Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova is the main protagonist of the film of the same name. She is the youngest daughter of the last Russian emperor, Tsar Nicholas II, and Tsarina Alexandra; the youngest sister of Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana and Maria, and the older sister of Tsarevich/Grand Duke Alexei.
Anastasia was the only member of the Romanow family to survive the assassination.
Anastasia was a carefree, playful child before the Russian Revolution. At age 18, she is almost completely clueless of who she really is but she still tries to have fun while finding answers. She is witty when talking to Dimitri and often leaves him speechless.
Role in filmEditIn the beginning, during the Romanova tri-centennial, Anastasia is seen as carefree and playful because she is a princess. Her grandmother, Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna (Angela Lansbury) gave her a music box that plays the lullaby, "Once upon a December," and a locket to go with it, inscripted with the words, "Together in Paris." Then, Grigori Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) shows up uninvited and promises to kill the Romanova family. This then started the Russian Revolution and Anastasia and her Grandma were trapped in a room. But the kitchen boy, Dimitri opened a secret door that helped them escape. But Anastasia forgot her music box and when she tried to get it, Dimitri insisted that she leave while she still could. The troops then burst through the door and they knock out Dimitri but the music box is safe. Meanwhile, Anastasia and her Grandmother tries to get to the train station to escape the revolting chaos, but Anastasia's ankle is grabbed by Rasputin. But before he could finish the two, the ice of the river creaks and Rasputin sinks and drowns to the bottom. At the train station, Anastasia and her Grandmother almost make it. Anastasia tries to hang on to her Grandmother's hand, but she slipped and her head fell against the track. Marie never saw Anastasia again after that.
Then, 10 years later, Anastasia (now 18) is seen leaving the orphanage she stayed at after the Russian Revolution. She is now called Anya. She then sits in front of a crossway to "wait for a sign or a hint." Out of nowhere, a dog shows up and convinces Anya to go to St. Petersburg (NOTE: Anya later names the dog Pooka). After arriving in St. Petersburg, Anya visits the abandoned Catherine Palace (in which Pooka went in first) and then she meets con artists Dimitri (played by John Cusack) and Vladimir (Kelsey Grammer). At first sight, the con duo knows for sure Anya has a strong resemblance to the real Anastasia; the two plan to bring her to Paris where the Empress is, have them meet, and the two of them will receive the grand reward for "finding" the lost princess. However, little do they know (including Anya) that Anya really is Anastasia. Meanwhile, Bartok (Hank Azaria), Rasputin's albino bat minion, notices that his master's reliquary (which has been inactive for years) suddenly wakes up after seeing that Anastasia is alive. It then drags Bartok to the Limbo, a dimension in which Rasputin has been in ever since he died. After being informed that Anastasia is in fact alive, Rasputin summons his green, bat-like minions to finish what was started 10 years ago.
Meanwhile, the trio (plus Pooka) take a train to Paris but Rasputin's green minions overheat the train engine in an attempt to kill them. However, thanks to Dimitri, they all "jumped" off the runaway train safely. They then take a boat across the North Sea to continue they're trip. That night, Anya slept-walked on the boat and was dreaming about playing with her family. Pooka wakes Dimitri up and shows him that Anya was not in her bed. Rasputin's minions then enter her dream and turn it into a hellish nightmare, but Dimitri wakes her before she jumped of the boat. The trio finally reach Paris to go and see the Empress but Anya had to prove she was the Grand Duchess by answering questions by Marie's first cousin, Sophie. After she vaguely mentions a boy saved her at the palace 10 years ago, Dimitri realizes that Anya is the Grand Duchess, for he was that same boy. Sophie is convinced and arranged a meeting with the Empress after a Russian ballet.Dimitri meets with the Empress and tries to explain that he really found Anastasia, but she refuses to give him the reward because he was a conman who was only in it for the money. She then calls security to escort him out and Anya heard it all. Dimitri tries to explain but Anya refused to listen, slapped Dimitri, and stormed off in anger from being tricked and used. Anya is then seen in her dressing room packing her things when she hears a knock on the door. Thinking it's Dimitri trying to apologize, she shouts "Go away, Dimitri!" Then Marie enters the room and Anya apologizes for the outburst. Marie then shows Anya the music box (which Dimitri had kept all these years) and when they start singing the lullaby, "Once upon a December," Anya finally realizes who she really is and the two embrace in love. Meanwhile, Rasputin, having left the Limbo, is now planning to kill Anastasia "tonight." And so, Anastasia and Pooka wander through the garden and onto Pont Alexander III where Rasputin tries to kill her. Then Dimitri comes to save her but is injured and knocked out.
Anastasia survives and filled with hatred she throws on Rasputin and both fight to death . Anastasia tries to kill Rasputin but he pushes her. But Pooka throw the reliquary Anastasia and she crushes Rasputin's reliquary "for Dimitri, for her family, and for him." The minions then destroy Rasputin's body and he turns to dust, his remains blown away by the cold wind. Anastasia and Dimitri then make up and are portrayed in the last scene as finally becoming a couple, presumably getting married and living happily ever after.
- Her character animation supervised by Len Simon.
- Anastasia is among the most popular non-Disney princesses along with Thumbelina and Princess Odette from The Swan Princess.
- In reality, Anastasia died with the rest of her family on July 17, 1918. She had no descendants and her death was the most tragically famous until Anne Frank (1929-1945).
- In order to get Meg Ryan to voice Anastasia, Don Bluth and Gary Goldman took a scene from Sleepless in Seattle and animated it. Ryan liked the results and signed on to the project.
- Her voice-actress Meg Ryan also did the voice of Toodles Galore from Tom and Jerry.
- Anastasia is one of the few animated princesses to defeat the villain of their own story.
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