Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Review : Anastasia (1997)

Anastasia This film is the vision of Don Bluth  and Gary Goldman as they tell a story of the last surviving child of the Russian Royal Family who not knowingly joins two con men on an adventure to reunite her with her grandmother, the Dowager Empress, who is rich and offered a reward to anyone who can reunite her with her granddaughter however there is also the plot of the evil undead Rasputin who seeks to kill Anastasia and fulfil a dark purpose of his own.

For children film this isn't like any normal Disney film which has the right balance of comedy and horror which are almost side by side with each other throughout, there are no hidden messages or anything you'd expect to find in a normal Disney animation whilst watching Anastasia. But what you do get it a wonderfully animated, colourful and insightful motion picture which motion wise is stunning.

In terms of story, there is a lot there and every character has lots of development to their character so you can get to know them throughout the course of the film and allow yourself as a viewer to invest in them, as you'll have to throughout the course of the film. I think everything that surrounds the film, buildings, surrounding background like trees, all look very realistic and I like that. The raw realistic approach of things. You know it looks like a building because you believe what your seeing is a building because you see it. 

Another thing about this film which is more contributing to Disney is when you watch it back, you are allowed to concentrate more on certain features of the character, for instance there is a scene where Anastasia leans in and there is light shading on the rest of her body in the shot but the eyes are what your concentrating on in the shot, and it closes in and the concentration is key to it. You don't get those kind of shots in Disney films.

This sumptuous animated story about Anastasia, will I'm sure confidently captivate the attention of children and their families in a matter of moments with it starting. The animators learned their craft at Disney, and it shows. Other than the mostly forgettable score, the production is first-class, with an appealing heroine, exciting action, glamorous settings, and a tender love story.
Anna is smart, brave, and loyal. She is also a rare leading lady who vanquishes the bad guy on her own. She doesn't have any help from anyone else, it's nice that actually there isn't a stereotypical handsome prince who comes to the rescue, this film may prompt older generations to learn more about the real story of the Romanov family as well as being entertained amongst other odds in the films favour.
Not for a second do you stop believing in what your seeing on screen, it's just wonderfully shot, visually captivating and a wonderfully animated and directed film. Certain alterations don't do the story any favours in terms of accuracy, this film is mildly inaccurate in places as to what events actually took place which is a missed opportunity in my view  it's important never to loose track of what your doing especially when doing a historical type background.
The film is quite dark for instance the death of Rasputin is a scene which some children may find scary, Rasputin's body comes apart and he's surrounded by green bats, dark music, and crashing noise. It looks good on screen, but what you're viewing is a horrible way for a character to die. Fiction or Non Fiction, the point is still very much there and yet shrugged off by a simple comment of 'Oh it's an animation' or 'It's not real'. 
It feels real, you've got the raw material to prove it. As well as that the scene on the train where the train goes out of control, launches adrenaline rush to the max, again with the boat and the storm and Anna day dreaming all of which are quite thrilling and chilling scenes to watch out for when viewing this film, it's mild but still worth checking over. How do you feel about the scary parts of Anastasia? Does the funny bat character Bartok help make the scenes with evil Rasputin easier to watch?
It's also interesting how Anastasia (as depicted in this film) compares with other royal film characters, such as Princess Fiona from Shrek, and Sleeping Beauty's Princess Aurora. Interesting things to think abut there.
Overall this film does have its ups in terms of enjoyment but just raises a lot of interesting questions to be brought up in discussions.
Therefore I will give it a 7/10!
NEXT: The Devil Wears Prada.

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