Yes, you read that correctly — a real-life NFL game will be animated in real-time and played inside Andy’s famed Toy Story bedroom on October 1, 2023, at 9:30 AM ET.
The event, dubbed Funday Football, will stream on Disney+ and use a slew of technology to create a real-life alternate version of the game. The football matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Atlanta Falcons will stream simultaneously on ESPN+.
The uncommon kickoff time to the American Football game is because the game is being held at the famed Wembley Stadium in London. Watch the trailer explaining the game embedded below.
TOY STORY FOOTBALL GAME? Our Thoughts
One thing to note is although this is held in Andy’s Room, it’s loosely tied to the Toy Story universe. Andy’s room was never decorated in NFL gear, but we view it as a fun way to see some of our favorite characters on the sidelines — including a half-time jump by Duke Caboom.
We’ll be watching along to see how well our Toy Story friends fit it, or if they’ll appear to be dropped into someone else’s room. What do you think? Leave a comment below or chat about it with other fans in the Pixar Post Forum thread about this matchup.
Read the full press release below.
TOY STORY FUNDAY FOOTBALL
ESPN, The Walt Disney Company, and the National Football League have collaborated on a first-of-its-kind NFL game presentation – Toy Story Funday Football – as real-time action between the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars will be experienced in Pixar’s iconic “Toy Story” Universe. Fans of all ages will immerse themselves in a fully-animated offering on Sunday morning, Oct. 1, at 9:30 a.m. ET, on Disney+, ESPN+, and on mobile with NFL+ when the action of Wembley Stadium in London, one of the world’s premier sports stadiums and the host of NFL International Series game, is recreated simultaneously in Andy’s room, one of the movie’s most recognizable settings. This presentation is the latest in ESPN’s innovation strategy, providing alternate telecasts in signature events.
ESPN and Disney’s “Toy Story” alternate telecast complements the primary game presentation of the Falcons and Jaguars’ Week 4 matchup available on ESPN+, local broadcast stations in the markets of the participating teams, and on mobile with NFL+. Chris Fowler, Dan Orlovsky, Louis Riddick, and Laura Rutledge will be inside Wembley Stadium for the game’s call.
Andy’s Room to Host Toy Story Funday Football
Andy’s room will replicate the on-the-field gameplay from Wembley Stadium, where each Falcon and Jaguar player will have animated representation on a traditional-looking field, catered to the “Toy Story” setting. Fans will view every run, pass, score, and all football-related action through state-of-the-art tracking technology enabled by the NFL’s Next Gen Stats player tracking data and Beyond Sports.
In addition to the gameplay, all the surrounding aspects of the game – announcers, graphics, scoreboard, penalty announcements, celebrations, and more – will all embrace the “Toy Story”-themed offering in their packaging and delivery, all occurring in Andy’s room.
Woody, Buzz Lightyear and many of the characters from the acclaimed animated series will be visible throughout, participating from the sidelines and in other non-gameplay elements.
This first-of-its kind NFL presentation is made possible by ESPN, ESPN’s Edge Innovation Center, Disney, NFL, Pixar, Next Gen Stats, Beyond Sports, and Silver Spoon.
More on ESPN, Disney, and the NFL’s Toy Story Funday Football Alternate Presentation:
- Announcers: Drew Carter (play-by-play), Booger McFarland (analyst) and 12-year old Pepper Persley (reporter) will commentate, with all three fully animated and their body movements viewed through motion-capture technology
- Iconic “Toy Story” Characters: Joining Woody and Buzz in Andy’s room will be Bo Peep, Bullseye, Bunny, Ducky, Forky, Green Aliens, Jesse, Rex, and Slinky Dog.
- Special Halftime Show: Duke Caboom will attempt a motorcycle jump
- Learning the Game: Demonstrations, including ‘how to’ videos, trivia, and more will be used through the telecast to teach the game of football to the audience.
- Hear from the Players: The real-life Falcons and Jaguar players will also contribute through pre-recorded segments and interviews.
The exclusive streaming presentation of an NFL game is one of the many added elements in ESPN’s new rights agreement with the NFL.
Available Live and On Replay in the United States and Globally
In the United States, Toy Story Funday Football will be available live on Disney+ and ESPN+, with replay available shortly after the game ends on Disney+ and NFL+ for a limited time. Globally, the special presentation will be available in over 95 markets live and/or replay, spanning five continents including in Brazil, UK, Mexico and France. Video on Demand will also be available in these and other markets 24 hours after the live broadcast ends.
ESPN’s Innovation Continues to Elevate Fan Experiences
Toy Story Funday Football is ESPN’s most recent in a decades-long creation of alternate productions. Within the NFL property, Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli has re-written ESPN’s viewership records in the alternate telecast category.