Once Upon a Time...
is a group of educational animated TV series produced in France starting in 1978 and continuing to this day, though with large intervals in between the seasons. Each season of 26 episodes has a specific focus, e.g. Once Upon a time.. the Americas
It uses a rather small cast of characters who slip into different roles throughout each series.
The series was very popular when I was a kid and has mantained popularity by syndication and rebroadcast. I am particularly fond of the Once Upon a Time... Man
, which gives a rudimentary history of mankind (including evolution) and Once Upon a Time... Life
which has the characters slip into the role of anthropomorphized parts of the body, e.g. blood cells, and explain function of organs and the human body, including genetics, though also very rudimentary. It never gets boring really but uses storytelling to convey the educational things, making things much more entertaining and more memorable.
The series was so popular when I was a kid that I would credit it, at least in part, for educating children and even parents that watched with the children and I could see it to have at least some influence on the phenomenon (at least the way I perceive it) that europe has so many less anti-evolution, pro-alternative-medicine and anti-vaccine morons. I would gladly show this series to my kids if I had any though I think it could become outdated at least a little bit. Strangely enough though, I can't find any trace of any of them ever being show in the United States so unfortunately I am not aware of any distribution methods for people who don't speak german.
I did however find the opening of "...Life" in english so it should give a feel of the series. I think it's from the canadian version.
Anybody ever heard of or seen these series?
P.S.: I put this into the category "Anime" despite it not being from Japan. I really think the category should be entitled "Animation" to also encompass other animated series from other countries and possibly also other animation styles (e.g. Machinima or Claymation) regardless of country.