Caitlin Antonios: What was the first Disney film, or Pixar film, that you guys ever saw?
Megan Cole: Probably “Lion King” was the first one I saw, but “Lilo and Stitch” was the one I remember really loving. I saw it in the theater and it was my favorite Disney movie ever. Kind of still is.
Nicole Wong: The first one I saw was “Snow White” but the one that is my childhood is “Mulan.” There is a videotape of me somewhere in my parents’ house of me reciting the entire movie.
Emily Molina: I don’t know what my first one was. I know there’s also childhood videos of me dancing along to movies like “Jungle Book” and “Tarzan.”
MC: I just want to say that I’m offended that “Frozen” and “Moana” are in the same bracket, because “Frozen” is a trash movie, and it shouldn’t even be on here.
EM: I guess I’ll be the one to defend “Frozen.” It’s still a really, really great film; it had some good messages that haven’t been told in a while. It was very “Broadway” … but I think the magic was ruined when Disney overdid it. But I still think it is a good, classic Disney film. Not the best, but still a good Disney film that should be appreciated.
MC: The songs were annoying as hell. Olaf was contrived and literally just written to market to children and to annoy their parents.
Isaac Espinosa: Just to sell toys.
MC: The plot was contrived and I did not care about any of the characters. Everyone knew that Anna was going to get with what’s-his-name at the end, the weird blonde one.
EM: But what did you think about the twist?
MC: IT WAS SO NOT A TWIST. I saw that coming.
CA: Let’s bring this back to the bracket. Let’s discuss final picks.
EM: I think I would have to go with “Beauty and The Beast.”
NW: I have “Lilo and Stitch.”
MC: I also went with “Lilo and Stitch.”
CA: Why did you guys pick “Lilo and Stitch”?
MC: Like I said, it was the first Disney movie that I remember loving. The soundtrack was the first CD I ever owned. I love Elvis with all my heart so that’s one reason, and I love Lilo because she’s sassy, and Nani is just a wonderful role model. I just love the complexity of all the characters and their family dynamic.
NW: It’s just different from the other Disney movies.
CA: Emily, why did you pick “Beauty and the Beast”?
EM: “Beauty and the Beast” grew to be my favorite because it’s my mom’s favorite movie. I just fell in love with the characters. I identified with Belle a lot as a kid. I think the story is amazing, the music by Alan Menken and everything is beautiful. It’s just a classic Disney film that should be celebrated everywhere.
CA: You don’t think it’s a little problematic?
EM: I think if we’re going to go in that direction, technically every Disney children’s cartoon is problematic.
NW: All of the princess movies.
EM: All of them. Like “Sleeping Beauty” for goodness sake.
MC: What’s the most problematic movie in this bracket?
MC: I always hated the “Little Mermaid,” I just think it’s incredibly sexist, even for a Disney princess movie.
EM: If we’re going to address the “Beauty and the Beast” problems, each movie has its problems. So I think if we’re going to point out one, we have to point out the other ones too.
CA: Pixar checks out. I don’t think there’s any super red flags with Pixar movies. Isaac, what did you pick for your final movie?
IE: I have “Lion King.”
CA: It was between “Lion King,” “Ratatouille” and “Up” on your bracket.
EM: Can I ask why you ranked “Ratatouille” over “Up?”
IE: It is the most touching tale of a small chef, Linguini, learning that he’s not that good at cooking —
EM: It’s about the rat!
IE: Yeah, but Linguini is like the tool for Remy. The review from the food critic, Ego, at the end is so beautiful! That whole flashback scene with his mom … it’s so beautiful, so touching, and relatable.
EM: Okay, why over “Up” though?
IE: I love “Up” but not more than “Ratatouille.” The scene in the beginning [of Up] with the time lapse of their relationship is beautiful and heartbreaking. I feel the ending is sad because the man has to find a new place to live — but there’s all the anti-corporation stuff at the very beginning where they say, “We’re gonna tear your house down and build a parking lot.” Like, they actually do that by the end of the movie.
EM: They didn’t tear his house down, he took it away from the corporation.
IE: Yeah, exactly. He did it for them, they didn’t have to pay money for it. He just saved the company like $100,000.
CA: So why did “Lion King” beat “Ratatouille” then?
IE: Elton John is a legend. I love the music in “Lion King.” It’s so classic, timeless. “Lion King” — not to mention the story, beautiful, so Shakespearean you know, getting revenge for someone killing your father. And Timon and Pumba, you know? Two cool guys, hakuna matata.
EM: Did you like the sequel, and did you like “Lion King 1 1/2?”
IE: No, neither.
EM: It was funny in the last scene, where all the Disney characters come in. It’s so cool as a kid because you realize they’re all in it.
IE: It was the first “Infinity War.”
Caitlin Antonios is the opinion editor.
Isaac Espinosa is the associate opinion editor.
Emily Molina is the arts & entertainment editor.
Nicole Wong is the news editor.
Megan Cole is the editor in chief.