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I'm not afraid of you!
~ Anastasia to Rasputin.

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna "Anya" Romanova (Russian: Анастасия Николаевна Романова) is the titular main protagonist of the 1997 animated film of the same name. She is the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II of Russia, and his wife, Empress Alexandra, and was the only Romanov family member to survive Rasputin's deadly attack. This movie was based on the speculation of "What if Anastasia survived the Russian Revolution?".

She is voiced by Kirsten Dunst as a child who later voiced Kiki, (Lacey Chabert, who later voiced Eliza Thornberry, Vitani, Aleu, Princess Elise, and Meg Griffin, singing) and Meg Ryan as a young adult (Liz Callaway, singing).

In the Italian dub, she is voiced by Tosca.

Appearance and Personality

Young Anastasia

As an eight-year-old child, Anastasia possesses flawless fair skin, rosy cheeks, long flowing auburn hair (naturally curled at the ends), and blue eyes with naturally groomed eyelashes and thick eyebrows. Ten years later, at eighteen years of age, Anastasia has blossomed into a slender and incredibly beautiful and attractive young woman. Despite her obvious increase in height, hair length, and physical development, her overall appearance remained generally the same.

Anastasia shares some physical resemblance with her father, Nicholas II. Although Anastasia's mother, Empress Alexandra, is seen only briefly throughout the entire film, and we cannot visually compare the two, her grandmother, the Dowager Empress Marie, states that she inherited the beauty of her mother. According to Dimitri and Vladimir, Anastasia inherited Empress Alexandra's chin, Empress Marie's hand, and the seemingly renowned blue eyes of the Romanovs.


From quite early in the film, Anastasia is portrayed as spunky, stubborn, kindhearted, brutally honest, independent, and has no problem speaking her mind or standing up for herself. She refuses to be undermined or put down, and often finds pleasure in cutting witty or sarcastic remarks, leaving others stunned and at a loss for words. However, she can appear to be insecure and shy at times, such as when Dimitri reveals that she would have to prove to Sophie and Empress Marie that she is the Grand Duchess. According to Vladimir, she was quite notorious for her mischief among the palace staff during the Romanov reign.

One of Anastasia's most obvious personality traits is her high level of determination. As seen in the film, once Anastasia sets a goal for herself, she sticks to that goal until she is satisfied with her success, despite her frequent displays of insecurity. In this case, she was determined to find her family in Paris, and refused to stop until she succeeded.


In the film, it opens in 1916 in Imperial Russia, as Anastasia's grandmother, Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna, heads to the Imperial Palace for the Romanov tricentennial to celebrate with Nicholas and the rest of the family. While there and seeing Anastasia, Marie presents Anastasia with a music box that plays their favorite lullaby, "Once Upon A December", and a key to the music box with the words, "Together In Paris" engraved on it. However, the celebration is soon interrupted by the former confidant of Tsar Nicholas II, Rasputin. After Nicholas brands him a traitor and orders him out of the palace, Rasputin retaliates with cursing the Romanovs, swearing that they will all be dead within a fortnight and he will not rest until he sees the end of the Romanov bloodline forever, having sold his soul to gain unholy powers, with which he uses to ignite the Russian Revolution in 1917 to overthrow the Romanovs and Imperial Russia and establish the Soviet Union on the ashes under the Bolsheviks and Vladimir Lenin.

When the Bolshevik soldiers storm the palace, Anastasia and her grandmother are trapped in her room as she tried to recover her music box. Luckily, Dimitri, the young servant boy who had developed a crush on Anastasia, provides them a secret passage out of the palace, escaping the soldiers, but Anastasia leaves her music box behind, which Dimitri finds before being knocked out by the soldiers when he tries to stall them from pursuing the young Anastasia and her Grandmother. Anastasia and Marie are trying to escape the opposing soldiers by crossing under a bridge that lays on top a frozen pond, but are stopped by Rasputin, who tries to kill Anastasia when he leaps from the bridge and grabs her by the foot, startling Anastasia and Marie. She screams while he taunts her life and thrashes her violently about in the snow and ice while Marie tries to save her only remaining granddaughter.

As Rasputin becomes closer to finishing what he started, the ice underneath him cracks and drags him down in the cold water to his death as Anastasia manages to escape. As Anastasia and her grandmother try to board the train, her grandmother gets on as Anastasia tries to reach for her hand but the crowd of people cause her to lose her grip and she falls to the ground and hits her head which causes her to have amnesia. Marie loses sight of her in the crowd trying to flee as the Soviets overrun St. Petersburg and her train flees the station. After escaping to Paris, Marie offers a 10 million Soviet ruble reward for the safe return of her granddaughter to her, but after numerous imposters are brought to her, Marie begins to lose hope of seeing Anastasia again and gives up. Meanwhile, Anastasia goes on to live at an orphanage.

10 years later, Anastasia, who is at the time called Anya, is now 18 years old and has gotten a job at a fish factory in the now Communist-ruled Soviet Union. However, as Anastasia is walking along the path, she decides to find her own path by finding her family who are in Paris, France and even befriends a dog name Pooka. Anastasia doesn't have a passport visa and can't get a ticket, but an old woman did tell her that a young man named Dimitri that lives at the old palace can help her out. Anastasia finds the palace and starts having faint memories from her past.

Anastasia is then confronted by Dimitri, who is shocked to find Anya is actually the long lost Princess Anastasia. Anya tells him her problems and her wish to go to Paris, with Dimitri telling her that he and his friend do have enough tickets and that the third one is for Anastasia and that she does resemble her on which Anya doubts. As Dimitri seemingly leaves, Anya is filled with questions and determination.

Meanwhile, Rasputin discovers Anastasia survived and he tries to kill her as he cannot rest in peace until his curse against the Romanovs comes to fruition with Anastasia's death. But after two failed attempts, he decides kill her in person.

While Rasputin fails to kill the Grand Duchess, Anastasia and Dimitri find that they are falling in love and Dimitri discovers she is the real Anastasia. At the Russian Ballet in Paris, after Dimitri tells Anastasia to wait there so she can be announced, Dimitri tries to talk with the grandmother, but she refuses and instead tells Dimitri who he really is. Anastasia eavesdrops on the conversation and thinks Dimitri lied to her and used her as part of his con to get the grandmother's money after the grandmother tells Dimitri who he really is and angrily storms off. But the grandmother eventually talks with her and discovers she is her granddaughter and Anastasia is finally reunited with her grandmother, thanks to Dimitri showing the music box to Marie, and when Anastasia begins to remember her grandmother via the peppermint smell from her perfume, and when Marie shows her the music box, Anastasia reveals the key, and upon the two of them reciting their lullaby, "Once Upon A December", Marie and Anastasia are happily reunited at long last.

Dimitri rejects the reward because he loves Anastasia more and decides to return to the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (SFSR). Anastasia discovers the real feelings of Dimitri when her grandmother reveals at Anastasia's celebratory ball to announce her public return that he rejected the reward.

Later, Rasputin leads Anastasia to the Alexander Bridge and tries kill her after giving her a chance to remember him since they last saw each other 10 years ago, using his unholy demons to tear apart her gown she was going to wear at her public return with her grandmother before he prepares to kill her. Anastasia says that she is not afraid and she is willing to face him. Dimitri comes back and tries to save Anastasia, but is injured and knocked unconscious.

Anastasia survives and, filled with hatred, she lunges at Rasputin, butting him head-on and both wrestling body to body in the ground one above the other. In the fight, Anastasia manages to kill Rasputin by destroying his reliquary, and avenge her family, Dimitri, and herself.

Anastasia and Dimitri then make up after she finally discovers the truth and are portrayed in the last scene as finally becoming a couple, presumably getting married and living happily ever after, but only after she returns her crown to Marie, along with a note that says she will see her grandmother again soon, leaving Marie reassured that she will see her granddaughter again, possibly with a new grandson-in-law in Dimitri.


  • Later, both of Anastasia's singing voice actresses would take part in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. More interestingly, like in this movie, Liz Callaway would do the singing voice for the heroine (Kiara) as an adolescent; Lacey Chabert, the singing voice of Young Anastasia, would then do the speaking voice (but not singing) of Vitani as a cub (Chabert also voiced both cub and adolescent Vitani in the film's spin-off series ''The Lion Guard'').
  • Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Taylor-Isherwood, Jenna Elfman, Jessica Lange, Melanie Griffith and Jessalyn Gilsig were all considered for the role of the speaking voice of Anastasia before Meg Ryan was cast, although Jessalyn Gilsig would later voice Kayley in Quest for Camelot, Emma Taylor-Isherwood would later voice Mona in Mona the Vampire and Jennifer Aniston would later voice Annie Hughes in The Iron Giant.
  • Realistically, her surname would be "Romanova" as surnames ending in "-ov" are gendered.
  • Eventually beginning on 2007, DNA testing by multiple nationals confirmed that the remains belong to the Tsarevich Alexei and to one of his sisters, proving conclusively that all family members, including Anastasia, indeed died in 1918, thus putting all rumors of Anastasia's potential survival at rest.
  • Anastasia, Crysta from FernGully: The Last Rainforest, and Mary Katherine from Epic were originally supposed to join the Disney Princess line-up after Fox was acquired, but were originally scrapped for financial copyright reasons with HBO, after Fox’s deal with HBO expired, Anastasia, Crysta and Mary are now open to join the Disney Princess line-up.


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Anastasia Romanov


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