A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
Positive social-emotional lessons about how to cope with scary situations. Conversations around social issues like food shortage and gender inequality are introduced frequently throughout stories. The stories provide some educational value, but often fail to go deeper or broader with historical context or tricky social issues.
Bravery, kindness, and setting boundaries are clear themes throughout. Emphasis on teamwork and standing up for what's right. Critical thinking during difficult situations in life.
Positive Role Models
Characters show bravery in the face of extreme adversity. Despite several obstacles, young heroes use teamwork and critical thinking to solve problems and save the day. When characters display violent behavior it's typically portrayed as villainous or as self-defense. Adult characters are often untrustworthy and betray younger characters for a variety of reasons.
Majority of stories come from European authors, like the Brothers Grimm and characters seem to lack diversity. Conversations around gender inequality are promoted in multiple episodes, though they tend to be short.
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Violence & Scariness
Characters are often injured or killed via crushing, magic transformation, and in other fantastical ways. Violence and sudden deaths are treated matter-of-factly. While not always graphic, violence is frequent and often ends in bodily harm or death. The idea of hell and torture is referenced in multiple stories. Each episode is designated as "grimm", "grimmer", or "grimmest", indicating the level of scariness.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Romance is a frequent motivation across stories. On occasion, arranged or forced marriages are a threat, even with younger characters. When this happens, the host often pauses the story to make a commentary about the inappropriate nature of this.
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Put-downs like "freakish" or "monster" are used throughout the episodes. "Poor" is often used as an insult.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Grimm, Grimmer, Grimmest is a contemporary retelling of Grimm's Fairy Tales that applies live storytelling and classroom commentary to stories that range from silly to scary, with the host opening each episode by reminding listeners that they know how much scary stuff they're ready for. Older kids will likely understand the stories are fictional and meant to teach life lessons, while younger kids may find some of the stories frightening. Characters are frequently injured or killed and adult characters are just as likely to be predatory as they are caregivers. Young characters in the retellings often show bravery in the face of adversity and tend to be the heroes, though the situations they find themselves in are often fantastical. Stories derive from European fairy tales and lack cultural diversity. The show appeals to children of all ages, but parents should preview the scarier episodes before sharing with younger kids.
Is It Any Good?
The enduring appeal of fairy tales is evident in this storytelling podcast. The candy-coated Disney version of fairy tales is traded for a darker, more absurd approach in Grimm, Grimmer, Grimmest that will likely make kids feel like they've been invited to something a bit more grown-up. Many moments in the stories are laugh-out-loud funny, with ridiculous and unexpected situations arising out of nowhere. Violence and sudden deaths are treated matter-of-factly, which will likely have many families making decisions together about what their own boundary is. While entertaining, other fairy tale and folklore podcasts may better represent the diversity of our world and cultures. Nevertheless, adults and kids alike are likely to be drawn in by the creative storytelling and commentary.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.