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The real-life fairytale locations that inspired Disney's Frozen and Up revealed Disney animations tend to be the stuff of dreams and fairytales but at their core is always a touch of reality, whether it be in the moral of the story or the trials and triumphs of the characters that we can all relate to. For the animators and designers charged with bringing these wonderful worlds to digital life, real-life inspiration comes in many forms from historic castles to pristine and unique natural landscapes. And many of them, as seen below, are waiting for you to pay them a visit. pre bonded hairThe Hotel de Glace on the outskirts of Quebec City in Canada provided the inspiration for Elsa's Ice Palace in Disney's Frozen Queen Elsa of Arendelle, voiced by Broadway star Idina Menzel in the film; and the ornate 36-room Hotel de Glace which is rebuilt monthly FROZEN HOTEL DE GLACE, QUEBEC, CANADA
Do you want to build an ice castle... every month? That's what the 60-strong building team at Quebec City's Hotel de Glace have to do to keep their unique accommodation running. The magic of Disney means Queen Elsa of Arendelle, from the enormously successful feature film Frozen, means such a fate doesn't befall her beautiful structure. Frozen's director Chris Buck and the animators took inspiration from the hotel for the fairytale Frozen castle and to gain an understanding of how ice works, with Buck himself staying there as part of a research trip five years prior to the movie's release. The animated ice palace from Disney's Frozen is clearly unrestricted by unforgiving nature of ice but still looks remarkably real Princess Anna marvels at Elsa's castle in the film which is based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen TANGLED MONT SAINT-MICHEL, NORMANDY, FRANCE remy hair extensionsFor the updated version of the story of Rapunzel, Disney used the fortified island village and castle of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France, as inspiration for its castle. In the film, apparently the most expensive animation of all time, the towers and Italian Romanesque style abbey were transformed to be the rather elaborate home of Rapunzel's parents from which the heroine is taken. While the film adds more homes to an island that is actually inhabited only by 40 people in real life, the resemblance is uncanny. Visitors can walk to the real one at low tide and take the bridge at high tide - a feature that's made it tricky to invade throughout history. Disney used the fortified island village and castle of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France, as inspiration for Rapunzel's castle The towers and Italian Romanesque style abbey were transformed to be the rather elaborate home of Rapunzel's parents from which the heroine is taken THE JUNGLE BOOK
INDIA Rudyard Kipling's tale of young boy Mowgli being raised in the jungle by wolves with friends Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear also co-stars the Indian jungle. While the sub-continent is hugely renowned for its cities that are a sensory explosion, its wilderness is similarly impressive with about 45 wildlife sanctuaries and 100 national parks that you can visit as part of tours. The dense jungle largely inspired the scenes depicted by Kipling and famously given the Disney animated film treatment in 1967 with iconic songs such as Bare Necessities. Friendly bear Baloo is based on the sloth bear found on the Indian Subcontinent, which is mostly black even though Baloo is said to be brown and actually looks grey. His name is based on the Hindi word Bhalu, which stands for several species of bear. Just as the big guy defends Mowgli from nasty tiger Shere Khan, it's not unheard of for a sloth bear to take on a big cat - as out image below shows - to defend its cubs. perruques cheveux naturelsRudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book is set in the Indian jungle which includes 45 wildlife sanctuaries and 100 national parks Baloo's character is based on the mostly black sloth bear (left) species which is found on the Indian subcontinent Just as Baloo defends his honorary man cub Mowgli from Shere Khan, sloth bears will stand up to a real-life tiger if they have to THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE MACHU PICCHU, PERU Emperor and llama Kusco's empire is a fanciful version of real life ruins known as Machu Picchu, one of the world's most famous and revered sites. They made no secret of it, with the Incan settlement built around 1450 being found in the region of Cusco, Peru, about 8,000 feet above sea level in the Andes. While it's easy to get up there by train from Cuzco city in about 90 minutes , many chose to hike over four or five days (and unless truly commitment, catch the train back down). The mountains and Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru were the inspiration for The Emperor's New Groove The film starring the voices of David Spade and John Goodman centres around the emperor Kuzco, named after the area's surroundings UP
ANGEL'S FALLS, VENEZUELA Old man Carl Fredricksen's South American destination, Paradise Falls, in this delightful action-adventure is primarily based on Angel Falls in Venezuela's Canaima National Park. A flight, by hot air balloon if you like, is required to get from Puerto Ordaz or Ciudad Bolivar to Canaima camp, which is the launching off point for a range of river trips to the base of the falls. Not wonder it was such a palaver for Carl and young Wilderness Explorer Russell. The spectacular falls falls drop 979metres and can be seen from 200m away via a lookout that's about a 90-minute hike from the base. A popular part of the hikes is jump off rock ledges at the falls. The target destination for Carl Fredricksen in Up, Paradise Falls, is primarily based on Angel Falls in Venezuela's Canaima National Park Mr Fredriksen and his Wilderness Explorer pal Russell (left) in the brilliant action adventure animation and the fictional Paradise Falls FINDING NEMO THE GREAT BARRIER REEF, AUSTRALIA perruques cheveux Finding Nemo is Marlin the clown fish's journey from the Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage Site in the Coral Sea off Queensland, to Sydney. The reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, are made up of 2,900 individual reefs, 900 islands across across 344,400 square km and should be seen to be believed and enjoyed before they're gone. The adorable fish in water comedy-adventure finding Nemo begins in the Great Barrier Reef but the wildlife starkly resembles reality Marlin's adventure from the reef to Sydney, away from the safety of the sea anemones (real version right), was a worldwide blockbuster BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
CHATEAU DE CHAMBORD, LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE The Renaissance-style Chateau de Chambord in France's Loire Valley was the basis for The Beast's palace in this classic Disney film. The building was constructed by King Francis I of France, and although never finished remains a hugely recognisable landmark that can be visited by the public. While the presentation of the place comes in the form of royal historical tours, the likeness to the film's various famous settings is uncanny. Renaissance-style Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley in France (left) was the basis for The Beast's palace in this classic Disney film The building was constructed by King Francis I of France, and although never finished remains a hugely popular tourist destination INTO THE WOODS WINDSOR GREAT PARK, ENGLAND The pine forest of Windsor Great Park features prominently in Into The Woods, which was mostly filmed in London's Shepperton Studios with scenes also shot at Dover Castle, Waverley Abbey and Richmond Park. Windsor Great Park's artificial waterfall provided the perfect backdrop for the duet Agony while Byfleet Manor in Surrey was Cinderella's home. The ancient pine forest of Windsor Great Park outside London features prominently in the feature film Into The Woods The pine trees of Great Windsor Park look beautiful in autumn and proved a perfect backdrop for the dark live action fairytale THE LION KING THE SERENGETI, KENYA lace front wigs From the dramatic expanse of the grasslands to the animals themselves, Kenya's Serengeti plays a prominent role in one of Disney's greatest triumphs. Plants such as the distinctive Acacia trees along with other flora and fauna helped bring the film to life, albeit with trademark cartoon touches. Baboon Rafiki speaks with Simba on 'Pride Rock' in The Lion King (left) while a mother and lion cub sit in a remarkably simlar location SLEEPING BEAUTY NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, GERMANY Bavaria's Neuschwanstein Castle has become so much more than Sleeping Beauty's castle, it is now the symbol of Disney itself along with a common thread in the company's biggest theme parks. In real life, it's a 19th century-built structure on a hill in southwest Bavaria that was originally commissioned to be a retreat for Ludwig II. Its remote location saved it from two world wars and the castle can now be visited by members of the public. Bavaria's Neuschwanstein Castle has become so much more than Sleeping Beauty's castle, it is now the symbol of Disney itself along with a common thread in the company's biggest theme parks BRAVE
EILEAN DONAN CASTLE, SCOTLAND Scotland should be in the credits among the star voices Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson - it plays that big a part. In places it offers inspiration, in others it provides a total carbon print for a part of the animated set. This is the case for the Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands. Brave tells the tale of a rebellious young Scottish girl named Merida (voiced by Macdonald) and prominently features the colours and contours of the country. Eilean Donan Castle in the Scottish Highlands formed the basis of the castle in Brave, the story of rebellious young Scottish girl Merida Brave prominently features the colours and contours of Scotland along with the distinctive voices of Kelly Macdonald and Billy Connolly ALADDIN TAJ MAHAL, INDIA Unmistakable Indian landmark the Taj Mahal may be a tomb but there's nothing morbid about Aladdin, the film which decided it would provide the perfect basis for the title character's elaborate home. The real structure was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in tribute to his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and was finished in 1648. While Aladdin was regarded part of a period dubbed Disney's Renaissance, the Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Taj Mahal, finished in 1648 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in tribute to his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, was the basis for Aladdin's castle RATATOUILLE THE FRENCH LAUNDRY, CALIFORNIA cosplay wigs While Ratatouille is of course primarily set on the streets of Paris, the restaurant Auguste Gusteau's is based mostly on three Michelin-starred The French Laundry, Thomas Keller's Napa Valley icon where a fixed priced tasting menu costs US$295 (£187). The film, while also being the heartwarming tale of a rat who loved to cook controlling a hapless human, it has also been acclaimed for its attention to detail when it came to the culinary elements. Thomas Keller's three Michelin-starred restaurant The French Laundry was the inspiration for Ratatouille's Auguste Gusteau's Ratatouille is based around the adventures of Remy the rat (left), a brilliant chef, and his hapless friend Linguini (right)