For children of the 80s in the West, there were plenty of places to get started on anime. Many started with Robotech, others with Unico, and still more with Tranzor Z and the like. But for many in North America and Latin America, there’s one unsung show that got them hooked: Nippon Animation’s Grimm Masterpiece Theater.
A World of Fairy Tales
Known in North America as Grimm’s Fairy Tale Classics, the show ran two seasons, for a total for 47 episodes. Each episode retold a single fairy tale or folk tale. Some, like “Snow White” and “The Frog Prince,” were told across multiple episodes, especially if they were well known favorites.
But the show also delved into lesser-known stories, including short morality tales. Stories like “Iron John,” “Snow-White and Rose-Red,” and “Jorinde and Joringel” all make an appearance.
It also featured a long list of famous (or soon-to-be-famous) voice actors. Anison performer Mitsuko Horie was a regular narrator. The legendary Shigeru Chiba appeared as the Frog Prince. Even Banjou Ginga and Norio Wakamoto showed up!
The English release wasn’t too shabby when it came to names, either. Robert Axelrod (the voice of Lord Zedd) did some dubbing, and the scripts were overseen by Rick Hunter himself, Tony Oliver!
Grimm’s Fairy Tale Classics also had followings in Australia, Colombia, China, Bulgaria, the Philippines, and beyond. Sadly, it’s not that easy to find anymore!
The series ran on Nickelodeon in the mid-1980s for many, and was on almost every day. It’s possible to pick the series up as a bootleg in many places, but at this point in time there’s no official outlet. At last check, the Walt Disney Company owned the rights. But there hasn’t been any talk about letting it out of the Disney vaults anytime soon.
But if you’re feeling nostalgic, here’s the theme from the English release. Do you still remember it?