Once Upon a Time... Man

Once Upon a Time… Man
Once Upon a Time... Man.jpg
Created byAlbert Barillé
Voices ofRoger Carel
Annie Balestra
Patrick Préjean
Claude Bertrand
Yves Barsacq
Vincent Ropion
Narrated byRoger Carel
Composer(s)Yasuo Sugiyama
Country of originFrance, Japan
No. of episodes26
Running time26 minutes
Production company(s)Procidis
Original networkFR3
Picture formatSECAM (576i)
Original release1978
Followed byProduction website

Once Upon a Time... Man (French: Il était une fois... l'homme) is a French animated TV series from 1978 directed by Albert Barillé. It is the first in the Once Upon a Time... franchise. The series explains world history in a format designed for children. The action focuses around one group. The same familiar characters appear in all episodes as they deal with the problems of their time.

This animated was purchased by most public broadcasting channels in Europe (and in many other countries) and is well known by a significant percentage of the population. The program is known for explaining events to children from different viewpoints as main characters come from many civilizations. Despite its age, the number of factual errors is very low and most countries re-run the anime every few years.

The series' opening and ending title sequences famously used Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor as the main title theme music. Shortening the piece to only 2 minutes in length, the introduction uses the very beginning, which jumps into the start of the middle section and finally the dramatic ending to coincide with the destruction of Earth at the end of the intro.

Regional releases

A DVD box set of all the episodes of the series has been produced by the French production company Procidis, and distributed locally by various distributors. The DVD series was produced in French, English (not sold in UK or US), Finnish, German, Dutch, Hebrew, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish. In 2011, an English language, Region 1 DVD box set is available in Canada and the United States. This set is produced and distributed by Imavision.