MaartenTroper on Sep 16th 2018 at 10:36:13 AM
Last Edited By:
MaartenTroper on Oct 23rd 2018 at 6:44:57 AM
Page Type: trope
You open the door, go through it, and the lights are turned on. And what you are seeing now, leaves you in awe for a moment, because you have never seen something like this before. During this moment, you look around to take in all of the details.
If you just experienced this, you may have had a Scene of Wonder. Here, one or more characters see some kind of environment for the first time, and have a short scene where they look around and are struck by what they see. Their reaction could be a positive one, like amazement, but does not have to be bound by this as it could also be something negative, like horror. Expect to be exposed to environment in its entirety, and by shots or descriptions of details or smaller events happening in it. Bonus points if the music swells when the reaction happens or when we see the environment.
Compare to The World Is Just Awesome and "Hell, Yes!" Moment. Also compare to Stunned Silence, where the reaction is silence to something a person does, while in here, it has to be an environment of some sort. Of course, people (or creatures of some kind) could be part of the scenery. It could possibly include Scenery Porn. Not to be confused with One-Scene Wonder. When the setting shown is establishing a Period Piece, this trope could very well be overlapping with "Mister Sandman" Sequence.
No Zero Context Examples please! When adding examples, please say who is reacting and at what. Also add why the environment evokes the reaction and how the characters are reacting.
- Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa: The zoosters have this kind of moment when they look overs the African plains and see others of their own kind for the first time.
- In Mulan, immediately following the number "A Girl Worth Fighting For," all the soldiers fall silent as they arrive at the decimated village. They even stop before singing the last note of the song to stare in shock and horror. This is taken even further when they come across the fallen troops that came before them.
- The number "What's This?" from The Nightmare Before Christmas, in which Jack wanders into Christmastown and runs around singing about the wondrous sights he's never witnessed before.
- In The Secret of NIMH, there's the scene where Mrs. Brisby first enters the rosebush. At first everything looks dark and foreboding, but then she finds a clearing illuminated by glowing flowers. She looks around in wonder at the beauty all around her... but the mood is suddenly shattered when she encounters a rat guard with a sharp trident who chases her away.
- The Spongebob Squarepants Movie: In the middle of their journey to Shell City, Spongebob and Patrick reacts in shock upon seeing the Alluring Anglerfish monster that chased them ran towards a giant chasm (which Bob and Pat narrowly avoid) and then gets eaten by a gigantic Sea Monster that leaps out of the chasm. Doubly so since they have to cross said chasm to get to their destination.
- There are two such instances for the odd li'l bot WALL•E: 1) while clinging to the outside of the shuttle rocket, WALL•E escapes the lifeless clutter of his Crapsack World, and gazes in wonder at the infinitude of outer space. There's even a moment of Midflight Water Touching as he passes the ice rings of Saturn; and 2) upon leaving the Axiom's docking bay, WALL•E sees the multitude of living people whizzing around the glistening luxury liner, and can only gaze in awe at this spectacle.
- On the train ride into Zootopia, Judy Hopps gazes in wonder at the myriad different environments that comprise the city's twelve districts. First there's Sahara Square, the towering oasis amid shifting sands; then comes Tundra Town, the wintry wonderland; next comes the Rainforest District, absolutely alive in vegetation and greenery. Last comes the metropolis proper, whereupon Judy debarks to do a 360-degree eyeful of the magnificent architecture that's the polar opposite of her sleepy, bucolic Bunnyburrows.
- Back to the Future is the Trope Namer for the related trope "Mister Sandman" Sequence; in the aforementioned sequence, Marty walks around staring in wonder when he's gone back to 1955. He has similar reactions whenever else he goes forward or backwards in time (he also stares in dismay at the changed Hill Valley in the version where Biff owns a casino).
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: When the Guardians visit Ego's planet there is an extended sequence as they travel on a floating platform throughout the lush, beautiful alien planet. All set to George Harrison's My Sweet Lord in true Guardians fashion.
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: When Georgie Henley, who plays the youngest of the Pevensies, first enters the mystical land Narnia. As with the Willy Wonka example, this was Enforced Method Acting. She was actually blindfolded and carried onto the set.
- In Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, when the children enter the room with the chocolate waterfall, they all stare in wonder. This is partially because of Enforced Method Acting, as none of the actors had seen the set before it was filmed.
- The Wizard of Oz
- After the farmhouse lands in Oz, Dorothy goes to the front door to open it. Up to this point, the movie had been in drab sepia. When she opens the door, the movie turns to glorious Technicolor. Dorothy spends more than a minute walking around a village filled with beautiful flowers, just staring at the scenery.
- The Emerald City definitely dazzles Dorothy and company from the outside, and once inside the city's gates, they gape at a wondrous place that's much glitzier and busier than the Munchkin village where Dorothy began her journey.
- One of the first episodes in The Aeneid is when the Trojans come across masterful sculptures of the destruction of their city. Many a verse is dedicated to how lifelike the Greek soldiers look and how truly dead the Trojan families seem before the reality of the beautiful, terrible illusion brings Aeneas to tears.
- Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has this multiple times in the book and movie, most notably when everyone first sees the main Chocolate Room, which is made entirely out of candy and a sight to behold.
- The Divine Comedy: The garden at the peak of Purgatory is described at length as the three poets watch the smooth breeze bend the tree-branches up and down so slightly that the birds nested on them don't even awake. The narrative only kicks in to tell the audience that this lovely garden is the true Parnassus, the place of happiness that all poets dream of.
- Diagon Alley is this for Harry Potter in the first book, having seen little of the wizarding world yet. In the movie this is shown by multiple shots of the shops and emphasized with the loud music.
- In the Discworld book Interesting Times the throne room of the Agatean Emperor is supposed to have that effect, to make uncivilised and uncomplicated tribesmen step back in awe at its grand majesty and submit to the throne. However when Cohen and his Silver Horde turn up they immediately start calling it gaudy, flimsy, and are generally just unimpressed and miss the point of it. Perhaps they were just too uncivilised to recognise how uncivilised they were...
- The Lord of the Rings: Even in the hideous depths of Mordor, Samwise Gamgee can still look up and see a star bright in the sky to marvel at the beauty of the world he and his master hope to save.
- Paradise Lost: Even the Devil can't help but marvel at the sight of Eden, which is described at length with classical similes and pastoral imagery. The beauty of leaves the Father of Lies speechless, only for his awe to turn to anger as he makes excuses about how necessity forces him to turn this Paradise to a terrestrial Hell.
- Although she was initially reluctant about it, Marle from Pindakaas en Sushi admits to be amazed by seeing an anime convention for the first time, describing it as something to experience. She also becomes happy about the few things she does recognize, though she pulls herself back at that moment, telling herself not to get too much into it.
- A negative reaction gets evoked in iCarly, during the episode iSell Penny Tees, where Sam makes fourth-graders do labor work. Naturally, Carly and Freddie are not pleased at the sight of the visibly tired and sweaty children, their expressions being somewhere between shock and confusion. However, due to the nature of the show, this is Played for Laughs.
- Fallout series:
- Most notable in Fallout 3 where the main character has never even seen the sky until he/she is forced to leave in search of their father.
- For the main character in Fallout 4, when having witnessed the nuclear blast for a few minutes before he/she is cryogenically frozen in the local vault, the result 200 years later is all the more horrifying.
- The trailer for Fallout 76 gives the player this feeling upon first leaving the vault. It shows empty forests and abandoned, worn down locations, with ominous mist and a used protective suit laying on the ground, of which the supposed player character inspects the helmet of.
- Invoked by the developers of Journey, who have designed its locations specifically to elicit this kind of reaction from players. With the ultimate goal of fostering friendships between online strangers, they reasoned that people who experience awe and wonder of an environment together tend to bond with each other much more naturally.
- In Mass Effect, there is the sequence when the Normandy first arrives at the Citadel, and the human crewmen all stand around gawking at the sheer size of the place.
- In Ni no Kuni Oliver has this reaction after first teleporting to the other world. Although he has already met the magical creature Drippy, who is a doll which came to life, the shining gate appearing out of thin air and the beautiful green landscape that follows sure makes him stand still for a moment.
- Discussed a little in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Master Piandao is educating Sokka on the use of a sword. One of his lessons involves blindfolding Sokka and leading him to a picturesque environment, with waterfalls, a gorgeous view, and polished stone. Sokka is given a few seconds to marvel at the scene, before Piandao yanks him away, gives him paper, brushes, and ink, and tells him to paint the landscape he just saw, telling Sokka that a swordsman may have only a moment to observe the scene before they must make use of it in combat.
- In Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas the Santa Workshop evokes a gleeful reaction from Huey, Dewey and Louie. After a camera pan from their faces towards the entire room, the audience gets to see some shots of the creative ways the toys are manufactured.
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