A list of fictional lands would not be complete without including the wizarding world made famous in the Harry Potter movies, adapted from the book series by J.K. Rowling. Hogsmeade is the only wizarding community without muggles and Hogwarts students are allowed to visit from their third year. Whilst in Hogsmeade, you can relax in local pub The Three Broomsticks with a butterbeer or perhaps you would prefer to head to Honeydukes sweet shop and pick up a Chocolate Frog or three. Whatever you do, just don’t go anywhere near the Shrieking Shack or you might just run into a werewolf.
Like Hogsmeade, Narnia is also from a film series. Adapted from books by C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia follow the stories of children stumbling into the country through the back of a magical wardrobe. According to Narnia’s mythology, the great Lion King Aslan created the world of Narnia, so is well suited as the children’s guide as they travel around the country. Narnia is largely covered in woodlands and marshlands that aesthetically don’t look much different to our own. However, with the plethora of talking animals, mermaids, centaurs, unicorns and many other mythical and magical beasts, Narnia seems very far from the English countryside.
Unlike most fantasy movies which derive from novels, the world of Pandora from the film Avatar was created entirely from the mind of director James Cameron. Pandora is a fictional mo,on which consists within our own universe but is home to peculiar plant life, strange creatures and 6ft blue-skinned humanoid inhabitants called Na’vi. The world resembles a blooming rainforest — a biological goldmine to the humans of this Earth who want to mine Pandora for its much sought after resources. It has been seven years since its release, but Cameron has many sequels in the works to expand the luscious universe.
The Wizard of Oz was adapted from the novel by L. Frank Baum to be the first film shown in stunning technicolour. The use of colour in Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, the yellow brick road and the dazzling Emerald city made the fantasy land of Oz the perfect land in which to display the new technology in all its vibrant glory. Most of the inhabitants are just as vibrant as the surroundings with the likes of Tin Men, scarecrows and lions wandering around. Whilst they are friendly enough, just be careful you don’t run into the Wicked Witch of the West because you’ll soon realise there’s no place like home.
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is brought to life using stop motion animation with the spooky festivities celebrated on Halloween. The film largely takes place in Halloweentown with eccentric inhabitants such as Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King, Ooogie Boogie and Dr. Finklestein. The town is very different to nearby Christmastown, which Jack Skellington stumbles across during a walk and attempts to bring Christmas traditions into Halloweentown with disastrous, disturbing consequences.
Though not as well known as some of the others on this list, Whoville is the fictional town from Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and is perhaps the quirkiest and most pastel-coloured fictional land ever imagined. Contrary to Halloweentown, the residents of Whoville like Christmas a lot and spend every penny on gifts, decorations, illuminating their houses to beat their neighbours and outdoing each other at every opportunity. It sounds like a volatile place to live, but the candy-coated houses and doll-like hair styles are reason enough to move in.
Perhaps the most famous fictional land of all time, Middle Earth is simultaneously one of the most beautiful and volatile worlds in the movies. Making its first appearance in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings book series, the movies took the box office and fantasy lovers by storm. Though we might not be able to visit the real Middle Earth, thankfully there is a next best thing. You can have a magical adventure in New Zealand where the set of The Shire has been left virtually unaltered to appear exactly as it does in the films.