The Secret of Anastasia, also known as Princess Stories: The Secret of Anastasia, is an American 1997 direct-to-video animated musical film, about Anastasia and her quest to find her identity. It was poorly received for ripping off Don Bluth’s Anastasia and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Plot[edit | edit source]
The film opens with the secret police killing Anastasia's family before her eyes as a child. In 1916, Anastasia lived in The Imperial Castle of Moscow with her instrument friends; Tuba, Harp, Accordion, Cello (In The Sun). The secret police return to her old home, which she continued to live in secrecy, to do away with Anastasia. Anastasia and her friends escape and aboard a train. In a baggage car on the freight train, Anastasia finds the former General of the Tzar's army, Vladimir Ichonovitch, stowing away in a suitcase. He believes that Anastasia is only pretending to be the princess Anastasia, since everyone was trying to do to get the lost family riches, and plays along. Vladimir got her out of the rags she was wearing and began her training her to be the princess she was destined to be. Vladimir and Anastasia begin to fall in love with each other but ignore their true emotions (A Princess After All). Anastasia, Vladimir, and the instruments go to an event in Anastasia's honor. But alas, the hatred of a of an old family friend keeps her from proving to the attendees that she is the real princess. Yet, an old childhood memory gains the trust well deserved from everyone. Soon, a charming Prince Paul arrives at the party and sweeps Anastasia off her feet. Paul encourages Anastasia to see her old grandmother, Grandmere. During the intervention, Grandmere refuses to believe her last grandchild is alive. Anastasia storms out of the room, she reprises "In The Sun" to soothe the pain her grandmother has given her. As Paul and Grandmere listen to Anastasia sing, tears stream from Grandmere's eyes because she used to sing the same song to only her when she was little. The past is brought to focus that Anastasia and Paul were engaged at a young age. When Vladimir hear the news, he becomes hot tempered out of his love for Anastasia and leaves into the night. Outside the leader of the secret police, Checka, has Vladimir jumped by his crew. While Anastasia was at dinner with Paul, the secret police captured Anastasia and took her to an abandoned building. There Prince Paul reveals himself to be Checka (Prince Charmless). Vladimir hears that Anastasia was kidnapped, and he and the instruments go to rescue her. Checka and Vladimir fight each other head to head. In the action, both men fall down into a nearby river. In desperation, Tuba and Accordion jump into the river to rescue Vladimir. To order to give Vladimir's life back, the instruments reveal their true identities to her; her father Nicholas II of Russia the tuba, her mother Alexandra Fyodorovna the harp, her brother Alexi the accordion, and her sister Tatania the cello. Because they revealed themselves, their souls were to return to Heaven (You'll Be With Me in My Heart). Anastasia and her family part ways and Vladimir is brought back to life.
Voice Cast[edit | edit source]
- John Beach as Prince Paul/Checka
- Lisa DeSimone as Anastasia
- Earl Hammond as Tsar Nicholas II/Tuba
- Cynthia Harris
- Barbara Jean Kearney
- William Meisle
- Robert Petkoff as Vladimir Ichonovitch
- Kelli Rabke
- Roger Raines
- Jere Shea as Alexi/Accordion and Narrator
Musical Numbers[edit | edit source]
- In The Sun
- A Princess After All
- In The Sun (Reprise)
- Prince Charmless
- You'll Be With Me in My Heart
Home video[edit | edit source]
The film was originally released on VHS and DVD in 1997 by United American Video Corporation as part of its UAV Gold banner; it was eventually reissued on DVD on 2003 by Sterling Entertainment Group. NicThic Home Entertainment then rereleased the film on DVD in 2009. When NicThic Home Entertainment ceased to exist in 2014, it was folded into Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
The 1997, 2003, and 2009 DVD rereleases also include Snow White and the Magic Mirror.
The film was later released onto NicThic Stream with the service's launch on February 7, 2017.
Response[edit | edit source]
The movie did not get much response like Don Bluth's Anastasia, but it did receive a ton of criticism for ripping off said movie and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. However, the film made a good cult following. During the late 1990s and early 2000s (decade), community theatres performed The Secret of Anastasia as a stage musical. It then dawned on them.