Tied to 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 the linked story stream to see how the bracket played out and to read a selection of stories that spotlight some of Pixar’s finest moments. To infinity … and beyond!
On the night of the release of Buzz Lightyear’s very own movie, the space ranger was thoroughly humbled.
Buzz may have been the one walking down the red carpet on Friday evening, but in the end, it was his rival turned partner turned rival again who cemented his status as the real star, the greatest protagonist of the Toy Story franchise and, ultimately, of the Pixar Cinematic Universe.
After more than 2.4 million votes cast across five days of intense competition, the winner of the Best Pixar Character Bracket is: Sheriff Woody.
The championship clash between Woody and Buzz was a foreseeable but enticing matchup: two undisputed icons from Pixar’s first movie battling for supremacy like they did for Andy’s affection. But if this final face-off taught us anything, it’s that there are levels to being an icon. Woody and Buzz might seem like equivalents, an impossible choice even, but this thing wasn’t really that close.
Woody prevailed over his once-friend by a score of 74 to 26 percent, convincingly beating Buzz across Twitter, Instagram, and our website’s polls. We know Buzz can be prone to spouts of arrogance, but Woody shut that down within minutes of the polls opening, telling him to “reach for the sky” before concluding, “This town ain’t big enough for the two of us.”
So how did Woody do it? The cowboy utterly dominated the competition, never taking less than 70 percent of the vote. He made light work of his first three matchups, cutting through Pants Dad, Boo, and Roz like a stick of warm butter. His “toughest” challenges came in the Sweet 16 and the Final Four, where he defeated Mike Wazowski and Sulley by about even margins (four Monsters, Inc., characters total!). By the time he reached the final against Buzz, Woody’s crowning on the Pixar throne felt like a foregone conclusion.
And so, with that result concludes a delightful week of Pixar debate but, most importantly, celebration. No matter where you land in the best Pixar character (or best Pixar movie) conversation, we all can agree the studio has played a significant role in our lives and filmmaking alike. Be sure to check out our Pixar Week story stream, where you can read about the brilliance of the first 10 minutes of Up, the enduring legacy of Ratatouille’s Anton Ego, and what on earth happened to The Good Dinosaur—among numerous other stories.
Thanks again for participating, everyone, and remember: To infinity … and beyond! (Sorry, Buzz.)