For a company that is so well known for its line of Princess characters, you could be forgiven for believing that they do not have a lot to offer in the male protagonist category. But numerous tough matchups appear right out of the gate. Several classic characters face off with the modern heroes including Robin Hood vs Woody, Arthur vs. Sully and Peter Pan vs. Mr. Incredible. Tarzan and Kuzco represent one of the more modern match ups. On the other hand, Buzz Lightyear, Simba and Kristoff look to have some of the easier matchups against characters who often get overlooked. My personal Final Four comes down to Beast, Kristoff, Aladdin and Hercules, with Aladdin coming out on top over Beast. But I’m sure with the way my modern family votes, it’ll be Woody, Kristoff, Maui and Wreck-it Ralph or something like that instead. With so many great characters, some will definitely be unfairly left behind as the bracket results get finalized.
As expected, the bracket starts off with either a lot of close matchups or pretty clear winners. One of the closest, and biggest surprises, came from Robin Hood beating Woody via tiebreaker. My wife led the charge against Woody stating that while he is a good character, he needs to learn from Elsa and “Let It Go.” His obsession with Andy—for all four movies—did him in against Robin Hood. King Arthur puts up a decent battle against Sully, but could not pull out a win over the big, soft monster. Tarzan gets dropped by Emperor Kuzco, but I like Kuzco as well so I was not too broken up about it. I did not expect Winnie the Pooh to challenge Maui the way he did, nor for Prince Phillip and Tramp to drown Nemo and his father.
Buzz Lightyear gets revenge for his friend and knocks Robin Hood off in the second round, though I suspect a lot of those votes against Robin were out of spite for me cheering on Robin of Foxley the way I did. Big wins came from Prince Eric, Kristoff & Sven, and Maui. Sorcerer Mickey and Hercules faced off in one of the more heated contests this round. There is no denying that Sorcerer Mickey is possibly the mouse’s most iconic look, and my personal favorite for sure, but Hercules benefited from having a whole movie where he had more attention on character growth, action and romance. The only tie in this round was between Sully and Nick Wilde with me convincing my older brother to support Sully because his love for Boo fundamentally changed the way monsters lived their lives and viewed human kids.
A potential Emperor’s New Groove and Monster’s Inc. Final Four ends quickly in the next round proved that while Emperor’s New Grove is a family favorite, the two main leads were clearly outmatched this far into the bracket. Both Kuzco and Pacha suffered unanimous defeats against Buzz Lightyear and Maui, respectively. Mike Wizowski won a tough match up against Stitch, while his costar lost a similarly close battle against Hercules. The biggest upset comes from my two older brothers voting Wreck-It Ralph through over Simba. My oldest brother’s reasoning behind throwing the King of the Pride Lands under the bus—he wants a potential Maui vs Hercules Final Four match up and thinks Herc has a better chance at beating Ralph—just boggled the mind.
Controversy roiled the Final Four standings for the Bradley Disney Hero bracket. Buzz, Kristoff and Hercules made strong cases to advance, but Maui vs Aladdin resulted in a tie with the patriarch of the family flipping between Maui and Aladdin. My father stated his final reason in switching support to Aladdin was because of his street smarts and Maui just “chasing and fighting a crab. Anyone can catch a crab. I did it in my youth in Long Beach.” So with the swing back to Aladdin, the tie breaker went in the street rat’s favor. That was an important battle because Hercules is great, but I did not see Hercules being able to “Go the Distance” against Maui or Aladdin, no matter who won that match up.
It was hard to argue with the Final Four contenders: Buzz, Kristoff (and Sven), Aladdin and Hercules. Both Final Four matchups came down to a tie, with the majority of the family units supporting Buzz in his win over Kristoff and Sven. However, the family units were spit on Aladdin and Hercules since my mother and father did not agree on their pick. So for the first time, the tie breaker for the tie breaker came down to my youngest niece’s first vote in the brackets. She went with Prince Ali himself and put him through to the finals against Buzz Lightyear. Likewise, the Championship matchup was a tight race the whole way and onc again came down to the matriarch and patriarch of the family. G-Ma went with Buzz to give him his 8th vote to win it and claim victory for all of infinity (or until we decide to do this again)!