Anastasia | Chicago Reader

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Anya, an amnesiac who doesn't know she's the long-lost Romanov princess, pretends to be her to deceive the one other surviving member of the royal family in a story that holds little suspense. We know exactly how happily this animated musical will end—and the wait isn't very diverting. During the long moment it takes for one of the characters to realize something—her face cracking slowly into an expression so obvious a lightbulb might as well have appeared over her head—I realized that watching a cartoon think is a peculiar experience. The rare degree of nuance in the facial expressions in this 1997 movie is supposed to make you forget that the owners of these faces are cartoons, but because these characters display only the tics of overacting, their humanization seems a dubious project. Producers Don Bluth and Gary Goldman directed; Susan Gauthier, Bruce Graham, Bob Tzudiker, and Noni White wrote the screenplay. 88 min.

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