PITCH PRESENTATION VERSION
The story is much different from the original feature film. The reason for this is the fact that Anastasia (1997) is simply too American, bereft of Russian spirit and folklore, there is none of the beauty of Eastern animation in it. Because this is a story about a Russian Princess, I find it to be more fitting for it to take the form of a traditional Russian folklore tale, in the style of old Eastern Europe animation. The product is aimed at a wide audience but only the older generations will understand the actual meaning of the story.
The Royal family has been captured and imprisoned by the evil monster Ssenin. After a few months, he decided to slaughter the Romanovs family but the youngest Princess managed to escape in the cover of the pitch black night. Running through the woods, she came across a simple woman and her son who were coming back home after a whole day of work at the fish market. They saw how terrified she was, so they offered her shelter. She wanted to leave the next day as she was afraid that she would bring a terrible fate to the village but it seemed that no one had recognized her, so there was hope that Ssenin wouldn’t find her there. The old woman Raya and her son Ilya had quickly noticed that she was no ordinary girl, so she told them the truth. They hadn’t told her secret to anyone so she stayed in the village. Every month, the well-being of the village and the country was falling.
The monstrous usurper was a vicious ruler. He would eat five children for breakfast and raise taxes everyday. Ilya helped the princess come up with a plan to kill Ssanin and after 6 years of hiding she left the village in the the night. Moving through the country, she saw many horrible things that happened, because of Ssanin, that changed her… The journey wasn’t to avenge her family, it was to save the people and the country. Even though Ilya promised to stay home, he was following her all the way to Saint Petersburg where she spotted him at the market. He knew someone working in the palace that helped them to get hired there. One day, she heard one of the cooks complain that she has to read Ssanin books every evening and she would really rather go to sleep. She proposed to swap places with an excuse that she would love to read all the books in the palace but she’s not allowed to touch them. From this time every evening, she would go in to the ball room, that Ssanin had made his lair, and she would read. The monster really liked her voice and had soon fell to trust her and sometimes she could swear that he was closing his eyes and having a little nap. One winter evening she brought with her a thin long needle-like sword hid underneath her coat. She read the book, as always, and, as always, she saw Ssanin closing his eyes. Silently, she got up and moved across the room towards the monster’s head. His breath stank of blood. She retrieved the sword, she raised it up but then a big red eye opened and the monster’s head was already 3 meters above her. He spoke that he knew that she would come back and that now it is time for her to die. Had it not have been for Ilya, she would have died but he had shot the monster in the eye and then she cut off his head.
Anastasia became the Queen of Russia and ruled it until she passed away as a very old lady. And of course Ilya stayed with her. The happy ending is necessary, since it’s the complete reversal of the real event.
The film should be made as a 2d animation, strongly based on the style of Eastern Europe animation from around the 1950’s, with very strong illustration and flowery, fairytale backgrounds. The character should be simple but with dirtied colouring and dark strokes. The animation itself should imitate the swiftness of the Eastern Europe animation but should be smoother as with modern animations.
The main example of this style is the Russian Illustrator Ivan Bilibin who was fascinated with dark Slavic folklore and lived in the same time period as Anastasia Romanowa.
And an example of the Russian animation I propose is: The Scarlet Flower (1952), which holds the beautiful backgrounds and the magical movement of the characters.
For the music I propose compositions of Tchaikovsky or Grieg which are inseparable from Russian animation.
This story should have the form of an animated feature film. There is a space to create a TV series afterwards but the main story should be shown in one piece, so it was easier to absorb and feel as though it’s partially based on a real event. Also I’m afraid that if it was a TV series, it would lose on quality.
Anastasia Romanova, The youngest of the princesses.
After escaping the monster who slaughtered her whole family, she promises to avenge them. For six years she hides in the village, planning to slay the monster. On the journey to Saint Petersburg, her eyes see very terrible things and she changes. She decides that the most important thing of all is to free her people and take good care of the country. She has a very strong character and thinks that she is capable of doing everything by herself.
Ilya Mirov, the only son of Raya.
Every day at sunrise, he goes out to fish and then joins his mother on the fish market where they spend the whole day. He’s bright (and can read, which isn’t very common in the village), strong and he’s genuinely a good lad. He finds all the girls in the village dumb & boring until he meets Anastasia. Of course, he has a crush on her. He knows that there is no way in Hell that he could marry a Princess but he still follows her all the way to the Saint Petersburg and helps her slay the monster.
Raya Mirov, a widow. Has only one son, Ilya.
After her husband died at sea, she was forced to work all day to keep the house and her son in good health. She’s not as old as you would think. Also, she doesn’t understand why her son is still not married. She helps Anastasia because she always wanted to have a daughter. She really doesn’t want her to leave but she knows that nothing can stop her.
Ssenin, evil, monstrous snake with bat wings, long fangs and blood red lizard eyes.
A vicious creature, his only dreams and aspirations are death and misery. He likes to kill for fun and listen to screams of terror. Kills the Romanov family because he’s an asshole and just wants to have a kingdom of terror. He let little Anastasia run away just for fun and for some reason he likes bad romance novels.
Russian Royal Family gets slaughtered by a terrible monster. The youngest of the Princesses manages to escape and finds shelter in the village nearby. After six yeats of hiding she heads to Saint Petersburg to slay the monster who killed her family. On her way there, the amount of terrible things she sees changes her and now she just wants to free her people from their horrible future. And there is a boy who follows her.
A story about a girl who wants to avenge her family but soon realises that it’s better to be a saviour than a regular monster slayer.
. 2016. . [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/IMRC/course_website/slides08/bilib001_opt_tif.jpg. [Accessed 20 June 2016].
. 2016. . [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.kino-teatr.ru/blog/551/13781.jpg. [Accessed 20 June 2016].