The Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars will be facing off across the pond at Wembley Stadium this week, but that is not the only unique element of the game. For the first time, there will be an alternate NFL broadcast called “Toy Story Funday Football.”
Instead of taking place in London, the alternate telecast will be inside Andy’s room, the character who owns Buzz, Woody and the rest of the toys in the movie. Here how you can tune in:
How to watch ‘Toy Story Funday Football’
Date: Sunday, Oct. 1 | Time: 9:30 a.m. ET
Location: Wembley Stadium (London)
TV: ESPN+, Disney+ | Stream: fubo
The game will be completely animated. What is happening on the field will be turned into an animation in real time. Beyond Sports and NFL’s Next Gen Stats will be responsible for tracking the data from the players and syncing their movements to reflect the telecast.
Pixar Animation Studios and ESPN worked together on making the broadcast authentic to both sides.
“When you’re doing a normal game, you’re documenting it. We’re kind of creating the storyline creating the game as we go here a little bit,” coordinating producer Drew Gallagher said (via the Associated Press). “It has been a fun, imaginative experience producing this. We are kind of leaning into the cartoon logic of it all, like when the aliens come down from the sky and drop the ball at the line of scrimmage. That’s the fun kind of silliness that we’re leaning into.”
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ESPN’s creative services have more than 100 animations of characters from “Toy Story” that can be included.
Drew Carter, Booger McFarland and 12-year old Pepper Persley are the announcers, and they will be animated along with the rest of the broadcast. Their body movements will be translated to the animation using motion-capture technology.
This is the second time a Disney-related broadcast has been brought to sports. The NHL had one in March called “NHL Big City Greens Classic,” and according to ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions Tim Reed, that game was used as a reference for the upcoming NFL game.
“We looked at a lot of different concepts and then ultimately targeted ‘Toy Story’ because it resonates with older generations and kids together. It is also a way to promote and build awareness for the ESPN+ exclusive game,” Reed said.
Viewers can expect to see other classic Toy Story characters, including Bo Peep, Bullseye, Forky, Green Aliens and Slinky Dog. A halftime show will take place featuring Duke Caboom, from Toy Story 4, attempting a motorcycle jump over double-decker buses.