Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft

Being a Chronicle of the Inner Secrets of, and Spells of Magick as Wielded by, the Philosopher of the Internet and Unofficial Sorcerer-in-Residence of the City of New York

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Location: New York, New York, United States

As New York's Unofficial Wizard, my mission is to encourage the Mortals of Manhattan to imagine responsibly!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Blackwolf on Procidis: "The One That Got Away"

Y'know, sometimes you look at someone and think: "There goes the one that got away......" Well, I'd like to introduce you Mortals now to a place where "the one that got away" has always had its own home.

Please be introduced, then, to a little animation house in Paris called Procidis! Founded by its writer-director-producer, Albert Barille, Procidis is a diverse production company dedicated to quality animation and productions for movies and television. How, you ask, does your Dragonmaster know these things? I sense you asking. Well, in the early days of the History Channel, the weekend schedule was devoted to a morning block called History for Kids. There were six series on the History for Kids block; of these, three of them originated from Procidis' flagship property, the Once Upon a Time Saga. The History Channel had secured the North American broadcast rights to three chapters in that saga --- Once Upon a Time: Man, which followed Mankind's origins, from the early cavemen to modern times; Once Upon a Time: The Americas, the story of the North and South American continents, and the people, places and events that shaped their vast, incredible history; and Once Upon a Time: The Discoverers, which took a lighthearted look at history's greatest inventions and the extraordinary people who made them possible!

And taking us through all these unexpected adventures was our host and occasional performer, lovable, extremely long-bearded and delightfully jolly Maestro! Even to this day, Maestro, the eternal wise person, remains Procidis' signature character. Every animation studio has its signature character --- for Disney, no doubt, Mickey Mouse; for Jean Chalopin and Andy Heyward's DIC, Inspector Gadget; for DC Comics, Superman; for Marvel Comics, Spider-Man; Rankin/Bass fans will undoubtedly cite both Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman --- and here, too, Procidis has its flagship character in Maestro.

Eventually, Procidis put together three more Once Upon a Time adventures: Once Upon a Time: Space; Once Upon a Time: Life; and, just in time for the Millennium, Once Upon a Time: The Explorers, before they launched a second animated series, Wild Instinct. Created by Frederic Serra and Emmanuel Ducassou, Wild Instinct follows the adventures of a most unlikely cast of critters in a zoo where not everything is as it seems. Each week, Leon the lion and his family battle their longtime rival, Sir Felix Tigris, in hilarious situations where the supremacy of the zoo and its populace hangs in the balance --- in very silly ways!

There was also a Once Upon a Time animated movie, too: Revenge of the Humanoids! Based on Once Upon a Time: Space, the adventure begins with an unexpected phenomenon: intergalactic vessels out for target practice! But the heroes' attempt to report the possible threat to Earth backfires, and soon they crashland in a spectacular mountain range, where the unexpected can happen in the blink of an eye.

Well, kids, that's the Procidis story. And frankly, I shall never forgive the History Channel for letting Once Upon a Time get away. Most of you will very likely never see this delightful animated odyssey ever again. But there are a few of you out there who wish they might show the series again. If so, you're welcome to log on to to discover Maestro's world for yourselves!

As always, America, I wanna know what you think. Gimme an e-mail at our usual addresses --- or

Master Blackwolf