The Disney-ness of Anastasia

Anastasia: Not a Disney film

Except…it sort of is.


If you go on Pinterest and search for Anastasia, you will not be treated with a montage of cute Dmitri-kiss photos.  The majority of web-press about this Russian princess is about whether or not she belongs in fanart about Disney princesses.

Fanart.  That’s what people are trolling about.  Get your lacy panties out of their twist.


It’s particularly ironic because a large portion of the talent who made this beautiful film were bred inside the Disney studio machine.

Directors Don Bluth and Gary Goodman met as animators at Disney, and worked on classic films like Fox and the Hound, Rescuers, Pete’s Dragon, and Winnie the Pooh.  Producer Maureen Donley also had her hand in the pie of Little Mermaid.  Writers Bob Tzudiker and Noni White had just been pulled off the teams of Lion King, Newsies, and Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Composer David Newman’s been back and forth between Disney and Fox for some time, actually, with both Sandlot and Anastasia for Fox and Mighty Ducks and 102 Dalmatians for the other (everyone gets a piece of him.)  Animators Kelly Baigent and Adam Beck both hopped on board Bluth’s film as a stint in between Disney gigs.

In some ways, Anastasia is more Disney than Disney was.

Look, the 80s were a crazy time, when Bluth got fed up and left the company, changing the business of animation forever.  Fox was stealing talent and Disney was trying to steal it back.  Disney finally got their act back together in 1989, but the 90s were still hot and furious, with both sides upping the ante and competing for audience attention.  There were some good movies made on both sides, but neither company stuck to its brand image.  This sibling quarrel might still be going on if Pixar hadn’t changed the business of animation forever in 1995.  Again.

So, if your childhood was cheated by a 14 year gap without any bona-fide Disney princesses (seriously, Mulan, not a princess), and Anastasia can fill that emotional void for you, so be it.


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