There’s no point in using Paradise Valley in South America or Rio de Janeiro as a background to my story, when my story is based on true events that happened in a "normal" place. I simply cannot take my story anywhere else just to make it more appealing.
And since my setting isn’t as exuberant as, let’s say a jungle in South America, I have to try a little harder to find characteristic places with lots of visual opportunities to make the scenes in my movie feel equally overwhelming as in any other animated feature. Just look at how they turned something ordinary as lesser duckweed in a visually stunning design from Disney’s Princess and the frog.
Or the lighting and colors in this background from Brother Bear.
Using something so ordinary (and easily overlooked) and turning it into something so extraordinary is truly inspiring.
I might as well plow through google images, but nothing beats real life. So whenever I find inspiring places, I make sure I add them to my research library.