Grizzly Tales for Gruesome kids is a book series created by Jamie Rix in 1990. In 2000 Grizzly Tales was adapted to UK TV and was picked up by TV station ITV, in 2011 the show was revamped and shown on Nickelodeon UK and is set to have its 9th and 10th Season in 2014.
If you read my BFMY article about Grizzly Tales you’ll know that there were some tales that freaked me out when I was a kid, and so for Halloween I’m going to take the time to list the top ten Grizzliest Tales that scared me. Trust me people when I say this is no Goosebumps. Also, I’m going to keep to the original series, that I grew up with. The TV series sticks to the books quite closely so I’m going to add a video of each story when I talk about them. I can’t seem to find the new series from Nickelodeon, and although I have watched a few episodes It would kind of be unfair to put them in here, since I haven’t seen all of them.
First let me begin with the Honorable mentions, these are stories that I read or watched and they were scary but there were more scary tales that beat them in the List. Two of these were from the new series they are, ‘Tinklebell’ and ‘Cat’s Eye’ both stories are scary but they are from the new series so they can’t be in the list. From the old series, the honorable mentions are, ‘The Childhood Snatcher’, ‘The Barber of Civil’, ‘The Pie Man’, and ‘Athlete’s Foot’, These stories were great, some were scary (Athlete’s Foot), some hit close to home (The Pie Man), others you wished existed in real life (The Barber of Civil) and where aimed at Adults (The Childhood snatcher). These stories were the example of what Grizzly Tales was and continues to be, a series of tales, that have elements that parody of real life, as well as a cautionary tale to everyone not just children. Now on with the real list:
Aw man, Tag is also one that hits so close to home. When I was younger I stole things, I went to stores, stole sweets and candy bars and I did get caught. My aunt, instead of being mad, sat me down and told me, if I couldn’t have something there was reason for it, and if I wanted it all I had to do was ask and if I could get it I’d get it. The story revolves around a boy named Terry, who becomes jealous of other students in his school who seem to always have something new to show off to their class mates. He decides to steal from his class mates and quickly becomes addicted to stealing, going out stealing sweets from stores, any thing he could get his hands on. One day Terry finds a gym kit in the locker room and he decides to steal it after reading the name of the tag. I won’t spoil the ending for you its an interesting take on stealing and how a person learns from what they have done. I think Tag is the only cautionary tale that ends in the main character learning something instead of meeting a horrible end.
9. ‘The Butcher Boy’
I think this another one that is about being content with what you have and not looking at what others have. Gilbert is representation of what children is today’s society have become. Needing to have the best no matter what the costs, becoming obsessed with money and possessions, and willing to take out the competition, so to speak. The story is about a boy who is obsessed with money and being the center of attention, after conning his parents out of some cash, he does his best to make others jealous of him by going through large amounts of trouble to show up his class mates, if someone brought a pony to school he’d get a prize winning horse. One day a student, who happens to be the son of a Butcher, brings a new bike to school. No matter what store Gilbert went to he just couldn’t find a better bike so he opts to steal it from the kid. ‘The Butcher Boy’ is not my favourite story but it does hold a lot of satire about children now, with mobile phones, tablets and wanting to over power their friends or class mates with what they have by any means necessary.
8. ‘Superstitious Nonsense’
This one, I remember being so surprised by the ending, it just came right out of left field. Watching this you would never expect it. There isn’t a lot of satire in this, it’s mostly about being too overly superstitious to the point of using it to abuse people or using it to get your own way. It is about a girl named Araminta Jane, who is very superstitious, and she uses her superstitions to control and manipulate her parents. This probably has the most gruesome death in the whole series, shown on screen I have no idea how the animators got away with doing that. Like I said there isn’t a lot of satire there but if you were looking for something it could be about religion and pushing your beliefs onto others while not sticking them yourself. It’s okay to believe what you want to believe but don’t use to manipulate and control others, but that is a stretch. Still the ending is up there, if you don’t read the book at least watch the episode for the TV series. It’s a must watch.
7. ‘The Bugaboo Bear’
This one has a Chucky killer doll feel to it. it goes back to children who don’t take care of their toys and what would happen if a child who mistreated a toy would ever have that toy take revenge on him or her. This is one that has that quite chilling feeling to it. The uncanny valley is broken. The fact that Bugaboo is a talking bear makes it extra scary. The story goes, Emily Stiff loves her toys, unfortunately she gets bored of her toys very quickly. One day she gets a Bugaboo Bear and at first she is happy with the bear, but quickly slips back into her old self, mistreating the bear quite horribly. I’ve said enough already about Bugaboo, so you know what is going happen next. I think this story while scary is justified in what it is trying to teach children and the ending is just perfect, it sums up what all children do, it is not just Emily Stiff. He he I just got the irony in her name.
6. ‘Goblin Mountain’
I wish this one was in the top five, but at six it marks the terrifying imaginary that is in the top five. When watching the end of this episode I remember having the chills running up my spine. This episode along with some in the top five, just compliments the animation team that worked on this for the original. Sara and Simon Bor are just amazing animators, who’s animation fitted with Rix’s stories and Nigel Planer’s voice just makes the series amazing. ‘Goblin Mountain’ is a tale that isn’t scary until the end. Joe Alexander is a person that would tick me off in real life. He has no respect for books, while he likes reading when he finishes a book he will rip the pages out of them and throw them out the window. Upon reading and finishing a magical book he decides to rip the pages out of this book and throw them out of the window. The book is the Holy Book for Goblins, and understandably, they are pissed when they find out. This is a good story, I really enjoyed it it is also one of four stories that gave me nightmares.
That is part one finished, next week we’ll finish off the list with the top five Grizzly Tales For Gruesome Kids.