Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Ultimate Disney Song Bracket Champion Is...



"A Whole New World" dominated "Under the Sea" in the championship match to take home the title. When I started this bracket a few weeks ago, I would have definitely put "A Whole New World" among the top contenders to win it all, and it didn't disappoint.



Let's revisit the song's road to the championship:

First Round: Defeated "Out There" (from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"), 94-6
Second Round: Defeated "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" (from "The Lion King"), 69-31
Third Round: Defeated "Circle of Life" (from "The Lion King"), 54-46
Quarterfinal: Defeated "Hakuna Matata" (from "The Lion King"), 67-33
Semifinal: Defeated "Let It Go" (from "Frozen"), 76-24
Final: Defeated "Under the Sea" (from "The Little Mermaid"), 69-31

As a bonus, let's enjoy the pop version, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts way back in 1992.



If you want to look back at all the results -- and marvel at how by some strange twist of fate "Part of Your World" didn't even make it to the quarterfinals -- they're all available here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ultimate Disney Song Bracket Championship: 'Under the Sea' vs. 'A Whole New World'


It all comes down to this.

64 songs have been deemed not quite good enough, and now only two remain standing in our bracket to determine the best song ever from a Disney animated movie. Both are worthy contenders, but only one can wear the crown and reign supreme as Princess (what, you expected a King? This is the Disney universe, where there's no title greater than Princess).

On to the final matchup...

"Under the Sea" (from "the Little Mermaid")


vs.

"A Whole New World" (from "Aladdin")


Reasons to vote for "A Whole New World": In addition to the win at the Oscars, this incredible love duet is the only song from a Disney animated movie to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. To do so, it knocked Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" out of the top spot. You know how hard it was to do that? Both the pop cover version (the version that reached No. 1) and the movie version (the version that won the award) are moving. This is a karaoke staple for couples and wannabe couples alike, even if the average person can't quite match the original. I mean, it's basically perfect.

Reasons to vote for "Under the Sea": It's definitely probably one of the four best songs from "The Little Mermaid." Maybe.

OK, fine, in all seriousness, "Under the Sea" is a very good song -- it wouldn't have won the Oscar if it wasn't -- but it just doesn't feel like it's on the level of "A Whole New World", or about a half-dozen other songs that have already been eliminated. But I once again leave the vote in your hands. Over the next 48 hours, you will decide the fate of the world! (Or, ya know, this meaningless bracket exercise, but, whatever)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ultimate Disney Song Bracket - Semifinals

We made it! After a couple long weeks and many votes cast, we're down to the final four songs in the Ultimate Disney Animated Song Bracket. All four songs left standing are worthy contenders for the championship and I expect there to be much arguing about which of the four is the most deserving. For that reason, I'm extending the voting for this round to a full 48 hours. Let the campaigning begin!

Semifinal #1

"When You Wish Upon a Star" (from "Pinocchio")


vs.

"Under the Sea" (from "the Little Mermaid")



TALE OF THE TAPE

"When You Wish
Upon a Star"
"Under the Sea"
Movie "Pinocchio" "The Little Mermaid"
Released 1940 1989
Sung by Cliff Edwards as
Jiminy Cricket
Samuel E. Wright as
Sebastian the Crab
Length 3:16 3:17
Style Ballad Calypso
Box Office $84.2M $111.5M
Billboard Peak 30* N/A
Best Song Oscar? Yes Yes
*1960 cover version




Semifinal #2


"A Whole New World" (from "Aladdin")


vs.

"Let It Go" (from "Frozen")



TALE OF THE TAPE

"A Whole New World" "Let It Go"
Movie "Aladdin" "Frozen"
Released 1992 2013
Sung by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga as
Aladdin and Jasmine
Idina Menzel as
Queen Elsa
Length 2:40 3:45
Style Love Duet Show tune
Box Office $217.4M $400.7M
Billboard Peak 1* 5
Best Song Oscar? Yes Yes
*Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle pop version


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ultimate Disney Song Bracket - Quarterfinals


Guys, I'm not upset with you. I'm just disappointed.

I believed you'd all do the right thing and keep voting for "Part of Your World" at least until the final four. I was wrong, and now here we are with eight songs remaining and none of them are "Part of Your World." I don't want to be part of this world.

But the bracket must go on, with the regional finals. Voting for this round will be open for 36 hours (rather than the 18 hours of the previous rounds), so vote early and often.

On to the matchups...

Pre-1960 Region


"Heigh-Ho" (from "Snow White")


vs.

"When You Wish Upon a Star" (from "Pinocchio")


I'm legitimately stunned that "Heigh-Ho" has made it this far, but it's much more of a pleasantly stunned. But if we're being honest here, this is where the run ends. "When You Wish Upon a Star" is coming off its "closest" call so far -- an 89-11 destruction of "Once Upon a Dream." I think we've established a new favorite for the entire bracket.




1960-1989 Region


"Kiss the Girl" (from "The Little Mermaid")


vs.

"Under the Sea" (from "the Little Mermaid")


Ugh, whatever... I can't even with you guys...

At least a song from "The Little Mermaid" will advance to the final four. It just won't be the right one.




1990s Region


"A Whole New World" (from "Aladdin")


vs.

"Hakuna Matata" (from "The Lion King")


I've seen multiple tweets from people rooting for "A Whole New World" to win the whole thing and with "Part of Your World" out, I might be on their side now. But "The Lion King" has been a powerhouse in this bracket and it wouldn't be a surprise to see a song from that movie win again.




2000-Pres. Region


"Let It Go" (from "Frozen")


vs.

"Do You Want to Build a Snowman" (from "Frozen")


All of the matchups for "Let It Go" have been closer than expected - though none of them have truly been close. This could be its biggest challenge yet, as it faces another powerhouse song from the same movie.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Ultimate Disney Song Bracket - Third Round


We're down to 16 songs, and amazingly in three of our eight matchups in this round feature two songs from the same movie going up against each other. In fact, each of the last three regions have one movie representing three of the four spots: The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Frozen. These are the movies guaranteed to have a song represented in the quarterfinals, but there's no guarantee any one of them will win the whole thing. As for which songs will join them, that's up to you, the voters.

On to the Sweet Sixteen...

Pre-1960 Region


"Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" (from "Song of the South")


vs.

"Heigh-Ho" (from "Snow White")


This is probably the most shocking matchup to me at this point of the bracket. I thought the controversy around "Song of the South" would have caught up with "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" by now, and I never would've guessed that "Heigh-Ho" would be the last song standing from "Snow White." As it is, one of these Cinderellas -- ironically neither from "Cinderella" -- is going to punch a ticket to the Elite Eight.





"Once Upon a Dream" (from "Sleeping Beauty")


vs.

"When You Wish Upon a Star" (from "Pinocchio")


"When You Wish Upon a Star" has been the most dominant song in the bracket to this point, winning each of its first two matchups by the same 94%-6% margin. I don't think "Once Upon a Dream" will get blown out that badly, but I also don't think it stands a chance of winning.





1960-1989 Region


"Part of Your World" (from "The Little Mermaid")


vs.

"Kiss the Girl" (from "The Little Mermaid")


I've gushed over "Part of Your World" so much already in this bracket, so I won't do that again here (for this round at least), but I'm really starting to hope it wins the whole thing. That's not to dismiss "Kiss the Girl", which is another great song from a near-flawless soundtrack, but I just love "Part of Your World" so much.





"The Bare Necessities" (from "The Jungle Book")


vs.

"Under the Sea" (from "the Little Mermaid")


This is an all-timer of a matchup. "The Bare Necessities" was an Academy Award nominee and has been covered countless times over the years. "Under the Sea" actually WON the Academy Award and is equally as fun to sing along with. I honestly can't pick between them. Hopefully you can.





1990s Region


"A Whole New World" (from "Aladdin")


vs.

"Circle of Life" (from "The Lion King")


I re-watched "Aladdin" the other day, and while "A Whole New World" is the centerpiece song in the movie, I honestly think it might only be the third-best song from "Aladdin," behind "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali" (both of which got knocked out here way earlier than they should have). Compare that to "Circle of Life", which -- when accounting only for versions in the movie -- is clearly the best song from "The Lion King."





"Can You Feel the Love Tonight" (from "The Lion King")


vs.

"Hakuna Matata" (from "The Lion King")


I didn't expect either of these songs to get this far, and frankly I'm disappointed that one of them will make it to the next round. Each song beat a song I consider to be better in the previous round, and, if I'm being entirely honest, "The Lion King" might be a tad overrated when compared to other Disney movies from this era.





2000-Pres. Region


"Let It Go" (from "Frozen")


vs.

"I See the Light" (from "Tangled")


OK, time for some honest evaluation: I love "I See the Light", probably more than any one person should love any one Disney song. I own multiple pieces of artwork based on it and if I were ever to get married -- which I won't, because obviously -- it would be the song I dance to at my wedding. All that said, "Let It Go" is probably (maybe) the better song. It's certainly more popular and more ingrained in pop culture.

Honestly, I'd be fine with whichever song wins here.





"For the First Time in Forever" (from "Frozen")


vs.

"Do You Want to Build a Snowman" (from "Frozen")


"For the First Time in Forever" barely edged out "Love is an Open Door" in the second round, setting up this Sophie's Choice of a matchup here. Both of these songs are amazing and Kristen Bell sings her heart out (in different emotional ways) in both of them, but I really have to give the edge to "Do You Want to Build a Snowman". I'd make it one of my karaoke go-to songs if I believed I could get through it without crying.