The Cusack Chronicles: Anastasia (1997)

There are very few animated musical films that I have enjoyed.  This is not one of them.  I normally don’t get mad if movies stretch the truths of history in order to make the film more dramatic or entertaining, but this animated film made this period of Russian history rather dull and ridiculous.  Rasputin is held in some kind of underground purgatory where he is constantly in a state of decay where body parts are constantly falling off.  Rasputin was an interesting enough type of character that he did not need this gimmick.  This is just boring and the music is terrible.  There is very little creativity in it.  Now semblance of Russian music or anything to be found throughout the film. 

John Cusack does an alright job of voice acting, but there was nothing challenging about the part and it didn’t require any extra talent from him.  The most impressive voice acting was done by Hank Azaria (of The Simpsons fame) who does the voice work for Bartok, Rasputin’s bat companion.  He supplies the only humor, and therefore, the only interesting part of the film.  Overall, I would never recommend this to kids.  Sure it is clean and “wholesome” and what not, but I would never subject any kids to poor cinema altogether.

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