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The Best Pixar Character Bracket: The Sweet 16

Order was more or less restored in Round 2, but a few Cinderellas remain as the higher seeds begin to clash

Pixar/Ringer illustration

Ahead of the release of Lightyear, The Ringer is hosting Pixar Week—a celebration of the toys, rats, clown fish, and more that helped define one of the greatest studios of the 21st century. At the heart of the occasion is the Best Pixar Character Bracket, a cutthroat tournament to determine the most iconic figure of them all. Check back throughout the week to vote for your favorite characters and read a selection of stories that spotlight some of Pixar’s finest moments. To infinity … and beyond!


Every time a human shows up in Toy Story, all of the toys scuttle around in a frenzy before settling into their rightful spots. That’s exactly what happened in the Best Pixar Character Bracket: The first round was chaos, but everything fell into place in the second round. Higher seeds won 14 of 16 matchups with an average of 72 percent of the vote. Disruptors like Finding Nemo’s Bruce and The Incredibles’ Jack-Jack Parr were swiftly packed up—the latter, in fact, was sent to his room by his mother. Now, heading into the Sweet 16, each of the top 12 overall seeds is still alive. Only two double-digit seeds remain. The Pizza Planet region is completely chalk; the other three regions contain only one outlier.

But none of this news should be received with a yawn. In fact, it could lead to a couple intriguing story lines: First, now that all of the pretenders have been weeded out, the Sweet 16 will be full of matchups that go down to the wire; and second, the remaining underdogs are now in position to truly light this competition on fire.

It’s time to find out what happens next.

Voting on the Sweet 16 is officially open. Remember: You can place votes here, on Twitter, and on Instagram until 6 p.m. ET.

Andy’s Room

Who’s the Favorite?

After two rounds, three Pixar franchises have emerged as the elite producers of compelling characters: Toy Story, The Incredibles, and Monsters, Inc. Each franchise has three representatives in the Sweet 16, and it wouldn’t be bold to predict that the eventual winner of this bracket will hail from this group. But of these nine characters, which one currently has the best odds?

Only two of them are currently averaging more than 85 percent of the vote: Woody and Buzz. (Dory is the only other character who’s at the 85 percent line.) But beyond the numbers, we need to look at both past and future matchups. As the no. 1 overall seed, Woody has faced fairly easy competition in the Pants Dad from Onward and Boo from Monsters, Inc.—the same can be said for Buzz, who faced Barley Lightfoot and then Lightning McQueen. Their high percentages are understandable in that context; meanwhile, Sulley has averaged 84 percent of the vote against tougher foes: Dash, the only member of the Parr family not to make it out of Round 1, and beloved shark Bruce from Finding Nemo. Perhaps his wins mean a little bit more.

Or perhaps what matters most is who these titans will face off against next. Sulley has drawn the best rat-chef in all of France in the Sweet 16, while 1-seeds Buzz and Dory will have to beat a couple trendy upset picks (more on them below). Then there’s Woody, who gets to take on a double-digit seed in Roz from Monsters, Inc.—nothing’s a guarantee, but we’re just gonna pencil his name into the next round for now. The overall no. 1 still has the best odds from where I’m standing.

The Matchups

Poll

Which character should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    (1) Woody, ‘Toy Story’
    (17372 votes)
  • 10%
    (12) Roz, ‘Monsters, Inc.’
    (1940 votes)
19312 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which character should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    (3) Mike Wazowski, ‘Monsters, Inc.’
    (15039 votes)
  • 22%
    (2) Joy, ‘Inside Out’
    (4315 votes)
19354 votes total Vote Now

42 Wallaby Way

They Have Been Chosen

THE SQUEEZE TOY ALIENS ARE STILL ALIVE!!!

With (pretty convincing) victories over Inside Out’s Sadness and The Incredibles’ Violet Parr, these little dudes find themselves in the Sweet 16 as the lowest remaining seed in the bracket. Now comes their greatest challenge yet: Dory, a 1-seed. Can the Squeeze Toy Aliens pull off the biggest upset to date? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t rooting for it.

The Matchups

Poll

Which character should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    (1) Dory, ‘Finding Nemo’
    (9716 votes)
  • 50%
    (13) The Squeeze Toy Aliens, ‘Toy Story’
    (9904 votes)
19620 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which character should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    (3) Sulley, ‘Monsters, Inc.’
    (11871 votes)
  • 38%
    (2) Remy, ‘Ratatouille’
    (7569 votes)
19440 votes total Vote Now

The Axiom

The Marquee Matchup of the Sweet 16

In one corner, you have Wall-E—the cutest trash compactor ever put to film, the titular character of arguably the best Pixar movie ever made. Wall-E has basically been kicking back and pounding soda this week, pulling in a whopping 93 percent of the vote against Arlo from The Good Dinosaur in Round 1 and taking down Toy Story’s Rex 67-33 in Round 2. (Wall-E hates dinosaurs.)

But in the other corner you have Edna Mode, seamstress from The Incredibles and, apparently, a veritable internet icon. Edna, sassy queen that she is, has also cruised through the first two rounds of this tournament. Forky was no match for her on Monday, and in Round 2 she sewed up a victory against Finding Nemo’s Marlin, turning that scaredy-fish into sashimi with 65 percent of the vote. Wall-E was a pre-tournament favorite, but Edna has made it clear she should be taken seriously as well. Now they go to battle with a spot in the Elite Eight on the line.

The Matchups

Poll

Which character should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    (1) Wall-E, ‘Wall-E’
    (11661 votes)
  • 40%
    (5) Edna Mode, ‘The Incredibles’
    (7815 votes)
19476 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which character should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    (3) Héctor, ‘Coco’
    (6263 votes)
  • 67%
    (2) Mr. Incredible, ‘The Incredibles’
    (12965 votes)
19228 votes total Vote Now

Pizza Planet

Which 1-Seed Will Fall First?

Other than Woody, the 1-seeds feel particularly in danger in this round. We’ve already hit on how Dory is set to face the thinking man’s Minions, and how Wall-E will have to eliminate YouTube’s favorite Pixar character—but perhaps the most at-risk 1-seed is Buzz Lightyear, who’s matched up against Elastigirl in this round. Against Soul’s 22 and her youngest son, Jack-Jack, Elastigirl has been even more dominant than Edna Mode, and she has won way more convincingly than her husband, Mr. Incredible. There’s a serious argument to be made that she’s the most beloved character from The Incredibles.

Then again, Buzz Lightyear is basically the reason we’re doing this whole bracket. And he’s been no chump in the first two rounds either: He’s averaging 90 percent of the vote in his matchups so far. But maybe stats don’t tell the whole story. One reader pointed out that numbers can’t take into account “how dummy thicccccc Mrs incredible is.” We’ll see how much of a factor that is in the Sweet 16.

The Matchups

Poll

Which character should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    (1) Buzz Lightyear, ‘Toy Story’
    (14055 votes)
  • 27%
    (4) Elastigirl, ‘The Incredibles’
    (5335 votes)
19390 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which character should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    (3) Miguel, ‘Coco’
    (6203 votes)
  • 67%
    (2) Carl Fredricksen, ‘Up’
    (12815 votes)
19018 votes total Vote Now
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