Saturday, April 14, 2018

Disney-Pixar Bracket - Catholic Skywalker Edition Part I

A little while ago, somewhere on the interwebs someone came up with a tournament bracket matching up on the one side modern Disney animated movies and on the other PIXAR movies.

The match ups are the following.

1. The Lion King vs. Tarzan
2. The Princess and the Frog vs. Lilo and Stitch
3. Tangled vs. Big Hero Six
4. Frozen vs. Moana
5. Aladdin vs. Hercules
6.  The Little Mermaid vs. Pocahontas
7. Mulan vs. Zootopia
8.  Beauty and the Beast vs. The Nightmare Before Christmas

On the other side:

1.  Up vs. Brave
2. Toy Story vs. Toy Story 2
3. Coco vs. Cars 2
4. Toy Story 3 vs. The Good Dinosaur
5.  Ratatouille vs. A Bug's Life
6.  Finding Nemo vs. Inside Out
7.  Monsters Inc. vs. Cars
8.  The Incredibles vs. Wall E

I am now about to give my rational for the bracket winners step by step.  Feel free to chime in and/or dispute any of my claims.

So let's get started:

1.  The Lion King vs. Tarzan

I haven't seen Tarzan.  So the winner is:

2.  The Princess and the Frog vs. Lilo and Stitch

I didn't care much for either.  While I think they made a big mistake with the style of music for the movie, the animation for The Princess and the Frog gives it a slight edge.

3.  Tangled vs. Big Hero Six

These are very different movies.  I think the Tangled  has a lot of beauty, but Baymax is just a wonderfully designed and such a heartwarming character.

Image result for big hero six logo

4.  Frozen vs. Moana

Both are very good.  But Frozen has the better music and the more Christological ending.


5.  Aladdin vs. Hercules

This one is no contest.  Hercules is one of the lesser Disney offerings, while Aladdin is one of the truly greats.

Image result for aladdin logo

6.  The Little Mermaid vs. Pocahontas 

The Little Mermaid is responsible for the Disney Renaissance and for good reason.  The music, animation, and characters are timeless.


File:The Little Mermaid logo.svg

7.  Mulan vs. Zootopia

While Zootopia has some good animation and story elements, there is something a little too cynical about this movie to let it advance.

File:Mulan Logo Black.svg

8.  Beauty and the Beast vs. The Nightmare Before Christmas

I am in the minority of people who cannot stand The Nightmare Before Christmas.  I find it way too dark and find nothing fun about it.



So now we have left
1. The Lion King vs. The Princess and the Frog
2. Big Hero 6 vs. Frozen
3. Aladdin vs. The Little Mermaid
4. Mulan vs. Beauty and the Beast

This is where things get interesting:

1. The Lion King vs. The Princess and the Frog

This is one of the easiest ones on this level.  The Lion King  outperforms in terms of visuals, music, characters, and themes.


2. Big Hero 6  vs. Frozen

While both have strong animation visuals.  But Frozen has the edge in terms of characters and music.

3. Aladdin vs. The Little Mermaid
This is the most difficult one in this round.  These are both fantastic films with great animation and timeless music.  "Part of Your World" is an iconic anthem of longing, but A Whole New World is a romantic classic.  In the end, the magic of Robin Williams' Genie pulls this one out above the other.

Image result for aladdin logo
4.  Mulan vs. Beauty and the Beast
This one is a little easier.  Beauty and the Beast is better written, drawn, has better songs, and is more iconic.

From here on out, the choices get more difficult because we are down to 4 great movies:

1. The Lion King vs. Frozen
2. Aladdin vs. Beauty and Beast

Here I think we will get into the most controversy because of how loved these movies are.

1.  The Lion King vs. Frozen

This is a tough one.  The opening to The Lion King is absolutely gorgeous.  It is a beautiful harmonization of the sight and sound.  Frozen begins a bit more modestly, but it ramps up the drama with "Let it Go."  For me, it comes down to the fact that Frozen was able to surprise and delight me a bit more than The Lion King.  The shift from the idea of "true love" being primarily romantic to it being sacrificial was something moved me a bit more than I was expecting.


2.  Aladdin vs. Beauty and the Beast

This is the toughest one yet.  And I will admit that I have gone back and forth several times.  Both of them are at nearly equal quality.  But if we want to talk about pure magic, I would have to give the advantage to Aladdin.  And Beauty and the Beast is one of the few movies that would be improved it was a bit longer to let the romance play out more organically.  


And so now the final battle on the Disney side:

Frozen vs. Aladdin

The strongest advantages Frozen are these:
1.  As mentioned before, the shift from romantic to sacrificial love is surprising and welcome.
2.  The animation is stunning.
3.  "Let it Go" is an amazing and powerful ballad.  It is so powerful that after the song was written it changed the entire story.

For Aladdin
1.  It is the apex of the great Disney Renaissance trilogy (preceded by The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast).  
2.  It has more classic and memorable songs than Frozen
3.  The insane genius of Robin Williams.

Williams once said of Aladdin that it was a Warner Bros. cartoon in Disney drag.  What he meant was that it had the crazy cleverness of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, etc but it had the outward appearance of a classic Disney animated film.  

And that last unique point makes the winner of the Disney side of the bracket:

Next week I will have the PIXAR side done and then we can let the winners duke it out.


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