Anya is the fiery, feisty redheaded heroine of the 1997 20th Century Fox film Anastasia. She is voiced by Kirsten Dunst as a child, by Meg Ryan as an adult,[1] and her singing voice is provided by Liz Callaway.[2] The character also appears in the novelization of the film,[3] as well as the Fox Interactive CD-ROM Anastasia: Adventures With Pooka and Bartok.[4]

Historical basis and deviationEdit

The character is based on Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, but deviates from the real life person's exection at the hands of Russian revolutionaries by having her escape.[5] Nevertheless, The New York Times asks, "if the cartoon has the young princess (with the voice of Meg Ryan) meeting up with a handsome young con man (John Cusack) who persuades her to pretend to be the lost czarina, not knowing she really is the lost czarina, is it really much more farfetched than the real-life assertions of the best-known pretender, Anna Anderson, that she was Anastasia even though she could not speak Russian?"[6]

Fictional depictionEdit

Friends and Family Edit


The Romanov is her royal family that has been assassinated by angry commoners when Anya was 8 years old. Her father is the the Tsar Nicholas, and her mother is his wife, the Tsarina Alexandra. Her three older sisters are the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, and Maria. Her younger brother is the Tsarevich Alexei.


Her best friends are Vladimir, her dog, Pooka and Dimitri. Dimitri is also her love interest. Vladimir, Dimitri and Anya met when she was spotted in the old Romanov court, then they encouraged her to come with them to Paris to see if she was the Lost Romanov Princess. Anya and Pooka met when he started to play with her scarf when Anya was waiting for "a sign." At first, Dimitri and Anya don't get along until they began to spend more time with each other.

The Dowager Empress Marie is Anya's grandmother. On the night of the assassination, her and Anya tried to get on board a train but she lost hold of her hand. Then, 10 years later, she offered a 10 million rubles reward to whoever found her granddaughter.

Sophie is Empress Marie's plump cousin and friend, Vladimir's apparent true love and Dimitri and Anya's friend. She tried to help Anya meet the empress when they went to Paris.

Enemy Edit

Rasputin is the Romanov family's arch enemy. He is obsessed with killing the Romanovs but drowns in frigid waters when he makes his first attempt. He later returns when he realizes that Anastasia was alive. He makes many attempts to kill her but was unsuccessful. When he tries to kill her personally outside Empress Marie's chateau, he is defeated by Anya with Dimitri and Pooka's help.

Personality/Appearance Edit

Anya is portrayed as stubborn, bold and headstrong but she is also kind, playful and determined. She was the most playful in her childhood and is seen with red hair, sometimes seen in a short ponytail, long ponytail, let free or up in a bun. She is seen as skinny, is average height for her age and has many outfits throughout the film.

Wardrobe Edit

In the prologue, the eight-year old Anastasia is dressed in a blue-and-gold sarafan with a matching kokoshnik for the Romanov celebration. During the storming of the Catherine Court, she wears a long white nightgown with a brown overcoat.

Ten years after the Russian Revolution, Anastasia, now known as an orphan named Anya, is dressed for the harsh Russian winter. She wears a ragged yellow tunic under a green overcoat, along with a newsboy cap and purple scarves and gloves. In the ruins of the Catherine Court, Anya's tattered outfit becomes a glittering yellow bouffant gown, along with a light blue sash, pearls, and a golden kokoshnik.

Later, while on the ship that will take them to Paris, Anya is given a short-sleeved blue dress by Dimitri as a gift. Though Anya appreciates the gesture, she can't help cracking a joke about the dress's size, as she pretended to "look" for the Russian Circus after calling it a tent. Later that night, Anya wears a pair of plain blue pajamas, although she wears a cream-coloured sailor dress during her nightmare.

While shopping in Paris, Anya showcases a variety of outfits typical of the 1920s before leaving for the ballet. At the ballet itself, Anya is dressed in a strapless dark blue evening gown and elbow-length white evening gloves with her hair up as she reunites with her grandmother. One evening, Anya, now known to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, is wearing a pair of baby pink pajamas as she looks back at memories of her parents and siblings. Her grandmother says that Anastasia has her father's charm and her mother's beauty. She crowns Anastasia as the scene changes to show Anastasia being fitted into an elaborate pink-and-gold court dress. Anastasia's hair is worn up, and the look is completed with a glittering diamond kokoshnik.


Stephen Hunter writes, "With Meg Ryan and John Cusack voicing the roles, Anastasia and Dimitri have been simplified from the Bergman-Brynner cosmopolitan wariness into twentysomethings, with faces an uncomplex as Ohio cheerleaders."[7] The New York Times reports that "Anastasia stops just short of making its title character a blonde. (She, like many of the other characters has auburn hair.) Otherwise, she has the slender curving body and peachy complexion of a small-town Miss America contestant dreaming of conquest in Atlantic City. Meg Ryan's voice gives her the slightly combative tone of a snippy, know-it-all cheerleader. In a beauty contest, she would definitely be docked points for lack of charm."[8]


In 1997, 20th Century Fox and Galoob have released various dolls of the character.[9]


  1. James Berardinelli and Roger (FRW) Ebert, Reel Views 2: The Ultimate Guide to the Best 1,000 Modern Movies on DVD and Video (Justin, Charles & Co., 2005), 50.
  2. Thomas S. Hischak, Film it with music: an encyclopedic guide to the American movie musical (Greenwood Press, 2001), 8.
  3. Cathy East Dubowski, Anastasia: The Movie Novel (HarperActive, 1997).
  4. "Making Family Life More Fun: Play A Role In Movie Magic," Fort Oglethorpe Press (March 11, 1998): 8.
  5. Staci Layne Wilson, Animal Movies Guide (Staci Wilson, 2007), 169.
  6. CAREY GOLDBERG, "After the Revolution, Comes 'Anastasia' the Cartoon," The New York Times (November 9, 1997): 2A 41.
  7. Stephen Hunter, Now Playing at the Valencia: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Essays on the Movies (Simon and Schuster, 2005), 324.
  8. STEPHEN HOLDEN, "FILM REVIEW; A Feeling We're Not in Russia Anymore," The New York Times (November 14, 1997):E 22.
  9. See for example, the "Together in Paris," "Paris Elegance Anastasia," "Anastasia and Empress Marie Gift Set,", "Dream Waltz Anastasia," and the "Loving Memories Anastasia," from Shaili, "Shalli's Disney Doll Collection,"

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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