Welcome to the first Bracket Round of the Pixar Tournament! In the Preliminaries, Pixar’s 22 feature films were narrowed down to the 16 films in our bracket. You can see the Bracket here. The seeding was based on the upvotes in the Preliminaries, with ties being broken by RNG . We’ll see how it plays out in the actual tournament – but while yesterday’s upvotes do indicate clear underdogs and a few potential favorites – the upper half of our bracket seems very close in esteem.
Here are the 6 films that missed the cut off to make this round – as a reminder, the films were divided into two groups of 11, with the top 8 in each group advancing.
- Cars 2 gets the dishonor of being the only film without a single upvote in the preliminaries. A harsh rebuke, but not too surprising for the only Pixar film that’s rotten on Rotten Tomatoes. It being the only Pixar film I haven’t seen, I don’t know if the negative RT rating is fair – perhaps Critics held it to too high a standard – but no Avocado cared enough to give it a pity upvote
- Cars 3 also faded fast with a mere two upvotes. The film is a lot less dark than its infamous “Is Lightning McQueen dead?” teaser trailer. Which is good in that we didn’t need a gritty Cars movie… but a really gritty Cars movie probably would have been memorable. I do respect that after Cars 2′ negative reception, they likely wanted to wrap up the Cars trilogy up on a respectable note (well, and continue making bank off the franchise) and delivered adequately on that.
- The Good Dinosaur‘s 6 upvote performance is again, not too surprising for basically Pixar’s biggest box office disappointment (not counting Onward’s unlucky timing). As I mentioned in yesterday’s comments, this did surpass my expectations when I watched it shortly before this tournament. Not Pixar’s most ambitious story, but still very charming, and I was happy not to have missed out on meeting the wonderful character of Spot.
- Cars pulls in for 8 upvotes, meaning the Cars franchise makes up half our knock outs. The franchise obviously has a poor reputation – but I do have affection for this first movie from watching it as a kid (Not sure at all, but it may be was the first movie I saw in theatres?). The world of Cars is weird and features some of Pixar’s weakest humor, but I certainly do believe this film has heart to it.
- Onward had a respectable but not good enough 10 upvotes. This is another one I caught up with shortly before the tournament, and I can’t say Pixar didn’t work its tearjerking magic by the end. I’m not a big fan of the fantasy setting and I feel it had less interesting ideas on it mind than other recent Pixar originals – but I still think its very unfortunate its initial release was sunk by the Coronavirus outbreak, and hope it found an audience on streaming.
- Incredibles 2 – if there was a big upset in the preliminaries, it was definetly this one. I’m in the camp who were underwhelmed by the film – the action is great and there’s plenty of fun moments, but the villain didn’t work for me and its themes felt half baked. But I do recall a lot of enthusiasm for the film when it came out (it was one of the most hotly demanded sequels ever, and for many it reasonably met those lofty expectations), so I would have expected it to to pass through as a low seed. Its 17 upvotes actually tied with three other films (our 14th-16th seeds in the bracket) – but Incredibles 2 ranked at #9 within its group, forcing its elimination. A disgruntle fan could claim it was screwed by how the sorting of the groups worked out, but I don’t think the results make it seem like it was robbed a spot either. Brave and A Bug’s Life were basically its competition in its group for a low seed, and both those movies somewhat outperformed expectations. I suspect movies like Brave and A Bug’s Life were helped by their perceived endangered status – there being a little more of a “I have to save this, it’s so under rated!” energy behind them.
I’ll be posting the matchups for this Round of 16 below. It should be straight forward stuff from here on out – vote for your preferred film in each matchup, and we’ll see who advances in the bracket. Since I won’t want to post the next round until Monday, you’ll have at least through Sunday to vote for your picks.