Fox’s Anastasia, a Cinderella Story?

Fox’s Anastasia came out in 1997, and promised American audiences with new, exciting story. However, the story seems a little familiar. It contains an upper class girl who loses everything, an evil villain who refuses to let the girl claim her natural right, two helpful side characters who help the heroine, a royal ball, and ends with a marriage. Does this active heroine who leaves behind royalty for love, who is constantly fighting little green monsters, and who never actually attends the ball to claim her birthright count as a Cinderella?

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About Elisabeth Gruner

English professor, University of Richmond
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3 Responses to Fox’s Anastasia, a Cinderella Story?

  1. Katie Conklin says:

    In my opinion, Anastasia does not qualify as a Cinderella story. Anastasia is a much more active heroine than other “Cinderella” figures. She, herself, is making an active attempt to learn about her past and isn’t simply sitting around dreaming. While her story ends with marriage, she doesn’t use her marriage to escape an unfortunate position. Rather, her marriage takes her away from a position of royalty, which is definitely atypical of your average Cinderella tale. Additionally, marital love was never Anastasia’s primary goal.
    That being said, I would argue that, while this may not be another “Cinderella story,” Fox’s statement about this being a “new, exciting story” is definitely pushing it. It is still pretty obvious, even to a younger audience, that Anastasia and Dimitri are going to live “happily-ever-after.” Evil is still thwarted by good. No shocking deviations for the norm are, in my opinion, present.

  2. Lindsay Puccio says:

    I definitely have mixed feelings about whether or not Anastasia qualifies as a “Cinderella story.” For one, it does follow the atypical plot of Cinderella, with a girl who loses everything only to be helped by a few friends and eventually make it to a “ball” where she learns she is royalty. Though it follows the plot line of the Cinderella story that many know so well, it isn’t completely true to the tale. For one, Anastasia is far more self-assertive than any Cinderella that has been seen before. She has her own mind and makes her feelings known, instead of silently taking orders. Furthermore, she doesn’t actually attend the ball that would signify her as a princess, but instead, battles Rasputin, the man trying to kill her. In no other story have we seen the Cinderella figure confront their attacker. Even still, she turns down her crown to marry Dimitri. True the “happily-ever-after” of this story is very true to the Cinderella story, but it can be argued that Anastasia is far more assertive and independent than the other Cinderellas that we have been introduced to.

  3. kalliebrennan says:

    I can see how Anastasia can be considered a Cinderella story. Although she has no direct evil stepfamily, she is still an orphaned child. The “evil stepsister” figures could almost be represented by the two conmen that she meets up with throughout the story because they plan on using her to gain a fortune. The “evil stepmother” figure could be Rasputin, wants to destroy Anastasia altogether. This rags-to-riches story even ends with a ball where she falls in love with her Prince Charming and the movie plot comes together as she is returned to her grandmother and lives happily ever after. While not all the details are exactly the same as Cinderella, there are so many similarities that the claim about this movie being similar to Cinderella is a valid one.

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