Once Upon A Time... is a series of educational cartoons released by Procidis.There are eight installments for this series:
Once Upon a Time… Man (1978), a series concerning the history of humans, starting in pre-history and progressing to World War II. In the final episode, it branches slighty as part of future predictions concerning pollution and warfare, by presenting an optimistic path.
Once Upon a Time… Space (1982), a science-fiction cartoon
Once Upon a Time… Life (1987), conerning the human body and how it works
Once Upon a Time… The Americas (1991)
Once Upon a Time… The Discoverers (1994)
Once Upon a Time… The Explorers (1996)
Once Upon a Time… Planet Earth (2008)
Once Upon a Time... Music (2007; Released only in Spain)
Bubbly Clouds: A pilot in World War I dived out of the plane, landed on a cloud to catch breath, before using the parachute to reach the ground.
Bungling Inventor: While Maestro does show inventions, there are plenty of episodes where they break down. In some cases, the mechanical devices explode.
By The Hair: A variation, where the pre-humans pulled their desired women by the hair. The women offered no resistance, as if they wanted to be dragged along.
Conscription: There's at least two means of conscription shown. The eleventh episode shows a man dragging two to the volunteer booth for the crusades. Later episodes use thugs to force signatures, and an even later one has them sign while drunk.
Down in the Dumps: The final episode shows attempts to cleanup a junkyard that's become agressive.
Gory Discretion Shot: The guillotine is only shown chopping the head off a cigar, to symbolize an execution.
Et Tu, Brute?: The English version plays the trope straight. However, the French version uses the saying "Toi aussi mon fis" (You too my son) voiced by the attacker instead of Caesar.
Fat Girl: The episode concerning trains had a minor obese character having trouble squeezing in through the train's doorway.
From Beyond The Fourthwall: The clock at the corner of the screen sometimes reminds characters of an error they're making. For example, Maestro using modern numbers in 350 BC, or a viking woman upset that her lover isn't monogamous.
Hammerspace Hair: Maestro tends to hold large objects in his hair, and in one episode, merges two small boards into a longer board.
I Surrender, Suckers: The vikings had difficulty assaulting a fortress. Because of the failure, they approached the castle to parlay, saying that their chief was killed in battle- and as such, they wish to convert to Christianty; the chief is to be buried with his weapons as per their tradition. Once inside, the chief jumped out of the coffin, passed the weapons the allies, and started the rampage.
Judgment of Solomon: Depicted as originally described. Then, a later episode spoofs the judgement with two men fighting over onership of a pig, with a suggestion to cut the pig in half.
Raptor Attack: Archaeopteryx incorrectly has four fingers on its wings, with the feathers attached at its wrist.
Regular Character: The same characters are shown in each episode - with each episode being a different section of history.
Right on Queue: Episode 14, where assassing burst into a house, having the door slammed after the third one. The first three are hung from the window above. The door then opens, asking for the next in line to enter.
Road Sign Reversal: In the episode with automobile racing, one group was ahead of the pack, and decided to mess everyone behind by adjusting a road sign to Bordeaux. However, the previous scene showed the sign being spun by a breeze, and the cheaters actually corrected the sign before going down the wrong road.
Science Marches On: The first episode's segment on prehistory features almost every outdated stock trope present in pre-Dinosaur Renaissance works, such as swamp-dwelling sauropods, tail-dragging herbivorous dinosaurs, upright-stanced and water-fearing theropods (no tail-dragging, though), bendy-neck plesiosaurs, and Archaeopteryx evolving out of "thecodonts" through the hypothetical "Proavis" phase — confusingly, the narration mentions that birds (and crocodiles!) also evolved from dinosaurs.
Slapstick: A lot of humor is based off of injuries.
Stock Dinosaurs: Archaeopteryx, Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, Apatosaurus (called Brontosaurus), Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus, Pteranodon, Elasmosaurus, Tylosaurus, Edmontosaurus (called Anatosaurus and is incorrectly depicted with a crest), Triceratops, and Tyrannosaurus rex all appear in the first episode.
Totem Pole Trench: The second episode had two children use a grass skirt to look taller.
Walk This Way: The episode for Louis XIV had one drill sargeant try to train new recruits. The instructor tripped over a rock, tossing the rifle into the air, and hitting the other instructor. The three recruits did the exact same thing, landing their thrown rifles with the same accuracy.