Three years after Disney’s Acquisition of Fox Studios, the Russian princess, Anastasia, has finally joined the rest of the Disney Princess lineup at none other than Walt Disney World.
In 1997, Fox Animation (now 20th Century Studios) released its very own princess movie, Anastasia. Rivaling the hand-drawn blockbuster hits of the Disney Renaissance such as Aladdin (1992), Pocahontas (1995), and Beauty and the Beast (1991), the movie reimagined the events following Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution.
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Of course, Fox’s feature somewhat romanticized empirical Russia to present the youngest Romanov royal, Anastasia (Meg Ryan) as a sweet and spunky heroine ready to find herself and give her family’s tragic story a happily ever after. After the evil Rasputin (now a grotesque, cartoonish figure rivaling Yzma voiced by Christopher Lloyd) curses the Czar’s family, only Anastasia and her grandmother survived.
However, “Anya” grows up an amnesiac orphan, with no idea that she’s the lost princess, and only comes to reunite with the Grand Duchess (Angela Lansbury) after becoming embroiled in a scheme to scam the Royal Dowager out of her remaining fortune. With a sensational soundtrack, beautiful and historically accurate costuming, and a swoon-worthy romance, it quickly became a classic for many 90s kids.
Even so, since the Walt Disney Company assumed ownership of Fox, some franchises, such as James Cameron’s Avatar, have increased their presence in Disney Parks and Resorts while Anastasia has remained a rarity. Indeed, a heated debate arose on whether or not Anastasia now constitutes a Disney Princess.
Luckily, the plucky princess finally received some recognition at the Walt Disney World Resort! In honor of the film’s 25th Anniversary, the Artist’s Palette Shop at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort released a commemorative mug featuring Anastasia on one side and her love interest, Dimitri, on the other!
What’s more, the ceramic mug features a sculpted handle and a “golden filigree pattern.” Plus, if you aren’t planning to visit Walt Disney World soon, you can also find the mug on shopDisney.com alongside merchandise for other Disney princesses.
All in all, the small gesture is a good start to recognizing the beloved character within the Disney brand. It’s the perfect way to “awaken to your true identity every morning with a memory-stirring sip of liquid recognition” on a journey… to the Past.