Disney vs. Pixar | Speech & Debate

Go, ahead: Ask 100 people the “Disney vs. Pixar” question. Most will say Disney, and not because it’s what they grew up watching or because most people can’t name a Pixar movie besides “Toy Story” or “Cars.”

Go, ahead: Ask 100 people the “Disney vs. Pixar” question. Most will say Disney, and not because it’s what they grew up watching or because most people can’t name a Pixar movie besides “Toy Story” or “Cars.”

It’s because Disney invented the genre. Disney is classic. Disney is forever.

Disney is countless characters that appeal to the kids in all of us. What family with a young girl hasn’t debated the “who’s your favorite princess” question? Disney is dialogue and sight gags that in later movies evolved to include more obscure and adult references for parents to catch while watching with their kids.

Both Disney and Pixar have produced unforgettable characters and storylines based on the timeless values of friendship, loyalty and love. We’ll call that category a tie. Visually, Pixar gets the nod for its superior animation, but some of that can be attributed to the fact that its movies are generations newer, and technology keeps advancing.

There’s one big difference-maker that swings the pendulum clearly on the side of Disney and makes it the champ in this heavyweight battle: Music.

The songs are as central to a Disney movie as the action. Can you name one unforgettable Pixar song? You suggest, “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” from “Toy Story.” Good choice, but it wasn’t even sung by a character in the movie.

You’ll search to infinity and beyond to find Pixar songs on the same scale as the Disney classics. Still not sure? Well, why don’t you just ruminate, whilst I illuminate.

In this debate, Todd Porter “Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” but he needs to “Let It Go.”

Taking the (rightful) side of Disney, “I’ve Got No Strings to Hold Me Down” from remembering “The Bare Necessities.”
Debating me, Todd, is “A Whole New World.” You’ll win “When I See an Elephant Fly.”

So, Todd, “You Poor, Unfortunate Soul,” you really think Pixar is better than Disney and that you can prove it?
We Disney fans say, “Be Our Guest.”

—Rich Desrosiers

Like most things Disney does well, it knows when to buy the competitor because, well, the competitor is better. Really, this is the end of the debate of Disney vs. Pixar.

Pixar became so good at creating computer-generated animated feature films, it was putting Disney to shame. “Toy Story” was the first feature film made with computer animation. Five years after “Toy Story,” Disney released a lame attempt, “Dinosaur.”

And you’re reading that and saying to yourself, “Dinosaur?”


Pixar was born in 1979 but took off a short while later after becoming a division of Lucasfilm. Then in the mid-1980s, Apple creator Steve Jobs invested in Pixar and after a series of shrewd moves, he became chairman of the board of directors at Pixar. This happened in the time after Jobs was fired from the company he created. His creative genius, and competitive juices, flowed.

“Toy Story,” produced by Pixar and distributed by Disney in an agreement Jobs worked out, went on to make more than than $370 million.

Behind the scenes, negotiations between Pixar and Disney heated and cooled, and only after Michael Eisner left Disney did it come to fruition and led to Jobs being the largest Disney stockholder. Meanwhile, Pixar kept producing hits. “Cars,” “The Incredibles,” “Toy Story 2,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Finding Nemo.” Disney tried to “big-brother” Pixar with its marketing arm, and Jobs would have none of it. In fact, it was Jobs who started releasing animated movies in the summer so the DVDs could be gobbled up as holiday gifts in December. Disney shareholders are still thanking that move.

Sure, history and filmography credits list Disney as the studio that created some of these hits, but that is a credit line under Pixar and a credit line Disney’s war chest of funds bought.

Think about every really good computer animation movie you’ve seen. They’re all Pixar. Disney bought itself a seat at that table.

—Todd Porter

We’re calling it a tie this month.

Both Todd and Rich made valid points. Both Disney and Pixar produce movies with great storylines and characters, and Disney offers spectacular songs. But it’s a tie since Disney bought Pixar.