Netflix February 2016_day.12 – Anastasia (1997)

_A while back, my cousins came into town to visit. We went out, chatted about things. He asked me who my favorite band was. I thought for a bit…generally, my favorite band at any given time changes. My tastes vary with the wind. But my all time favorite album is Brand New’s “Devil and God…” so I said “That’s my favorite album, so yeah. Brand New.” He went “Whaaaaaa, but what about Zeppelin or Pink Floyd, they had such a large impact on rock going forward!”

I said “Yeah, that’s true. But you didn’t ask who I thought the most influential band was. You asked for my favorite, and that’s a different question. It’s way more subjective and personal than what bands have had longer and larger impacts on popular music.” That’s true for a lot of things. “Best” and “Favorite” are two different things.

“Two con men try to pass off a Russian girl as royalty. But the joke’s on them — she’s the real deal!”

All hail Grand Duchess Anastasia!

_It’s been a while since my own childhood…but…in the movie, Anastasia gets separated from her family at 8 years old and ends up in an orphanage. 10 years later…she has completely forgotten everything from before the orphanage. Now, I can understand that the memory gets a little hazy as you get older. Specific details become a bit more vague and all, sure. But things like “My dad was the Tsar of Russia,” and “I lived the first half of my life in a palace and had a bunch of servants,” don’t strike me as the things that just fade away. If she was 4 or 5? Sure. But 8? I remember a good amount of vague memories from that age. In trying to make the numbers nice and round, (She’s 18! It’s been 10 years exactly!) you really stretched it as far as the age children start to forget everything that happened in their past.

_My friend brought up an excellent point about this movie: Rasputin is a total filler villain in this. He basically exists in this movie to do two things: 1) Be an antagonist for the sake of there being an antagonist and 2) Have a pretty sweet bad guy song. And be voiced by Christopher Lloyd. So three things. And have a silly sidekick who doesn’t interact with any of the good guys but be lovable for kids and sell merchandise. Four. Four things.

Generally, the movie totally works as a normal rom-com. Con men going to try to get the reward for finding the long lost Princess Anastasia, stumbling into the real thing, self discovery along the way, annoyance-turning-into-love, singing and dancing and so forth, rumors in St. Petersburg. So why the over the top villain? My guess: Putting in somebody over the top evil like Rasputin who wields green evil magic and had his skin torn off from selling his soul (lol that’s quite a description for something that happens in a kids movie) turns it into a “Fantastical kids movie.” But if this were to not be a kids movie, it would probably open itself up more to things like “I’m not sure actual history was like this…” talk, so…whatever. It’s fine.

_When I think of the animated films of my youth, I think of Disney, then Don Bluth, then nobody. Sure, Anastasia was made when I was about 12 or 13, AKA the age when I was obviously WAY too old for that kiddy junk, but man: An American Tail. All Dog’s Go to Heaven. Secret of NIMH. If you needed animals to walk, talk and go on adventures, he was your guy.

_Stop by tomorrow when I definitely won’t discuss the proper pronunciation of the movie title: Charade. See you then~


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