Music Anastasia The Music In "Anastasia" Movies Essay

Length: 6 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Music Type: Essay Paper: #19491169 Related Topics: American Music, World Music, Russian Culture, Film Analysis
Excerpt from Essay :



The Music in "Anastasia"

Movies are remembered either for their stories, plot, characters or music. It is the challenge for the director and producer of the movie to make effective use of as many aspects of the movie as he can. The cartoon and animated movies normally are remembered for their graphics and fantasy. Music adds to the fantasy of a movie. Anastasia is one such movie that offers a complete entertainment to children. While some think that the movie did not end well (Anastasia (1997) plot summary, 2012) others believe that despite the fact that the movie fantasizes life a lot, it can be recommended to the children so that they can differentiate between life and a movie.


Anastasia is a fantasy as a princess as well as the movie. Her story has a great impact on the movies as well as the Russian culture. Although the records were opened decades after her family execution telling that she was executed too, the story became a strong plot for the movies. Anastasia belongs to the family of fantasy tales pictures as drama film animated music tale. It was produced in 1997 by Fox Animation Studios. The movie is about the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna. She could manage to live when her family was executed. She wishes to find her family. The music of the movie was liked by the movie lovers and two of its songs are also Oscar nominated.


The music of Anastasia was composed and carried out by David Newman, the son of Alfred Newman who composed music of Anastasia film of 1956. "Journey to the Past" song got Academy Award for Best Original Song nomination and "Once Upon a December" was nominated by Academy Awards too. It is not the story that is told in the movie only. Rather the movie also includes the music that has not died in decades. It is the fantasy of a lost child. Anastasia's music is the language of a child. Every child in one way or the other fantasizes the future but this little innocent girl has some unforgettable pains too. These pains and the hopes of a better future are evident in the music of the movie.

Role of Music in Anastasia

Anastasia is a music fantasy film thus different chunks of the story are narrated in the songs. The songs are mostly based on the memories of past and the hopes and pray for the future. The music has an effective role to play in the movies. They create an atmosphere where the message becomes more effective. The songs develop relationship. They connect different plots with each other. The transition from one stage or life to the other is easier when a song connects them (What is the function of film music? 2011). Not only has it become easier but also more effective and remember able like the songs connect the story of a horse in "Spirit." The songs also set tone of the movie. Sad or happy, a song tells what the overall movie is about. They evoke feelings in the audience by portraying emotions. Here it is discussed what feelings and tones the music of Anastasia communicates. The two songs discussed here were nominated for many awards including the Academy awards.

Journey To The Past

The song is an imaginative journey to the past. It starts with the rumoring words and discusses the probability that the princess Anastasia could be alive surviving the execution of other family members. The song takes different moods while discussing the probability of her coming back. The voices are discussing the reward they may get for bringing the princess back to the grandma. It is history as well as mystery the voices are discussing. The song is a remarkable way of how a piece of movie and story can be told in the music. Unlike the conventional use of songs, that is to beautify the movie only, this song actually narrates a part of story. The story is not complete without it. It is a part of movie as well as connects two parts of this movie.

The Journey to the Past by Aaliyah is a pray she makes to get some strength. She asks on the behalf of character to remain strong and make best choices in life when she is facing many options and is fearful of making the right decision. She is confident that the prince of her dreams will meet her someday and she also believes that her family is alive waiting for her too. This song is very typical of feminine dreams in the late teen age. The only difference is that Anastasia has lost her family too and she wishes to get them back soon. Her dreams revolve around "Home, Love and Family." She has a firm plan never to give up struggle in her life until her...


One cannot say that the song is relatable to a situation where a girl wants to excel in life and make a strong professional growth. The song is so customized that it takes the movie viewer and listener in to the world of fantasy where he can relate to the story. This is the power of music of Anastasia that it has its own feelings and path and does not adopt the flow of another feeling than the described one.

Once upon a December

The song is written by Deana Carter. It is like a painting of words. "Dancing bears, painted wings" introduces the listener to the environment that is discussed. The song is also about the memories of past when someone was there to care for the princess in the cold times of December. Since a long time has passed, the princess feels that there is a long distance between her and that time. She thinks that it is too far even to remember all the details of that event. This song is another link in the fantasy tale. It adds feelings and sadness to the story. It narrates the pain much more effectively; the pain one feels after losing the loved ones.

Mystery and Music

Mystery and music go along perfectly. The mystery in the life and more importantly the death of Anastasia makes the music of the movie stronger. Probably the music would be different if the escape or the death of Anastasia was a confirmed fact. Her rather unconfirmed death makes it much a strong topic both for the music and the movie. The audience feels for the poor princess who could not forget her glorious past. The music however does not narrate at any time that the young beautiful princess seeks the luxury of being a princess. She rather wishes to be with her family. The lyrics of the song indicate that she could remember the voices, the joyous voices of the family members playing and dancing together. The music develops and enhances the feelings for justice in the hearts of audience. They reject the idea that a little innocent princess should be killed in order to end the rule of the king. The women especially in childhood can never be excused for the wrong doings of elder family members. The audience feel affirmed that the princesses Anastasia was wronged either ways if she was killed or if her family members were executed in front of her.

Effective Plot for music

The beginning of the movie is quite happier, the memories of the past when the family used to live together in a castle. The music is thus composed accordingly. It is happy, joyous and creates the environment of celebration where everyone is dancing and the granny rewards the little princess for her drawings. It can be said that if someone is not watching the movie and only listening to the song, even the Russian version of it, it can be told that these are the happy scenes. The music very nicely transforms with the movie as it moves forward.

The reality adds to the strength of a plot. It is the true story that helps people believe in Anastasia and love it. The actual Grand Duchess Anastasia is supposed to have lived between June 18, 1901 and July 17, 1918. It is believed by some that she was actually executed with her family but others believe that she managed to escape. The site of her burial was not known that lead to strengthen the fantasy of a living princess. There had been claims from many ladies that they were the real Anastasia but could not prove. Given this scenario, the movie is actually an imagination that becomes a very strong plot given the story as well as the music.

Russian and English Music

The plot of the movie is Russian. It tells the story, time and history of Russia. However, since it is made in…

Sources Used in Documents:


Anastasia (1997) plot summary, (2012), retrieved from:

What is the function of film music? (2011), Retrieved from:

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