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
Learn more

More Like This 

Il était une fois... la vie (TV Series 1987)
Animation | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The workings of the human body explained by animated characters.

Stars: Roger Carel, Marie-Laure Beneston, Alain Dorval
Animation | Family | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A team of peacekeepers travels the galaxy solving disputes and exploring new worlds. Set against a story of a dispute between a dictatorial planet vying for more power and the rest of the union.

Stars: Roger Carel, Annie Balestra, Alain Dorval
Animation | Family | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Once upon a time - explorers and inventors change the world is a French animated series.

Stars: Albert Augier, Marie-Laure Beneston, Roger Carel
Animation | Family | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Once upon a time - the discovery of our world.

Stars: Marie-Laure Beneston, Daniel Beretta, Roger Carel
Animation | Family | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Once upon a time - America is a French cartoon.

Stars: Marie-Laure Beneston, Jacques Brunet, Roger Carel
Maya the Bee (1975–1980)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of a young bee named Maya and her adventures.

Stars: Doris Jensen, Kurt Zips, Arthur Holden
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A furry version of Jules Verne's classic adventure story of a British gentleman's challenge to circumnavigate the world in 80 days.

Stars: Banjô Ginga, Ichirô Nagai, Ken'ichi Ogata
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This is an animated adaptation of the classic story of Nils Holgerson, a naughty boy who is transformed to a very little dwarf and goes through many adventures, flying with a band of wild geese.

Stars: Helga Anders, Erich Ludwig, Alexandra Mink
Vicky the Viking (TV Series 1974)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Long ago, in a little Viking Village called Flake, young Wickie lives a happy life. His father, Halvar, is the chief of the Vikings, and would have liked a son a little more courageous. So,... See full summary »

Stars: Wolf Ackva, Harald Baerow, Ivar Combrinck
Lucky Luke (1983–1984)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An animated series based on the European comic book about an American cowboy described as "The man who shoots faster than his shadow." Lucky Luke, with his horse Double Six, travels the Old... See full summary »

Stars: Jacques Thébault, Robert Ridgely, Fred Travalena
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 17th century France, young Dogtanian travels to Paris to fulfill his ambition to become one of the King's Musketeers. He befriends Athos, Porthos and Aramis and falls in love with Juliette. A doggy version of the tale.

Stars: Eduardo Jover, Gloria Cámara, Manuel Peiró
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This animation series follows the childhood "adventures" of a girl named Heidi, who lives with her grandfather somewhere on the Alps.

Stars: Randi Kiger, Vic Perrin, Kazuko Sugiyama


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 first episode, dealing with prehistory, presents many thoroughly outdated theories originating from the early 20th century. While widely accepted when the show was made, they have been overturned by scientific advancements beginning from the 1980s. Among other inaccuracies, it depicts herbivorous dinosaurs as swamp dwellers, proposes the unsubstantiated idea that carnivorous dinosaurs were afraid of water, and claims that crocodiles descended from dinosaurs. Brachiosaurus is said to have been the largest land animal at 50 tons, but modern-day estimates are significantly lower and many larger dinosaurs have since been discovered. The Anatosaurus is nowadays called Edmontosaurus, and while more recent findings suggest it did have a head crest, it probably wasn't as big as the cartoon version. The Elasmosaurus is incorrectly shown with a bendy neck and Tylosaurus has a ridge on its back and no tail fluke. Furthermore, the extinction of non-bird dinosaurs isn't given an explanation, only depicted as a large earthquake and droughts, because the show was produced years before evidence of an asteroid impact came to light. One of the more forward-thinking theories presented is the now-accepted fact that birds came from dinosaurs, though the animation falsely shows Archaeopteryx (long regarded as the "first bird") descending from generic thecodonts instead of dinosaurs (the term "thecodont" is not in use anymore, these days they would be called archosaurs). 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 »


Referenced in Matzav Ha'Uma: Episode #2.6 (2010) 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

Good way to learn about history
30 January 2011 | by the_oakSee all my reviews

I used to watch this a lot as a kid. Today I use it when i teach.

I liked the way the female commentator mentioned dates and names and events and there was a small screen at the top with arms and stuff where the dates appeared. That was nice. And some times the screen creature disagreed with the commentator.

Anyways. I also liked that it was chronological. It started with the stone age, where we got to see people hunting mammoth, fishing and so on. It was in many ways my favorite episode. I am very into fishing, and found it interesting that they made line and hooks from animal parts and also that they used crickets for bait.

Another good episode I remember was the one about the Mongol hordes. I liked the way they depicted Djenghis Kahn. They drew him with skulls inside his eyes and fire inside his eyes, laughing and smiling.

The old, bearded inventor was also very nice.

I don't like the way the wannabe leader and his red haired crony always got beaten up by the kind muscle guy. It was too easy and violent and quite frankly not nice.

Other than that the series was very good.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:

Procidis [France]



Release Date:

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 »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Recently Viewed