Anastasia (1997) – SoundTrack

Awards:

The song “Journey to the Past” and the score were nominated for Academy Awards. The songs “Journey to the Past” and “Once Upon a December” were nominated for Golden Globes.

Songs Composed and Co-Produced by:

Stephen Flaherty

 

Songs Co-Produced and Lyrics by:

Lynn Ahrens

 

Songs Orchestrated by:

Douglas Besterman

William D. Brohn

 

Score Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Conducted, and Produced by:

David Newman

 

Score Orchestrated by:

Xandy Janko

Daniel Hamuy

Douglas Besterman

 

 

Anastasia: (Stephen Flaherty/David Newman) At a time when Disney’s domination over the animated musical was coming to an end, Twentieth Century Fox put forth one valiant effort to steal the genre away. And while the two-dimensional animation genre was in its dying days, Fox managed to do exactly that. Disney had concluded its long run of success with composer Alan Menken after an absolutely hideous entry in Hercules earlier in 1997, and the stage was set for another studio to take some of the action. Despite critical praise and a handful of major awards nominations for its music, Anastasia only grossed $58 million at the box office, and the marketability of 2-D musical animations seemed lost to the more visually spectacular, non-musical efforts by Pixar. Compared to its predecessors, the animation in Anastasia was quite decent, and with a compelling story and direction from animation veteran Don Bluth, the film merits attention from genre fans. Strong cast performances from mainstream actors Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Angela Lansbury, and Christopher Lloyd, among others, were another highlight. In the six cast songs written by Stephen Flaherty (with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens), however, only half of the cast was allowed to perform its on vocals, creating discrepancy in the film itself. The team of Flaherty and Ahrens was best known at the time for their collaboration for the Broadway show Ragtime, and the spirit of the songs thus strays far closer to the sensibilities of a Broadway production rather than the classicism with which Alan Menken had defined the genre through the decade. Unlike the Menken musicals, Flaherty would not write the score for Anastasia, and despite some hope that Bluth would reunite with composer James Horner for the endeavor (in which case, he probably would have written his own songs anyway), Fox would hire David Newman for the task. Newman had already been mired for years in projects beneath his talents, and despite having the ability to maintain careers like those of his relatives Thomas, Randy, and Alfred, Anastasia failed to snap him out of his rut and he still writes music for ridiculously dumb comedies ten years later.

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