The world of Pokémon has brought fans to new and exotic locations. Some of these locations, however, are based on real places.
The Pokémon film franchise has featured numerous exotic locations over the years, many of which draw from real-life places for inspiration and focus. Plenty of animated films base their sets on pre-established locales to ground their world in some sense of plausibility, offering fans a relatable sense of escapism.
Nature behaves in ways that the ordinary imagination might not be able to conceive of under normal circumstances. On top of that, distinctive architecture helps ground cities in a distinct culture and artistic style. With that said, when watching the Pokémon films, which locations are locales you can visit in your day-to-day life? Which ones excel beyond the page into the world and exist in real life?
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Alto Mare (Pokémon Heroes)
The Johto city of Alto Mare from Pokémon Heroes clearly draws from Venice with its submerged roads and reliance on boats to travel within the location. Venice was built on 118 small islands, which gradually continued to sink as the years went on. The sinking Italian city requires gondolas to travel along the narrow canals flooded with water. Alto Mare follows a very similar physical structure, though it is tied to the Soul Dew and the Legendary Pokémon duo, Latias and Latios.
Beyond that, the new characters introduced in the Alto Mare, like Bianca and Lorenzo, all have Italian names. This, along with the Italian-sounding soundtrack, results in a film pretty apparently set in a stand-in for Italy that it would be impossible to claim otherwise.
Cameran Palace (Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew)
Cameran Palace is a castle in Kanto just north of Mt. Silver. From the outskirts, it looks like any large mansion from Europe. However, it is based on a particular German palace: Neuschwanstein Castle. This 19th Century castle is, much like Cameran Palace, a broad and multi-towered structure. It was dedicated to Richard Wagner, the famous German composer, and while King Ludwig II occupied the castle, he died less than a year following its completion.
Cameran Palace is far less tragic of a location, though it does overlook the Tree of Beginning — a gigantic rock formation that Mew resides in during the film. It also seems far older in the Pokémon world than Neuschwanstein Castle is in ours since the ancient Lucario lived in the castle. When he’s revived, Lucario finds his room has been turned into a museum for historical artifacts.
Alamos Town (Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai)
Alamos Town is a town in the Sinnoh region built primarily by the architect Godey, who also created a park and the Space-Time Towers. The city is located in the middle of the woods near a lake and demonstrates the harmony between Pokémon and humanity.
Alamos Town is based on two real locations in our world: the Spanish cities of Barcelona and Granada. While Barcelona is now a thriving metropolis, it and Granada were built in areas surrounded by forests, with beautiful gardens and large towers dominating the landscape. Much of the architecture of Alamos Town is based on Spanish architecture from those cities too.
Crown City (Pokémon: Zoroark, Master of Illusions)
Another Sinnoh location, Crown City, is a metropolis built in a green, luscious area. The greenery dried up following a significant disaster until the Legendary Pokémon Celebi came in to revive the town and its vegetation, allowing Crown City to rise once again. Trees line the city’s streets, and its buildings are small, save for a large tower right in the middle of the town.
Crown City is based in Amsterdam, with its scenic architecture and integration of nature. The homes and towers are beautiful and in-tune with Netherlands’ distinct style. It looks picturesque, as though an expanded version of an old-fashioned nature-infused hamlet from years gone by.
Dahara City (Pokémon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages)
Dahara City is a sprawling metropolis in the middle of the desert near a large body of water. Its most distinct architectural features are its towers — the largest of which is Dahara Tower, a massive dedication to the God Pokémon Arceus and the Prison Bottle’s origin point. It is a city defined by its obstinance against its arid environment and thrives despite the elements.
Dahara City draws significant influence from Dubai, a city known for thriving in the desert near the Persian Gulf and for its impressive skyscrapers. Dubai is home to Burj Khalifa, which remains to date the largest completed skyscraper in the world.
Pokémon‘s many homages to real-world locales may well inspire a trip to these picturesque spots one day. The series itself remembers the world’s international cities and uses them as inspiration to erect their own world wonders.
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