The Chronicles of Narnia – Narnia
There are talking beavers, frosty witches and messianic lions galore in this beautiful, mysterious land filled with adventure and Christian allegory. Once there, you might wind up battling the forces of evil, so bring comfortable shoes. To schedule a trip, talk to either a travel agent or a furniture salesman.
Harry Potter – Hogwarts
Getting to Hogwarts can been a trick for a Muggle. Though it exists right alongside our boring old world, it’s completely invisible to those not magically inclined. Trains depart from King’s Cross station, platform 9 ¾, but if you don’t know the correct wall to walk through, you’re liable to embarrass yourself.
The Wizard of Oz – Oz
Ever since Dorothy Gale’s house got caught in the mother of all updrafts, Oz has been the gold standard for imaginary realms. It’s more fanciful than Narnia and has cooler footwear than Middle Earth. The verdant beauty of the Emerald City is something to behold, as is the light-hearted, if vaguely creepy, singing of the Munchkins.
Lord of the Rings – The Shire
Do you like rolling hills, fertile marshlands, and picturesque villages of neatly kept underground warrens? Are you not bothered by low ceilings, hairy feet, and minimal shopping opportunities? If you said yes, then the Shire might be the place for you.
It’s called Waterworld for a reason. The place is wet and wild, divided on one side by the fair-minded traders and by evil, cigar-chomping Jet Ski enthusiasts on the other. Freshwater shortages and pruny fingers are an inconvenience, but the sashimi here is outstanding.
The Truman Show – Seahaven
The quaint costal town of Seahaven is a great place to get in touch with your inner paranoid. While walking past the Seahaven’s white picket fences and perfectly manicured lawns, feel free to wrestle with vague feelings that you’re being watched. And while eating a delicious brunch at one of the town’s many eateries, please ponder the possibility that every person you know is just an actor in the largest reality TV show in history.
Sin City – Basin City
To really enjoy Basin City, you have to open yourself to the subtleties of life. Like the balletic movements of a bar fight, the gentle pop of distant gun fire, or the bitter taste of a cold wind as you brood over man’s inhumanity to man. Whiskey and weapons are cheap and plentiful here but good luck finding a latte.
Blade Runner – Los Angeles
It’s easy to see the bad sides of Blade Runner’s futuristic version of Los Angeles. The weather’s terrible, fire-belching factories and gargantuan geishas tower over town, and everyone’s paranoid that they might be a replicant. On the other hand, thanks to the flying car, traffic has never been better in LA.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? – Toontown
Located in a remote corner of Los Angeles, Toontown is the center for local Toon culture. It boasts a range of traditional Toon restaurants serving up dishes like sautéed carrots, cans of spinach and suffering succotash. Be sure to check out the annual pie-throwing festival overseen by Toontown mayor Mickey Mouse. When there, don’t mention any possible freeway extension projects unless you like mallet blows to the head.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory
Sure, Willy Wonka is a genius with chocolate. And yes, he has taken his sugary vision to create perhaps the strangest workspace in Western industrial history. But he has also proved to be a ruthless capitalist, laying off all of his local employees while shipping in an entire tribe of Oompa-Loompas to toil in the factory for peanuts (well, cacao beans). Though the snacks here are second to none, more politically-sensitive visitors might want to give the place a miss.
King Kong – Skull Island
Populated by angry natives, stampeding dinosaurs and one foul-tempered enormous ape, Skull Island might not be you first choice for a South Pacific excursion. Actually, unless you’re an ambitious would-be impresario with dreams of the Great White Way, it would probably be best to avoid Skull Island altogether. If you choose to ignore this advice and take the giant gorilla as a souvenir, you’ll have to figure out your own way to get him home.
City of Ember
You’d think that the City of Ember would have some serious electricity bills. The underground berg is lit up like Time Square on New Year’s Eve from a power source that is as old and it is mysterious. When the lights begin to flicker, everyone panics. What else happens? We’re not sure. The movie opens in October so stay tuned.