ESPN+ and Disney+ to Air Animated ‘Toy Story’-Themed NFL Broadcast for Falcons-Jaguars Game


Some of your favorite characters from Toy Story will hit the field this football season.

On Oct. 1, two different livestreams will cover the action between the Atlanta Falcons and the Jacksonville Jaguars at London’s Wembley Stadium. ESPN+ will air the Sunday morning game as per usual, while Disney+ will offer an animated experience with Toy Story Funday Football.

The Disney+ stream will use special technology to convert the NFL’s Next Gen Stats and on-field tracking data into a fully animated, real-time version of the game set in Andy’s Room from the Toy Story universe. 

Fans can expect to catch characters like Woody and Buzz Lightyear participating from the sidelines and in other non-gameplay elements. The animation will mirror the actual game action, with most plays being recreated with a delay of roughly 30 seconds.

But that’s not all: the halftime show will feature Duke Caboom, a character from Toy Story 4, attempting a special motorcycle jump during the Disney+ stream.

The broadcast will fully embrace the Toy Story theme, including announcers, graphics, scoreboard, referees’ penalty announcements, celebrations, and more.

As part of the NFL’s international game series, the Jacksonville Jaguars will play their first of back-to-back games at Wembley, with another contest against the Buffalo Bills set for Oct. 8.

The “alterna-cast” comes at a time where media companies are aiming to attract younger audiences and families to sports programming. In 2021, ESPN and Marvel partnered to bring a Marvel-fied alternate presentation of a Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans game. In February, the Super Bowl is set to get “slimed” when Nickelodeon-themed components are featured on the CBS broadcast.

Toy Story Funday Football will air on Disney+ and ESPN+ in the U.S. on Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m., with a replay on Disney+ shortly after the game wraps. The traditional version of the game will still be available on ESPN+ at the same time.