Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids was a scary animated TV show for kids that was based on a series of books for children. Each episode featured scary stories about bratty children getting their comeuppance for their bad behavior. It was done in a mixture of claymation and animation. It aired in the UK from 2000 until 2007.
There was one TV show that would scare the pants off me as a kid. It actually gave me nightmares. It was called “Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids”.
The show started with a boy sitting alone in a creepy movie theatre eating some popcorn which, upon closer inspection, would be filled with worms, spiders or cockroaches. At some point a hand came out from under one of the chairs. There was also a scary old man who had a spider as a sidekick and he was playing a movie on the screen.
The stories were always cautionary tales about bad children. Grizzly Tales is littered with stories about kids who don’t listen to warnings from their parents and if they don’t listen them then something bad going to happen to them.
Even though the kids were bratty and annoying, the ways in which they would be punished were very extreme. They’d get killed in the most insane ways, such as the boy who refused to eat his dinner being ground into spaghetti by a shadowy “spaghetti monster”, or the “Bunny Boy” who refused to eat his salad (opting to feed it to a bunny in the fields instead) and got run over by a combine harvester in the field and got sewed together with said bunny.
Did I mention said harvester scene features blood splatter and limbs flying at the screen? And these are just two out of a ton of examples. From being forever caught as a golden statue to being burned alive to eaten by trolls or to being pressed into cider, there was no gruesome death that the children in these episodes didn’t suffer – and if they survived, they usually weren’t much better off, with one particularly lazy girl turned into a giant worm because she refused to leave her sleeping bag during a camping trip.
Death by Chocolate
Serena Slurp is a greedy girl, who is fat and has mean little eyes. She is mean to her sister. Serena is also a chocaholic. She loves eating chocolate. One day, a fly lays eggs in a chocolate bunny and Serena accidentally eats it. The eggs hatch and the maggots feast on the chocolate in her belly. She turns into a giant human fly and scares her sister who swats her and squishes her to death.
Mr Peeler’s Butterflies
Alexander is a boy who refuses to go to bed on time. His parents try everything to get him into bed and he tries everything to stay up. They recite a poem to warn him that if he doesn’t go to sleep, Mr Peeler will pay him a visit.
Sleep, Sleep, close your eyes,
don’t fish for Mr Peeler,
for if you lay awake at night
you’ll summon the sleep stealer.
Alexander doesn’t take their warning seriously and a fat man in a suit comes to steal his sleep. Mr. Peeler’s Butterflies, is THE scariest story from Grizzly Tales for Gruesome kids. This is the final one I had nightmares about when I was kid and I still think about the poem when I go to sleep.
The Spaghetti Man
Timothy King refuses to eat anything that his parents put in front him. His mother tries her best to get him to eat but he decides to misbehave instead. This behavior summons the one and only Spaghetti Man. This is story along with number one is an example of one of the core focuses of Grizzly Tales which is ultimately getting children to listen to their parents.
This is another one that gave me nightmares as a kid. Bill is a boy who doesn’t like to eat his greens. No matter what his mother tries to do to get him to eat vegetables, it never works. Instead, he feeds his lettuce to a rabbit named Tubbs, who destroys Bill’s mother’s vegetable garden. One day, when he decides to give his lettuce to Tubbs, he has a nasty run-in with a combine harvester.
The story is about a little boy, who is scared and his grandmother basically just tells him a story to help him to go to sleep.
An Elephant Never Forgets
The story revolves around a rich family, the parents, who were away on a holiday to Africa bring back the leg of a baby elephant. The two children Percy and Belinda quickly find that the leg is magic and can grant any wish. How ever the children become quickly bored with the making wishes and it goes a step too far.
Joe Alexander is a boy who has no respect for books. He likes reading, but when he finishes a book he rips the pages out and throws 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 really angry when they find out.
The Bugaboo Bear
Emily Stiff is a girl who loves toys, but she gets bored of them very quickly. One day, she gets a Bugaboo Bear. At first she is happy with the bear, but she quickly slips back into her old self, mistreating the bear quite horribly.
Araminta Jane is a very superstitious young girl and she uses her superstitions to manipulate her parents. This probably has the most gruesome death in the whole series.
The Butcher Boy
Gilbert is a boy who is obsessed with money and always wants to be the center of attention. After conning his parents out of some cash, he spends it on trying to make others jealous of him and trying to show up his class mates. One day, one of his classmates, who happens to be the son of a Butcher, brings a new bike to school. Gilbert tries to find a better bike but he can’t so he opts to steal it from the kid.
Terry is a boy who is 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, anything 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.
Honorable Mentions: The Childhood Snatcher, The Barber of Civil, The Pie Man, The Athlete’s Foot.
I remember one episode in which a baby is born with 3-5 hairs that keep him alive, and some dark shadow wants to take all his hairs away, so every night while the baby is sleeping the shadow takes one. Fortunately, the baby wakes up on the last night and kind of talks the shadow out of killing him
Another episode had a boy who learned to read and write and wanted to have a better life, left his town and found this rich guy he wanted to work for, but he needed someone who couldn’t read or write, so he pretended to be someone else and told him he couldn’t read nor write and he hired him. Then he discovered that this guy was a wizard, and he didn’t wanted someone reading his magic book, but of course he did, and when the wizard discovered the truth sent him in a labyrinth, where a princes was trapped too, but he was smart so he made a map of the place managed to scape with her.
Another one I remember very good was about this Chinese kid who somehow got a magic brush, so all he painted became real, but only if the drawing was finished. With this his family got a better life and he worked selling his always incomplete drawings, but one day his secret was discovered and the emperor wanted him to paint gold, but when he did the gold became a monster and ate the emperor, then he painted a beautiful landscape and walked into the painting.