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If you’re a lover of both cartography and Disney/Pixar animation, then I think this post is your Holy Grail. Never let it be said that the Internet doesn’t cater to every kind of interest there is.
Enterprising Internet artist Eowyn Smith has crafted this highly detailed map that places 46 Disney animated features and 16 Pixar projects in the locations where their stories take place. What can we learn from this? Well, clearly, the companies like to set their stories in North America and Europe, for starters.
A detailed breakdown of the stats reveals that Europe has been the setting for more Disney and Pixar films than any other spot on the planet. Twenty-three films have taken place across the Atlantic, while only 21 have happened here in America. Interestingly enough, the next most popular location isn’t even another continent – it’s the outer space/alternate universe/cyberspace locations of movies like WALL-E and Wreck-It Ralph, which comes in with five spots. Africa, Asia, Australia and South America round out the list.
Smith has explained his methodology, revealing that he first went with the location as stated or implied by the Disney/Pixar stories of the films. If that wasn’t clear, he went back to the classical inspiration.
The map is not without some controversy, with many arguing that the placement of The Incredibles in Chicago is wrong. Lots of people believe the actual setting is a California city (probably somewhere in the Bay Area, given the use of real Emeryville street names and the GPS scene zooming in to San Francisco), but Smith makes some compelling points in his own defense – pointing out the elevated trains and foliage have a distinctly Chicago feel to them (although, to be fair, the Bay Area has BART – which uses trains that run both above and below ground).
Whether he’s 100% right doesn’t really detract from the awesomeness of the work. If you’re an animation geek, you can probably kill at least an hour pouring over this map and debating the locations. Even if you’re not quite that devoted, there’s fun to be had in remembering where some of your favorite movies took place.
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