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File:IndyTravelMontage.jpg

A form of Time Compression Montage depicting a long journey, usually consisting of various shots of places along the route, the main character(s) on the journey, and frequent shots of a map, often with a line appearing on it to mark the route (or more lazily, just a camera pan across the map). Alternately it can show the travelling character looking about in wonder as Stock Footage of various famous sites fades in and out around him, or as flags of various nations flow by. There may also be a Landing Gear Shot or two. Watch for Fridge Logic where, after traveling together for hours to days, the characters resume talking about their plans as if they didn't speak a word during the trip.

If the show is a comedy, or even a serious drama with humorous moments, and especially if the travel is a road trip, there may be hijinks, the taking of gag photos, glimpses of trouble, like running from an offended local or sleeping in a jail cell, and other character-driven scenes. Bonus points if it's the red-line-on-map scene. Even more points if the red line zig-zags and spiral chaotically.

Examples of Travel Montage include:


Anime

  • Excel Saga episode 19, where Menchi travel with an heiress who has to circle the globe in eighty hours(sic) to inherit her family's company.
  • In the first Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Compilation Movie the content of episodes 4, 5, and 6 were compressed into a Travel Montage.

Film

  • Appears in all four Indiana Jones films, mainly as a homage to its use in the 1930s serials which inspired the movies.
  • The beginning of Robin Hood: Men in Tights, as Robin swims his way from Jerusalem to England.
  • Parodied in The Emperor's New Groove, in a complicated but hilarious way that's better seen than explained (starts at 2:00).
  • Subverted cleverly in 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: in a Flash Back, young Willy runs away from home to become a chocolatier, and the next moment we see him striding forward as flags of many nations flutter past him. It all comes to an end, though, when a guard tells him the Hall of Flags is closing for the night.
  • Parodied in the Arby 'n' the Chief movie, when Chief is escaping from LA it zooms out to the lines, except that since Chief has no idea where he is going, the lines are a tangled mess.
  • Tooki Tooki Bird in the George of the Jungle movie.
  • In the spoof film Top Secret, they show this as a set of dots working along a streetmap: then have them eaten by Pac-Man.
  • The live How the Grinch Stole Christmas movie shows the red line on a map version of this; showing the Grinch traveling through the "dump-it to Krumpit" garbage chute out of Whoville to the top of Mount Krumpit.
  • The Warriors opens with the leaders of titular gang traveling to The Bronx. The rest of the movie is them leaving it.
  • Used in Tooth to show the kids travelling across the country.
  • Played painfully straight in The Dagger Of Kamui to show the protagonist's trek across various parts of the globe.
  • Bolt, with the map being a Waffle House World placemat.
  • The movie Im Juli depicts a journey through half of Europe, where Romania is portrayed entirely through stills - not by choice, but because the Romanian government denied their shooting permit.
  • Happens in the Van Helsing movie.
  • Used briefly in the The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie.
  • Road To Zanzibar, of course, uses the comedy version where the line starts meandering chaotically.
  • The James Bond movie From Russia with Love pans over a map to show a ride with the Oriental Express through Yugoslavia. A cheap method but understandable. With a budget of only 2 million USD Bond was still low budget at that time back in 1963.
  • The Guns of Navarone. In true Indiana Jones style! The travel around the Aegean as they start their mission is represented by reduced-opacity shots of planes in flight and a map background.
  • Used in The Rules Of Attraction when Victor travels around in Europe.
  • The "Life is a Highway" sequence from Cars.
    • Also, the closing credits of the sequel, showing Lightning McQueen and Mater travelling across the world and visiting car versions of various world landmarks other than the ones in Japan, France, Italy, and England (ie The Sagrada Familia cathedral in Spain shaped like sparkplugs, windmills in the Netherlands shaped like cooling fans, the Atomium in Belgium shaped like car pistons, the Parthenon in Greece shaped like a car's radiator, St. Basil's cathedral in Russia shaped like a car's diffrential casing, the Pyramids of Egypt shaped like the Mitsubishi logo, a rock structure in Africa shaped like a mix between a pickup truck and Pride Rock, the Dubai hotel in the United Arab Emirates shaped like a car's tailfin, the Taj Mahal in India shaped like a car engine, Angkor Wat in Thailand shaped like more sparkplugs, the Petronas towers in Malaysia shaped like a truck's smokestacks, the Great Wall of China shaped like a highway, the Sydney Opera House in Australia shaped like more car tailfins, the Jesus Christ statue in Brazil shaped like a Mercedes Gullwing, etc) before returning to Radiator Springs.
  • Happens twice in Dinosaur. The first travel montage involves Aladar's egg being taken away from his mother's nest by an Oviraptor, then rolling off a ledge into a river where it is then carried downstream, and finally being flown to Lemur Island via Pterodactyl; while the second involves Aladar, the lemurs, Eema, Baylene, Url, and the rest of the Herd being forced to march across a desert while searching for the Nesting Grounds, only to stop at a lake that is completely devoid of water let alone Baylene's footprint.
  • Happens toward the end of The Pebble and the Penguin, just right before both Hubie and Rocko are attacked by orcas.
  • Atlantis the Lost Empire: The scene where the explorers travel on a subterranean highway through several Underwater Ruins via a large convoy of trucks.
  • The opening credits for both Rescuers films: the first with a Message in a Bottle, and the second with a telegraph line.
  • Near the beginning of Dumbo, when we see the Delivery Stork carrying the titular elephant for the very first time, when said stork starts to figure out where Dumbo's eventual mother will be, for a few seconds, we see a brief overhead view of the Southeastern United States, which apparantly traced the path of the circus train Mrs. Jumbo is riding in as said train is leaving the winter headquarters in Florida.
  • Homeward Bound subverts this. When the pets initially set off to find their owners, the screen dissolves into a physical map of California as if this trope was being invoked. Then suddenly a teacher's pointer whaps onto the map - we soon see it's actually a pull-down classroom map of California with the teacher talking about the Sierra Nevadas, while the kids are staring out the window wondering about them.
  • Played straight in The Rebound as a way of showing one of the main characters gaining maturity and life experience.
  • Parodied in The Muppets with the car's "Travel by Map" button. Its even a plot point- unlike conventional travel, no time elapses when you travel this way.
  • Liloand Stitch has Stitch's journey to Earth and Hawaii, as shown on the Grand Councilwoman's computer monitor.


Live Action TV

Music

  • In "Cup of Brown Joy", Professor Elemental's head on a teacup travels to places famous for tea across the globe.


Theatre

  • Gypsy has the Seattle to L.A. sequence during which Rose spots and abducts the future Newsboys.

Video Games

  • Parodied in the Monkey Island games. In LeChuck's Revenge, when sailing between islands, the map is shown, but the red line that indicates the route zigzags chaotically before reaching the destination, presumably on account of the lack of navigational skill on the part of Captain Dread. Escape From Monkey Island also features a Travel Montage represented by Guybrush's ship sailing a chaotic line through the Caribbean, and includes voice-overs as Guybrush and his crew react to the string of near-disasters they sail through... mainly by screaming and panicking.
  • Fallout uses Indiana Jones inspired map travel, with random encounters as cutaways.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics a 2 uses this when they use the aerodome from Moorabella to Fluorgis and back.
  • Appears any time you switch field maps in Final Fantasy X.
  • Appears when you go to another country in Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song, Indy style.
  • The intro to an obscure shareware Platform Game Drake Snake and the Secret Crypt shows the main hero's travel to Africe with a red line on the map, which somehow goes below the map at times and returns on top through holes.

Webcomics

  • Webcomic example: Eight Bit Theater uses a travel montage (comic #811) to travel -- and while the other characters take the sudden transitions in stride, Black Mage is going "Wait, what?" "What's going on here?" "Oh, we are not in another village!" (At the end of the montage, they're told that they need to return to the place they started from.)
  • Regularly spoofed in Irregular Webcomic.

Western Animation

  • Parodied in Tiny Toon Adventures. The red Indiana Jones travel montage line moves across the map. Cut to Buster Bunny sitting on top of the red line, muttering, "Someday I'm gonna have to buy an actual plane."
  • Happens in The Simpsons when Santa's Little Helper runs away.
    • Also when Homer commands a nuclear submarine and ends leading it to Russian Dirty Communist waters by error.
      • After crashing the submarine into the compass on the map!
  • Parodied by Family Guy - Brian and Stewie are on a hot air balloon (long story), the travel montage shown as a map of the world, and Stewie is surprised that countries really do look like that from high altitude.
  • Done briefly in South Park when the class are heading to Costa Rica by bus.
  • A Goofy Movie on the open road with Goofy's map as a guide.
  • The Futurama episode "Bendin' In The Wind" has a brief line-on-map shot, which is mostly notable for revealing how state names have changed in the future (Pennsyvania is split into Sylvania and the Penn Republic, Virginia is now Eastern West Virginia, and so on).
  • Appears in the House of Mouse version of Around the World In 80 Days.
  • This shows up in nearly every single episode of Code Lyoko, namely whenever anyone is traveling to the factory. It shows at least five scenes of travel in the sewers, with the skateboards, ladders, the bridge, the ropes, the elevator ,and the overly long anyway door opening. This could also be considered Leave the Camera Running, or perhaps a non-funny Overly Long Gag, or maybe even Padding.

Real Life

  • A very similar principle is often used to show the grown of a rail, road or other networks on homepages, television programs, exhibitions etc. As time go on more and more parts will be added on the map and sometimes disappear again.
  • An even more straight Real Life example can often be seen on monitors in actual passenger airplanes, we the current position of the flying plane is indicated by a plane symbol superimposed over a map.
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