Anime / Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics

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Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics (グリム名作劇場, Gurimu Meisaku Gekijō) was an anime series produced by Nippon Animation. It was originally aired from 1987 to 1989.

The anime was based on the stories by The Brothers Grimm and a number of other authors. Each story was told in a half-hour format. Some stories, like "Cinderella" and "Puss in Boots" were aired in two parts; "Snow White" was aired in four parts. Most episodes were somewhat faithful to the original stories, with various changes made to suit the half-hour episode run.

Can be seen as a Spiritual Successor to Andersen Monogatari

Tropes

  • Accidental Kiss: In "Snow White and Rose Red", the Bear and Snow White are playing with an apple and trying to "balance" it between her nose and his snout. The apple falls and they kinda kiss by accident, with both of them blushing.
  • Action Survivor:
    • The Princess from "The Iron Stove" mixes this with some sprinkles of Action Girlfriend, going through lots of risk to save her Prince from the Witch despite not being an Action Girl.
    • Lisbeth from "The Old Woman in the Woods" too. She's the Sole Survivor of the royal caravan she was traveling with and must fend off the attacks of the Wicked Witch to save her own skin, with help of a talking owl...
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: "The Coat of Many Colors" implies that Alea has PTSD from her insane father's attempts to force her to marry him.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Sometimes, especially for short tales. "Snow White and Rose Red", for example, has the Prince's younger brother meet Rose Red a few times on his own while the main story occurs, showing that he fell in love with her on his own (plus she's a bit of a Smitten Teenage Girl to him, showing that she also likes him a lot) and that he was desperately searching for his missing big brother aka the Prince himself.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • The boy of "Godfather Death". In the original story he's rather greedy and selfish and wants save the princess just so he can marry her and become the future king. Here he performs a Heroic Sacrifice in order to do the right thing and to be a real doctor for the first time.
    • Maria's/Beauty's sisters actually love their father and their younger sister. Unlike their original counterparts, they don't try to sabotage their sister's relationship with the Beast; while the three were grieving over their dad's death from his illness, Maria forgot that she had to return after a certain period of time, and they're scared for her safety when she tells them.
  • Adaptational Karma: In the original tale, the stepmother from "The Six Swans" simply disappears from the story after Elise runs off into the woods. The episode based on the story, however, has her accidentally set herself on fire and get burned to death after trying to get her executed via burning at the stake.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The Huntsman in Snow White. Originally, he was unable to kill Snow White and spared her. In this version, he didn't, and he got a Disney Villain Death.
    • The witch in "Rapunzel" as well, albeit more subtly. Here, she apparently locked Rapunzel away from the world immediately after kidnapping her, rather than when she turned twelve. In addition to giving her adopted daughter a Traumatic Haircut and casting her out into a desert after finding out about the prince's visits, she beats her into unconsciousness, and it's implied she was originally intending to kill her. Shortly before said beating, she says she wanted to keep the girl all to herself, rather than wanting to protect her from the world. Moreover, she pushes the prince out of the tower with her magic, unlike in the original stories where he jumped out or fell off on his own.
    • The bird in "Hansel and Gretel" is revealed to be a familiar to the witch. At first it appears as the white bird from the original story, but later reveals its true colors as a black imp that lured the children to the witch's house.
    • The stepmother in "The Six Swans" gets some of this. Even before she turns her stepsons into swans, she summons a gigantic snake in an effort to kill her new family, and later murders her husband. When she encounters her stepdaughter Elise again, she takes the role of the mother-in-law from the original story by kidnapping Elise's infant son and leaving him to die and framing his mother for it in an attempt to get her executed.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: In the original story, the prince heard Rapunzel singing. Here, he hears her playing a lyre. This raises the question of how he knew it was a woman up in the tower. (Funny, in the original Rapunzel is voiced by a famous singer)
  • Adapted Out:
    • There is no stepsister in this version of Brother and Sister.
    • Likewise there is no jealous Mother-In-Law in "The Six Swans". Her role is instead handed to the witch. Moreover, Elise had three children in the original story; she only has one here.
    • The second princess from The Iron Stove doesn't exist, and the Hot Witch is both the prince's "jailer" and the princess' rival in love.
    • The Wicked Witch from "The Magic Heart" had her daughter and her maidservant help her in her plans. The maidservant isn't featured here, and neither are three giants that wanted to attack the huntsman and protagonist.
    • The third brother is gone in "The Waters of Life."
    • The other 9 princesses are left out of "The Worn Out Dancing Shoes" most likely to simplify the animation process.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Elise in "The Six Swans" has this after her stepmother arrives at her husband's court. The vile woman starts threatening her infant son, and eventually kidnaps him and leaves him for dead, making it seem like he was eaten by his mother; for worse, she's an Elective Mute so she cannot properly defend herself... Fortunately, Elise's brothers find the kiddo and rescue him; when they save their sister from being burned at the stake for the infanticide she never commited, one of them brings the baby back.
    • The father in "Hansel and Gretel" return to find that his wife has abandoned his young children in the forest.
    • In "Brother and Sister" Rose is kidnapped and left in a cave not long after having given birth, so she cannot stop fretting over her infant son. The sort-of Astral Projection she pulls to feed the baby is probably "born" from her desire to take care of him even when she's at fatal danger.
    • In "Sleeping Beauty", the Royal Couple and especially Briar Rose's Overprotective Dad dread the day when she will fall victim to the sleeping/death curse.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love:
    • How the Princess from "The Iron Stove" manages to debrainwash her Prince.
    • When the King from "Brother and Sister" sees Queen Rose's (weakening) spirit, he gives her one of these.
  • Astral Projection: In "Brother and Sister", since Rose aka the Sister/Queen is solely imprisoned by the Witch, her soul kinda "leaves" her body magically to feed the baby at the cost of greatly weakening her. The King sets out to find his wife before she withers away.
  • Balancing Death's Books: In "Godfather Death", the young man uses what he learned from his godfather (the Death) to save the life of someone who was fated to die. Death lets him get away with it once, but when he tries it again Death takes his life instead.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • The witch from "The Six Swans" turns her royal husband's six sons into swans with cursed shirts. Their sister breaks the spell by making six other shirts, which the swans manage to put on when they come to rescue her and bring her kidnapped son back.
    • The prince in "Snow White and Rose Red" caught the wicked gnome stealing the castle's treasures and got turned into a bear for his trouble. He didn't recover his human form until he managed to kill the gnome.
    • Rudolf in "Brother and Sister" was turned into a Deer by the pond water enchanted by his evil Step-Mother.
    • The prince's subjects in "The Iron Stove" were turned into mice by the witch.
    • "The Old Woman in the Woods" turned a prince and his subjects into animals, with the Prince himself stuck in an owl's form, and those that trespass in the witch's neck of the forest are turned into trees.
    • In "The Magic Heart", a huntsman finds a cabbage garden of two different types. One kind of cabbage turns those who eat them into donkeys, the other kind returns the donkeys to their human forms. He used these cabbages to get revenge on an old witch and her daughter for treating him like crap, though later he uses another to return the daughter to her human form.
    • Joringle is turned into a bird by the witch.
  • Barefoot Poverty: Lisbeth from "The Old Woman..." is the only person in the royal caravan she works in to not wear shoes, signifying her poverty.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Played straight for the protagonists in most of the stories, though there are some exceptions. ie, Hans from "The Golden Goose" is a borderline gonk.
    • Most especially demonstrated in "The Man of Iron," as lazy Royal Brat Prince William first appears grotesque in Hans' magic pond, but after he Took a Level in Kindness his handsome features are restored.
  • Because Destiny Says So: The Prince in "Briar Rose" finds himself traveling a long ways from his home with Briar Rose's song in his head. The impassable thorns split aside and allow him into the palace as he is the one to awaken Briar Rose.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Played straight, gender reversed, and inverted:
    • Josephine from "Bluebeard" is the youngest and the only girl out of four siblings, so of course her brothers are very protective of her and, in the end, they rescue her from her evil husband.
    • Inverted in "Snow White and Rose Red", where the Bear Prince's younger brother is the protective one and has been searching from him.
    • Princess Elise from "The Six Swans" genderflips this when she puts herself through lots of suffering to save her six brothers from their Wicked Stepmother. The boys return the favor by saving her from execution and rescuing her baby son.
    • Rose and Rudolf from "Brother and Sister" try protecting one another from their own Wicked Stepmother, with Rose first trying to reason with her and then Rudolf shielding Rose from the whippings.
  • The Big Damn Kiss:
    • The one between Briar Rose and her Prince, as seen here.
    • Lisbeth and the Prince from The Old Woman in the Woods also share a kiss after he reveals himself as her friend the Talking Owl.
    • William and the Princess in "The Man of Iron," get a romantic blush and haze with their kiss.
    • Aleia and Alexander glow with their first in "Coat of Many Colors."
  • Bishie Sparkle: Elise in "The Six Swans" gets this as a highlight after the Prince lays eyes on her for the first time, and he and his men comment on her beauty.
  • Bowdlerise: Played with, for some of the episodes.
    • Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters do not end up blind and mutilated, nor does her magic tree have any connection to Cinderella's dead mother. Of course, in a subversion, the stepmother has the poor tree destroyed.
    • "Brother and Sister" also bordered on this. The witch merely kidnaps Rose aka Sister/Queen rather than killing her (though her spirit does say that her body is weakening, implying that the sort-of Astral Projection she pulls to breastfeed her son is taking a huge toll on her), and the subplot with the stepsister is omitted entirely.
    • In the original "The Six Swans", Elise didn't manage to fully finish the last of the shirts destined to release her brothers from the swan spell, so one of the youngest prince's arms remains a swan arm. This doesn't happen in the series.
    • The Nickelodeon dub also went a bit further, shortening scenes where characters are beaten, making deaths cleaner, and removing instances of breastfeeding. Infamously, "The Coat Of Many Colors" had to be redubbed to omit references to incest (instead, the princess flees the destruction of her kingdom). Strangely enough, the original dub is the only version available online.
  • Break the Haughty: This leads to Character Development in the cases of both the main character of "King Grizzle Beard" and "The Man of Iron", respectively a spoiled and shallow princess and a Royal Brat. They are forced to leave their castle and kingdom and learn about the hard work, the hunger and the humilty. Elena as part of her humiliation marries a commoner who turns out to be a King Incognito whom she had previously scorned and restores her status when she comes to realize the value of what she lost. William travels to a distant land and offers his services to its King as gardener; later, he defends his new homeland without asking for anything in exchange and marries the princess of the kingdom that falls in love with him.
    • Lisbeth from "The Magic Heart" helped her evil mother the Witch trick Frederick the Huntsman and, as punishment, got turned into a donkey...
  • Burn the Witch!: It almost happens to Elise from "The Six Swans" when the stepmother frames her for infanticide and cannibalism. In fact, she's tied up to a cross and right about to be burned alive when her brothers pull a Big Damn Heroes and bring her son back, to repay her for breaking their curse and reveal the witch's plans.
  • The Caligula: In "The Coat of Many Colors," Aleia's father loses his mind and tries to force his daughter to marry him.
  • Cain and Abel: Princes Franz and Joseph in "The Water of Life", respectively. Joseph genuinely wants to save his father, while Franz is more interested on gaining his favor to ensure he inherits the kingdom and has no qualms about framing his younger brother to do so.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Klaus, Snow White's childhood friend, is a character exclusive of the series. The same can be said of the Noble Wolves and of Snow White's nanny Doris.
    • "Mother Holle" features a talking white rabbit that is an Expy of the Alice in Wonderland character.
  • Composite Character:
    • This series' version of "The Six Swans" gives the evil mother-in-law's role in the story to the Wicked Stepmother.
    • In "The Iron Stove", there's no second princess claiming that the prince is hers. Instead, the Hot Witch is the Princess' love rival.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Lisbeth from "The Magic Heart" is a very pretty girl who helps her Wicked Witch mother to mistreat a huntsman. Subverted, it looks like she's an enchanted princess in this version.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • In "Brother and Sister", Queen Rose is abducted by her stepmother and taken to a foreboding mountain. When the King finds out, he and some of his guards climb the mountain and find her in a cave, alive but very weakened.
    • The young princess from "The Crystal Ball", prisoner of an evil witch who drains her lifeforce every night.
    • Princess Anna in "The Waters of Life" is held prisoner by a demon in the moonlight palace.
  • Dance of Romance:
    • Of course it happens in Cinderella (and especially when Cindy and the Prince dance in the courtyard, after she's revealed to be the girl he fell in love with in the ball), but it's also parodied when the old King tries to rope his Queen into dancing with him.
    • "The Coat of Many Colors" features three balls; the Fallen Princess Aleia manages to sneak in them and dance with Prince Alexander while wearing either of the three gowns she managed to save from the fire that destroyed her home.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • In this version of Snow White, a boar knocks the huntsman off a cliff to his death.
    • The mad king in "The Coat of Many Colors," the show's version of "Allerleirauh," is heavily implied to die in a fire he set by accident. In the original it's never mentioned what happened to him note 
    • The father in "Beauty and the Beast" is implied to start the story terminally ill, and dies before the end.
    • In "The Six Swans", the king is murdered by his second wife after his children disappear.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Not that hyper desperately, but the Soldier from "The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes" rose to the challenge because he had been wounded in a recent war and didn't want to stay put while he healed.
  • Disneyfication: Averted for the most part, and sometimes even Inverted (a few episodes, such as "Hansel and Gretel" and "The Iron Stove", are actually darker than their sources). A few straight examples exist in Cinderella (where the stepsisters don't cut off their feet) and Bearskin (where the two older sisters don't kill themselves).
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • The witch in "The Iron Stove" suffers this after getting stunned by the princess's amulet.
    • The huntsman in "Snow White" gets knocked off a cliff by a boar.
  • Distressed Dude:
    • The prince in "The Iron Stove" is first under a witch's curse, and later gets abducted by her when the Princess releases him.
    • Also the prince in "The Old Woman in the Woods", whose kingdom has been cursed and his subjects turned into trees and he himself into an Owl by the witch. He must team up with the Action Survivor maid to defeat the witch and when he's released at the end, he and Lisbeth marry.
  • Downer Beginning:
    • "The Coat of Many Colors" begins with poor Aleia running away from her mad father and then barely escaping with her life from her burning castle, while her dad burns to death there.
    • "Brother and Sister" starts with Rudolf and Rose being whipped by their Wicked Stepmother.
    • "Bluebeard" has the titular character killing his second-to-last wife on screen.
  • Downer Ending:
    • In "The Marriage of Mrs. Fox", Mr. Fox (driven by his jealousy personified like a demon) feigns death to test his wife's fidelity. When she chooses a new handsome husband, he arises and drives them all out of home - ending alone, angry and unhappy.
    • The original ending of "The Spirit in the Bottle" has the boy go back to school to become a doctor and use his magical cloth just to heal wounds. Here, he becomes greed and lazy so his cloth falls into a fire and he loses his wealth. Desperate to recover his riches, he goes back to the woods looking for the demon in the bottle to replace his cloth... only this time the demon tricks the boy into taking his place in the bottle.
  • Drunk on Milk: In The Town Musicians Of Bremen, the donkey acts giddy and walks on his hind legs after eating strange flowers. The narration even says that people make some kinds of wine from certain flowers.
  • Due to the Dead: In "Beauty and the Beast", Maria remembers her promise to Beast when she and her sisters are praying in front of their recently dead father, wearing black dresses and veils to signify their mourning.
  • Elective Mute: Elise in "The Six Swans" is silent for much of the story, because her brothers will be trapped as swans forever if she says even a single word while working on the shirts to break the curse.
  • Elegant Classical Musician:
  • Evil-Detecting Baby: Elise's baby son in "The Six Swans" starts crying whenever the witch approaches him. Considering she would later throw him into the forest and make it look like his mother ate him, one can hardly blame him.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The witch from "Hansel and Gretel" post One-Winged Angel.
  • Eyelid Pull Taunt: "Snow White and Rose Red" has Rose do this to the gnome after he berates her sister for cutting off part of his beard to help him.
  • Fallen Princess:
    • Poor, poor Aleia from "The Coat of Many Colors".
    • Subverted with Helena from "King Grizzlebeard", since her fall of grace is a Batman Gambit from her father and one of her suitors (the titular "King Grizzlebeard", who already had a crush on her) to teach her to be less of a Royal Brat.
    • A male version in "The Man of Iron," sees Prince William stolen away from his kingdom, and becoming a gardener, but in the end finds life much simpler, and becomes the Prince of his new kingdom.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • The stepmother from "The Six Swans" is burned do death after she accidentally sets herself on fire.
    • The Queen of "Snow White" dies from being attacked by a lot of wolves.
  • Fartillery: In the original cut of "Jorinde and Joringel," when Joringel picks up the cat (really the witch in disguise) by his tail, the cat farts right into his face. The English dub cut the cheese-cutting.
  • Frame-Up:
    • In "The Six Swans", the witch kidnaps Princess Elise's son and makes it look like she ate him.
    • In "The Water of Life", Franz switches the titular water from his younger brother Joseph's canteen, so when Joseph tries to give it to his father, Franz makes it seem like he was trying to kill the king.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
  • Giggling Villain: The witch from "The Iron Stove".
  • Girl in the Tower: "Briar Rose" features the titular princess being locked away in a luxurious tower of her palace to protect her from the curse.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: Snow White from, well, Snow White is a very feminine-looking girl who is the Team Mom for the dwarves, but is first seen happily getting up trees with Klaus to get her beloved apples and being scolded by her nanny for doing such "un-ladylike" things.
  • Glamor Failure: Invoked in "Hansel and Gretel". The white bird is actually the witch's imp familiar, the sugar-coated facade of the Witch's house melts away into a more traditional haunted house, a strawberry from said house turns into a toad
  • Going Commando: If one looks closely when the witch jumps near the end of "The Six Swans", they can see that she isn't wearing anything under her skirt.
  • Gonk: The Princess in "The Brave Little Tailor" and the boy from "The Golden Goose".
  • Good Is Dumb: Hans in "The Golden Goose", is kindness exemplified but unfortunately isn't the most intellegent man.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: In "Briar Rose," the invitations the witches receive to the christening party are written in romanized Japanese (and to boot, in medieval-style font).
  • Greed: Some examples, especially the King and his daughter in "The Six Who Went Far in the World", two jerks that start a war just to obtain more gold and pay a soldier with only three coins. This starts a Revenge plot with the King losing all at the end.
  • Grimmification: Many episodes use this while still keeping the show appropriate for children:
    • In "Hansel and Gretel", both the white bird and the witch turn into demons (and the witch's house is presented as much scarier than in the story).
    • "The Iron Stove" is also darker than its source by including a conflict between the princess and the witch over the prince.
    • In "The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes", the mystery men who are dancing with the princesses turn out to be monsters, and attack the princesses when the soldier reveals their secret.
    • The Crystal Ball. For all that is pure and decent in the world, The Crystal Ball.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Considering what the show is based on, it should come as no surprise that this is a common trait for protagonists and love interests. i.e., there's the Princess from "The Iron Stove", Princess Briar Rose, Rapunzel and her son, Cinderella, the Beast's original human form, Fallen Princess Aleia and her prospect lover Prince Alexander from "The Coat...", the poor Princess from "The Crystal Ball"...
  • Harp of Femininity: Rapunzel and Briar Rose play these. Well, technically these are lyres, but the effect remains.
  • The Hedge of Thorns:
    • The princess in "The Iron Stove" has to get through one of these in order to save her prince. It turns out to be an illusion, but braving it still took a lot of courage on her part.
    • The Prince from Rapunzel falls into one when thrown out of the tower by the Witch, and has to crawl out of it despite having his eyes injured
    • The witch's spell in "Briar Rose" is so strong, it covers the entire castle in these and those who tried to get through it wound up becoming ensnared in its vines, succumbing to the spell themselves. When the Prince fated to wake her up gets close, however, the vines and thorns immediately split and let him go inside the castle, and when he wakes up Briar Rose they completely retire.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In "The Six Swans", the witch, having been exposed for what she really is, attacks with a wind spell. But in doing so, she reignites Elise's pyre, and sets herself aflame.
  • Hot Consort: Many examples
    • Some become royalty by marriage of Royalty .
      • Gretchen becomes Queen in Rumplestiltskin after marrying the King.
      • Rose becomes Queen after marying the king in "Brother and Sister."
      • Cinderella becomes the Princess Consort.
      • Rapunzel likewise becomes a Princess Consort.
      • Lisbeth becomes rhe Princess Consort in "Old Woman in the Woods."
      • The soldier marries into royalty in "Worn Out Dancing Shoes."
      • The Witch becomes Queen Consort in "The Six Swans."
      • "Snow White and Rose Red," become princess consorts.
    • Some are already Royalty, bur become the King Consort or Queen Consort, or Prince/Princess Consort of another land.
      • Elena becomes Queen Consort after marrying "King Grizzle-beard."
      • The Prince in "Briar Rose" becomes the Prince Consort of her kingdom.
      • Either Joseph or Anna will be the consort of either kingdom they return to in "The Water of Life."
    • Likewise some of them are unknown to be royalty after some circumstances and become consorts of another kingdom.
      • William becomes Prince Consort by the end of "The Man of Iron."
      • Aleia, a Fallen Princess becomes Princess Consort of Alexander's kingdom in "Coat of Many Colors."
      • Elise is Princess consort to her husband's kingdom and later discovered to be a princess after saving her brothers in "The Six Swans."
  • Hot Witch: Three of them - the one in "The Iron Stove" (who more closely resembles a succubus than a typical witch), the one in "The Six Swans" (whose beauty briefly manages to charm the heroine's father), and the one in "The Water Nixie" (who wears a pink see-through dress). All three witches are the villains of their respective episodes.
  • Interactive Narrator: In the first part of the episode "Puss in Boots", the narrator lists everything that the miller's three sons received from him after he died. When the narrator says that the youngest son Max was left with the family cat, Max lets out a big "WHAT?", and the narrator talks to Max about what his father's will has specified.
  • Interspecies Romance: Toyed around with the Bear Prince and Snow-White in "Snow-White and Rose Red", as aside of the Accidental Kiss mentioned above, Snow-White is implied to have developed a crush on the Bear before learning that he was a handsome human prince under a spell. It's rendered moot when he recovers his human shape, logically.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: Subverted in the episode "The Crystal Ball," although it is a wicked witch, not a vampire, who routinely bites the neck of an innocent princess, in one of the most cruel and sadistic scenes ever imaginable. The princess also turns into a corpse afterwards, and somehow regenerates... only for the Witch to bite her neck and life energy away the following night...
  • Kneel Before Frodo: At the end of "Snow White and Rose Red" the sisters kneel before the Bear Prince when he reveals himself, but the Prince kneels in front of the girls to thank them for their help. And then he proposes to Snow White, with his brother proposing to Rose Red.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Provided in many tales both as punishment (for bad guys) or reward (for good guys).
  • Let the Past Burn: This type of ending was used at least more than once. The Bluebeard episode ended this way, and Hansel & Gretel had the witch's house get struck by lightning and burn down, and the kids reunited with their father the next day.
  • Lonely Doll Girl: The titular "Briar Rose" was kept away from the world in a tower of her castle, with only her dolls as company aside of her loving but overprotective parents. Her mother the Queen lampshades it as she tells her husband the King that they can't keep Briar Rose away from the world and playing with dolls forever.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: In "Brother and Sister", when Rudolf recovers his human form, he is naked and his full body is shown. They probably got away with it without censorship because, when released, he's a young teen rather than an adult man.
  • Man on Fire: At the end of "The Six Swans", the witch accidentally sets herself on fire when she summons a mighty wind.
  • Master of Illusion: The witch in "The Iron Stove."
  • Motherly Side Plait: Subverted by Lisbeth in "The Old Woman in the Woods", who styles her red hair like this despite not being a mother.
  • Motor Mouth:
    • The narrator in the English dub sometimes talks very quickly, though it's not immediately noticeable.
    • Plenty of characters in the English dub have moments of this. Then again, this wasn't exactly uncommon in English anime dubs of the time. The Japanese language can say a lot with relatively few words, so attempting to get the information out in the same amount of time would often result in rapid-fire dialogue.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Some of the episodes give the characters names they didn't have in the original stories. Examples include: Josephine (Bluebeard's last wife), Joseph (the main character of "The Water of Life"), Phoebe and Griselda (Cinderella's stepsisters), Leonora (the princess in "The Frog Prince"), Rudolf and Rose (the siblings from "Brother and Sister"), Lily (the cat maid in "The Marriage of Mrs. Fox"), Helena (the princess from "King Grizzlebeard"), among others who are unnamed in the original stories.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Their version of Bluebeard is resemblant to Henry VIII.
  • Noble Wolf: The wolves of "Snow White" are quite friendly to Snow White and the dwarves. That does not stop the wolves from attacking the Evil Queen after she poisoned Snow White.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Klaus from "Snow White" is very close to Snow White and aids her as much as he can, but he never shows any signs of being romantically attracted to her, and she ends up marrying Klaus' friend the Prince.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, as alongside the classic dual title Snow Whites in "Snow White" and "Snow White and Rose Red", both the daughter in "The Magic Heart," and the maid in "Old Woman in the Woods" is named Lisbeth, Hans is both the name of the hero of "The Golden Goose" and the titular "Man of Iron", and Franz is the name of both Jerkass older brothers in "The Waters of Life" and "The Golden Goose".
  • Papa Wolf: The King springs into action in defense of Elise and his sons when the Queen materializes a giant serpent in their bed chamber.
  • Parental Incest: "The Coat of Many Colors" has a mentally unstable king try to marry his daughter because she is the only woman who is beautiful as his wife was.
  • Parents as People: In "Briar Rose", the Royal Couple love their daughter to death but, in an attempt to protect her from the curse she's fated to fall victim to, have kept her pretty much locked away for her first 15 years.
  • Petting Zoo People: The main character of "The Marriage of Mrs. Fox", the rabbit of "Mother Holle" and the wolf of "Little Red Riding Hood".
  • Pimped-Out Dress: There are several, given the nature of its stories, most based on 18th century styles.
    • Josephine in "Bluebeard" is offered lots of dresses, including a white one with several layers of ruffling on the skirt, and a pink on with several ribbons and ruffles.
    • The dress made for "Cinderella" is pale pink with plenty of frills and ruffles, and a yellow flounced petticoat. Even the Queen Mother wears an orange dress with golden trimming, white ruffles and petticoat, and giant poofy sleeves. The stepmother and stepsisters have their own fancy dresses as well.
    • Leonora in "The Frog Prince" wears a pink and white dress, complete with poofy sleeves and fur-trimmed neckline.
    • Princess Anna in "The Water of Life" wears a yellow dress with a pink petticoat of several layers of frills, and a fur-trimmed neckline.
    • The princesses in "The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes" wear several dresses, with the eldest wearing a Fairytale Wedding Dress at the end.
    • "The Old Woman in the Woods" has Lisbeth find many precious dresses with the help of the Owl and a magic key he gives her.
    • The dresses that Princess Aleia wears to the balls thrown by Prince Alexander in "The Coat of Many Colors" are made of Golden Sunlight, Silver Moon Beams and Stardust.
    • The wedding dress that Gretchen wears in "Rumplestilskin" is made of the golden threads the titular imp had spun.
    • Maria from "Beauty and the Beast" wore cute yet simple pink dresses through the story, so the wedding dress that the Prince/former Beast gives her offers quite the contrast.
  • Plucky Girl: The Princess from "The Iron Stove" is quite stubborn when she has a goal to fulfill, specially if it involves her beloved Prince.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Most of the princesses and other leading ladies have at least some pink in their outfits. It's easier to list the exceptions: Snow White from "Snow White and Rose Red" (in her case it's because Rose Red is already wearing pink), Lisbeth from "The Magic Heart", and the princess from "The Iron Stove", who all wear green, and Aleia from "The Coat of Many Colours", who has purple, yellow, blue, white, and red dresses, but not pink.
  • Promotion to Parent:
    • In "Bluebeard", two of Josephine's brothers look notoriously older than her and their parents aren't mentioned. This means they probably raised her and the youngest of the brother trio.
    • In "Brother and Sister", the siblings had been looking out for one another ever since the beginning, but after they escape and Rudolf gets turned into a stag, Rose begins taking care of him more openly.
  • Proud Beauty:
    • Princess Elena in "King Grizzlebeard knows full well her beauty is unmatched.
    • Likewise the Queen in Snow White yearns for nothing more than to be the fairest of them all for as long as possible.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The Hot Witch from "The Iron Stove" has traits of this, as she's one Hell of a Clingy Jealous Girl and some of her retorts against the Princess remind of a Spoiled Brat throwing a fit after not getting what she wants. The Latin-American dub of the series empathizes this by giving the Witch a VA who makes her sound quite child-like.
  • Red Is Heroic:
    • Elise in "The Six Swans" has reddish hair and goes to great lengths to save her brothers.
    • Lisbeth of "The Old Woman..." is a red-haired maid who must protect herself and her Mysterious Protector the Owl from the Wicked Witch.
  • Red Right Hand: The witch's daughter in "The Six Swans" has blue marks on her cheeks.
  • Rescue Romance:
    • In "Snow White and Rose Red", the girls find a well-cared for horse without its rider. Rose-Red finds said rider (a rather handsome young man) passed-out, patches up his leg and, as they say goodbye, she's clearly crushing on him. He turns out to be the younger brother of the Bear Prince, and they marry at the end.
    • Once the titular "The Iron Stove" recovers his human form, he's taken away by the Hot Witch and the Princess must rescue him.
    • In "The Old Woman in the Woods", Lisbeth and the cursed Prince team up to rescue one another from the Witch. He first gives her a magic key that allows her to get supplies to survive alone in the woods, and later she repays the favor by going into the Witch's mansion and following his instructions to defeat her.
    • Prince Joseph wins the heart of Princess Anna after rescuing her from a demon on his quest to obtain the titular "Water of Life."
    • Subverted in "Brother and Sister": Rose needs to be rescued by the King after they have fallen in love and have been married long enough to have a kid.
  • Sanity Slippage: It's mentioned in the backstory of "The Coat of Many Colors" that the king gradually lost his mind, with the implication that some kind of meningitis was responsible.
  • Secret Relationship: Rapunzel and her Prince, natch. They're mentioned to have gotten married in secret by the narrator.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Very much apparent in the episode "The Iron Stove". The princess wears a long green dress with long sleeves and, while it had some cleavage, it wasn't that big. The witch, on the other hand, wears a very short blue dress with virtually nonexistent sleeves, and visible cleavage.
  • Sex Equals Love: Heavily implied in "Rapunzel". Considering she and her Prince slept in the same bed (albeit fully clothed), and he's described as visiting in the evening and leaving in the morning, more mature viewers probably have some idea of what they're up to. Then Rapunzel gives birth to the Prince's son after she gets banished, and the two of them are joyfully accepted by the Prince on being reunited with him, removing any and all lingering doubt.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely:
    • "Snow White and Rose Red" finishes with a brief scene featuring the girls in royal clothes (and apparently older) as they marry their princes. The last scene features them with their beloved mother, who is dolled up in a nice blue gown.
    • The maid Lisbeth from "The Old Woman in the Woods" is a rather cute and barefoot redhead girl, but she's an absolute knockout when she marries her Prince and is shown in a Fairytale Wedding Dress.
    • The Soldier from "The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes" looks a little plain and has a bit of Perma-Stubble. When he's all dressed up to marry the eldest Princess, he looks so good in regal clothes that his bride is VERY impressed and even giddy.
    • Josephine from Bluebeard is a quite pretty villager and when Bluebeard takes her to his castle she's given quite the makeover.
    • A rather literal example with Johan in "Bearskin". He begins as a clean-faced and rather cute soldier (save for some bruises) and then spends several years going around without being able to bathe, after the Deal with the Devil he makes (plus he grows quite a Beard of Sorrow). When he finally manages to bathe/shave/dress up/etc., the difference pretty obvious.
    • When Rose from "Brother and Sister" marries the very handsome King, she also gets a makeover and goes from a cute teenager to quite the beauty.
    • In "The Coat of Many Colors" Aleia is often mocked for her appearance while wearing her fur coat, yet the nights she attends the balls in her fancy gowns she stuns the crowds with her beauty.
    • In "Beauty and the Beast", Maria goes from wearing simple villager clothes and a white bonnet to putting on a simple yet prettier gown and Letting Her Hair Down. Towards the end she's in a black dress with a just as black veil, signifying her mourning for her father; when the spell over the Beast is broken and he returns to be a Prince, her mourning clothes magically change into a white wedding dress.
  • She Is All Grown Up: In "Brother and Sister", a Time Skip takes place right after Rudolf/Brother becomes a stag. The siblings live peacefully in a tiny cabin, with Rudolf as a sleeker and slightly older stag and Rose/Sister as a cute Girl Next Door.
    • Likewise Elise grows from a cute little princess, to so lovely that the Prince blushes.
      • Her brothers as well, after their spell is broken, have grown into dashing examples of a Prince Charming.
  • Shout-Out: A lot to Disney. The most obvious being in the Mother Holle episode, where Hildegarde meets a white rabbit. Cinderella and Snow White also resemble their Disney counterparts.
  • Shown Their Work: Not only did the show feature many obscure fairy tales, it also included Puss in Boots and Bluebeard, despite only appearing in the Grimm's first collection (Perrault's earlier versions are why those stories are otherwise known today).
  • Small Reference Pools: The anime included many obscure fairy tales such as "The Iron Stove" and "Jorinde and Joringel", in addition to well-known ones like "Cinderella" and "Snow White".
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • The stepmother in "Brother and Sister" has her spells broken and ends up wandering the woods in a daze, but she doesn't get burned at the stake. Her eventual death is only mentioned.
    • The older sisters in "Bearskin". In the original story, reduced to envy, they commit suicide and the Devil takes their souls. Here they are clearly upset when they find out what they lost, but they don't actually kill themselves.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Maria in the "Beauty and the Beast" episode eventually develops for the Beast rather quickly.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • In "Rapunzel", the title character's son with the Prince has his father's features and his mother's hair and eye colors.
    • In "Snow White and Rose Red", Snow is pretty much a younger version of her and Rose's mother.
  • Talking Animal: In "The Iron Stove", a bunch of these aid the Princess. They're humans under a spell, and when the Witch is defeated and implied to be killed, they recover their human forms.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: "The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes" invokes and averts this: the Princesses try drugging the soldier's wine to escape to their dancing "dates", but the soldier outsmarts them by quietly disposing of the drink and then pretending to fall asleep.
  • A Taste of the Lash: The witch from "Brother and Sister" punishes her stepchildren by whipping them. When Rose fails to stop her from doing this, Rudolf shields her by covering her with his body.
  • Teen Pregnancy: "Rapunzel" has the title character being impregnated by the Prince at age sixteen. Then again the Prince seems to be in the same age bracket, or just a little older.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: In "Jorinde and Joringel", Jorinde is seen working with her spinning wheel when her boyfriend Joringel visits her with flowers.
  • True Love's Kiss: Actually subverted in "Briar Rose": what wakes up Briar Rose is not a kiss, but the appearance of a Prince that is specifically destined to wake her up... plus him prickling his finger and lightly bleeding from it when he leans in to kiss her. They do get their Big Damn Kiss very soon, however.
  • The Unfavorite: Hans, despite his kindness towards them, is treated horribly by his family, while his older brother Franz is adored.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Even dressed in peasant garbs and slightly dirty, Prince Joseph is still a rather handsome man.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Not in the stories, but the dub theme song itself, which claims that "...every story ends so happily!" Again, this is first-edition Grimm material here: though many charas get their happy endings not everything ends well even for the protagonists.
  • Vain Sorceress: "The Crystal Ball" has an evil witch murdered a beautiful woman and stole her identity. To keep herself young and beautiful, she keeps a beautiful princess trapped in her castle, and performs a ghastly and unholy ritual every night where she bites into her neck and drains her of her lifeforce, and leaves her a rotting corpse. For reasons unexplained, the princess revives within a matter of seconds after the ritual is performed. When the murdered woman's sons find out what is going on, she turns two of them into animals, but the youngest escapes and is able to destroy her.
    • In the English and Hebrew Dub, the scenes with the biting were removed, and she simply switches ages with the princess. This is actually closer to the original story. The Spanish changed it to drinking her youth, but showed the biting.
  • Villain Song: The wolf in the "Little Red Riding Hood" gets one.
    • The wicked King and Princess in "The Six Who Went Far," also gets one.
  • Villainous Glutton: The wolf from "The Fox And The Wolf", who's always complaining about wanting to eat. It costs him in the end.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: No one shall ever take the Prince from "The Iron Stove" away from his Princess!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In "The Water Nixie", the little son of the main couple is never mentioned at the end of the story. Maybe a choice of writer because in the original story it is implied that he, alone and without parents, starved to death.
    • The two elder brothers from "The Crystal Ball" pretty much disappear from the story after the Witch turns them into animals.
    • Nothing is mentioned of what happend to William's mother or his kingdom by the end of "The Man of Iron."
  • When She Smiles: At the end of the "The Golden Goose" the boy protagonist (after some people were stuck to him because of the Golden Goose's curse) went to a city where a worried King had decreed that his Perpetual Frowner of a daughter should marry whoever made her laugh. The sight of the procession made the Princess smile and laugh, and so the curse is broken, the boy marries her and inherited the kingdom.
  • When Trees Attack: A group of evil trees appear in the episode "Jorinde and Joringel" brought to life by the witch who holds Jorinde hostage. The trees chase Joringel through the woods. When he loses sight of them and thinks they are gone, one of them sneaks up behind him and eats him. Luckily, it's revealed to be All Just a Dream as Joringel wakes up in a bed right after the tree eats him.
  • Women Are Wiser: In "Brother and Sister", Rose is quite savvier than her brother Rudolf and restrains her thirst, warning him to not drink from the stream. When he cannot resist, disobeys her and is transformed into a stag, she hugs and comforts him.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman:
    • Snow White who is the fairest of them all.
    • In a dark take on this trope, Aleia in "The Coat of Many Colors" is the only maiden beautiful enough to fulfill her mad father's requirement for his Queen.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • In "The Six Swans", the witch abandons Elise's infant son to die.
    • The young boy Rudolf and the pre-teen girl Rose from "Brother and Sister" are whipped by their Wicked Stepmother.


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