Anime / Grimms Fairy Tale Classics

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Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics 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

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: "The Coat of Many Colors" implies that the princess has PTSD from her insane father's attempts to force her to marry him.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • The boy of "Godfather Death". In the original story he is more greedy and wants save the princess just to marry her and became the future king. Here he perform a Heroic Sacrifice to make 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.
  • 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. Moreover, she pushes the prince out of the tower with her magic, unlike in the original story where he jumped out.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: In the original story, the prince heard Rapunzel singing. Here, he hears her playing a harp. This raises the question of how he knew it was a woman up in the tower.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • Bowdlerization: Played with, for some of the episodes. For example, Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters do not end up blind and mutiltated, nor does her magic tree have any connection to Cinderella's dead mother. Of course, in a subversion, we also get the stepmother having the poor tree destroyed. "Brother and Sister" also bordered on this. The witch merely kidnaps the Queen, rather than killing her, and the subplot with the stepsister is omitted entirely.
    • 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. Strangely enough, the original dub is the only version available online.
  • Break the Haughty / Character Development: Happen to 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. The pincess, as part of her humiliation marries a commoner who turns out to be a King Incognito whom she had previously scorned and restore her status when she comes to realize the value of what she lost. The prince travels to a distant land and offers his services to its King as gardener; later, he defend his new homeland without asking for anything in exchange and marry the princess of the kingdom that fall in love for him.
  • The Caligula: In "The Coat of Many Colors," the princess's father loses his mind and tries to force his daughter to marry him.
  • Canon Foreigner
    • Klaus, "Snow White" childhood friends, is a character exclusive of the series.
    • "Mother Holle" feature a talking white rabbit that is an Expy of the Alice in Wonderland character.
  • Composite Character: This version of "The Six Swans" gives the evil mother-in-law's role in the story to the Wicked Stepmother.
  • Damsel in Distress: In "Brother and Sister", the queen is abducted by her stepmother and taken to a foreboding mountain.
  • 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.
    • The father in "Beauty and the Beast" starts the story terminally ill, and dies before the end.
  • 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", who is under a witch's curse, and later gets abducted by her.
    • 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.
  • 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 choose 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 went back to school to become a doctor and use his magical cloth just to heal wounds. Here, he became greed and lazy. His cloth falls into a fire and he loses his wealth and desperate to recover his wealth 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.
  • Frame-Up: In "The Six Swans", the witch kidnaps the princess's son and makes it look like she ate him.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The Rapunzel and the Prince thing. The writers didn't show them doing anything graphic, but she got pregnant of him and the prince and Rapunzel awoke in the SAME BED.
  • Giggling Villain: The witch from "The Iron Stove".
  • 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.
  • Greed: Some examples, especially the King and his daughter in "The Six Who Went Far in the World", two jerk that start a war just to obtain more gold and pay a soldier with only three coins. This start a Revenge plot with the King lose 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 the princess's pyre, and sets herself aflame.
  • 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.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Provided in many tales both as punishment (for bad guys) or reward (for good guys).
  • Master of Illusion: The witch in "The Iron Stove."
  • Named by the Adaptation: Some of the episodes give the characters names they didn't have in the original stories.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Their version of Bluebeard is resemblant to Henry VIII.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Klaus from "Snow White". He's very close to Snow White and aids her as much as he can, but he never shows any signs of being attracted to her, and she ends up marrying his friend the Prince.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
    • The princess 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • The stepmother in "Brother and Sister" has her power broken and ends up wandering the woods in a daze, but she doesn't get burned at the stake.
    • The older sisters in "Bearskin". In the original story, reduced to envy, they commit suicide and the Devil take 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.
  • Vain Sorceress: The episode, "The Crystal Ball", where an evil witch murdered a beautiful woman and stole her identity. To keep herself beautiful and young, she keeps a beautiful princess trapped in her castle, and performed an 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.
  • Villainous Glutton: The wolf from "The Fox And The Wolf", who's always complaining about wanting to eat. It costs him in the end.
  • 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 is implied that he, alone and without parents, starved to death.
  • 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.

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