It was just me and the kids last night. After some pancakes and chocolate chip cookies, my daughter asked, "Dad, can we watch my movie?"
"Sure, babe. What is it?"
It's the Disney version, so fact and fiction weave together like a double helix. There's plenty of catchy tunes and wonderful imagery to keep three kiddos and one big kid fixated for about 90 minutes. A good looking male character with the voice of John Cusak and an even better looking female character with the voice of Meg Ryan. What's not to like? Oh, and there's also a dog. Yep, homerun Disney.
Here's the Disney Cliff Notes version: Anastasia is a daughter of royalty. She lives in the palace and is dearly loved by her royal father. The enemy is Rasputin, once assumed a holy man, but actually someone who hates the royal family and sells his soul to gain the means by which to kill them all. His promise to wipe out the royal family sends them fleeing for their lives. As Anastasia is about to board a train with her grandmother for safety, she slips and falls and is left behind. Her fall leaves her with amnesia (wow, that's a sentence, huh?). The grandmother longs for her princess, now lost. And the rest of the story is an adventure is rediscovering who she really is; not an unwanted orphan, but a royal daughter, the princess.
Born of royalty. Sound familiar? Feel familiar? Pursuit by a once-holy-esque-one who now wants nothing more than the destruction of the royals. Ring a bell? A fall that results in amnesia, clouding the true identity. And the rest of the story is the adventure of rediscovering that true identity and living out the birthright. The enemy still pursues, but there are friends nearby for encouragment. And One in particular who loves with a never-ending love and is willing to sacrifice all so that...
"Yeah, John, but all the facts are all wrong. Disney took liberty with the facts and skewed everything."
"Yes. But as the poets say, 'Facts often have little to do with the truth.'"
We've fallen and forgotten who we are. Amnesiacs. We are the beloved of God, that is our true identity. But the deceiver pursues us like a lion, desiring nothing more than our destruction. Let a moment or day of clarity arise and the accuser will rush in with a vengeance to steal it away. And although that struggle is not against flesh and blood, it usually comes by flesh and blood. There are usually two or three gathered along the way to en-courage us on the journey of rediscovery, finding out. They are as necessary as oxygen. And there's grandmother with the voice of Angela Landsbury or the Father with the voice of Morgan Freeman waiting, longing for reunion. And there's the One who is with us every step of the way, the true hero of the story, who has sacrificed all so that...
Oh yeah, and there's a faithful dog or cat (Br. Murray) to accompany us all the way back home. Nah, you're right, that sounds too good to be true. But then again...