Common Sense Media says

Beautiful, not factual depiction of missing Russian duchess.

Users say

age 6+
Adult Written byChristine CSW April 9, 2008

Good Story! Great Music! Beware the villain!

Let me begin by saying that this movie was very enjoyable. The music/lyrics, written by Flaherty/Ahrens, is often like listening to a Broadway show. (These writers also wrote Broadway's 1990's "Ragtime".) The voices of the singers are also from Broadway (Liz Callaway as Anastasia.)The musical numbers are all upbeat and fun. My 2 year-old loved the group numbers with all of the dancing and lots of movement on the screen. Even Rasputan's song is written to sound "happy" - somewhat like feeling of The Haunted House in Disneyworld. The plot is intriguing,and actually inspired me to find out more about this true story. Did Anastasia actually survived the execution of her entire family? I recently saw this movie at a theatre during a summer movie festival. I took my young 2 year-old and young 4 year-old to see it. Though I had seen Anastasia years ago when it was in the theatres the first time, I had forgotten all about the Villian and the opening scene. The Villian, Rasputan, is introduced in the opening scene where he puts a curse on the royal family. The family is then executed, off screen. This entire sequence can be scary for young children. Rasputan is then seen next (and throughout the movie) as a decaying body hanging in the balance between heaven/hell. (This is not specifically mentioned, but we are led to believe it.) Though it is portrayed as humorous when his whithered hand falls off, or when his little "demon/bug" friends sing "In the Dark of the Night" this can also be scary for little ones. I laughed it off with my kids so they wouldn't get upset. "Look, the silly man's hand fell off!" I found myself wide eyed as I watched those few scenes hoping my kids wouldn't freak out. They both made it through, albeit on my lap and tucked under my arm. My 2 year old sat still for 90% of it and my 4 year watched the whole thing. However, in hindsight, I probably would have waited until they were at least over 5. Use your judgement with your own kids. Mine aren't having nightmares, but if they did, I could see why! Overall, we really liked it. We are playing the soundtrack at home as a reminder of a fun day at the movies.
Teen, 14 years old Written bysara_rose April 13, 2009

Love it!!

I'm fourteen and i absoulutely love this movie and I watch it over and over and over! I do have some concerns about it though. The plot can be too complicated for little kids to understand and some parts can be too scary. Some of the parts are wasted on little kids. I watch it with my 5 year old brother and some parts of the movie frightened him. Still, it's a great movie! The music is fun and something you can enjoy and sing along to. Liz Callaway was perfect for Anastasias singing voice! She has such a beautiful voice and has been on broadway many times. The characters were well defined and enjoyable. Never too old to enjoy this movie!
Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written byTTU03Grad April 28, 2011

Inappropriate for young children!!

This movie was NOT what I expected. Given it's "G" rating, I didn't think twice before letting my 3 and 6 year olds watch it. We turned it off within 15 minutes. Way too many creepy, evil scenes! Very dark for a movie marketed to kids.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old February 6, 2012

Don't miss it!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

I loved this movie! And I still do! It is a little violent in some parts but I would just close my eyes when they came up. This is a movie you not going to want to miss!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byhorrorgirl97 July 25, 2012

Favorite movie

I loveeee this movie even though I'm a teenager i LOVE it's message and for a cartoon it's somewhat factual. This is my favorite movie in the whole entire world.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old July 18, 2011

One of my favorite movies!!! But innacuret to history.

This is one of my favorite movies!!! I love it!!! The charicters are rich and real and the music is amazing!! But the one downer is that it's historicaly incorrect. Anastasia was 16 at the time of the Russian Revolution in 1917 and 17 when the Communtits executed her and her family in 1918. And Rasputin didn't kill the Romanovs. In fact, he wasn't even alive during the Revolution. He was killed in 1916 by a group who was loyal to the Czar. He was a Russian monk. And Rasputin was his last name, his first name was Grigori. But still a wonderful movie!!!!!!!!
Kid, 11 years old March 6, 2011

I still like it!

When i was little, i loved this movie. When i watched it again, i still liked it!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written byFedyaDolokhov May 27, 2016

I'm afraid the paragraph breaks in this rather long review didn't show up

I grew up watching Anastasia for as long as I can remember. It was one of my absolute favorite movies as a child, and I think one of the wonderful things about it is that it's just as enjoyable for adults as it is for children. It begins just before the Russian Revolution and shows the Romanov family at a ball. The monk/charlatan Rasputin arrives and places a curse on the family. The revolution then occurs, in which Anastasia is separated from her grandmother. I've seen a couple of reviews saying that it focused too much on the "execution" of the Romanovs. I don't know what that's about. The Russian royal family's deaths are NOT seen onscreen, nor are they really focused on that heavily. They're only mentioned in the voiceover when the dowager empress says "many lives were lost that night." Anyway, following this, we see Anastasia, now known as Anya, leaving an orphanage. She bumped her head when she was separated and now does not remember who she is. After leaving the orphanage, she embarks on a journey to find her family, but Rasputin is determined to stop her. There are a lot of reviews talking about how terrifying Rasputin is. As a child, I found those scenes vaguely scary, but not to the extent that I had to look away or had nightmares. It was more the kind of nervousness that anyone feels in a movie where a likable character is in danger. That being said, it's important to know your child. I grew up watching this movie, and movies with similar content, so I never found it scary. If your child gets scared very easily, then this may not be the best idea for them. I would say give it about half an hour, and if your child finds it too scary, don't continue. Furthermore, many have expressed concerns about the possibility of children not understanding the story. That's not an issue. I understood the story just fine as a child. Of course I didn't know the historical background, but that didn't hinder my understanding of the movie at all. My friends, who were introduced to it slightly older (around the ages of 6 and 7) also had no problem understanding. There is also no sexual content in this movie. Vlad and Sophie (played by the wonderful Bernadette Peters) have a flirty relationship, and Anastasia and Dmitri share one kiss at the end of the movie -- that's it. The characters are what really makes this movie fantastic. Anastasia is such a strong, positive female role model for children, and she's incredibly likable. She is very honest and refuses to lie or cheat in any way. She is also not afraid to stand up for herself, as we see when Dmitri acts bossy towards her. She certainly doesn't rely on other people to save her. Honestly, she's the perfect role model. Her interactions with Dimitri are also fantastic. Their relationship is really explored in the movie without being the focal point of it. They start out bickering and generally disliking each other, but the audience can see as they begin to fall in love throughout the movie, and it's really beautiful when they finally end up together. I often find that many romances in children's movies seem forced. Sometimes the characters don't even know each other. This is definitely not the case in Anastasia. It has a great set of minor characters too. Vlad is very much a kindly father figure for both Anastasia and Dmitri, and his love of the dog, Pooka, is very cute. The side-kick, Bartok, will probably be most appealing to children. He's a bat and also Rasputin's side-kick. He makes a lot of jokes and diffuses a lot of the tension in Rasputin's "scarier" scenes, which is also something to remember -- even in the scenes with Rasputin, there is comic relief to stop your children from becoming too frightened. Now that I'm older, I find Bartok incredibly annoying. He's kind of like the Jar Jar Binks of the movie, in my opinion, but my mom loves him, and children certainly do. I actually think, again from a more adult perspective, that the movie would have been better if it didn't include Rasputin at all. His motivations were never clear, and the supernatural element didn't really fit in with the overall story, but the rest of the story definitely makes up for it. Overall, it's a fantastic movie that I have enjoyed for my entire life. After almost 17 years, the scene where Anastasia is finally reunited with her grandmother still moves me to tears. The songs too are fantastic -- some are hauntingly beautiful, whilst others are jaunty and fun. Give it a try, and I've no doubt you'll enjoy it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byClandestine March 22, 2015

Wonderful Tale

This fictional tale of the missing Russian princess has action, comedy, romance, and suspense. Anya is fierce and independent, and unlike in most Disney movies it's not a guy who ultimately saves her in the end. There are talks of what goes around comes back around. Several parts gave me the feels (shoutout to all my FANGIRLING out their). GREAT MOVIE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byDylanLeviiHiggiNobth October 17, 2014

Dark animated classic for tweens only.

Even though this film is rated G, it features intense scary content. One person claims to be dead. The main villian's death is seen that might be considered disturbing. There are some suggestive moments, as well. So it's on for ages 9+, iffy for ages 8- and off for ages 5-
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Kid, 9 years old October 29, 2012

Absolutely Wonderful

This movie was made in 1997, but it's still a great movie. The plot is so exciting and original. I've only watched the movie 1 1/2 times, but I will probably watch it 100 more times. I love the characters, and the music is beautiful. (my favorite song is Once Upon a December) Some scenes are a little bit scary, like when the bad guy (I can't remember his name) tries to kill Anastasia. Like most other Disney movies the bad guy has a not-so-smart side-kick.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Adult Written byCheyenne S. November 28, 2016

Beautiful movie. But made for older audiences.

Let me start off by sayin that I'm 18 years old and I love this movie. But it's for older teens and adults to enjoy more because the way how the movie is portrayed. It's so realistic and mature and younger folks won't understand or appreciate it as much. Besides that, they won't understand some of the themes portrayed throughout. The characters are older people also. People seem to think all the time whatever is animated is for kids only. Not true! But, above all that, I love the animation, the songs, the characters, storyline, setting, heck everything! But when I was younger I didn't think too much of it but now that I'm older, I appreciate it more. And it's based on a true story which makes it more fascinating to enjoy.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byMoony718 November 24, 2015

Worst Cartoon I've Ever Seen

As a writer, I like to read/watch bad examples to teach myself what NOT to do in storytelling. This is one of those bad examples.Terrible characterization and horrid approach at romance...hurried and forced, not at all romantic. The animation is horrible, the unimpressive art contorted the characters so that they were unpleasant to look at. It was perhaps one of the worst storylines I've ever witnessed in a children's movie. I know this movie isn't factual, and I don't mind some poetic license but, come on, a girl hits her head and forgets everything, but has no developmental problems? The ridiculousness of their adventure is startling: they could never return to Russia after they found out she was the lost duchess, considering that it would have ended in bloodshed. The plot would not have been negatively affected by cutting the unrealistic parts of their adventure. This isn't worth watching.
Educator and Parent of a 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18+ year old Written byZoo September 29, 2014

Once upon a December. Just once upon a december

I like this movie because of 4 reasons: 1.Once Upon a December 2.Rasputin's death 3.Once Upon a December 4.Anastasia is pretty
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old April 23, 2014

might be scary for kids

its actuly a very nice film and i think those kids that dont like history will ask if she was real well if u search her she was but its not all real but its kinda not a really good movie for like kids under 6 beacuse the bad guy is kinda trying to kill anastasia and he gets into her dreams and almost makes her fall to her deth but a boy saves her but those are some things you should now.
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byylf_girl May 18, 2011
Unlike other princess movies, Anya knows what she wants and actually gets to know Dimitri. The songs are great and Anya's one goal is to find her family. I remember watching this when I was younger.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byJadenp April 4, 2011
Suggested MPAA Rating: PG for frightening sequences, scary scenes, and thematic content. Movie scared me, my sister, and my brother when we were younger. My sister (17) still gets scared.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 4 year old Written byCautious Mother September 22, 2009
Too much subject matter on evil, the dead, and portrial of such is too graffic for kids youner than 9 or 10 years of age
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 8 years old July 11, 2015

Violent but heart warming,fun for tweens.

My rating:PG for frightening content,and some violence.
Parent of a 3, 3, and 5 year old Written byjonallypugliese1023 November 4, 2013

Love Anastasia

I have loved this movie since I was a little girl. And now my daughters love it too. They are not scared in the slightest bit by this movie, I wasn't either when I was their age. I don't see how any one could be scared of this movie only over sensitive sheltered kids, that are the exact opposite of my husband and I's perfect little angels

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