Anastasia is an animated, musical, adventure film produced and directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman at FOX Animation Studios, Phoenix Arizona. I worked in the Background department between 1996 - 2000 on Anastasia, Titan A.E, Bartok the magnificent and other projects in development. We had a small fledgling CG department at FOX, which inspired me to pursue my interest in 3D animation.
All backgrounds in this production were hand painted in gouache on illustration board. Character colour was done in an early version of ToonBoom.
Anastasia was was the first musical feature film to be released by Fox Animation Studios. The film features the voices of Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammar, Christopher Lloyd, Bernadette Peter, Hank Azaria and Angela Lansbury
The idea for the film originated from 20th Century Fox's 1956 live action film of the same name. The plot is loosely based on an urban legend which claimed that Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Nicholas 2nd, the last Emperor of Russia in fact survived the execution of her family, and thus takes various liberties with historical fact.
Anastasia first premiered nationwide in the United States on November 21, 1997 and, despite the objections of some historians to its fantastical retelling of the life of the Grand Duchess, enjoyed a positive reception from many critics. The film also received nominations for several awards, including two Oscars for best song "Journey to the Past" and Best Original Music or Comedy Score.