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The idea of adapting the saga of the Romanovs for an animated musical is freakish enough to warrant a volume in the How & Why library. Don Bluth & Co. apply mock-historical decoration to distract attention from their limp fairy-tale reconciliation plot, which involves a sassy lass hoofing it to Paris to claim her birthright, in the company of a charming operator and various hangers-on. And where have you heard this line before? Naturellement, The Aristocats! Though that 1970 feature was a low point for Disney animation, Eva Gabor was a much classier heroine than Meg Ryan, whose Anastasia is about as Russian and royal as a box of Cracker Jack, and Phil Harris’ O’Malley was a more convincing romancer than John Cusack’s Dimitri, who temperamentally belongs at Ridgemont High. But Anastasia boasts a much more exciting villain than Edgar the butler. Christopher Lloyd’s Rasputin (pictured) is impressive, and he’d better be, since he is personally responsible for the entire Russian Revolution (glossed over before the opening credits, but what did you expect?). A gruesomely decrepit, reanimated corpse with a glowing relic that discharges green sprites capable of downing railway bridges and such, Rasputin provides most of the picture’s spectacle and laughs, while also sending small children screaming from the theater (in my book, a plus). Anastasia’s music stinks, its ballroom scenes are underwhelming, and its climatic battle is mispaced, but it delivers more fun than you’d expect from a cartoon that closes with a botched homage to L’Atalante. At area theaters; see Showtimes for venues. (Glenn Dixon)