clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Best Pixar Character Bracket Final: A ‘Toy Story’ Showdown

There could be no other way, could there? Woody vs. Buzz Lightyear, the toys that were promised.

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!


By now, some of you are aware this ain’t The Ringer’s first rodeo when it comes to making pop culture brackets. Every time we do, we hope, we pray, even, that the appropriate figures get the recognition they deserve. That the likes of Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender, Ellie from The Last of Us, and Fleabag from Fleabag, are acknowledged as the truly great, three-dimensional characters they are. But as we were reminded this time around with the adored trash-compacting robot Wall-E, it remains clear that depth alone is not enough to win a Ringer bracket. No … to win a Ringer bracket, you need something far greater, something incontrovertible …

… you need to be a f---king icon.

And folks, as wonderful as Wall-E and our other Final Four contestant Sulley may be, there is no disputing that Woody and Buzz Lightyear are iconic—the quintessential Pixar icons who have spawned four Toy Story movies and now the Lightyear spinoff that a number of you will see in theaters this very evening.

As predictable as the outcome of this bracket may have been, it’s a cruel twist of fate that Woody and Buzz, once archrivals and then best friends, will duel as enemies once again.

Without further ado, let’s get into it. Here’s how the bracket played out to this point:

So, what to make of this one? Woody entered the Final Four as the most dominant participant in the bracket, averaging 86 percent of the vote. He may not have reached such great heights during his encounter with Sulley, but still put down the 3-seed quite handily with a score of 70 percent to 30. That’s now four straight victories for Woody against Monsters, Inc. characters, the last of whom scored impressive wins against 1-seed Dory and 2-seed Remy. In the end, Sulley’s magic finally ran out against an opponent who never really gave him a chance.

Buzz, meanwhile, might just be feeling happy to be here in the final. Despite cruising through the tournament with little adversity—rattling off high-profile wins against Carl Fredricksen, Elastigirl, and Lightning McQueen—Buzz finally got all he could handle from the diminutive Wall-E. Buzz eclipsed Wall-E by just 828 votes out of more than 32,000 total, winning the Twitter poll by just a single vote and actually losing the website poll by nearly 1,000 votes. It was a brilliant effort from Wall-E, who was just 1 percentage point away from a stunning triumph over a character who’s featured in four more movies than him and has existed for 13 more years.

For this reason, Buzz enters the championship round as the clear underdog: He needed victory by the narrowest of margins to make it here, and he’s generally perceived as the sidekick to Sheriff Woody even as Buzz transitions into “Pixar protagonist” this very night.

In the end, though, Woody and Buzz Lightyear are simply two different flavors: a relic of the past, and a vision of the future. Ultimately, it might just come down to which flavor voters prefer more. So, after five days of intense competition, who will be crowned the Pixar GOAT once and for all? That choice … is up to you.

Poll

Which character should win the championship?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    (1) Woody, ‘Toy Story’
    (3079 votes)
  • 24%
    (1) Buzz Lightyear, ‘Toy Story’
    (975 votes)
4054 votes total Vote Now

Voting on the championship round is officially open. Remember: You can place votes here, on Twitter, and on Instagram, until 9 p.m ET.

Ringer Dish

Nancy Jo Sales Remembers Her Iconic Story, “Leo, Prince of the City”

Movies

“How Would You Like a Lap Dance?”: The Oral History of ‘Magic Mike’

The Big Picture

The Ethan Hawke Hall of Fame and ‘The Black Phone’

View all stories in Movies