Because people know how much Matthew and I like to debate movies and how much we love Disney and Pixar, a few people have shared a recent Buzzfeed article with me. Here’s the link in case you haven’t seen it. Basically, someone created a movie bracket of Disney vs. Pixar movies and argued it out. The author of the article makes it very clear that she is not okay with how the bracket plays out (I mean, really, Tangled beating The Lion King is just nonsense). I have a problem with the bracket, too. Not exactly with the choices made, but more with the initial structuring of the whole thing to begin with. How did they choose those specific Disney movies out of the entire 50+ canon? Why are Toy Story and Toy Story 2 – two of the highest rated Pixar movies of all time – up against each other in the first round? What in the world is Nightmare Before Christmas doing there?!?!
So I decided to fix the bracket, and by doing so, show all you wonderful people how to create your own movie fight. Even though I have never paid attention to March Madness, I’ve probably made more brackets than most people – all related to movies. So, here’s how I like to do it.
Step 1. Pick Your Topic
Here’s a list of things our friends have argued about using this system:
-Best Jim Carrey performance
-Best Disney villain song
-Best movie villain of all time
-Best director of the new millenium
-Best Lord of the Rings scene (a serious super-nerd fight)
-Best Rom-Com of all time
-Best Tom Hanks performance
-Best MCU movie
-Best Disney male leads
-Best Disney princesses
And more. Basically, the possibilities are endless. For our purposes, we’ll use the bracket that inspired this post – Disney vs. Pixar. Truth be told, we’ve had a Pixar fight and many Disney fights, but I don’t think we’ve ever put them together like this.
Step 2. Make your list.
Once we agree on a topic, there are two ways I’ll go about coming up with contenders. For something like “Best Movie Villain,” I’ll consult the internet. Everyone has already come up with lists for everything on the internet, so use those as a starting place. The other way is far more informal: everyone just shouts out their ideas. We usually make a list of about 20 contenders, then we whittle it down to the Sweet 16. We brainstorm more than we need to because not everybody has seen everything. So we’ll go through and see what movies the majority of our group have seen and cross off the ones that only one or two people know. The goal is to have fun and encourage everyone to share their opinions; you can’t do that if you haven’t seen a movie.
For our Disney vs. Pixar fight, we’ll be doing a full 32 movie bracket, but we only need 16 of each. For Pixar, that’s pretty easy. They have released 19 movies up to Coco, so we need to eliminate 3. For our friends’ maximum enjoyment, we will eliminate Cars 2 & 3 and The Good Dinosaur. Now the Disney side is a little trickier. The other bracket’s choices seem very random to me. I can understand keeping it modern. You could do the Disney Purist list which would be highest-rated Disney movies of all time, but that eliminates newer stuff in favor of Pinocchio and Cinderella. So let’s keep it modern. I found a great Rotten Tomatoes editorial where they ranked every Disney movie since 1986. In case you didn’t know, Moana was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker who helped usher in the Disney Renaissance by directing The Little Mermaid.
So let’s use that list. Again, per our friends’ enjoyment we’re eliminating Bolt and Winnie The Pooh (2011) in favor of Hercules and Princess and the Frog. So here’s the final list:
Step 3. Seed your list.
This is where the bracket above really bothers me. I want to know how they seeded those movies because it seems completely arbitrary to me. Anyone who pays attention to sports will tell you that the outcome can vary radically based on the seeding. I suggest using something objective and non-biased: tomato ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. RT has been my go-to for seeding for most of our fights. Occasionally, I’ll use something different like Ranker or Premiere. The goal is for it to be non-arbitrary and non-biased. This could lead to some unpleasantness, but that’s okay. Your personal feelings should not be a part of the seeding process.
For our bracket, I’m going to stick with our Rotten Tomatoes guide. They’ve already done most of the work for us. Now, I know this is a 32-seed bracket set up, but we’re technically doing two separate 16-seed brackets. If we did the full 32, then I would have to mix the Disney and Pixar movies and seed them as one big group. We want to keep them separate so this is how it will look.
Now, there are things I still don’t like about this bracket. I HATE that Wall-E and The Incredibles are up against each other in the first round, but I won’t change it. Mulan vs The Lion King on the Disney side also pisses me off, but that’s how it goes. It’s not arbitrary, and it’s not biased (that’s for sure).
Step 4. Argue!
Now the fun part: argue out the pairings until you have an ultimate winner! The great thing about this process is that in most discussions, whether it’s politics or social issues, most people don’t get to share their opinion (or don’t really want to). When it’s something trivial, yet universal, like movies, everyone gets a say. Passions will come out, but ultimately it’s okay because it’s just movies. Fair warning, though, Disney fights can get particularly emotional.
So, let’s have a Disney vs. Pixar movie fight!*
*Our group of 6 occasionally needed a tiebreaker, in which case we asked the opinion of a 7th.