“Welcome to Fantasy Island” – perhaps the most famous line about one of the most famous islands in movie or TV history. So, with this one put up front as the obvious choice, have a look at ten other famous islands from TV/movie land, and see if your favorite is on the list.
10. The Island – Lost
“The Island” is the major setting of Lost, a successful long television show, as well as a video game that featured time travel, slave ships, supernatural monsters, large deadly non-native-to-the-island animals, hidden treasures, scary scientists, potential to sink into the ocean, super villains, references to antiquity, etc. i.e. just about as much of a combination of the various aspects of the remaining islands rolled into one. This big island is, of course, not to be confused with Hydra Island, the second smaller Island off the coast of the main one in Lost.
For some, ‘Lost’ is more than a mere television show – it is a hobby, fantasy or even obsession. One of the most entrancing aspects of the show is its semi-abandoned Dharma Initiative stations that dot the island and have been slowly revealed over time. Dedicated followers of the series have slowly gathered and compiled data to compose a clearer picture of this fantastic island, cataloging locations in great detail.
9. Shang Tsung’s Island
Shang Tsung’s Island, from Mortal Kombat, appears as the tournament setting in a video game version of the secret martial arts tournament – a premise seen in such earlier films as Enter the Dragon. It adds much more in the way of the supernatural, and, in 1995, resurfaced in the theatrically released film version. Shang Tsung is a powerful and deadly wizard, and primary antagonist in the series, and is a shapeshifter who absorbs the souls of those he slays in order to maintain his youth and power.
8. Isla Nublar
This amazing island, for the film Jurassic Park, is where dinosaurs came to life. Spielberg used the island of Kauai as a stand in for Isla Nublar (intended to mean “Cloud Island” in Spanish). Aside from serving as the primary location of a blockbuster film and novel, Isla Nublar is perhaps the only island people can actually visit, in a manner of speaking, in its replicated real-life theme park version as one of the Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando.
7. Scaramanga’s Island
Who could forget the island whose volcano opened up to reveal a secret, hidden missile silo? This could only happen in Bond – James Bond.
6. Amity Island
Nobody who saw the movie could forget the island made famous by Stephen Spielberg in Jaws. This tourist laden island went from a peaceful summer at the beach to one of the most terrifying movies of its day, and a lot of people thought twice before getting into the water after seeing the happenings on Amity Island.
5. Skull Island
Skull Island is the home of the eponymous King Kong and several other species of creatures, mostly prehistoric, and in some cases species that should have been extinct long before the rise of mammalian creatures such as gorillas, along with a primitive society of humans. It is the main setting of three major films and a tie-in video game of the most recent film, as well as a pseudo-documentary and companion book about expeditions to and the animal life on the island.
4. The Island of Doctor Moreau
Taken from the HG Wells science fiction classic novel, the island is home to the evil scientist Dr Moreau. He spends his time creating animal-human hybrids, who terrorize the book’s protagonist. In the movie a shipwrecked survivor discovers a remote island with a mad scientist, and deals with the creatures he encounters while stuck in this very strange place.
3. Treasure Island
Treasure Island is a tale of “pirates and buried gold” by Robert Louis Stephenson. In addition to the numerous film and television adaptations of the novel, the characters, setting and events of this novel have greatly influenced the modern imagery of pirates, including treasure maps with an “X”, schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands and one-legged seamen with parrots on their shoulders.
2. Lincoln Island
The Mysterious Island, a novel by Jules Verne published in 1874, is a sequel to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and In Search of the Castaways. The book tells the adventures of five Americans on an uncharted island in the South Pacific, known as Lincol Island.
Interestingly, an early draft of the novel, initially rejected by Verne’s publisher, was titled “Uncle Robinson,” seen as indicating the influence on the novels Robinson Crusoe and The Swiss Family Robinson.
The most famous of islands first appeared in the story Timaeus (360 BC) by Plato, and has since been in and the subject of countless songs, movies and television shows. This is by far the most fabled and mysterious of famous islands, and will likely live on for eternity in its mythical romance.