With "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" opening Friday, promising a view of Europe only animation can provide, it's a reminder of how beautifully the "Madagascar" films have brought us locations that are both grounded in the real world yet still rendered versions of themselves, as they did with New York City and, of course, the African island nation of the title.
There are plenty of places on this planet ripe for animated real/unreal treatment, sites that fill themselves in with colorful characters even as you stare at scenic photos. Here are seven of them.
A scientific survey of this island located north of Java, Indonesia, revealed more than a hundred new species not seen anywhere else. Borneo is home to many endangered -- and itching to be rendered -- animals as well, including pygmy elephants, orangutans, the tree-loving clouded leopard, and the Sumatran rhino, the smallest of its species.
The island is also divided among three countries: Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Any story set in Borneo would have not only eye-popping fauna but built-in conflict.
"The Trip," starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, makes you want to crawl the film to visit the countryside, bucolic even in what appears to be winter. It is inherently the stuff of fairytales, inspiring Beatrix Potter herself when spent her summers there growing up.
The ancient walled city of Dubrovnik dates back to the 7th or 8th century. On the stunning Adriatic Sea, the picturesque place already looks like someone made it up, with its curving streets and incredible architecture.
It wouldn't be surprising if Dubrovnik is a stop on the "Madagascar" crew's European tour; it's too perfect to pass up.
Under the glacial ice in Antarctica, a lake lies, separated and undisturbed, for an estimated 15 to 25 million years. That is, until February 2012, when scientists, working meticulously not to introduce our world into the world of the lake, reached the surface of the water.
The possibilities of what may be there are endless; so is the animation potential.
This site has an inherent duality that is perfect for an animated story, consisting of both a 19th century Maori village covered by a volcanic eruption and the tourist village built around it. It is the perfectly awkward melding of old and new, setting up its own storyline.
Every year the Amazon River overflows its banks into the surrounding forest, creating a spectacular juxtaposition as the river life swims among tree bases and plants. Most astonishing is the pink river dolphin, which, along with fish and stingrays, swims the forest floor.
An island off the horn of Africa (the northern part), Socotra has life that already looks made-up. A part of the Republic of Yemen, geographic isolation allowed species to evolve as seen nowhere else, giving it the title of the most alien place on earth.
Find showtimes and tickets near you on Yahoo! Movies.
- Nature & Environment