13 April 2019 | TheLittleSongbird
Not quite a masterpiece but a long way from "grimm"
Two of the main reasons for seeing 'Grimm Masterpiece Theater' (aka 'Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics') are if one is a fan of animation, or anime, and if one loves folk tales/fairy tales. That won't be the case for everybody though. In my case, they were my two main reasons, as a lover of both animation and folk/fairy tales since forever. Anybody who likes either or both will find a lot to like about 'Grimm Masterpiece Theater'.
My introduction to 'Grimm Masterpiece Theater' was through seeing the series' version of 'Cinderella' by chance when watching various animated fairy tale adaptations online, with no prior knowledge of the series or where that version of 'Cinderella' came from. That immediately got me interested in seeing as much of the rest of the series as possible and have not regretted it since. 'Grimm Masterpiece Theater' may not quite be a masterpiece or a classic. At the same time, there is very little if anything grim about it. Actually found it a pleasant surprise and anybody wanting something different from the big animation studios or see lower-budgeted animation or both is very likely to get a lot of pleasure out of it.
If there is a frequent criticism, it is agreed that the music, outside of the lovely theme songs, doesn't always fit and doesn't add or enhance what's going on and instead feels like it belonged elsewhere. As a result of the recycling, it also feels repetitive which is a shame because on its own it's not bad at all.
At times, the voice acting is a touch over-compensated, either in tone of voice, speed or both.
However, considering that the budget was not large, the animation is not bad at all. Some sloppiness in synchronisation at times, but the attention to detail in the backgrounds, expressive character movements and facial expressions, atmospheric colours and reasonably smooth character designs that don't look ugly generally is more than credible and actually an example to all lower-budgeted animation. The theme songs are pleasant and accompanied by well designed intros/outros. The writing flows well surprisingly well, and makes neither mistake of being childish or complicated. It's easy to understand for younger audiences while having something for people older but wanting some childhood nostalgia.
37 (with 'Snow White' being a four parter and 'The Frog Prince', 'Puss in Boots' and 'Cinderella' two parters) folk/fairy tales are adapted, despite the title there are a wide variety adapted here instead of just the Grimm Brothers, and pretty much all are treated with remarkable respect, with a lot of the material being recognisable. Some are not quite as dark as the original stories, but some of the series do get dark yet not in a way that's too scary. The stories are treated seriously as well as respectfully, without being morose. There is also humour though to lighten the mood, and the humour here is well-timed and is not just amusing but doesn't resort to distaste or childishness. The "good" characters are likeable and charming, while the comedy relief characters are fun and the villains hissable without it being too overt. There are imperfections with the voice acting, but enough of it is expressive and fit the characters.
Concluding, very interesting and well done. Look out for it. 8/10