Over the years many businesses and towns that featured in movies have gone on to become popular pilgrimages for dedicated cinephiles - my home country of New Zealand has been cashing in on Lord of the Rings tourism for the last 14 years. But while it's easy to visit places such as the castles from Harry Potter or Martha's Vineyard a.k.a. Amity Island from Jaws, it's slightly sad that it's impossible to visit some of the more fantastical sets from our favorite animated films, well it's almost impossible.
Thanks to this Business Insider article, we now know that there're at least 6 real life versions of locations from our fave Pixar films, take a look:
1. Fenton's Creamery from Up
The store Fenton's Creamery, which featured at the very end of Up is actually a very real place! The real Fenton's can be found at Piedmont Avenue, California and is a favorite among locals. The store opened way back in 1894, opening the doors at its current location in the 1960s. The store's claim to fame is that it is apparently the birth place of Rocky Road ice cream - no wonder it was featured in Up with that sort of history!
2. The university and university town in Toy Story 3
In Toy Story 3 Andy is all grown up and about to head off to college, and his bedroom gives some hints as to where that college might be with a 'PU' pennant on the wall and a letter on his bulletin board with a college address in Emeryville. While it might all seem like a made up university, it does in fact refer to Pixar University! Alright, so Pixar University is not an official university, but it is a development program for Pixar employees, and where is Pixar University a.k.a. Pixar Animation Studios located? Yep, you guessed it, Emeryville, California.
Both Pixar University and Emeryville make appearances in other Pixar films. In the dentist scene of Finding Nemo one of his certificates was issued by Pixar University School of Dentistry. Meanwhile, Emeryville pops up in Cars as a town closed for the race.
3. The 'Oakland' theater from Up
In the final credits of Up there is a touching scrapbook montage of Russell and Carl doing various activities together, including going to see Star Wars at a theater, but what you non-Californian natives may not have known is that this theater is a real place. The Grand Lake Theater can be found in Oakland, California and looks almost identical to the one in Up. It's no surprise that it ended up in the film considering that part of building (the famous rooftop sign) is actually a designated historical landmark.
4. The cafe in Monsters, Inc.
The Hidden City Cafe snuck into the opening scenes Monsters, Inc. when we saw a monster outside sweeping the sidewalk (before consuming all the dust he just swept). However, this nondescript cafe has actually played a bigger part in the Pixar universe than you may have thought. Once upon a time there was a real-life Hidden City Cafe in Point Richmond, California. The cafe closed it's doors in 2012. but prior to that it was the spot where Pixar creatives including John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Peter Docter and Joe Ranft came up with ideas that would eventually become A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc. Finding Nemo and WALL-E!
Aside from Monsters, Inc. the cafe also made an appearance in a teaser trailer for WALL-E and Toy Story 2
5. The summons number in Up
When Carl is forced out of his home by the court he is shown holding a court summons. On the back of the summon is the number 94070, which is actually the ZIP code for the town of San Carlos. Interestingly, Ratatouille producer and Cars 2 director Brad Lewis was the mayor of San Carlos back in 2007!
6. West Cutting Boulevard in Toy Story 2 and 3
West Cutting Boulevard is mentioned twice in the Toy Story series. In Toy Story 2 it appears as the location of Al's Toy Barn and in Toy Story 3 the boulevard makes an appearance as a street sign above Andy's door. While West Cutting Boulevard is most certainly a place in Richmond, California, what makes it even cooler is that 1001 West Cutting (the actual address of Al's Toy Barn) is where Pixar used to have their headquarters before moving to Emeryville! In addition, the map to Al's Toy Barn also includes the 880 and 580 freeways which are also both in the East Bay area.
Source: Business Insider