In a first for the burgeoning realm of alternate live sports telecasts, an upcoming NFL game will be adapted in real-time as a fully animated contest in the Toy Story universe.
Billed as Toy Story Funday Football, the October 1st game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons at London’s Wembley Stadium kicks off at 9:30 AM EST on Disney+ and ESPN+. The main broadcast will also appear on NFL+ and ESPN+ as a streaming exclusive as part of Disney’s $110 billion rights renewal with the NFL.
The game will be presented in Andy’s Room using NFL’s Next Gen Stats and on-field tracking. The action will be delivered almost simultaneously with the live game, with most plays recreated approximately 30 seconds later.
Woody, Buzz, and other characters from the Toy Story universe will be visibly cheering from the sidelines throughout. The announcers, graphics, scoreboard, referees’ penalty announcements, celebrations, and other parts of the experience will all be presented as part of the colorful world of Toy Story.
At halftime, daredevil Duke Caboom (Voiced by Keanu Reeves in Toy Story 4) will attempt a death-defying jump.
Alternate sports casts designed for younger audiences have become a stable of sports TV, with this year’s Superbowl set to get slimed in a Nickelodeon-themed version to compliment the main game on CBS.
This isn’t the first time Disney has mixed its properties with a sports broadcast, having previously presented an NBA-themed Marvel game, but a fully animated recreation of the game is a first for the company.
ESPN popularized alternative telecasts with the success of Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli, which is now in its third season.
Toy Story Funday Football will be available live on Disney+ and ESPN+, and the entire game will be available shortly after on Disney+ for a limited time.