One of our favorite non-Disney animated films is Anastasia, based loosely on the legend of the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, who was said to have escaped the execution of her family, the influential Romanovs.
It has since been adapted into a Broadway musical and one of our favorite numbers is “Journey to the Past,” sung by Liz Callaway in the animated film. Now, Callaway has united with Christy Altomare, who portrays Anastasia on Broadway, to sing the song and you can watch it below:
The Russian Imperial Romanov Family were led by Tsar Nicolas II, the last emperor of Russia. He and his family were executed by Bolshevik troops, or the majority faction of the Russian Social Democratic Party, in 1918. It is believed that the whole family perished in a field, but stories have persisted that youngest daughter Anastasia survived.
The 1997 animated feature is set during the siege of the palace, and fast forwards to 10 years later. Anastasia survives but experiences amnesia. Her grandmother, the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna, offers a princely sum for the return of Anastasia, which two friends take advantage of. They search for a lookalike, until they find Anya, a beautiful teenager who looks strangely like the grand duchess. The film was reviewed well, with Rotten Tomatoes saying that it offers “beautiful animation, an affable take on Russian history, and strong voice performances.”
The Broadway musical premiered last year. Altomare is joined by Derek Klena as Dmitry, John Bolton as Vlad, Caroline O’Connor as Lily, Ramin Karimloo as Gleb, and Mary Beth Peil as Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna.
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