It’s time for the madness again. Yes, for many, March means college basketball but for LaughingPlace, it means another Disney tournament. This year, we have the nearly impossible task of determining the very best film from Walt Disney Animation Studios.
With Disney celebrating 100 years this year and the company’s legacy being largely based in animation, we decided to look back at the 86-year history of Walt Disney Animation Studios. Of course, over those 86 years, Disney has given us a lot of beloved films so narrowing the field down to 16 was quite a challenge.
The first step was breaking the bracket into four regions. After trying several different categories (Princesses, Cult Classics, Modern Hits, etc.) we decided the easiest way to break it all down would be simply to go by date of release. That left us with the four regions of 1937-1958, 1959-1980, 1981-2002 and 2003- present.
Voting will begin Thursday. Here is this year’s “Mouse Madness” bracket:
Our bracket begins exactly where Walt Disney Animation Studios began: with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s a true classic but, then again, every film in this region is. Snow goes up against Dumbo in the first round. Our second matchup in that region pits Cinderella against Peter Pan in what should be a very close matchup.
Of course, a lot of great films couldn’t make the tournament and it this region the snubs included Pinocchio, Fantasia, Alice in Wonderland and Lady and the Tramp. An argument could have been made for any of these films to grab the last spot but this region feels like a three-horse race.
The top seed was up for grabs in this region but in the end it went to Sleeping Beauty. In the end, a beloved villain and the iconic castle pushed Sleeping Beauty over the top. It matches up against Robin Hood in the first round which could be closer than many would think. The other first round matchup sees The Jungle Book, which had a shot at that top seed, against One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Another great film goes up against another iconic villain, making this an interesting meeting.
As for the films that didn’t make the bracket in this region, well, let’s just say this was the weakest of the four. Only The Aristocats and The Rescuers were really in consideration but neither could sneak into the actual tournament. This region could be totally up for grabs.
Every tournament has that one region that is just so hard to pick. This is that region and The Lion King takes the top spot here. It’s going to be tough to dethrone the king, but Aladdin may just be up to the task. The other first round matchup put two iconic princess against one another as Beauty and the Beast takes on The Little Mermaid in what might be the toughest first round pairing to pick.
If I wanted to list all of the films in this region that deserve to be in this tournament, I would wear out my keyboard. Some of the top choices that were considered for that final spot included Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan and Lilo & Stitch. Good luck taking Aladdin out of the bracket, though.
And finally, the clear top seed in this region, based on popularity and cultural impact, had to be Frozen. However, fans turned on the film a bit due to fatigue but we may have come full circle on that so it will be interesting to see how fans vote. It will be matched up against Wreck-It Ralph in a contest that may just come down to public opinion of Frozen. And the second matchup in this region sees Moana against Tangled in a battle of two incredibly popular films.
There were a few that didn’t make the cut in this region as well, most notably The Princess and the Frog. Some of the others in consideration included Big Hero 6, Zootopia and the recent favorite, Encanto. We don’t talk about Bruno when it comes to this tournament.
Again, our Mouse Madness 9 tournament will begin on Thursday, March 16th, For a more in-depth look at the bracket, check out our selection Sunday show below: