The Lion King Wins It All in Movie March Madness

We have a winner.

He’s the king of the jungle. He’s the king of the pride. And now, he’s the king of Shmoop’s Movie March Madness.

The Lion King came out ahead of The Godfather in this weekend’s final match-up. The Corleone family might rule the streets of New York, but our Shmoopers were feeling the love for Simba and his animated animal friends.

Our advice to the Godfather for coping with the second-place finish? Hakuna Matata.

Movie March Madness: Championship Round

We’re just one step away from crowning our champion, folks.

Two classic movies face off in our final round of Movie March Madness. Who will you choose—the king of the animal kingdom or the king of the most notorious crime family in pop culture?

Cast your vote by Monday, April 2nd at 9a.m. PT. We’ll reveal the winner on Monday afternoon before the basketball players take the court.


Championship Round

Movie March Madness: Final Four

Finally, it’s the Final Four. Who will be the last two movies standing?

Will Simba be king of the Cartoons vs. Comedies match up? Will The Godfather have the edge because the shark already sleeps with the fishes?

Vote your hearts out, folks.


Comedies vs. Cartoons


Scary Movies vs. Dramas


Movie March Madness: Elite Eight

Shmoop’s Movie March Madness is back, and the results are in. Did your picks impress the movie critics and land a spot in the Elite Eight?

Toy Story fans can celebrate after Woody and co. snagged a landslide win, taking home 65% of the votes over Aladdin. The Genie must have been out of the office (er, lamp) this week.

On the flip side, one scary movie match-up was scary close: Jaws got the win with just two points over The Sixth Sense. Cole might see dead people, but live sharks must be out of his wheelhouse.

Don’t forget to cast your vote again to help move your faves forward. The Final Four will be announced on Monday, and you’re gonna want to be there.




Scary Movies


Movie March Madness: Sweet Sixteen

The first weekend of March Madness is in the books—the history books, thanks to some major upsets. All the madness has inspired us to join in the fun with Shmoop’s own take on March Madness. While we may not be skilled enough to dunk a basketball, we do know a thing or two about movies.

Enter: Shmoop’s Movie March Madness.

We’ve set up a Sweet Sixteen lineup featuring some of Shmoop’s fave flicks. Now we need you to weigh in and vote for your favorite in each match-up. You have until Thursday (March 22nd) to vote for your top picks. Then while you watch the next round of basketball unfold, come back here to see which of your movies made it to the next round!



Scary Movies


Computer Science Learning Guides

Hi, Shmoopers,

Learning to code is the name of the game these days. But what if you just want to figure out what it even means to code? Our Computer Science Learning Guides have you covered.

If you’re just starting out, you can dig into guides about How Computers Work, How the Internet Works, and How Programming Works.

More advanced Shmoopers can try out How Boolean Logic Works, How Recursion Works, How Iterative Loops Work, and more.

The goal? To show you how the often scary, always daunting world of computer science and technology is actually pretty accessible, if you just give it a shot.
  • Boolean logic? It’s basically just a Google search.
  • Dynamic programming? If you’ve ever played with Legos, you’ve got it down.
  • Iterative loops? Sounds fancy, but it’s really just a programmer’s version of find and replace.
Each guide includes a description of the key concepts, a rundown of the key math and science it relies on, and a detailed guide to—yep—how it works. So, get to it, and let us know once you’ve built the next Shmoop.

Happy coding,

Holiday Gift Ideas for Literary Characters

What do most literary characters have in common? They’re terrible. Sure, there are a few Atticuses and Celies in the bunch, but for the most part, the figures of classic literature don’t deserve much more for the holidays than a big ol’ pile of coal.

But we’ve made our list—and checked it twice—and came up with a few fitting holiday gifts for some of literature’s more controversial characters. In addition to the coal, of course.

Mrs. Bennet

Mrs. Bennet seems to have a lot of time on her hands, and she tends to use it for things like meddling, gossiping, and…more meddling. So we’re gonna wrap up a giant book of Sudoku puzzles to help keep her busy. And hey, works the brain muscles, too.

Prince Hamlet

For Hamlet, we’re going big: a life coach. This guy went through a lot and, uh, it kinda messed him up. He became a little indecisive—to put it lightly—and we figured he could really use some guidance to help get his life back in order. (And yeah, we might be a little late with this one…)

Huck and Jim

We’re all about efficiency here at Shmoop, so we’re gonna give Huck and Jim a nice new motorboat. They can still keep the raft for bonding time and other various shenanigans, but this’ll help ’em get where they’re going a little more quickly.

Janie and Pheoby

We’re going homemade on this one. Janie and Pheoby must really like each other, since they spend the majority of Their Eyes Were Watching God sitting on a porch exchanging stories. So we’re gonna give them friendship bracelets to symbolize their bond—and because we like to show off our craftiness.

Vardaman Bundren

After we read about this kid thinking his mother was a fish, we figured he could use some Dr. Seuss. Maybe the illustrations will help clarify things a bit…


For Macbeth, in addition to a cleaning service (Lady Macbeth seems to have had some trouble with that one stain), we’ll be gifting a copy of Oedipus the King. You know, just to remind him how the whole prophecy thing works.

Jay Gatsby

We’re pretty close with The (Late) Great Gatsby, so he’s getting a whole haul. First, a diary. Dude had a lot of thoughts and seemed to bottle them up into symbolic ponderings of the past, so it’s probably good for him to put pen to paper. We’ll also spring for a gift card to Amazon to help Gatsby keep up the façade of reading that only an owl-eyed man could see through. And finally, we’ll go for a collection of bow ties—because looking sharp is what the Eggs are all about.

Head over to our Learning Guides for more details about every canonical literary character under the sun, or check out our course list to dig even deeper into these texts.