Fictional cities in the movies are places we can only dream of. Some of them we might want to live in, others we’re glad to avoid. Fictional cities in the movies might be the most improbably surreal strand of someone’s overactive imagination or a stark, realistic view of the future. Fictional cities in the movies do not have a type per genre; you just never know who you might be setting up house next door to.
I just know you were all sitting there hoping this would come up. Technically by UK standards, Hogsmeade is a village, but with a bit of poetic license, we can say it is one of the best fictional cities in the movies. Who wouldn’t to live here? Go for a butterbeer in The Three Broomsticks, buy fizzing whizzbees and licorice snaps from Honeydukes, buy a new quill at Scrivenshaft's or have a coffee in Madame Puddifoots. The wizard village of Hogsmeade is a magical place befitting Harry Potter.
One of the first magical cities in the movies was Emerald City, the capital of the Land of Oz. Sadly, the almighty powerful Wizard of Oz turned out to be a bit of a fraud on the magic front, but his city was very impressive. Dorothy didn’t get to do much sightseeing after her journey along the Yellow Brick Road from Munchkin County though, as the one good thing the Wizard of Oz told her was how to get home to Kansas.
If you were a caveperson, there’s only one place you would want to live and that is Bedrock. You’d live in a simple stone hut, maybe keep a dinosaur as a pet, and have the Flintstones and Rubbles as neighbors. You’d drive to the supermarket beauty parlor in a car filled up at the Rocko gas station, and you’d go for nice walks up Mount Rockmore. These days, you can experience one of our favorite fictional cities in the movies at the Bedrock City Theme Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Pick me up a Brontoburger while you’re there.
I’m not sure if I would like to live in Toontown. Toontown is home to animated characters known as Toons. The setting for Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a conniving mix of anthropomorphic and real 3D objects – anything that is not in cartoon form appears as it normally would in the normal world. It sounds fun doesn’t it? In reality, Toontown is a mess and more befitting a film noir than a cartoon manifestation. Roger Rabbit and Eddie Valiant bravely expose the gritty underbelly of Toontown.
I’m not sure I’m getting this right because although I’m picking some of the coolest fictional cities in the movies, it’s from a viewer perspective. That they are quirky, or dangerous, or bad, or all three, makes great viewing but I’m not sure I’d want to live in these places. It certainly applies to Sunnydale. In one way it would be cool to be friends with Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles and Cordelia, and especially Angel, but you would just never know if one minute you’re dancing in Bronze, and the next you’re going to fall victim to the Hellmouth. Sounds like to be a citizen of Sunnydale, you don’t mind a bit of life on the edge,
Ok, so let’s lighten things up a bit and talk about somewhere else that’s quirky, bad and dangerous. Let’s talk Springfield – the home to the oddest colored family on TV – the Simpsons. Springfield put the Q in quirky. Springfield is bad in that it excels in dysfunction, stereotypes and exaggeration. Springfield is dangerous simply because Homer’s limited intellect and Bart’s mischievousness have the capacity to create havoc and chaos. But hey, this is a cartoon, so even if Homer does blow up the nuclear power plant or Bart falls down a cliff off his skateboard, bouncing on his head multiple times, you know everything turns out well in the end.
Now this is somewhere I know all you horror and particularly Stephen King fans would love to visit, if not to live. Castle Rock was spawned by King’s imagination. It is a “typical” Maine town, with references putting it 37 miles from Portland and 188 miles from Boston. What’s not typical are the unseen horrors that happen with all too frequent regularity. Castle Rock’s dark secrets are revealed in The Dead Zone, Cujo, The Dark Half, and Needful Things and are referenced in a whole host of other novels, novellas and stories.
Thanks to special effects and the digital age, the fictional cities created by amazing writers are able to be brought so much to life in the movies that it’s easy to imagine they are real. What do you think are the coolest fictional movie cites and would you want to live there?
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