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  • Kristina Elyse Butke

A Fairy Tale Childhood: "Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics"


This is a short blog series where I’m going to discuss my first encounters with fairy tales growing up. They’re not going to be reviews, but reminiscences of my earliest experiences with fairy tales and how they shaped me. Please enjoy!


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Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics is likely one of my very first encounters with Japanese anime. Created by Nippon Animation, it aired on Nickelodeon from 1987-1989 (and of course, I watched the reruns of it, too!).


With colorful visuals and a cute style, Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics introduced me to a lot of lesser-known stories that I ended up truly loving, like "Jorinde and Joringel" (one of my favorite episodes) and "Bearskin." And then there were stories like "The Six Swans," which has influenced my own writing (like my book Son of the Siren).


Most of the episodes were pleasant experiences, but sometimes they scared me! (You have to remember, I was a very small child when this was airing). In the theme opening, there's that weird water creature that freaked me out, and then in this collage of images below, you have a weird monster (I don't know which fairy tale it's from, unfortunately).


Screenshots from Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics
Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, and other fairy tales

I can still remember some imagery from this anime after all of these years, and from memory, I can remember most of the words to the theme song. It was definitely one of my first encounters with animation from Japan, and on top of that, the largest variety of fairy tales I was exposed to (compared to The Storyteller and Faerie Tale Theatre), because the series topped out at 47 episodes. That's a lot of stories.


Friends, did you ever watch this show growing up? What are some of your favorite fairy tales? What childhood shows introduced you to fairy tales? Please respond in the comments below!