it will absorb under tens but only just keep the old folks interested.
Anastasia is possibly the only surviving member of the Romanov family, banished to an orphanage and unaware that through her veins courses the only royal blood left in Russia. Hooking up with heart-of-gold likely lads Dimitri and Vladimir she heads off to Paris to prove her consanguinity with old auntie Marie, who is offering a reward for anyone who proves to be her beloved niece. In their wake fumes Rasputin who has sold his soul to avenge the Romanovs and was under the mistaken impression that they'd all been wasted during the revolution. Murder and mayhem ensue, and the chase ends with reunions and love-ins aplenty - rather as you'd expect.
Animated movies, largely thanks to Disney, are often horrendously reactionary, but it still jars to sit among a sea of young faces being informed that the Romanovs were an upright, handsome and decent lot, robbed of their birthright by evil and superhuman forces, not a corrupt bunch of inbreds who starved their country to breaking point.
Historical inaccuracies aside, Anastasia manages to be a charming little movie, nothing to write home about but a perfectly acceptable way to while away a rainy Sunday afternoon with the child, or children, in your life.
Reviewed by Philip Thomas