Movies are made for many reasons. To promote a political message or view, to make us feel happy or sad, to frighten us and to make us think. The list goes on and on. But another thing that films can do is inspire. With Disney being such a big part of so many of our lives from such a young age, we thought it would be fun to check out some of the settings from our favourite animations to help us decide just where to travel to next!
The Lion King
Set deep in the African savannah, the story of The Lion King is a tale about a lion cub, Simba, who wants to grow up and become king of the pride. Although there is no definite mention of where exactly the film is set in Africa, there are many factors suggest that East Africa is in fact the movies location. The stampede scene is believed to be based on the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, and there is mention to the Swahili language through the song title Hakuna Matata and also Simba’s name which translates to lion.
Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy-tale of The Snow Queen, Frozen tells a story of a princess who embarks on an adventure to find her sister, and get her to reverse the eternal winter she has caused with her icy powers.
Although never specifically mentioned the film is very much set in Norway in a fictional land named Arendelle, quite likely based on the Norwegian port of Arendal. Through the film we see famous landmarks such as the colourful buildings of Bergen, the spectacular landscape of the fjords and the Akershus Fortress in Oslo.
Set in Australia, Finding Nemo tells the story of an overprotective clown-fish father, and his new-found friend Dory, as they search for his abducted son Nemo. The movie begins in the famous Great Barrier Reef and remains here for the most part of the film, however there is also mention of the East Australian Current before all the main characters end up in iconic Sydney harbour.
All places in Finding Nemo can be travelled to… although we wouldn’t recommend taking a dip in that current! Head over to Australia and look for more ‘Nemos’ out in the reef, or just sit and watch the world go by in Sydney.
Beauty & The Beast
The story of a young girl who sets off to find her missing father, and is then imprisoned by a beast finds herself in an enchanted world. Although not specified at all during the film, many of the character names as well as the locations suggest that this Disney classic is set in France.
The little town we see featured in Beauty & The Beast looks extremely similar to the small provincial French town of Colmar in the Alsace region. The colourful houses, cobblestone streets and cute shops are all very similar to what we see on the screen.
Set in the fictional city of Agrabah, Aladdin is about a young man who meets a genie and is then granted three wishes. He chooses to become a prince in order to win the princesses hand in marriage.
The location of the movie is stated very early on in Aladdin when the narrator mentions the city being next to the River Jordan in India. The palace is also a key indication of the films setting as it is believed to have been designed with the iconic Taj Mahal in mind. Looking at them both, we can definitely see the similarities!
Based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Disney tells the tale of a young Chinese woman who wants to prove her worth to her family, especially her father, and serves in the army in his place disguised as a man. The film location is specified as being set in China and also has many references to Chinese culture throughout.
The Imperial City is a key location in the film and serves as the capital of China as well as being the location of the Emperor’s Palace. It is also a real location and one that you can visit on a trip to Beijing, for all those hardcore Disney fans out there!
The Jungle Book
One of Disney’s most popular and iconic movies, The Jungle Book follows young Mowgli and his adventures after being found by a black panther as a baby deep in the jungle. But where exactly is that jungle we hear you ask?
From the information from Rudyard Kipling’s original book, as well as the animals we encounter during the film, we are led to believe that The Jungle Book is set in the Central Provinces of India, near Seoni. However, it has never been fully confirmed from Disney that this is the case.