The Pixar Performance Bracket -- Round Three

Well, friends, we’re now into the part of the bracket where things get really tense: it’s the Sweet Sixteen.

We’ve had some close races so far, but few surprises. How about now? Today, I’ll share with you my picks for the Elite Eight among our remaining competitors. Let’s get to it.

Day 1

(1) Tom Hanks, Toy Story vs. (4) Jason Lee, The Incredibles: Pixar doesn’t have a lot of great villains in their films. It’s a strange thing, since there are elements of many of their films that you can recognize from story to story. But villains aren’t always their strong suit. The good news is, Jason Lee’s performance as Syndrome is one of the many high points in The Incredibles. The bad news is…well, he’s up against Tom Hanks today, and I cannot vote against Sheriff Woody. Sorry, Syndrome. This is the equivalent of you wearing a cape and trying to fly away from a powered-up jet engine.

(3) Richard Kind, Inside Out vs. (2) Ed Asner, Up: One funny thing here is that almost all of the 16 remaining seeds are the top four seeds of their section of the overall bracket. So there won’t be too many surprises at this point. But today, I must bid adieu to a 2 seed, because as much as I love Up, I gotta hand this to everyone’s favorite imaginary friend, Richard Kind—I mean, Bing Bong. (Richard Kind is, I presume, not imaginary.)

Day 2

(1) Albert Brooks, Finding Nemo vs. (4) Billy Crystal, Monsters, Inc.: I wonder if we’ll get a surprise in this matchup. I won’t be shocking anyone, though; as much as I like Crystal’s irrepressible work as Mike Wazowski, Albert Brooks is delivering a god-level performance as Marlin, walking a fine line between being neurotic and being sympathetic and charming enough. It’s brilliant work that I hope moves forward.

(3) Holly Hunter, The Incredibles vs. (2) Tim Allen, Toy Story: I vote for Holly Hunter for a few reasons. First, she’s doing great work (and it’s more nuanced than what Allen did). Second, there’s simply not enough women in this bracket anymore. (Arguably, that’s a problem stemming with not enough strong female performances in Pixar’s earlier films.) Third, a Broadcast News reunion in the Elite Eight, you guys. Come on.

Day 3

(1) Amy Poehler, Inside Out vs. (4) Patton Oswalt, Ratatouille: I feel like I may have mentioned this during the Disney/Pixar voice performance bracket, but Amy Poehler’s work as Joy is my single favorite voice performance in a Pixar film. Sorry, Patton.

(3) Don Rickles, Toy Story vs. (2) John Goodman, Monsters, Inc.: It’s gotta be Goodman. Farewell, Mr. Potato Head.

Day 4

(1) Joan Cusack, Toy Story 2 vs. (4) Craig T. Nelson, The Incredibles: It really is kind of remarkable to me that 15 of the 16 seeds are all the tops in their respective areas. Truly! Anyway, I’ll be sending all four top seeds to the Elite Eight, though it’s never up to me. Cusack must go forward.

(6) Samuel L. Jackson, The Incredibles vs. (2) Peter O’Toole, Ratatouille: So, I don’t really get why Samuel L. made it this far. The “Where’s my super-suit?” line is a very funny moment, and it is the only moment worth discussing in his performance…because it’s an underwritten role. (The performer isn’t the problem!) Anyway, it’s O’Toole for me, which may lead to a very challenging Elite Eight matchup.

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