It is common cliché in animation to show the journey between point A to point B by moving a line, sometimes including a plane/ship, across the map. I have seen it in Indiana Jones and plenty of other movies, TV shows and whatnot.

Do we know who did this first? Was it in any comic book or did the animators beat them to it?

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Somewhat similar thing in Harry Potter: enter image description here

  • Older than film anyway. Some books include maps like this between chapters.
    – cde
    Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 16:49

1 Answer 1


The earliest reference I can find the use of this is "Car and Camera Around the World (1929)", see here:

...[the film], in keeping with other films in the genre, begins with a typically crude continental map featuring a dotted line of the intended Cape to Cairo route...

See reference here: Colonial Cinema in Africa: Origins, Images, Audiences

That quote however, obviously, mentions that this was "in keeping with other films in the genre", implying it was a fairly common practice at the the time. That, combined with the fact that Indiana Jones specifically used it as an homage to the 1930s serials that inspired it, suggests that it probably came into use in the late 1920s.


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