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Western Animation / The Secret of Anastasia

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The Secret of Anastasia is a 1997 Direct to Video Animated Musical by UAV Entertainment. It follows the journey of the lost Russian princess Anastasia to find her family, the Dowager Empress.

Sound familiar? As par the course for UAV, the film is a blatant Mockbuster of Don Bluth's film Anastasia. That being said, it does correct some of the mistakes from Bluth's film (while adding even more of its own). For example, it portrays Anastasia's grandmother as living in her native Denmark after the Revolution, as well as pronouncing Anastasia the Russian way (ah-nah-STAH-see-yah). It also doesn't pretend that the Russian Revolution was caused by an evil sorcerer's spell.


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  • Adaptational Name Change: Anastasia's sole appearing sister is called Titania, as opposed to Tatiana.
  • Adapted Out: This movie only states that Anastasia has one sister (Tatiana), when in Real Life she had two more sisters (Olga and Maria).
  • Animated Musical: One of its songs even managed to name a trope.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Anastasia's instruments.
  • Arranged Marriage: Anastasia and Prince Paul were engaged to marry one another when they were very little. (He's apparently based on, or at least named for, Prince Paul von Haraldberg, who was Anastasia's Disposable Fiancé in the Ingrid Bergman version.)
  • Artistic License – History: Zig-Zagged. While it's still blatantly a work of fantasy, what with the talking musical instruments, this movie actually gets a few details right that the movie it's ripping off didn't! For example, it doesn't depict the Russian Revolution as being caused by an evil sorcerer.
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  • Badass Moustache: Vladimir has a groomed one.
  • Balancing Death's Books: The royal family/instruments are able to save Vladimir, but at the cost of having to return to heaven because they revealed their true identities to Anastasia.
  • Cassandra Truth: Vladimir doesn't believe Anastasia when she claims to be the real princess.
  • Damsel in Distress: Anastasia.
  • Disney Death/Back from the Dead: Vladimir.
  • Disney Villain Death: Played with—Paul/Cheka falls from a great height, but he doesn't die from it; rather, he dies by drowning in the river he fell into.
  • Four-Star Badass: General Vladimir can hold his own in a fight.
  • Gilligan Cut: Vladimir refuses to jump off the train with the instruments. A few seconds later, he, Anastasia and the instruments are all in the snow outside.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple:
    • Anastasia's gown when being presented to Grandmere.
    • Grandmere herself wears a dress in different shades of purple.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Vladimir as Anastasia spends time with Paul. Bonus points for actually having green eyes.
  • Hammer and Sickle Removed for Your Protection: The film has zero references to communism and makes no mention of the bad guys' ideological leanings. Really, the closest it gets is naming one of the villains "Cheka" and having him wear a red star on his hat.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Red-haired Anastasia is romantically pursued by Vladimir and "Prince Paul", however, only Vladimir is sincere in his intentions as Paul is actually the Big Bad Cheka.
  • High-Class Gloves: Anastasia wears these when meeting Grandmere and the rest of high society.
  • Historical Beauty Upgrade: Inverted with Nicholas II. In real life, he was pretty good-looking, but this movie's depiction makes him short and chubby.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Nicholas II is described as "a nice guy once you get to know him." While he was quite personable, he wasn't exactly The Good King like this statement implies.
  • Limited Animation: It's a feature film, but has animation worse than most Saturday morning cartoons.
  • Lost Orphaned Royalty: Anastasia feels lost and the rest of Russian society presumes her to be dead, she is an orphan though the souls of her family live on as talking musical instruments, and she's a Russian Grand Duchess (though inaccurately referred to as a princess).
  • Meaningful Name: Goofenov (goofin' off), the comic relief Butt-Monkey.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Anastasia's grandmother is small.
  • Morphic Resonance: The musical instruments bear such a strong resemblance to the members of Anastasia's family that many viewers likely guessed their true identities even before The Reveal at the end.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Alexi dismisses both of Anastasia's suitors upon meeting them. He eventually warms up to Vladimir.
  • Only in It for the Money: Vladimir's motivations for helping Anastasia "pose" as a princess... at first, at least.
  • Prince Charmless: Paul A.K.A. Cheka is a rather extreme case. He even gets a song titled with the exact phrase.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Grandmere realizes that Anastasia is the real deal when she hears her singing "In the Sun" - a song which Grandmere only sang to Anastasia.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Anastasia.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Anastasia gives one to Grandmere after she refuses to beileve she's really her granddaughter.
    Anastasia: As a child, I cherished your visits to our family, as any child looks forward to a special treat or a new toy. Now I see that you are nothing but a scared old woman. You won't believe because your heart is closed so tightly that you can't feel!
  • Training Montage: "A Princess After All."
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Tsar Nicholas II is portrayed as short, fat, and balding while his wife Alexandra is a blonde, slim, Statuesque Stunner. In real life Nicholas II was around the same height as Alexandra and still retained a full head of hair.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: Alexei is mentioned and addressed by name no less then three times, once in his human form and twice as the accordion. It's possible that the writers were counting on the viewers forgetting the name since the first mention was at the start of the movie and the second two are passed the half-way point and near the end, respectively.
  • Villain Song: Prince Paul (A.K.A. Cheka) gets one.

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