In the competitive spirit of college basketball's annual championship tournament, The Motley Fool brings you Stock Madness 2007! Our writers are making head-to-head arguments for their chosen stocks (but not necessarily investment recommendations -- this is, after all, a game), and you'll pick the winners with your article recommendations and Motley Fool CAPS ratings. Who will win the right to cut down the net? Let's tip things off and find out!

Don't mess with Mickey Mouse. Sure, he may be up there in years, and his squeaky voice doesn't exactly intimidate, but you definitely want Steamboat Willie on your side if you're going for a battle of the brands.

Disney (NYSE:DIS) isn't the family-entertainment giant by accident. If Mickey doesn't put a smile on your face, try your luck through Winnie the Pooh, Buzz Lightyear, Kermit the Frog, or all of the Disney Princesses. One of them is bound to do the trick.

Yet Disney is more about treats than tricks. It runs the world's most popular theme parks. ESPN is the top dog in sports programming. ABC may not be the most-watched network, but just try to pull my wife from the television when Grey's Anatomy or Lost is on.

W&T (NYSE:WTI) may have generated 60.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas last year, but Disney generated countless more cubic feet of natural laughs. Did I mention that Disney had the two top box office draws of 2006? I didn't, and that's because there's so much to the Disney story that there's no way I can get through it all in one sitting.

Disney is the real deal. You don't just accidentally generate $4.8 billion in free cash flow, nor does $34.3 billion in annual revenue just fall from the sky.

Oh, and that sky is only going to get bluer. The digital revolution will be kind to content creators. Companies like Disney, Marvel (NYSE:MVL), and DreamWorks Animation (NYSE:DWA) that have an arsenal of quality characters, and content will be the biggest beneficiaries of a future in which intellectual property can be bought and sold without the costly need for physical inventory. Sorry, I love natural gas as much as the next person, but it is what it is. Being the only brand that matters in family entertainment -- I'm sorry, Viacom (NYSE:VIA), but it's true -- will make Disney that much more powerful and valuable in the future.

This goes beyond following Viacom in suing Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) for YouTube video clips. It's about carving a new path the way Disney did when it teamed up with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to be the first major studio to sell its hit shows and films through iTunes. It's about taking a hit like last year's runaway Disney Channel smash High School Musical and transforming it into a marketing tool for its theme parks and fledgling music label, while also taking it global by casting localized cast for country-specific versions.

I respect natural gas. I do. But when I think about all the potential with Disney as a company and as an investment, I can't help chuckling. And that, after all, is a gas.

Does Disney deserve to move on to the next round? If so, simply follow this link and rank the stock "outperform" in Motley Fool CAPS. If you want to pick a fight with Mickey, vote it "underperform." Later this week, we'll tally your votes to determine which stocks will advance one step closer to the title.

Click W&T Offshore to read the opposing article in this contest and click here to read all of the entries in the tourney.

Do you think you could pitch your favorite stock or ditch your least favorite one in less than 27 seconds? That's what we're doing over at Motley Fool CAPS. Check out our new stock videos.

Disney, Marvel, and DreamWorks Animation are active recommendations in the Stock Advisor newsletter service. You're welcome to read up why with a free 30-day pass to access all of the newsletter's content services, including a lively subscriber-only discussion board.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been going to Disney World since he was a kid. He doesn't know whether W&T has an amusement park, but he can imagine a fun ride through gas pipeline. Yes, he owns shares of Disney and DreamWorks Animation. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.