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By Chris Gore | November 17, 1997

Disney has dominated the animation spotlight. All that is about to change once Anastasia opens. Anastasia is an event. It proves that Disney can be beaten at their own game.
The story is somewhat complicated for kids; set during the Russian revolution, Anastasia is separated from her family as they flee the country. She is struck with amnesia and grapples with who she is. At the same time, evil Rasptutin, a dead guy that falls apart in hilariously gross sequences (boys will dig these parts), is out to get her. The story is fairly complex and doesn’t talk down to the kiddies as most animated plots do. The final battle sequence is spec
The audience was immediately struck by the quality of the animation that mixed so well with the computer effects. Simple things like a room on a boat, rocking during a thunderstorm in 3-D, but integrated seemlessly into the 2-D animation, leave viewers with the impression that they have witnessed the next generation of animation. With A+ voice talent provided by Meg Ryan (Anastasia) and John Cusack (Dimitri), Fox has a winner on its hands. I, for one, am rooting for the success of “Anastasia.” I don’t believe that Disney should have the monopoly on animated spectacle. However, I also don’t believe that every animated event film should be a fairy tale musical. I’d like to see other animated genres–action, comedy, science fiction and I know there are studio execs in high places thinking the same thing.
There will be the closed-minded Disney-philes that will simply not see “Anastasia” because it is not a Disney film. These morons will be missing out on a film that easily surpasses “Hercules” as the animated event of the year. Don’t miss it.

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