By now, you've seen it: the Disney/Pixar Movie Madness bracket that is blowing up your Facebook news feed. In light of many busted brackets in the NCAA Tournament, this seems like a more productive use of time, especially for someone like me who is dead last in The Big 1070 pool. If you haven't seen the bracket yet, Exhibit A:
The idea being that we somehow arrive at the best Disney movie against the best Pixar movie, even though they're the same company now.
Being the captive audience that I am for most Disney/Pixar flicks, I decided to take a look at the bracket, and cast my votes on Twitter accordingly. I also made my wife, Joanne, fill out the bracket with me as well. We are the parents of a nearly two-year-old son who knows more about Disney/Pixar movies than you reading this do, because it's pretty much all he watches. Plus, as his responsible and occasionally mature parents, we have watched *a ton* of Disney/Pixar movies... uh, definitely because of the kid... in recent years.
The seeding was determined by Twitter user and bracket creator @yeeitsanthonyy and they are making ongoing polls to pick the bracket winner with voting and interaction. So we will call them the Selection Committee. For some advanced metrics, we'll use BoxOfficeMojo.com and use Total Gross as the way to rank the teams in this bracket analysis. We're talking about movies making hundreds of millions of dollars, so before you click, be ready for some of the staggering totals that will be thrown at you. (This will be equitable to the 68-team ranking the NCAA Tournament Committee puts out at the outset of the tournament). Plus, $ = ratings in the movie industry, right?
The Total Gross ranking (in parentheses) below is out of over 1,000 Disney movies ever made. Keep in mind that the Disney/Pixar universe is over 1,000 movies strong and includes most of the comic book and recent Star Wars flicks, so the number is going to look weird. Some of the more recent entries into Disney/Pixar are absent from the list (such as Finding Dory and The Beauty and the Beast remake), probably because those are still cashing in somewhere, and there are three Toy Story movies to pick from as well.
For a Coaches/AP Poll, well, Rotten Tomatoes sums up my feelings on what I feel about polls. Those are in [brackets] below based on their rank in Rotten Tomatoes' Top 100 animated movies list. If a movie isn't in the Top 100, they're simply unranked!
For both, I'm basing them on the 32 movies as part of this bracket. So while The Lion King is 22nd in Total Gross and 39th on the Top 100 list, the movie shows up as #6 and #15 below since we're only slotting in based on the 32 movies part of the bracket.
Away we go! If my wife and I disagree on a pick, the higher seed advances. It is completely worth mentioning that someone made a Disney/Pixar bracket and didn't even include Cinderella. That alone should make this less worthy of debate, but I'm already here. The actual bracket is playing out on Twitter.
Disney Region - First Round
#1 Lion King (6)  vs #16 Tarzan (21) 
Jimmie: Tarzan is not UMBC. Tarzan is barely a Catamount of Vermont. Pretty much a slam-dunk here. (No disrespect to Vermont).
Joanne: Lion King. Because 1, James Earl Jones. 2, Mufasa (voiced by James Earl Jones). 3, the soundtrack (especially 'Hakuna Matata).
The Pick: Lion King
#8 Princess and the Frog (29)  vs #9 Lilo and Stitch (25) 
Jimmie: Princess and the Frog must have racked up a ton of wins in the regular season. Lilo and Stitch tackles some very real emotions during its run. It's barely a kid's movie, so naturally I enjoy it even more so. A #9?
Joanne: Lilo and Stitch. Stitch is awesome! ("blue punch buggy"). It's a cartoon about aliens and not princes and princesses. And the CPS dude is awesome.
The Pick: Lilo and Stitch
#4 Tangled (19)  vs #13 Big Hero 6 (15) 
Jimmie: Big Hero 6 is the Buffalo of this bracket: despite proof all year they could be capable of big things come March, lots of sleeping on the Bulls and Watertown native Nate Oats at head coach. It's a tough match-up with Tangled here, since Tangled is a really good movie, but Big Hero 6 is the lovable mid-major on my bracket. Plus, the Baymax fist bump.
Joanne: Big. Hero. 6. Doesn't really need an explanation? Baymax, come on, he's a big squeezable personal health care assistant with a boy genius and great quotes. "Hairy baby!"
The Pick: Big Hero 6
#5 Frozen (2)  vs #12 Moana (10) 
Jimmie: Frozen is seeded too low in this bracket, first of all. The Committee clearly wasn't walking around singing LET IT GO for the past few years. Even more egregious is slotting Moana in as a #12. Moana is the "new" Frozen, because if you haven't had 'Shiny' stuck in your head for half a year, you ain't a parent. I'm pulling the trigger on the 5-12 "upset" not because they always happen, but because Moana is a top-line seed that probably scuffled in conference play. Frozen got jobbed. Elsa, Anna, and most importantly Sven deserved better. My son has watched Moana about eight billion times, so if his vote counts...
Joanne: Oof... tough call, both great movies with awesome soundtracks. Frozen. She's a strong princess that doesn't need a prince. Sven is hilarious and so is Olaf. And maybe I'm biased because I wasn't subjected to watching frozen 700 million times by my toddler.
The Pick: Frozen, but if we count Jonathan's vote, it's definitely Moana. (Wait, he's not 18 yet? He can't vote? Never mind.)
#2 Aladdin (16)  vs #15 Hercules (30) [UR]
Jimmie: This is a better match-up than the results will indicate; Hercules is full of brilliant supporting characters, but lacks the true star to carry it to an improbable upset of the blue blood in the first round. Which is a funny thing to say about the son of Zeus, but his story isn't all that exciting. Even Kevin Sorbo couldn't save the character.
Joanne: Another tough one. Aladdin. Just the energy and development of the story. And Genie and Iago are hilarious.
The Pick: Aladdin
#7 The Little Mermaid (31)  vs #10 Pocahontas (26) [UR]
Jimmie: Pocahontas is a pretty dull movie. I think it holds Jonathan's attention for five seconds before he realizes Pocahontas isn't Moana and goes back to *looks over shoulder* feeding the dog saltines. The Little Mermaid ranks lower in total gross, but we're not adjusting for inflation (math is hard). I'm personally advancing the #7 seed.
Joanne: The Little Mermaid. Better soundtrack, more upbeat, moves better. Sebastian is full of snark and I love him. Ursula is a great villain.
The Pick: The Little Mermaid
#3 Mulan (28)  vs #14 Zootopia (4) 
Jimmie: Zootopia made way too much money to be a #14 in this bracket. It's a pretty well-done movie, even if it is about a half-hour too long. Mulan brought us the dragon, the fight song, and Rick and Morty Meme Sauce. This was probably my hardest first-round decision, but I am swinging for the big upset with Zootopia here, although both 'metrics' clearly indicate the movie as a favorite.
Joanne: Mulan. Gotta go with my gut. I can't give you a reason why other than... girl power! (And the horse!)
The Pick: Mulan. We are bouncing a juggernaut in the opening round.
#6 The Beauty and the Beast* (24)  vs #11 The Nightmare Before Christmas (32) 
Jimmie: You're putting up an all-time Disney Princess Movie against an imaginative cult classic in the 6-11 match-up and expecting a brawl, but this is a pretty easy one for me. The Beauty and the Beast is a pretty weird story, but we're comparing it to a movie where a skeleton (well-intentioned as he may be) tries to annex an entire other holiday.
Joanne: Beauty and the Beast. I have never gotten The Nightmare Before Christmas. It's freaking weird. And what little girl doesn't dream of tea parties where her world comes to life?
The Pick: The Beauty and the Beast
Pixar Region - First Round
#1 Up! (7)  vs #16 Brave (13) [UR]
Jimmie: Never in my wildest Boy Scout dreams did I think I'd ever go on as cool of an adventure as Up! So, there you go. I liked Brave just fine, but Up! is so much fun. And, nearly deserving of the top line here.
Joanne: Up. As much I love a good Highland lass, I gotta go with the grumpy old man begrudgingly finding a friend in the odd little kid. Just enough weird to make it fun and entertaining without just being plain weird. And come on, if I could have picked my first house up with balloons and moved it, I sure as hell would have!
The Pick: Up!
#8 Toy Story (20)  vs #9 Toy Story 2 (11) 
Jimmie: All three Toy Story movies made the bracket, and all of them woefully under-seeded. Since we have to pick one, I'll go with the original. A very impactful movie on the entire animation landscape. Plus, it's a really good movie to boot.
Joanne: Seriously?! Don't mess with a classic. (The original).
The Pick: Toy Story
#4 Coco (17) [UR] vs #13 Cars 3 (23) [UR]
Jimmie: I am going to go with my son on this one since he has watched Cars 3 almost as much as he's watched Moana, and is currently sleeping with two pairs of Lightning McQueen slippers in his Lightning McQueen bed upstairs. And, to be perfectly honest, I have not seen Coco. Does this mean I'm a bad parent?
Joanne: I haven't seen Coco, so this isn't a fair assessment. Cars 3, because my kid is biased and I've given the franchise mucho dinero.
The Pick: Cars 3, but neither of us has watched Coco.
#5 Toy Story 3 (1)  vs #12 The Good Dinosaur (27) [UR]
Jimmie: Toy Story 3 might be the best movie in the entire Pixar bracket. How are they a #5 seed?! The Committee needs to re-evaluate how they seed these things up top. The Good Dinosaur doesn't get the 12-5 upset here, although I thought it was a perfectly passable flick.
Joanne: Never seen The Good Dinosaur, but gotta go with Toy Story 3. They did a good job with making a third movie, which is rare.
The Pick: Toy Story 3
#2 Ratatouille (18)  vs #15 A Bug's Life (22) 
Jimmie: I'm one of those people who confuses Antz with A Bug's Life. Neither movie particularly stands out to me at all. Ratatouille is somehow a two-seed. Ripe for a big upset down the road? (Get it? That's a food joke).
Joanne: Ratatouille. Sticks in the mind better, and let's be real, who doesn't love food? And bugs are icky.
The Pick: Ratatouille
#7 Finding Nemo (5)  vs #10 Inside Out (3) 
Jimmie: This is a Final Four-level match-up in the opening round of the entire tournament. Unbelievable. Both movies have had insane commercial and critical success, and neither team will cut down the nets on the way to the Final Four. Finding Nemo is crazy good and great for kids. Inside Out is more geared for adults. I am leaning Inside Out but how are we sending Marlin, Nemo, and Dory back to the anemone in the first round?!
Joanne: Inside Out. It's cute, fun, entertaining, but touches on the deeper, more taboo aspect of emotions. Major highs and lows that keep you drawn in for the whole thing.
The Pick: Inside Out
#3 Monsters, Inc. (9)  vs #14 Cars (12) [UR]
Jimmie: My son will be looking for a new father because of this, but man. I really don't understand Cars. Like at all. But, I'm not the target demo, and Jonathan isn't the one voting (because he can't). Monsters, Inc. is so well done. It's an incredible twist and an inspired idea for a movie.
Joanne: Monsters, Inc. Better plot. Funnier. Did I mention how much money we've spent on Cars stuff?
The Pick: Monsters, Inc.
#6 The Incredibles (8)  vs #11 Wall-E (14) 
Jimmie: I really enjoyed the story of The Incredibles more. Wall-E seems like it's too close to reality (and a nihilistic view of it) to be enjoyable, honestly. Plus, The Incredibles is getting a sequel. I don't know how you sequel Wall-E. Tough, but in the age of comic book movies, that's where I'm going.
Joanne: The Incredibles. SUPER POWERS. Baby Jack Jack. Wall E moved so slow.
The Pick: The Incredibles
Disney Region - Sweet 16
#1 Lion King (6)  vs #9 Lilo and Stitch (25) 
Jimmie: This is a tougher call than I expected, but Lion King was incredible for its time, even though its visuals today don't quite keep up with the animation and technology of movies that have been made a quarter century later. Aloha!
Joanne: Lion King. Classic. And James Earl Jones.
The Pick: Lion King
#13 Big Hero 6 (15)  vs #5 Frozen (2) 
Jimmie: Let it go... let it go! Any chance I get to knock Frozen from the bracket, I gotta take it. Sorry, kids. Frozen is Duke.
Joanne: (audible sigh) Big Hero 6. It's funnier.
The Pick: Big Hero 6 (probably our most controversial pick so far!)
#2 Aladdin (16)  vs #7 The Little Mermaid (31) 
Jimmie: So, here's a story about a young kid... uh... let's call him Bimmie. Bimmie used to own a lunchbox with The Little Mermaid on it. And, as my parents will be more than happy to point out... I mean Bimmie's parents... this was little Bimmie's favorite movie growing up. Objectively, though, the main characters in this movie are kind of creepy in a way, and without world-bending magic, neither of them gets their love interest. I'll go with The Little Mermaid, but this is a coin flip.
Joanne: Aladdin. Better flow and story line. Who doesn't dream of being rich AND happy?
The Pick: Aladdin (sorry, Bimmie)
#3 Mulan (28)  vs #6 The Beauty and the Beast (24) 
Jimmie: This is a no-doubter for me. Mulan probably tips the scales on the comedic and serious ends, way more than the stuffy The Beauty and the Beast (in terms of humor). Shout out to Beast's library, though.
Joanne: Mulan. Sound track, girl power, and the snarky horse.
The Pick: Mulan.
Pixar Region - Sweet 16
#1 Up! (7)  vs #8 Toy Story (11) 
Jimmie: No disrespect to Up! but it literally did not define a genre like Toy Story has. Up! is fantastic. A Sweet 16 appearance is a respectable, if slightly disappointing finish for a #1 seed. Gotta give it up for the original.
Joanne: Up. Quirkier, funnier, and the balloons! Lonely old man + lonely little boy + friends = melty heart.
The Pick: Up! You know, Woody and Buzz became pretty good friends, too.
#13 Cars 3 (23) [UR] vs #5 Toy Story 3 (1) 
Jimmie: The third movies in each respective trilogy, and this is hilariously one-sided. I think Cars 3 is better than the first two, actually--there are some good bits of foreshadowing and it's only got three Git-R-Duns in it. But, Toy Story 3 is a powerhouse and it's a movie with a chip on its shoulder for being seeded at #5. Which, unbelievable.
Joanne: Cars 3. All biased for my kid. Going back to basics to learn and realizing when you need to pass on the reigns.
The Pick: Toy Story 3 (at least one of us is a good parent)
#2 Ratatouille (18)  vs #10 Inside Out (3) 
Jimmie: The only bigger catastrophe in seeding these movies was putting Inside Out as a #10. Really? Inside Out is no Loyola-Chicago, but Sharpie them on to the Elite 8, thank you. Ratatouille is fine, but that's just it: it's a fine movie. It isn't elite.
Joanne: Inside Out. Because it literally has all the feels.
The Pick: Inside Out
#3 Monsters, Inc. (9)  vs #6 The Incredibles (8) 
Jimmie: I hate myself for doing this bracket, for picks like this. I am going to pick The Incredibles, though, because as much fun as the Monsters University (prequel?) was, I'm expecting BIG things from The Incredibles 2. Seems like a movie universe with more going for it. It's not fair to pick based on the sequels, one of which doesn't exist yet. But I like these movies pretty equally, and both are kid-friendly.
Joanne: Monsters. Sweet little girl befriends the monsters in her room. Melts their hearts. Makes a whole community see things from a different perspective.
The Pick: Monsters, Inc.
Disney Region - Elite 8
#1 Lion King (6)  vs #13 Big Hero 6 (15) 
Jimmie: I have a huge appreciation for Big Hero 6. It's a beautifully-imagined world with great characters. It's the only movie I had in the bag when I had some health issues and I watched it on loop for probably a year. But, the Final Four is for the best. The Lion King is the GOAT. Even though lions would eat goats, given the opportunity. But I digress. MAAAAAAAAHT-ZEE WEN-YAAAAAAAAAH!
Joanne: It's the Lion King, come on. How do I make that argument regardless of how much I love Big Hero 6?! Lion King. Classic. JAMES. EARL. JONES. Mufasa. Pride Rock. Rafiki. Dude monkey with a stick whaps people over the head.
The Pick: Lion King
#2 Aladdin (16)  vs #3 Mulan (28) 
Jimmie: Let me begin by noting that this quarter of the bracket is weak by comparison to the other areas; the Pixar side of the bracket is absolutely loaded. Mulan is a better movie, start to finish, and while it lacks a character as good as Robin Williams' Genie, there's plenty of comic relief and there are stakes beyond Aladdin outkicking his coverage.
Joanne: Mulan. Girl power. Feels. Pride. Kick-ass lady. Crazy dragon, Snarky horse. I love the horse. Have I said all of this already?
The Pick: Mulan
Pixar Region - Elite 8
#1 Up! (7)  vs #5 Toy Story 3 (1) 
Jimmie: I have a feeling the horse I'm backing here (Toy Story 3) isn't going to make it to the Final Four, but let me explain. Toy Story 3 is a movie most adults can relate to, and for people of a certain age, you sort of grow up with it. It's the top-grossing film of the entire bracket. Toy Story 3 is North Carolina. And UNC is going down in the Elite 8, I think, because my wife is going to totally pick Up.
Joanne: Up. Pulls at the heartstrings.
The Pick: Up!
#10 Inside Out (3)  vs #3 Monsters, Inc. (9) 
Jimmie: The most critically-acclaimed animated movie ever (according to Rotten Tomatoes, for whatever that's worth) is in a tough match-up en route to the Final Four... but you know what? Joy dunks all over Sully, Mike, and the entire corporation at Monsters, Inc. here. If Monsters, Inc. is the mainstay power, seemingly always in the top six of seeds on any given year, Inside Out is Syracuse, dangerous from any seed. A ten seed is disrespectful.
Joanne: Inside Out. Feels! Literally! The whole movie is about them!
The Pick: Inside Out
The Final Four
Disney Region Championship: #1 Lion King (6)  vs #3 Mulan (28) 
Jimmie: The Lion King is so good, even after all of these years. I enjoy Mulan, but it's a mild surprise that the movie is in the Final Four, when there are some really good movies on the sidelines for the festivities. A piece of the net and a Final Four banner are not bad consolation prizes. Probably on par with beating the Huns.
Joanne: Lion King. Can't mess with a classic.
The Pick: Lion King
Pixar Region Championship: #1 Up! (7)  vs #10 Inside Out (3) 
Jimmie: I have been trying to take down Up! for three rounds now, why stop here? Plus, we all like the criminally-underseeded Inside Out shedding that boulder on the shoulder to make a run to the title game, right? To be fair, Up! is an incredible movie. Inside Out has some really great jokes, even if it's definitely intended for older children and (obviously) adults.
Joanne: Inside Out. All the feels!
The Pick: Inside Out
The National Championship
#1 Lion King (6)  vs #10 Inside Out (3) 
Jimmie: You have the top-scoring movie in animation history (per Rotten Tomatoes) against the classic of my childhood. Here's where I break any potential ties in this scenario... my cat, who I had for 21 years, was named Simba. Named two years before the Lion King came out. The Lion King is unquestionably the best animated movie of the 1990's. Inside Out doesn't feel like that classic... yet. It's a deep, complex, and moving story. Maybe in 25 more years I'll think differently about it. But, I am giving the nod to my childhood. The Lion King, your Disney/Pixar champion!
Joanne: Lion King. It has all the feels, a better soundtrack and James Earl Jones. You can't mess with a classic.
Your Disney/Pixar Bracket Champion: The Lion King
* * * * * * * * * *
-Most contentious debate: Toy Story 3 vs. Up. We were yelling at each other up and down the stairs about this particular match-up.
-Movie that we thought should have fared better: Finding Nemo. "Tough coming out right off the bat against Inside Out," says Joanne. I agree. Inside Out as a #10 is, still, bad job by the Committee.
-Movie that gets the consolation third place prize... #1 in our hearts but not in the bracket: For me, it was Toy Story 3. Joanne picks Mulan.
-If our son, Jonathan, picked the bracket: Moana, Cars, Cars 3.
What's your bracket look like? Tweet at @jimmiekaska or take part in the ongoing voting on Twitter.
Photo: Getty Images
You can see the full rankings sheet here. I've also re-seeded the tournament based on the information I had above.
DISNEY PIXAR RANKS
Re-seeded Disney/Pixar Tournament
Using the data above, I re-seeded based on combined Gross Rank and Top 100 Rank (of 32). If a movie didn't make the Top 100, they moved to the end where I sorted them by how much money they made. The bracket is in better shape for it!
Re-seeded First Round (Disney Bracket)
#1 Zootopia vs #16 Hercules
#2 Frozen vs #15 Pocahontas
#3 Moana vs #14 Lilo and Stitch
#4 Lion King vs #13 The Princess and the Frog
#5 Aladdin #12 Mulan
#6 Big Hero 6 vs #11 Lilo and Stitch
#7 The Beauty and the Beast vs #10 The Nightmare Before Christmas
#8 Tangled vs #9 Tarzan
-This is much more interesting. Your 5-12 is an easy call, Mulan over Aladdin. The top four seeds all advance. The remaining three contests are all coin flips and mostly depends on personal preference. I'll go chalk here since those are the movies I'd personally favor anyways. Only one upset so far.
Re-seeded First Round (Pixar Bracket)
#1 Toy Story 3 vs #16 The Good Dinosaur
#2 Inside Out vs #15 Cars 3
#3 Finding Nemo vs #14 Coco
#4 Up! vs #13 Brave
#5 Toy Story 2 vs #12 Cars
#6 The Incredibles vs #11 A Bug's Life
#7 Wall-E vs #10 Ratatouille
#8 Monsters, Inc. vs #9 Toy Story
-The Pixar bracket is far more loaded and interesting on just about ever level. Let's do the easy ones first, the top four seeds all easily advance. The 5-12 is incredibly interesting, since Cars made a TON of money (especially from our household) and Toy Story 2 is a great movie but not as great as the third movie in the trilogy and not quite the innovator as the originator. Cars is loved or hated depending on who you ask, but as a parent, it's provided quite a bit of quiet time, so I'll knock out Toy Story 2 here. 6 over 11 is done, and I'll go 7 over 10 because nothing about Ratatouille is all that memorable. The 8/9 is a monster (ha!) match-up. Like we did in the original bracket, we'll put Monsters, Inc. on to the next round.
Re-seeded Sweet 16 (Disney Bracket)
#1 Zootopia vs #8 Tangled
#2 Frozen vs #7 The Beauty and the Beast
#3 Moana vs #6 Big Hero 6 (or #11 Lilo and Stitch)
#4 Lion King vs #12 Mulan
-We've set up some very interesting movie match-ups this round. It's hard to not go chalk here again. Lion King vs. Mulan was our Disney bracket championship in the original bracket, and it's probably the hardest call in this setup too. Still, we will go with the higher seeds in every line.
Re-seeded Sweet 16 (Pixar Bracket)
#1 Toy Story 3 vs #8 Monsters, Inc.
#2 Inside Out vs #7 Wall-E
#3 Finding Nemo vs #6 The Incredibles
#4 Up! vs #12 Cars
-The gloves are off! No Cinderella movie out of this group, although if you had a more diverse panel of voters you could probably make cases for pretty much any lower seed. Based on what we did above we'll move on the top four to the next round. No easy choices though.
Re-seeded Elite 8 (Disney Bracket)
#1 Zootopia vs #4 Lion King
#2 Frozen vs #3 Moana
-Finally, the Disney bracket gets fun! Zootopia vs. Lion King is an outstanding play-in to the Final Four. Both pretty deserving. Lion King is our overall champ so they get the nod. Frozen vs. Moana is, as mentioned, old Frozen vs. new Frozen. Like the original bracket, my wife and I split, so Frozen moves on.
Re-seeded Elite 8 (Pixar Bracket)
#1 Toy Story 3 vs #4 Up!
#2 Inside Out vs #3 Finding Nemo
-So, in our original bracket, we moved Up! over Toy Story 3 since my wife had the benefit of the tiebreaker (the higher seed). Using that, we would move Toy Story 3 on from here, but not without bitter controversy. #2 vs #3 was a FIRST ROUND match-up in the original brackets. This is a much better spot to have the debate. We both put Inside Out ahead so let's do that.
Re-seeded Final Four (Disney Bracket Championship)
#2 Frozen vs #4 Lion King
-Lion King was our overall champ, but Frozen probably gets more of the younger votes since the Lion King visually can't hold up as well to the newer movies (amazing what a quarter century of technological advancements can do for film-making). So we'll stick to our guns.
Re-seeded Final Four (Pixar Bracket Championship)
#1 Toy Story 3 vs #2 Inside Out
-We both had Inside Out at the top of our Pixar bracket picks. So in a battle of the two highest-ranked movies in the entire field (Toy Story 3 was highest-grossing and 3rd-highest reviewed, while Inside Out was the reverse of that), it's Inside Out in the narrowest of victories.
#4 Lion King vs #2 Inside Out
-Yeah, the final match-up didn't change. Lion King, champs no matter how you seed it.