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Fridge / Anastasia

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As a Fridge subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Fridge Brilliance:

  • Well, when one thinks about Rasputin's role in real life, the revolution may as well be technically and partially his fault after all. In the end, he did in fact have quite some influence over the Czarina's political decisions, as she appointed him as her personal adviser. One of his many poor decisions was to appoint several common serfs as government officials, of whom not one could read or write. However, the fact remains that he neither led the revolution nor that he did it because he was evil; he did it because he was, to put it plainly, an idiot, if a genuinely well-meaning one.
  • On the subject of Rasputin, he foreshadows his own downfall in his own Villain Song.
    Chorus: In the dark of the night, just before dawn.
    • Now what does that remind you of? "It's always darkest just before dawn" = "Things are always worst just before they get better." That turn of phrase should have told Rasputin that he was doomed to fail.
  • Ever notice that in her letter to her grandmother, Anastasia doesn't conclude with "Dasvithania" (the Russian word for goodbye)? It's very significant to the story. She already said "dasvithania" to Rasputin, which signifies she's finally closing the door on all her bad memories (the revolution, her orphanhood) from Russia. In her letter, she says "a bientot" (which means "see you soon" in French). This is Anastasia's way of embracing everything Paris means to her. It's where her beloved Grandmother resides, it's where she made new good memories (shopping, seeing the sights, finding her long-lost family, falling in love with Dimitri), and where her future is. It's how she acknowledges Paris is where she feels most at home now.
    • Remember how "Anya" used to be baffled that Dimitri wasn't going to miss Russia despite that "it was [his] home"? That was meant to frame Anastasia's character arc, her understanding that home is not a place (Russia), but a people (Dimitri).
  • In the scene cut from Rasputin's clock tower to the room Anastasia and her new-found grandmother, both scenes are raining? It's a lovely symbolic juxtaposition between the antagonist and the protagonist. The rain around Rasputin's tower is a rolling lightning storm, reflecting Rasputin's undying hatred for the Romanovs as he plots Anastasia's death. In contrast, the rain by Anya and the Grand Duchess's room has them looking back on their family memories, reflecting how cathartic and refreshing it is as the two relive their familial love.
  • Anya's decision to marry Dimitri instead of becoming a Princess. By blood, she may be the Grand Duchess, but she's grown up in an orphanage and had to fight in the real world. That, more than who her parents were, made her who she is. Her future may be with a former servant, but that's the world she feels comfortable in now.
    • Anya also spent most of her childhood and adolescence in Soviet Russia, and was probably (justifiably) afraid of the possible consequences of being officially reinstated as the heir to the Russian throne, even if it were just a meaningless title with no actual political power. Granted, her priorities do seem to be starting a new life with Dimitri by the end of the film.
      • Also, the fact remains that in Russia, only males can inherit the throne. Thus, she can't even legally inherit the throne anyway.
      • Unless there are no living male heirs.
  • The ballroom at the beginning of the film and the ballroom at the end look remarkably similar with thrones at the head. In the beginning, Anastasia is standing by the throne as Dimitri runs towards her, but is not allowed inside. At the end, she stops behind the throne and never enters the ballroom. Instead, she eventually runs off with Dimitri and marries him. He could never enter that 'ballroom' world, but she left it.
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  • Anastasia's Bond One-Liner as she gradually crushes Rasputin's Soul Jar is "This is for Dimitri… This is for my family… And this is for you!" At first, it sounds like a dumb line: the first two "for"s are about victims ("for avenging X"), while the third for is an aggressive "for" ( more like "this is against you"). But when you think about it, Rasputin was also a victim of his own bad decisions, condemning himself to a Fate Worse than Death through his Deal with the Devil (first mildly through becoming an undead, something he complains about numerous times; and later because he is going to spend the rest of time in Hell).
  • A lot of people didn't understand why Rasputin's curse didn't extend to the dowager empress or any of her relatives - Actually, this is a case of Exact Words - He targeted Nicholas II specifically. Technically, his mother, aunts, uncles, etc are not part of the line, Rasputin's curse was directed at his descendants.
  • During the reunion scene between Anastasia and the Dowager Empress, Anastasia is able to recall a memory based on the scent of the Empress's peppermint hand oil. Why is this poignant? It's been proven that scents has a direct link to the brain and memories.
  • A musical one; Rasputin's Villain Song has a few interesting riffs in it, audibly in a major scale at some points. But of course it does; the man's ecstatic, with Anastasia being within reach (even if not exactly found yet). With most of the Romanovs dead and his primary concern being the family as a whole, rather than any given member, this marks a Near-Villain Victory for him... he's not just scheming, he's celebrating.
  • Rasputin, the movie’s main antagonist, is not included in the Broadway musical, an adaptation that is less fantastical and more grounded in the historical sociopolitical reality of early 20th century Russia. However, the songwriters' inclusion of Rasputin’s villain theme highlights the idea that to the crowd fleeing the country in this scene, the antagonist is not an enigmatic magic man, but Russia herself, simultaneously contradicting a love for the country that had been their home. Russia’s social, political, and economic instability forced out some who had invested in their country’s future emotionally and physically, making it an antagonistic force in their lives. The duality of their sentiments, dialectical patriotism despite an unwelcoming environment, is explicitly stated in the loving, yet remorseful lyrics (“Harsh and sweet and bitter to leave it all.”) But, it is made further significant by the tune’s subtle callback to Rasputin, a villain created to substitute the more complicated sociopolitical threats difficult to convey in a children’s animated film. The crowd’s inability to express why they need to leave a country they love to the country they love (“How can I desert you/How to tell you why?) suggests hesitance to blame a figure that holds such personal significance despite feelings of culpability.
  • Vlad exclaims "Mother of Moses!" when he learns Anya has a diamond. Moses was a foundling, hid by his mother from the Pharaoh's massacre of newborn Hebrew boys, adopted by a princess, went on a long journey away from his country of birth, and died within sight of the Promised Land. Anastasia's immediate family, except her grandmother, were killed on order of the Bolsheviks. She went on a long journey, both figuratively (to the past) and literally (walking halfway through Russia, and later traveling to Paris, never to return). She chose to disappear mere moments before she was to be revealed as the real Anastasia (and to live like a queen afterwards, with the Romanov fortune), leaving behind the music box - the last remnants of the Grand Duchess, in a mild case of That Woman Is Dead, embracing life as Anya rather than Anastasia.note  Scholarly arguments have been made that Moses is a legendary figure and not a historical person, but Moses-like figures could have existed. Gleb, the Dowager Empress, and the people of St. Petersburg/Leningrad all stated that Anastasia is a dream, a rumor, a legend, a mystery, or a fairytale, part of Russian history.

Fridge Horror:

  • The train scene. Presumably, Dimitri is the only person who ever checked if there was a conductor. So all the other passengers on that train fell to their deaths.
    • And while we're at it, what of the conductor himself? Did Rasputin kill him? Or worse?
    • Actually, no: they make it a point to show that the whole rear portion of the train is separated from the engine and the baggage car (Vlad: "There goes the dining car!"), so only those two cars crashed. Of course while the engine went into the gorge, the baggage car ripped up the tracks with that grappling hook. Hopefully the rest of the train coasted to a stop before it reached the broken tracks, and no other trains came along behind...anyway, point is, all the other passengers were safe on the rear half of the train. As for the engineer (not the conductor), who knows, though it's possible when the demons made the boiler overheat and he found he couldn't shut it off, the engineer leaped off the train to safety.
      • The engine and baggage car traveled for SEVERAL MILES before Dimitri even hatched the plan to jump off. Once the train was cut off from its power source, it would have slowed down RAPIDLY.
      • Though there is the question of how long the other passengers were stranded in the Russian wilderness before help came along. Hopefully they weren't too far away from St. Petersburg. And hopefully there were no other trains on that line at the time.
      • Well, they did have the dining car!
  • Here's one: Anya and Dmitri run off sometime in the late 1920s. The stock market is going to crash in a few years and plunge the world into a depression. And then they're going to be in Paris just in time for the occupation...
    • They got by on almost nothing before. They'll get by again. As for WWII, they should be just fine. There is more than a decade for them to go anywhere they wish, including many places that never saw German occupation.
  • Dimitri's past. The prologue shows he was knocked out after saving Marie and Anastasia. A small boy captured by an army of violent soldiers, who would hate him for even working at the palace? That does not sound good. And even if he survived that, he'd still be abandoned in post-Revolution Russia... You can bet he had a pretty bad time, seeing as he went from a selfless little boy who risked his life to help Anastasia escape to a dishonest conman.
  • STALIN IS IN CHARGE by the time the film is taking place. Who knows what he is doing to Russia and the other Soviet countries while all this happening? Not really Nightmare Fuel since we never see his atrocities (it's a kid's movie after all), but what's to say people aren't dying or being shipped off to the gulag?
    • Furthermore, what were to happen if he found out that one of the Romanovs had survived? Considering that Trotsky was killed in Mexico, Anastasia and Dmitri might not exactly be safe wherever they go.
      • Not sure about that one. It's one thing to kill a comparatively unknown (at the time outside of Russia) rival politician, it's another to kill royalty residing in exile in a foreign country. Tons of Russian aristocrats and members of the Imperial family lived out their lives all over the world, especially in France, England, the US and certain parts of China. Plus, she's living under an assumed name (Anya) with a former peasant.
  • This is more of a Fridge Horror about how Rasputin could have really caused a lot of damage - if he had said his curse was placed on all of Tsar Nicholas's family members, this would include the Dowager Empress and any other relatives.
    • Similarly, since the curse was placed on Tsar's line, would this include people who married into the line, or just their children?
    • Considering how Tsar Nicholas's family tree was so vast that the current royal family of Britain is directly related to him (in fact, Prince Philip's DNA was eventually used to confirm that the real Anastasia's skeleton had been discovered), Rasputin would have had quite a lot of killing ahead of him.
  • Regarding the musical (could be YMMV) When Gleb returns to Russia, how will his higher-ups react to his failure? If they don't know at the end, what happens to him if they find out?
    • Based on his last lines, it's likely he plans on claiming the girl was a fraud and that the real Anastasia is dead.