11 user 2 critic

Il était une fois... l'homme 

A comprehensive animated survey of the evolution of humanity and the history of predominately Western Civilization.


Albert Barillé








Series cast summary:
Annie Balestra Annie Balestra ...  Pierette 26 episodes, 1978
Albert Barillé Albert Barillé ...  Narrator 26 episodes, 1978
Yves Barsacq ...  Le Gros 26 episodes, 1978
Claude Bertrand Claude Bertrand ...  Le Teigneux 26 episodes, 1978
Roger Carel ...  Maestro / ... 26 episodes, 1978
Patrick Préjean Patrick Préjean ...  Le Nabot 26 episodes, 1978


In this series, the history of humanity and Western Civilization is surveyed. To illustrate this in an entertaining way, a cast of specific characters are recast in each episode as they live their lives in each major historical period of focus. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The depictions of prehistoric animals and plants from the first episode were based on the paintings of acclaimed Czech artist Zdenek Burian, whose pictures were circulated the world over during the middle of the 20th century and influenced how many people thought of primordial life. See more »

Alternate Versions

Aspect Ratio is changed from it's original 1.33:1 to 1.66:1 in remastered versions for TV and Digital Plaforms. See more »


Followed by Il était une fois... les explorateurs (1996) See more »


Tausend Jahre sind ein Tag
Music by Udo Jürgens
Lyrics by Siegfried Rabe
Performed by Udo Jürgens
(main theme: German version)
See more »

User Reviews

Entertaining, educational and the best of it's kind
5 March 2006 | by StibbertSee all my reviews

To be honest I was surprised there were not more comments on this series. It's a true gem and a classic. Even if it's nearly 30 years old it's still one of the most entertaining and best children's series.

They have shown this on Norwegian TV several times. I can remember watching this every Sunday morning as one of my favorite shows. First of all it's an excellent written series with an idea of combining education and entertainment. Often a doomed combination, but the way it's pulled off in this series is incredible. They succeed in making it both entertaining and educational. You follow a group of character through the different stages of mankind. It's the same characters and so you get to know them throughout the series. They also use a narrator and include him as a character of his own in the show. Making him interesting and funny rather than just a boring narrator from a kids perspective.

The animation is also good. They characters look of the character matches up with who they are. It's well animated, still by todays standards.

As for the educational aspect you get to see history. It's as simple as that. What they do it put these characters into history making one of them Moses one episode and Julius Caesar in the next. They recreate human history as it's supposed to have happened in their own universe with the help of a few characters.

I consider this series as a true classic and one of the best children series of all time. Unfortunately it would seem that it is being forgotten as those who saw it are growing up.

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Official Sites:

Procidis [France]



Release Date:

April 1978 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Il était une fois... l'homme See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(26 episodes) | (30 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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