Learn about countries that inspired some of your favorite Disney movies.
From tales of good and evil to tales of heroes and monsters, Disney has taken our imagination on a journey through giant castles, scary woods, magnificent cities, mountain tops, and beyond the sea to live breathtaking adventures through our home screens. It was every kid’s dream to live happily ever after in the magical land of his favorite Disney movie. But most of those magical lands are actually inspired by real-life locations.
Keep reading to learn more about the top 5 real-life locations that inspired some of your favorite Disney movies.
Raya and the last dragon – South East Asia
Raya the fearless warrior takes us to the kingdom of Kumandra. A kingdom with 5 regions; Fang, Heart, Spine, Talon, and Tail. Together, they form the shape of a dragon.
The five regions had these unique south-east Asian sea-style homes, paper lanterns, and rice terraces. However, the land of Fang was the one precisely modeled after Cambodia. You can see that in Angkor Wat Temple.
Floating markets in Laos, Thailand, and Indonesia inspired the land of Talon with their boat-riding vendors, bustling energy, various goods, and mouthwatering food.
Up – Venezuela
In this movie, the main character “Mr. Fredericksen” becomes obsessed with reaching “Paradise Falls” which remarkably resembles Angel Falls, Venezuela. Angel Falls was discovered in 1935 by the US pilot “James Angel” when his plane crashed there, pretty much what happens within the first 10 minutes of the movie.
Angel Falls is home to the world’s largest uninterrupted stream of rushing water on earth. It’s also part of the oldest rock formation in South America’s Guiana Shield, which is 2 billion years old!
Mulan – China
The story of Mulan isn’t a Disney original story. In fact, it’s based on an ancient Chinese poem called: “The Ballad of Mulan”. So it’s no wonder that Disney animators found some inspiration from ancient Chinese locations.
The famous Forbidden City in China stood as the emperor’s palace in the movie. This Chinese palace was home to 24 emperors of the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. It was built in the 15th century by Emperor “Chengzu” of the Ming Dynasty with 9,999 rooms. He said that only the God of heaven can have 10,000 rooms!
Emperor’s new groove – Peru
The spoiled, arrogant, self-centered emperor “Kuzco” had no other place to build his new summer palace but the home of the humble peasant “Pacha”. Disney animators inspired the location for Pacha the peasant hillside home by the famous Machu Picchu in Peru.
This movie was loosely based on the Incan empire of South America with the clothes, hairstyles, Architecture, and of course, Lamas.
Incans built Machu Picchu in the 15th century in the Cusco region of Peru. No wonder they named the Emperor “Kuzco”.
Encanto – Colombia
Almost every scene from Encanto was inspired by a magnificent location somewhere in Colombia. This movie literally brought the whole of Colombia to your home screen.
However, there is one very magical place in Colombia that was the inspiration for two very pivotal moments in the film; the river didn’t just give the family its magical powers within the mystical candle, but it also witnessed the heart-whelming scene between Mirabel and her grandmother.
The movie directors chose Caño Cristales or the Rainbow River for this location and they couldn’t have picked a more magical place as the origin of the magic in Encanto.
Caño Cristales ــــــ which is directly translated to crystal channel ــــــ is a Colombian river located in the Serrania de la Macarena province of Meta.
It’s noted for its exceptional colors of red, yellow, green, black, and blue; so it’s commonly known as the “five colors river” or the “Liquid Rainbow”.
Some people believe that Caño Cristales is the most beautiful running river on earth!
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