Since her devastating death earlier this year, many incredible stories have come out about the wonderful Carrie Fisher, not the least of which regarding her huge contributions to cinema as an often long uncredited ghostwriter. From Star Wars itself to films like Lethal Weapon 3 and Sister Act, Carrie’s script doctoring talents were renowned in Hollywood. This week during an interview with EW celebrating the 20th anniversary of the animated movie Anastasia, the film’s Oscar nominated songwriting team Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty revealed that once again Carrie had been a part of that movie’s success.
The 1997 Fox animated classic hails from the days when other studios were still trying to compete with Disney’s princess movies. It tells the story of a young orphan girl who just happens to be the lost daughter of Russia’s Romanov dynasty. After leaving her orphanage, she has to make a life changing decision whether to spend her years as “Ana the Orphan” or head to Paris on a “journey to her past”—and that’s where Carrie came in. “Princess Leia wrote that scene,” joked Flaherty. “It was interesting because they really wanted to get into the psyche of Anya,” Flaherty told EW.
This is an intriguing discovery as it’s such a pivotal moment in Anastasia’s journey and easily one of the film’s most memorable sequences. It leads directly into the popular song “Journey to the Past,” which garnered the songwriters their Oscar nom and created what The New York Times called the “‘Let it Go’ of the ’90s.” It was a cultural phenomenon, with the late superstar Aaliyah recording a version as a single release for the movie. The scene is all about a young woman lost in the possibilities of just where her life might take her, and Carrie’s own experiences are likely part of what made the scene so authentic and memorable. Thus once again we can trace a fantastic moment in cinematic history back to Princess Leia herself! Thank you, Carrie.
Will you be checking out Anastasia on its 20th anniversary? Can you still remember every word of “Journey to the Past”? Do you just love Carrie Fisher and all of her ghostwriting credits? Let us know in the comments!
Images: 20th Century Fox