Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanov of Russia, also known as Anya, is the titular protagonist of the 1997 Don Bluth film of the same name, and a fictional version of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia. In 2016, her film was adapted into a Broadway musical with Christy Altomare originating the role, which is what this article will focus on.
While the original 1997 animated version of Anastasia is a good character, she was flanderized in the Broadway musical version of the film.
Why She Crushed Our Dreams
- The biggest problem with this incarnation of Anastasia is that in this version, they dropped most of Anastasia's signature outfits and dresses from the movie in favor of more historically accurate ones. This is only a very obvious attempt to appease leftists of Russian descent, even though there are Russian people who appreciate and even cosplay the movie's outfits like Crimshtein and others. Want to see a good example?
- Her dog Pooka is completely absent. That's like having SpongeBob without Gary the Snail, The Little Mermaid without Flounder, Star Wars without Chewbacca, C-3PO or R2-D2, Shrek without Donkey, Rock Band without Makenna, Madagascar without the penguins, Hotel Transylvania without Johnny, Toy Story without Buzz Lightyear, Frozen without Olaf, Despicable Me without the Minions, Rio without Nigel, Cars without Mater and Lightning McQueen, and so forth. Not to mention that having an Anastasia adaptation without Rasputin is like having a Sleeping Beauty adaptation without Maleficent, a Sonic game without Dr. Eggman, a SpongeBob episode without Plankton, a movie or short about Tom without Jerry, an Angry Birds game without the pigs, a Star Wars adaptation without Palpatine, etc.
- She calls her Grandmother Dowager Empress Marie "Nana" instead of "Grandmama" like in the movie.
- Some people have claimed they made this change due to "Nana" being more accurate to what Russian kids call their grandmother as "Grandmama" sounded too English, despite the Russian word "Babushka" meaning Grandmama and that the film was meant to be in English for Americans to understand well what the Russians are saying.
- She appears to have a romance less with Dimitry, and more with Gleb Vaganov, the villain who replaced the iconic Rasputin.
- On the topic of Gleb, her final showdown with Gleb is less intense than the one with Rasputin in the movie, where the scene features Gleb pointing a gun at Anya instead of a magical reliquary filled with demonic gargoyles.
- Instead of killing the villain by stepping on his weapon and his minions started attacking him and melting him down to his skeleton like in the movie, Anya doesn’t kill Gleb and comforts him and they call a truce.
- In the "Once Upon a December" scene, she doesn’t transform into her signature yellow dress like in the movie.
- Instead of singing "Journey to the Past" near the beginning like in the movie, Journey to the Past is placed near the end of the first act for no discernible reason.
- In the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade performance for "Once Upon a December", rather than bringing back Anastasia's signature yellow dress with clear sleeves, a blue belt, a kokoshnik, a blue bow and a necklace, they completely dropped it in favor of a dull pink court dress, once again, an obvious vain attempt to appease Russian leftists.
- For all these reasons above, her stage musical portrayals, especially Christy Altomare, all barely even resemble her animated counterpart in any way, unlike most Broadway musicals based on films and cartoons.
- Christy Altomare is a decent actor by Broadway standards.
- Some of her costumes in the Broadway musical are good, like her red dress at the end or the opera dress, which is the most accurate dress to the movie in the musical.
- "Journey to the Past", "Once Upon a December" and "Learn to Do It" are still good songs here. Even some of the new songs like "In My Dreams" are decent.