Once Upon a Time (1973) Poster

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10/10
Maria, maria, you and only you.
Pam_K12 April 2003
I still get the chills only from singing that line from the song. This is an old cartoon from 1976, kind of a cinderella tale. Maria, her farther, mr Bottle and their dog Bello Blue live in a small quiet town in wealth. One day a fake fortune teller and her horrible daughter arrives to town trying to earn some money by "reading peoples fortune" by looking at their hands. The old lady (more of a hag) reacts when seeing the shiny new coin Maria's father gives her. She forces herself on him and marries him. The hag and her daughter Mary-Lou are both awful, they treat Maria lika a slave and spends all of mr Bottles money. One day however Mary-Lou is taking a swim the a lake in a forrest nearby and she has brought Maria with her as personal assistance. While Maria is crying after been hit by Mary-Lou a prince approaches and he totally falls for this beautiful girl. He says to Maria that's he's just a poor hunter and sings this song for her and gives her a garnet stone necklace. Mary-Lou comes along and scares him off. The prince announces that he wants to get married and that the girl with the garnet stone necklace is the one. Mary-Lou takes notice of Marias necklace and throws it into a well. They both fall into the well and enters a new world. In this world the girls are put to a few tests cause they both claim that the necklace belongs to each and one of them. Maria passes all the tests as the good human beeing she is. Gets the prince and the story ends happily as these stories should. Wonderful movie, I have it on VHS not the greatest quality but it doesn't matter to me, I love it.
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10/10
Now on Amazon.com!!
little-leota1 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I also saw this movie on the Family Film Festival around 1980 and fell in love with it. I've been searching for a copy for years. It is now available on DVD through Amazon.com. My copy arrived today and I just finished watching it. It's everything I remember!!! I'm so glad to know there are other people besides me who remember it. The music is what has stayed with me more than almost anything, especially the prince singing "Maria, Maria" and the babies' song too! I'd forgotten about the shoemaker; he's so funny! It's a marvelous cartoon. I'm so glad it's now available for all of us who remember it so fondly, and for a whole new generation who, I hope, will love it too!
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Where oh where is this movie?!
bondgirl678122 October 2004
I was doing laundry one day and all of a sudden I had a flashback of watching this movie about a beautiful young woman who has a horrible stepsister and stepmother, the girl meets and falls in love with a handsome prince, the girl and her stepsister fall into a well and enter this magical world where they are tested of their heart. There are crying little babies who are hungry and it is the beautiful young girl that proves to be the most kind and the most maternal. I remember seeing this movie when I was four maybe five years old during the mid eighties and I fell in love with it! I used to watch the movie over and over again...but it is nowhere to be found! There has to be a copy somewhere out there!
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10/10
I finally got ahold of a copy of this movie! I felt like I was 5 again! :)
lysbexic3 February 2003
For anyone who didn't get the chance to see this movie growing up.. you really missed out. For the past 15 years I've had sceens from this movie running threw my head... and I'd been committed to finding a copy for the last year. What's unfortunate about this movie is that if you haven't seen it.. you probably never will. I have came across only two other people who have an English copy. Getting the German version, Der Zauberstein, is not as easy as it sounds. At Amazon.de you can find the German version but it is in PAL format. If you live in the US or another country that doesn't use PAL format (in most of the America's we use NTSC), your going to have to pay to have it duplicated to your format. After buying the movie, the cost of shipping and handling, and the cost of getting a copy converted it starts to add up. But if you really want a copy, stick with it. I'm waiting on my German version to come back from being converted.

Some additional names to look for when searching besides "Once Upon a Time" and "Der Zauberstein" are "Maria d'oro Und Bello Blue" and "Cinderella's Wonderworld". I think the difference in "Cinderella's Wonderworld" and "Once Upon a Time" is the year inwhich they were released and maybe the voices?! I'm not sure because I've not found much info on "Cinderella's Wonderworld". I just know it's the same Rolf Kauka cartoon.

Also, there is no sites out really about this movie. If I ever get a chance I want to make one with all my posters I've bought and pictures and maybe type up the words from the movie and devote it to Kauka. Just to give everyone a little peak back into this wonderful fairy tale. If anyone is interested in seeing my site after I get it up let me know and I'll get you the address.

For anyone who wants to see this movie, I hope you get a chance soon! :) Maria should be right along side Cinderella, Belle, and all the other princesses!

Other Movies I recommend: The Last Unicorn (1982) directed by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass; Return to OZ (1985) directed by Walter Murch *THIS IS NOT A SEQUEL*; The Goonies (1985) directed by Richard Donner
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10/10
Soft spot in my heart for this one!
Merbabe30 January 1999
I first saw this movie on KTLA's Family Film Festival around 1980. I loved it! I managed to see it a few more times up until the mid-80's and continued to enjoy it each time. Basically, it's Cinderella meets Alice in Wonderland. In order to marry her one true love, Maria must journey down a well into a magic country to retrieve a magical amethyst necklace, which is how the prince will recognize her. In the meantime, her wicked stepsister is also after the necklace and causes all sorts of trouble for Maria. The characters they meet in the well are quirky and fun. The fairy tale element is strong but not sappy. I also like the songs and music. But, Maria's dog Blue (who actually is blue!) is the character I truly miss the most. He's just so darn cute! I only hope the video comes out of moratorium someday. Overall, I give this movie five stars, but at least one of those is for pure sentimental value.
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8/10
Now it can be bought!
scottrainey21 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Like many a poster to these boards, I also remember seeing this film sometime in the late '70s-early '80s on a lazy Sunday afternoon on KTLA's Family Film Festival, hosted by the legendary Tom Hatten. The movie can be had at deepdiscountdvd.com for about 12 bucks.

Certain images and elements of the film have always stuck in my head (possible spoilers here, but really more remembrances than anything else): the evil stepsister Mary Lou demanding the garnet stone from Maria by clapping her hands twice and holding out an outstretched hand, the totally surreal scene with all the babies being fed by Maria and Mary Lou, when they break out into song in praise of Maria (something like, "MARIA, MARIA, YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!!), the equally bizarre loaves of bread begging to be taken out of the oven before they burn (still gives me chills), and Maria's drunk dad, always looking for his bottle. There were also some apple trees, as I recall, that needed Maria and Mary Lou to pick their apples, and then there was something or other about dancing milk jugs going to someone called Mrs. Holly or something like that. I'm going to order it for my daughters.
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Desperately searching for a copy!
jnmarkley-115 January 2004
Hi. I am absolutely in love with this movie. It was a huge part of my childhood, and I spent most of my time growing up watching it. I probably still have it all memorized! We'll make it snow! We'll make it snow! I have been desperately seeking a copy for over 5 years. Until recently I haven't been able to find anything on it. Unfortunately I don't understand enough German even to go through the Amazon German site to purchase the copy that they have. I was hoping that someone could make a copy of theirs and let me purchase it. I am planning to have a child soon, and I would love for this movie to be a part of his childhood too.
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10/10
My favorite movie!
herbgirl11 October 2002
This was my favorite movie growing up, and I would love to see it again. Even though I cannot speak German, I am very tempted to buy the VHS tape in German (Der Zauberstein). There is still a line from this movie that my family quotes to each other when we do something exceptionally dumb ("The stone is not right, the girl is not bright.") I hope that one day I can share this movie with my children.
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10/10
I remember this movie and wish it was still on video.
sky_in_us24 July 2000
I always used to watch this cartoon when I was about 5 or 6 yrs old and I still think about that cartoon. I really wish that it was out on video and if it was I'd buy 10 of them... seriously I would. And what I think, the video is 10 stars.
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Memorable movie!
Inga-530 May 1999
I last saw this movie on video when I was no older than 6. That was 13 years ago, but I still remember much of it very clearly. I hope I can see it again soon, it will bring back a lot of memories. I'm sure it was not the most well-made movie-at 6 I was pretty easy to please-but at least it was fun.
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Okay, here's the thing
garnettget13 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
LOL; I am so happy this is available for purchase finally! It seems I had been searching for it not so long ago and couldn't find it! I have such good memories of this movie (I still actually have a very old VHS copy) except it really traumatized me as a kid when Mary-Lou was mean to Bello the dog and the snow fell on him, even though he became a flower and eventually returned to Maria. The thing is, though, I was watching my VHS copy not too long ago for old times sake and I started thinking, seriously? This movie was for young kids and they have a father who's an alcoholic named Mr. Bottle??? Geez! Some of the stuff on here people would throw a fit if they put in a kids movie nowadays, it's kinda funny to think #1 nobody even thought twice about it back then and #2, it went completely over my head as a kid; all I cared about was the necklace was pretty, the dog was cute and the songs were catchy.
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10/10
Childhood favorite
magdalenapiechal20 March 2008
This movie was such a bit part of my childhood. I saw it for the first time when I was 4 or 5, when I didn't quite understand English. Fortunatley there were Swedish subtitles! Watched it on a recorded VHS at least once a day for several years and was devastated when our VHS-player broke down. LUCKILY I recently found it to have been released on DVD so I bought two copies via Amazon. One for me and one for my sis, cause I know she loves this movie as much as I do.

It's kind of a Cinderella tale. A girl, Maria, lives with her widowed father. He re-marries and get's a nasty bonus daughter. Maria receives a present from the prince and he wants to marry her. the nasty step daughter does everything in her power to stop that from happening and to marry the prince herself.
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3/10
Crude animation
Leofwine_draca9 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
ONCE UPON A TIME is a West German fairytale compilation heavily indebted to the Walt Disney classics of old. It suffers from a real cheapness in terms of look and tone, with crude animation throughout and animated characters who are more than a little unpleasant. The version I saw, available for showing on Amazon Prime, suffered from having a typically blunt American dub job which took away any nuance that might have once existed. The plot is original but a bizarre mix of the most famous fairy tales of old, with elements of the Cinderella story popping up regularly.
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4/10
Only for the very biggest fairy tale lovers
Horst_In_Translation29 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Maria d'Oro und Bello Blue" or "Maria d'oro" or "Once Upon a Time" or "Der Zauberstein" is a West German movie from 1973, so this one is already very old, will have its 45th anniversary next year. The title already suggests that it is an Italian co-production as well, but the main language is of course German. The voice acting cast does not really include any names that sound familiar to me I must admit, even for a huge German film buff like myself with the exception of Tilly Lauenstein who I have come across in other projects I think. Animated films from Germany are still a rarity these days and certainly things weren't looking much different back half a century ago. This is probably also true globally as the Golden Age of Animation ended a while ago and the material just wasn't there anymore, neither in terms of quantity nor quality. This film here does not break the streak. It is the only effort as writer and director by Rolf Kauka and for a rookie effort, it is really not that bad, but honestly the good moments were mostly thanks to the quality fairy tales this film is based. That is also why it is not really a convincingly creative achievement in my opinion. Also I am not big on the animation style, which only looked in its very best moments a bit like the Asterix films. The perception of this component is entirely subjective though. The voice acting was still one of the better aspects I guess, but also not on a superb level. I cannot say I am sad Kauka's filmmaking career turned out this short. Instead I am glad this movie turned out pretty short. Not a failure, but an underwhelming watch. I give it a thumbs-down.
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10/10
A bit of childhood magic
kgscott-168-38372024 November 2014
You just don't forget a movie like this. The straightforward sweetness of the fairytale grabs you and lures you in, and and the psychedelic fantasy that happens halfway through is, for lack of a better word, magical. It does have a "European" quality (this is a GOOD thing) that give it a bit more authenticity and some added strangeness, but it really is one of those films you wish you could see "for the first time all over again". The animation style isn't really comparable to anything from North America - when it focuses on sweet Maria, it has a Walt Disney quality, but when some of the more droll and comedic characters are on screen it makes you think more of Asterix and Obelix. Sweet, charming, mystical, magical and unforgettable.
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