Imagine the most magical place that you can picture out. You might not believe it, but there is a possibility that that place exists. In filmmaking, creating a completely new setting is a tough job for the the production team, so most of the time, they just tweak real-world venues to make the job easier. Here are some of the most popular movie scene and their carbon copy—or it could be the other way around. You tell me.
The kingdom of Arendelle was based on the Norwegian city of Arendal, located in the county of Aust-Agder, southwest of the Norwegian capital of Oslo.
Unlike in the movie where eternal winter plagued the city, the actual location is as green as it can be. Most of the film’s scenes took place in Bryggen Wharf.
However, not everything was taken from Arendal due to the lack of magnificently carved mountain ranges in the city. The inspiration for the mountain was taken from Geirangerfjord and Naeroyfjord. So basically, the Frozen kingdom is a collage.
The Fictional Star Wars Planet of Naboo
This may seem misleading, but in reality, a considerable portion of the Star Wars prequels were in fact unsullied real locations and not just CGI.
The Queen’s residence, The Theed Palace, was shot in the Palace of Caserta in Italy along with Plaza de Espana in Spain.
Some places are heavily edited, however, to give it a more cinematic feel.
The Villa del Balbianello in Italy, which was the basis for the fascinating lake retreat that made the romance between Anakin and Padme more magical, CGI of domes were added for better cinematography.
If you’re a Star Wars enthusiast, you can visit the official Star Wars blog for more travel information on the locations used in the film. These enchanting places are a must-see for any fanatic who wants to relive the moments and feel the atmosphere of the classic movie series.
The Spirit Realm from Spirited Away
Despite being in another dimension, you can actually visit a closely similar place to the infamous Spirit Realm in the Japanese animated film Spirited Away in the town of Jiufen, Taiwan. When Hayao Miyazaki took a tour of the location, he was taken aback by the captivating scenery of the Chinese town.
The idea for the colossal bathhouse where majority of the scenes took place was taken from the Jiufen teahouse.
The market overrun by ghosts and spirits is indeed an actual marketplace in the town.
The huge masks closely resemble the disembodied henchmen in the story, but don’t worry, they are completely harmless!
The Elvin Outpost Rivendell from Lord of the Rings
The best selling novel of J.R.R. Tolkien was set in a mystical world. Finding similar places here on earth may seem like wishful thinking, but visiting Switzerland would leave you stunned in amazement. The Elvin settlement Rivendell was inspired by a secluded place in the Land of Milk and Honey.
Tolkien visited the valley of Lauterbrunnen in his late teens, more than a decade before he started writing The Hobbit. Describing Rivendell in great detail coupled with his illustration, one can only imagine a hypothetical place like that to actually be real.
In the ’90s, fanatics and Tolkien’s scholars pointed out some clues encrypted in the book, which made them look up for the inspiration behind the majestic Rivendell. The river that runs through the valley is named Bruinen in Elvish and Loudwater in English, which births the term Lauterbrunnen when combined.
The HP Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Most of the scenarios in the Harry Potter franchise were shot in Oxford University. The corridors of the prestigious institution portray a lot of memories from the movie. Oxford’s Christ Church Hall was the setting for the emblematic Great Hall of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The Oxford Bodleian Library was the grounds for the Hogwarts library.
The Kingdom of Corona from Tangled
The fictitious yet typical kingdom of Corona in the animated film Tangled was allegedly a rip-off of the island Mont St. Michel in Normandy, France. The animators exaggerated the island’s area for that fairy tale–like feel.
It was supposed to be a simple medieval monastery, but due to unnecessary additions to the infrastructure, it turned out to be an extravagant megastructure. It looked more like a castle than a holy sanctuary for religious ceremonies mainly because they put up protective walls around the entire island.
Glen Keane, an American animator, predicted that the place would ignite inspiration as an imaginary fairy-tale kingdom in the future right after laying his eyes on the site. And he was right about it.
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