HOW DOES a Disney fan debate go viral? Well, in recent days, it took one case of perfect timing and two levels of inexplicable fan behavior to strike just the right spark.
Last week, the Twitter user @yeeitsanthonny tweeted his own blank Disney Animation vs. Pixar March Madness-style bracket before conducting polls. And then, on Saturday, the user @smjxmj tweeted out a filled-out version of that bracket, all leading to tens of thousands of bracket retweets and likes — and a lot of heated Internet passion.
Now, we speak from experience here. In 2015, The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs conducted its own interactive Pixar bracket, as voted on each round by readers. (Spoiler: “Toy Story” beat “Finding Nemo” in the final round.)
Many of these kinds of brackets, including ours, offer some type of tournament-style seeding, and @yeeanthonny’s did not. That’s forgivable — though if the seedings were intended to be implied, then the bracket can be seen as even more bizarre.
Far more glaring: The user boldly posted an animation bracket that baldly lacked some of the greatest Disney films of all time. No “Snow White” or “Fantasia,” two early efforts that won honorary Oscars as they helped to revolutionize the industry, or other classics such as “Cinderella,” “The Jungle Book” and “Bambi”?
Clearly, @yeeitsanthonny is a fan of the Mouse House’s more recent vintage — there’s a chance he picked only Disney Animation selections from that era to help create an apples-to-apples comparison with Disney/Pixar, which was founded in 1986 and had its first feature in 1995. But then, it still remains baffling how “Wreck-It Ralph” (87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) got stiffed from attending the big dance, let alone the Oscar-nominated “The Emperor’s New Groove” or “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (while “Hercules” and “Tarzan” might be cuttable).
And then, on the Pixar side, whither “Finding Dory” or “Monsters University,” both of which top the Cars sequels on the Tomatometer?
But let’s allow this: Such decisions are simply as subjective as the NCAA’s own March Madness bracket picks. There are bound to be quibbles.
Yet what really launched @yeeitsanthonny’s bracket into higher virality were the positively nutty picks of @smjxmj, who practically seemed to be trolling all of Twitter:
“Lion King” losing to “Tangled”? A Cars sequel beating “Coco”? And “Monsters Inc.” knocking off all comers, including “Mulan” in the final? What hot, fresh bracketscape is this?
Of course, @smjxmj couldn’t have this played this better if the aim was to get attention. The retweets piled up quickly. Bravo.
Besides, as much as Comic Riffs would love to look down on all this from a perch as high as Mufasa’s, we’re reminded of how our readers voted in some of our early rounds in 2015, as well as all the quirks of bracket pairings.
Or, as one Post commenter wrote back then:
“That seeding is terrible. Toy Story up against WALL-E in the first round? That’s like putting Duke up against Kentucky.”
Yep, those are the breaks with “Toy Story” brackets. To insanity, and beyond.