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Travel Destinations Based on 4 of the Greatest Pixar Movies

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWindsor chapter.

Have you ever found yourself inspired to travel to a location just because you saw it in a movie? It happens to me all the time! 

This article contains some great suggestions of the best travel destinations based on films. However, instead of recommending “live-action” movies, I thought it would be fun to share 4 of the best Pixar films which take place in different locations around the world. 

If you are looking for a good story or some travel inspiration, then you’ll definitely find both in these movies. Take a look! 

1.- Ratatouille (2007) by Brad Bird – Location: france

If you watch this movie for the first time or again for the thousandth time, like me, maybe try to look at the background closely, because there’s a lot of Paris that you can see. The Eiffel Tower, The Seine, Montmartre, and Notre Dame are some of the most relevant places featured in Ratatouille. 

To share some more, the restaurant Tour D’Argent located in Paris inspired the exterior of Gusteau’s. Other restaurants that didn’t exactly make it to the movie but inspired the cuisine in Ratatouille are Le Procope, Helene Darroze, Taillevent, and Chez Michel.

The Pont Alexandre III is another location you won’t want to miss. This bridge eventually became the location for the scene in the film where Remy and Linguini form their unlikely partnership, so it’s a memorable spot for the filmmakers behind this beautiful movie. 

2.- Up (2009) by Pete Docter – Location: Venezuela

The main inspiration for this beautiful animated movie was the country of Venezuela in South America. Everything started when the filmmakers at Pixar watched a documentary about the Venezuelan rainforest. 

It is hard to believe that the beautiful landscapes in the movie could actually exist, but the fictional “Paradise Falls” are inspired by Angel Falls, which is known for being one of the four most beautiful waterfalls in the world. 

3.- Coco (2017) by Adrian Molina and Lee Unkrich – location: Mexico

This Pixar film is probably the most rooted in culture. Apart from understanding the place they were seeking to portray, the crew behind Coco did an impressive job learning about one of the most important traditions in Mexico: Día de Muertos.

The filmmakers took a lot of inspiration from several parts of this country. To have a clear vision for the design of the skeletons, the crew traveled to the state of Aguascalientes to experience the famous “Festival de las Calaveras,” where artists gathered together to create artistic displays, costumes, and edibles to honor the skeletons.

In the central state of Michoacan, there is a famous church that lays partially buried under lava; this inspired the church in Miguel’s hometown.

The town of Patzcuaro served as inspiration for Santa Cecilia.

The city Paracho de Verduzco is where Coco’s creators found the design for Ernesto’s guitar detailed with a black skull and pearls. 

Further north, the extraordinary city of Guanajuato was the principal source of inspiration for the Land of the Dead, among other things. For example, the statue of Mexican singer and actor Jorge Negrete, located in the middle of the city, inspired the shrine to the fictional character Ernesto de la Cruz. Another iconic location from the movie and Guanajuato is the famous “Callejón del Beso,” which can be seen in the scene when Miguel speaks to his great-great-grandmother in the Land of the Dead.

Last but not least, all the way down to the south, in the state of Oaxaca, you will find “Zapateria La Moda,” the shoe store that inspired the tradition of shoemaking in Miguel’s family. Also, you will find the workshop of Jacobo and Maria Angeles, who create “alebrijes” (wooden Zapotec figurines that serve as protectors of families). Their creations inspired the character of Pepita.

4.- Luca (2021) by Enrico Casarosa – Location: Italy

Silenzio, Bruno! Luca is the newest film from Pixar, and it is based in Italy (more specifically, Northern Italy). Unfortunately, “Portorosso” doesn’t exist. The worlds in Luca represent fictionalized versions of Italy. But the filmmakers behind this movie did take inspiration from the Cinque Terre, a string of five colorful towns in the Italian Riviera where tourists can hike amidst tree-lined views of the sea.

Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso are the five towns that make up the Cinque Terre. Enrico Casaroca spent most of his childhood visiting these beautiful places during the summer, so he decided to take the best parts of every one of the five real towns to create “Portorosso.”

Montse Pineda

UWindsor '25

Montse is an international student from Mexico. She is a film production student at UWindsor. She enjoys watching movies, getting to know female directors, and talk about the film industry in general. In her free time, she enjoys creating and sharing her art with others.