FOX ANIMATION’S 1997 ANASTASIA: The Accuracies
After my inaccuracies post about the film some six months ago, I thought it only fair to give an explanation on the things the writers got right. On watching the ‘making of’ it is clear how much work and research went into this dramatically beautiful film; the animators traveled to St Petersburg itself and studied the great architecture of the Winter Palace, one of the main settings in the film. Many Photographs appear throughout the film based on real-life snap shots of the family. So here it is, the accuracies of the film, Anastasia.
- In the opening ball sequence, the characters are all dressed in traditional Russian costume. In fact in 1903 there was a ball much like this held where the Tsar and Tsarina and their guests dressed as courtiers from the age of Tsar Alexei I.
- When Rasputin appears to fall through the ice after chasing the Dowager Empress and Anastasia, the writers have in fact made a very clever reference to the starets real demise. Upon his murder in 1916, Grigory Rasputin’s body was thrown into the Neva river, his feet and hands bound. Astonishingly, when it was recovered just a day later, an autopsy found water in his lungs; surviving poison, multiple gunshot wounds and a severe beating, Rasputin’s cause of death was in fact drowning.
- In the gorgeous floor length family portrait that stands at the head of the hall in the Winter Palace, Anastasia appears with her family, and directly beside her included in the portrait is an adorable likeness of her brother’s dog, Joy.
- In the song Rumor in St Petersburg a mounted Soviet police officer angrily reacts to the factory workers’ tales of Anastasia. This is a depiction the very mildest of reactions. In the Communist era, it was a great danger to discuss the old regime; any such talk could warrant fines, jail time or even death.
- When the woman in the market place offers Dimitri and Vlad “Count Yusupov’s pajamas” they could possibly be speaking of Prince Felix Yusupov, the infamous murderer of Rasputin.
- When Anastasia’s family appears out of the portrait in Once Upon a December , little Alexei walks with a slight limp. Being a hemophiliac, accidents and injury followed Alexei throughout his life, and he spent periods unable to walk without assistance.
- When Anya is being interviewed by Sophie, behind her you can see many familiar portraits and photographs. Directly behind Anastasia stands two photographs taken on the event of the 1903 Costume Ball.
- In the first scene, an 8 year old Anastasia hands to her grandmother a picture she had painted of herself. Later, when the Dowager Empress recognises Anastasia as her granddaughter, she retrieves the picture and Anastasia comments that “Olga made me so mad, she said it looked like a pig riding a donkey” The writers included this very real illustration the real Grand Duchess drew for her father, and in her letter to him she had written the very same quote about her sister Olga.
- In that same scene, Anastasia fondly reminisces about her siblings as she studies a photograph of them. The photograph is based off of a real one, taken of the Grand Duchesses in 1906.
- Anastasia wears a beautiful gown and tiara in one of the final scenes. The gown is the standard court gown of Imperial Russia, which the real Grand Duchess wore at official Imperial events during her lifetime. The tiara is remarkably similar to the Kokoshnik Fringe Tiara, owned by Queen Alexandra of England, a Russian style headpiece created from inspiration of the tiara collection of her sister, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. Today it is in the possession of HM Queen Elizabeth II, who wears it often.
- The character Vlad seems to be based on Count Vladimir Fredericks, the Chief Court Master under Tsar Nicholas II’s reign. He was very close to the family and wrote to them often when they went into exile. Vladimir remained in Russia after the revolution, angering soviet officers by wearing his old Imperial uniform as an act of defiance.
actually reblogging this for count vladimir … what a loyal friend ….