10 iconic US cartoon characters and where they live

They've made us laugh for years and years but have you ever wondered where your favourite iconic cartoon characters actually live? Ever thought where Popeye would have his dinner or whether there is a real life Moe's Tavern or even if Bugs Bunny did ever take the right turn at Albuquerque? Well, let's delve into the hidden lives of our best-loved on-screen pals and discover their real-life home towns.

1. Yogi Bear – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone

No doubt you would've grown up with the adventures of the smarter than the av-er-idge bear and Yogi's home is a magnificent space. Yellowstone (or Jellystone as referred to in the series) National Park is one of the crowning glories of the USA. Sprawling over Wyoming, Montana and Idaho it boasts great lakes, huge canyons and imposing mountain ranges not to mention Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano in the world.

Just watch out for real life Yogi and Boo-Boo Bear swiping "pickernick baskets" as grizzly bears are common in these parts.

 

2. Homer Simpson – Springfield, somewhere USA

Springfield

It is one of the longest running debates around – is Springfield an actual place? Deliberately picked by Simpsons' creator Matt Groening, for being the most common city name in the USA, it has fuelled arguments among fans for decades. Residents of Springfields all over the country claim it's their hometown which is home to Homer Simpson and his family.

Even Groening himself doesn't really know. When asked whether it was Springfield, Oregon, close to Portland, the creator retorted "I have no idea where the hell it is. Like all Americans I flunked geography".

 

3. Popeye – Chester, Illinois

Chester Illinois

The man that must've sent spinach sales through the roof, Popeye the Sailor Man has been around for almost 100 years. When not shovelling tinned vegetables down his throat to give him superhuman strength or saving his beloved Olive Oyl from the clutches of Bluto, Popeye likes to kick back in Chester, Illinois.

Chester sits on the mighty Mississippi and is the official 'Home of Popeye', as creator Elzie Segar was born here. There is even a 6ft statue of Popeye in the town's main park.

 

4. Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote – Monument Valley, Utah

Monument Valley

The battleground for these formidable foes is based in spectacular Monument Valley, Utah. While you're unlikely to see giant catapults and painted scenery on rocks on your visit, the background to Wile E. Coyote's plans to finally catch Roadrunner bears a huge resemblance to this corner of the USA.

It has been suggested Wile E's adventures could be based near the Four Corners region. Wherever it is, it will have needed to be close to an ACME factory for all of Wile E's supplies.

 

5. Eric Cartman – Rocky Mountains, Colorado

South Park

South Park, Colorado is an actual place at the basin of the imposing Rocky Mountains. However, you are unlikely to run into Cartman, Stan, Kenny and Kyle here. This is a natural beauty more calm and tranquil far removed from hanging around with a joint-smoking towel.

Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker grew up in nearby Littleton and Conifer. They turned their experience of growing up in, what Trey describes as, "painfully boring" towns into the one of the most well-known cartoon featuring a bunch of foul-mouth 8-year-olds.

 

6. Top Cat – Manhattan, New York

New York

Probably the most well known alley cat in all of Manhattan, Top Cat was forever outwitting the lawman Officer Dibble. The hijinx TC, Benny, Choo-Choo, Brain, Fancy-Fancy and the rest of the gang had kids in stitches for generations.

Nowadays, it's probably not advised to go down the alleys of New York City looking for cats as the ones you may encounter are not as charming and sophisticated as TC himself. And he probably won't be donning a purple hat.

 

7. Roger Rabbit – Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles skyline

Wanted for the murder of businessman Marvin Acme, times were hard for Roger Rabbit. Then there was the issue of avoiding the dreaded 'dip' created by Judge Doom, but thankfully he had the safe haven of Toontown to take his mind off things...and he was married to Jessica Rabbit.

The classic 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? pictured a 1947 Los Angeles which combined real life and 'toons'. Both lived side-by-side in this slightly jarring world, made even worse by the fact that toons could kill humans by dropping a grand piano on their heads, just ask detective Eddie Valiant, it happened to his brother.

 

8. Peter Griffin – Cranston, Rhode Island

Rhode Island

Quahog simply doesn't exist. Spooner Street doesn't exist. Even worse, The Drunken Clam doesn't exist. However, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has made a world that is quintessentially Rhode Island. He has previously said that Quahog is modeled on Cranston, Rhode Island, somewhere he spent time growing up.

You can often see the backdrop of Providence behind the Griffin's home and a visit to Cranston can include a Family Guy tour – there is even a Drunken Clam you can nip in for a beer.

 

9. Speedy Gonzales – Mexico

Mexico

Gracing our screens in 1955, Speedy Gonzales has been terrorising Sylvester the Cat ever since. We laughed when 'The Fastest Mouse in all Mexico' led an army of mice to raid a cheese factory guarded by Sylvester at the USA-Mexican border.

It is not clear which part of Mexico Speedy is from, so he could be providing for his family from anywhere from Tijuana to Matamoros. The one thing that is likely from a trip to the Mexican border, you won't find a faster mouse.

 

10. Princess Tiana – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

A modern day Disney classic, The Princess and the Frog adapts the E.D. Baker tale The Frog Princess. It follows Princess Tiana who has vowed never to kiss a frog but, eventually, has to kiss a frog before the stroke of midnight to turn him back into a prince.

All set in 1912 New Orleans, it features many common sights from the city including the unmistakable Mardi Gras Parade. Should you happen to find a frog in New Orleans, refrain from kissing it, unless you want slimy lips for the rest of your trip.

Now you know the destinations, why not hit these iconic roads to get your animated adventure on the go?

See what other iconic things America has to offer

Photo credits:
Yellowstone, New Orleans, Rocky Mountains, Manhattan, Los Angeles, Rhode Island: iStock
Mexico: Shutterstock
Homer Simpson: William Beutler via Flickr
Popeye: Joe Busby via Flickr

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