Delve right into "Journey to the Past" and much more with Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty because that the man hit"s 20th anniversary



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Once upon a November, two decades ago, twenty Century Fox exit its very own take ~ above an man princess movie — Anastasia, a fictionalized account the the grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, the last remaining member the the Romanov dynasty.

Since 1917 and the Russian Bolshevik revolution, rumors swirled the the youngest Romanov daughter, Anastasia, endured her family’s massacre. In the 1997 film, Anastasia (Meg Ryan) is a young woman called Anya that suffers from memory loss, and, in her find for she family, is drawn into a plot to con the Dowager Empress (Angela Lansbury) right into believing her granddaughter has been returned to her.

Upon that release, the movie did well at the box office, yet quickly gained a cult adhering to of girls and young women who discovered a relatable, spunky, proto-feminist heroine in Anya. A big part that the film’s indelible very nice is that is soundtrack, composed by Lynn Ahrens and also Stephen Flaherty, a Broadway songwriting team (Ragtime, as soon as on This Island) making their feature film debut.

With songs prefer “Journey come the Past” and “Once upon a December,” Ahrens and Flaherty penned anthems for a generation that women and also captured the creativity of the audience through a arsenal of i can not forget tunes. Numerous of the song live on in a stage adaptation that the film, which opened on Broadway in spring 2017.

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A tiny over two decades ago, lyricist Ahrens and also composer Flaherty were working on developing a film for Disney when a former Disney executive who had moved to Fox contacted them around auditioning for Anastasia. Both had actually vague knowledge of the Anastasia legend and also Russian society when they started working top top the film. “Once we began working ~ above the project, we really did dig right into the history of the Romanovs, what happened, the imposter that came declare to it is in Anastasia and all of that, so the study was really wonderful. It provided us all these ideas for the movie,” says Ahrens.

Flaherty states he was already a pan of Russian classical music when he began composing the songs. “When we were functioning on the film, us that it had to have actually Russian elements,” the explains. “But we also talked a lot about that us didn’t want it to feeling like just this dry duration piece the was set in one certain time. We want it come have particular elements of pop music because these room young lovers. We want the emotional life to be contemporary, yet at the same time ns was listening to a most the good Russian composers favor Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev…I listened to a lot of Russian choral music since there’s a vast tradition that Russian choral singing and that’s something us littered into the score that the film.”