Now we get down to business. The CCCC Bracket is updated with the Play-In Winners, and now we start sending 'em off-air in numbers. Sixteen to be exact. Childhood (or adulthood) memories will be crushed. Dreams shattered.
But it's necessary.
Let's roll. As before, LIST your picks in the comments and I'll tally from there. Once we eliminate shows, I'll utilize the poll feature (less choices makes the poll feature easier). So for now, just pick away in the comments.
Looney Tunes vs. Avatar
This one almost doesn’t seem fair. Avatar snuck into the field via tiebreaker (number of episodes) while Looney Tunes walks in the Number One Overall Seed by a margin so wide you could drive the MonStars’ ship through it. Not to mention…this is the team that beat the MonStars. They don’t have MJ, but their bench is so deep that they roll in another super-talented character to fill The Greatest’s shoes. Out-manned and overpowered…Avatar will struggle mightily here. Getting past Pirates of Dark Water was commendable, but the run ends here in Gotham City. Looney Tunes rolls.
UnderDog vs. The Magic School Bus
8/9 matchups never lack intrigue, and this one is no different. There won’t be any Shoeshine Boy here…and UnderDog will leave a path of destruction as per usual. However, there is some contention within the Cartoon Council as to whether UnderDog’s ‘Super Energy Pills’ are a banned substance for being a performance-enhancing drug, and that may be just enough of a distraction to allow the school bus to roll right through and into a Gotham City showdown with Looney Tunes.
South Park vs. Justice League
This is the sleeper of this whole bracket. Duckburg gets Tom and Jerry, but they also get to see probably the most under-seeded show in the entire bracket as a 7. South Park seemed destined for a higher seed after rolling through the Comedy Central Conference. The CCC has always been a mid-major, but the Great White Shark in the small pond has always been the team from Park County, Colorado. Justice League worked hard for a 10-seed, playing off of emotion tied to the individual heroes that comprise the group…and as we’ve seen already, anything can happen. It will take the combined powers of all of the Justice League members to get past Cartman’s devious gameplan in Duckburg.
Tom and Jerry vs. Tiny Toon Adventures
In my own opinion (which holds no weight), Tiny Toons got a raw deal on seeding. I could have seen them as high as the 12 line, but they sit in Duckburg tasked with facing off against the most beloved game of cat-and-mouse of all-time. Overcoming Tom and Jerry will be near-impossible for Buster and Babs, regardless of who their legendary family members are. Tom and Jerry narrowly missed the Hanna-Barbera Conference Championship, losing that sure-number 1 seed to Scooby Doo. It would have been a tall task for the 15 here regardless who the runner up from H-B was. If the ‘Toons escape here, it would be nothing short of a miracle.
The World of David the Gnome vs. Star Wars: The Clone Wars
This one is a bizarre 5/12 that could go either way. Both are and were low-flying under-the-radar shows and either could easily move on to face the winner of South Park and the Eds. I do see the Gnomes having a tough time handling both sides of The Force and clones to boot. I think George Lucas gets to try and topple Seth MacFarlane for a date in the Sweet 16.
Family Guy vs. Ed, Edd, and Eddy
Given the Griffins’ pop culture success, it seems as though they might be a little underseeded…but with who all is sitting on the 3 line and above, it’s easy to think that Family Guy is poised for a run as a four-seed who can make some serious noise. I think the key here is Greased-Up Deaf Guy. Since the committee allowed the use of body grease, it stands to reason that Ed, Edd AND Eddy will have a hard time stopping him from touching all the candy. In what looks to be a weaker 5/12 matchup above them, Family Guy could cruise relatively untouched into the Sweet 16.
The Jetsons vs. Heckle and Jeckle
Once again, classics face off in an early round. It’s hard to imagine George, Jane and Mr. Spacely dropping this matchup against the two mischievous magpies, but if Jeckle can take out Rosie, they may have a shot against the rest of the team from Orbit City. We’ve seen an 11 dismantle a 6 before…and it certainly can happen again here.
Chip N’ Dale Rescue Rangers vs. Hey Arnold!
The nature of this beast is probably ‘old vs. new’ in terms of a lot of seeding scenarios, but two groups of cartoons that were extremely successful were all of the Disney group (Chip N’ Dale, Duck Tales, Darkwing Duck) and Nicktoons. Arnold never quite reached the heights of Doug or Rocko, and the Rescue Rangers got their start alongside Mickey, Minnie and other ageless stars before spawning their own TV series and list of video game appearances; most recently in the ‘Kingdom Hearts’ series. Arnold, Helga and Gerald will make it game, but unless Stoop Kid can finally leave the stoop, Chip N’ Dale will be rolling on in Third Earth.
King of the Hill vs SpongeBob SquarePants
This is a weird 5/12 matchup. Both have had staying power on major networks, and both figure to be in the realm of ‘elite’ cartoons. However, SpongeBob finds himself as a double-digit seed and needs to knock off Hank’s gang to prove the selection committee wrong. The X-Factors here are John Redcorn against Patrick Star on the inside, and Squidward against Dale Gribble at the wing spot. A 12 beating a 5 has become a yearly thing in other less-popular tournaments…and we really kind of expect nothing less here.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vs. Bobby’s World
I could go in-depth with this one but it just looks like Snake Eyes, Cobra Commander, Crazy Legs, and especially Destro have way too much firepower for young Bobby. Maybe next year, kid; Yo, Joe. The Joes win here…so now you know. And knowing is half the battle.
The Flintstones vs. Woody Woodpecker
There are classic matchups that we long for. UofL/UK, Bieber vs. 1D, Duke/Carolina, The Whopper vs. The Big Mac, and Dino vs. Woody. It’s unclear how the travel to Third Earth will affect either (I’m sure Fred and Barney had quite the time boarding a spaceship they didn’t have propel with their feet…) but this one feels more like a sweet-16 game than a 6/11 battle. I still like the Bedrock Bunch to face the winner of Archer and Courage.
Archer vs. Courage the Cowardly Dog
Archer burst on to the scene with quick wits, luck, and more innuendo than you can shake a tactical turtleneck at. Forging a path to a quick FX Conference Championship, the secret agent looks to best everyone’s favorite comic-horror coward who’s name doesn’t rhyme with ‘Ruby Poo.’ Archer is on a hot streak, and I don’t it stopping until he and Lana the rest of ISIS run into one of the classics in the Round of 32.
Animaniacs vs. Space Ghost
Space Ghost (and breakout star Brak) ran all over the Gargoyles in the Play-In game, and now the task grows taller against the Warner Twins Yakko and Wakko. I see the strategy here to get Space Ghost thinking about U.S. Presidents and States and Capitols, then allowing Pink and The Brain to take over SG's world. Animaniacs come up big in Imagination Land.
The Real Ghostbusters vs. Bob’s Burgers
Did you ever drink Ecto-Cooler? Yeah, you drank Ecto-Cooler. This is an intriguing matchup of Sunday Night adult humor vs classic kids cartoon. Live-action Ghostbusters has been a pop culture mainstay, but there is still a cult following for the cartoon that had a seven-season run on ABC. Major Networks square off here and this one is a pick-em. Honestly…I’ve got Bob going on to face off against Animaniacs.
M.A.S.K. vs. Reboot
Reboot is our Canadian contender and picked up a TON of steam during the voting process. This bracket may not be big enough for more than one group of heavily-armored transforming do-good vehicles. Reboot rides its computer-generated surge straight into the Round of 32.
The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show vs. Darkwing Duck
Another classic-versus-nineties matchup pits the second 2-seed against one of the dark horses of this field. Launchpad McQuack chose to live out his eligibility as second fiddle to Darkwing once Duck Tales ended their run, and it’s worked out well since Darkwind Duck makes its first appearance in this tournament (it’s everyone’s first appearance just bear with me). Darkwing’s team must face one of the most potent one-two punches in all of cartoons, as ‘Moose and Squirrel’ are extremely versatile. This is a deep group too with Sherman and Mr. Peabody, and of course Boris and Natasha ready to come off the bench. Darkwing may fight crime in St. Canard…but this is an uphill fight to move on against M.A.S.K. or Reboot. Bullwinkle pulls the rabbit out of the hat in this one.