The other night, I sat down and watched Disney’s Moana with a few friends (a good night in, I’ll have you know!) and I kept wistfully thinking about how if I were a kid watching it, my eyes would glaze over with wanderlust, my heart would spin and the traveller within me would stir slightly.
It also made me think about how many movies I watched as a kid made me just want to get out and explore the world, although these days there would definitely be a few more on that list.
Here’s a few of my favourites and why they inspire you (or inspired me) to travel.
The ultimate adventure movie. I mean, even the tagline is “adventure is out there“! One of my all-time favourite animations (and in fact just movies in general), Up inspires wanderlust at every corner, from the balloons to the beautiful waterfall that actually exists, and my get-up-and-go gets up and tries to go every time I finish the movie! (that’s after I’ve bawled my freaking eyes out at Ellie’s Adventure Book)
Beauty And The Beast
“There must be more than this provincial life.”
While Beauty And The Beast is far from a travel movie, how many of us can relate to that line? And by leaving her cute little French town that we ALL want to visit anyway, Belle finds adventure and true love just down the road, and her experiences are a world away from her village life. It may not inspire too much travel, but it does inspire you to go round the next corner to see what you might find, and want “adventure in the great wide somewhere”.
I finally watched Moana the other day, which focuses on a Polynesian girl who is set to take her father’s place in the tribe, but the dreamer in her just wants to explore the oceans and beyond where she can see from her island home. You can bet if I watched this as a kid, I would have been relating to it HARD!
FYI – if you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it!
What would a list like this be without Peter Pan?! Second star to the right and straight on until morning, and you could explore a beautiful place and be young forever, too!
I mean, there’s a magic carpet that freaking takes you all over Arabia and even to India. OBVIOUSLY we all want one of those. Apart from that, I often pretended I was trekking across the Sahara to find some treasure, or looking through markets to find some bargains, and it’s all thanks to Aladdin.
Alright, this one is going to open up a very contentious subject, but Pocahontas was always one of my favourite Disney movies (and my favourite Disney “princess”!) and I quickly became fascinated by Native American culture and history because of it. Of course, as a child I liked to believe that everything worked out okay in the end, and I loved the idea of going off to a foreign land and befriending someone from an entirely different culture and everyone living in harmony happily ever after. I was pretty upset when I found out the truth. Damn you, humanity.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Something just stirs the imagination when it comes to a mythical place no one has yet discovered, doesn’t it? When I asked friends which kids films they think inspire travel, this was a unanimous response.
From one mythical place, to one that definitely doesn’t exist – but that doesn’t stop it being an exciting place! Between befriending beavers and having a Liam Neeson lion on your side, Narnia is pretty amazing and makes you want to head off and find somewhere equally awesome yourself! If they can find Narnia through a wardrobe or a painting, you never know where you might find your next adventure.
Do you know how many backpackers say they want to find 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney, Australia? It’s a lot, guys. While Finding Nemo didn’t really spark any interest in Australia for me (I already wanted to go there!), it did fuel it a little. I think had I been younger when it came out, it would have definitely put Australia on my list!
EVERYBODY! EVERYBODY! Everyboooody wants to be a CAT! And visit Paris, right?! One of (in my opinion) Disney’s most underrated movies, the misadventures of Marie, Toulouse, Berlioz and their mother Duchess always made me want to visit Paris! (far more than Ratatouille ever did!) I mean come on, who doesn’t want to find a swing band of alley cats?
Alice In Wonderland
Am I the only person who doesn’t actually think Alice In Wonderland is all that great? Uh oh. I can feel the onslaught now. Although it’s not entirely a travel movie, it does transport you to another world and embrace the weird and wonderful – which is often what travel is all about!
The Wizard Of Oz
Despite all the misadventures of Dorothy, there was something insatiably exciting about the idea of being whisked away to another land, even if it’s in the midst of a tornado! Plus, you never know who you’ll meet on the way, which is one of the most exciting parts of travel.
Although this is more of an adventure one with exploring the great outdoors, the sequel (Lost In San Francisco) was my first picture of San Fran and made me reeeeaaally want to go! At 28, the city is still on my bucket list, but it all started with (let’s face it) a pretty crappy film about two dogs and a cat.
A few of these types of movies have been in and out of my mind, but the one I keep coming back to is Indiana Jones. But of course. Egypt? India? Jordan? Indiana Jones adds a few places to the list, but apart from that, those movies are the reason Ash’s brother has a degree in archaeology. And what goes hand in hand with ancient ruins? Travel, of course – and definitely adventure! Plus I felt very Indiana Jones-y in some of the temples in Cambodia.
I can think of loads of other movies that inspired me to want to visit somewhere specific. There have been more than a few Disney movies set in Paris. I’m willing to bet Brave set a few sights on Scotland. Mulan, China. Oliver And Company – New York City! (now that’s an underrated Disney movie!) Even Anastasia made me want to visit Russia. Madagascar and Rio crop up all the time, too.
What movies would you add to the list? And which ones inspired YOU to travel?
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