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November 21, 1997

Anastasia is a 1997 American animated musical drama film produced and directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman in association with Fox Animation Studios, distributed by 20th Century Fox, and starring the voices of Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Hank Azaria, Christopher Lloyd, Bernadette Peters, Kirsten Dunst, and Angela Lansbury. The film is a loose adaptation of the legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, which claims that she escaped the execution of her family. Its basic plot centers around an eighteen-year-old amnesiac orphan named Anya who, in hopes of finding some trace of her family, sides with con men who wish to take advantage of her likeness to the Grand Duchess; thus the film shares its plot with Fox's prior film from 1956, which, in turn, was based on the 1955 play of the same name by Marcelle Maurette.

Though it enjoyed a positive reception from many critics and audiences by praising the animation, themes, characters, voice performances, and the soundtrack, the film was met with criticism by some historians for its fantastical retelling of the life of the Grand Duchess. From a $50 million budget, Anastasia grossed over $139 million worldwide, making it the most profitable film from Bluth and Fox Animation Studios. It received nominations for several awards, including for Best Original Song ("Journey to the Past") and Best Original Musical or Comedy Score at the 70th Academy Awards. The success of Anastasia spawned various adaptations of the film into other media, including a direct-to-video spin-off film, a computer game, books, toys and a stage musical, which premiered in 2016.

Due to the creation of Fox Animation Studios, Anastasia is the first 20th Century Fox animated film to be produced by its own animation division 20th Century Fox Animation.


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