The series Once Upon a Time… illustrated the various subjects (as listed above) from the point of view of a group of characters that is always composed of similar recurring figures that represent different archetypal roles:
- Maestro (Roger Carel) - The wise old man. He usually serves as the head of the tribe, as a religious priest, as an adviser to the king and as an inventor. Maestro has long white hair and beard that covers his entire body. He is seen to stash things away in this beard, sometimes loitering quite a bit to find the object he wishes to present. He serves as the mentor to the children, telling them about the various subjects.
- Peter / Pierre (Roger Carel) - The courageous and handsome young man. He represents the image of the good person.
- Jumbo / Le Gros (Yves Barsacq) - The strong young man. Jumbo is Peter's best friend. A quite large person, with red hair and great physical powers. At times he tends to be a little clumsy but he is very strong. He often defends Peter, Pierrette (and Psi in the spinoffs) from the bad bullies.
- Psi - The good young girl. Dark haired woman, serves mostly as Peter's girlfriend, or as Peter's wife.
- Pierrette (Annie Balestra) - The good young woman. Blond haired, serves mostly as Pierrot's mother, or as Jumbo's wife. Her child equivalent is Young Pierrette.
- The Pest / Le Teigneux (Claude Bertrand) - The big bully, friend of 'The Dwarf', large and strong bully that enjoys picking on others or attacking them. He is strong, but Jumbo is stronger.
- The Dwarf / Le Nabot (Patrick Préjean) - The little bully, friend of 'The Pest', weak but intriguer and shrewd. He has a malicious giggle. Both he and his friend display downright negative characters (traitors, spies, conspirators, murderers), or at least skeptics or hypocrites. They are the ones to generally start up a conflict between the circle of children.
- The Clock - Displays the year when the events occur. Sometimes it has a character and reacts to what the screen shows. For example complains when narration proceeds many years forwards or glares to the scenery when something interesting is shown.
Some of them had historical roles. For example Pest as Goliath and Pierrot as David. Maestro had the role of Leonardo Da Vinci and generally of benevolent or enlightened rulers (amongst these, he surprisingly represented Kublai Khan).
There were other characters in the show, including but not limited to: