This past Sunday, Disney teamed up with the NFL to offer a special presentation called “Toy Story Funday Football”, which was a fully animated reenactment of the real-time action between the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars NFL game that was taking place at the Wembley Stadium in London, England, but with a twist, that it was set within Pixar’s iconic “Toy Story” Universe.
The live event was shown on Disney+, ESPN+ and on mobile with NFL+, in addition to being broadcast on Disney+ in many countries, including the UK and Australia. The replay will also be available on Disney+ in some countries for a limited time.
In the special, Andy’s room replicated the on-the-field gameplay from Wembley Stadium, where each Falcon and Jaguar player had an animated representation on a traditional-looking field, catered to the “Toy Story” setting. Fans got to 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 – all embraced 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 were also visible throughout, participating from the sidelines and in other non-gameplay elements. There was even a half-time show featuring Duke Kaboom.
Disney has announced that the Falcons-Jaguars traditional game presentation was the most-viewed event ever on ESPN+, and the “Toy Story Funday Football” alternate presentation delivered the biggest live event to date on Disney+ (based on peak concurrency).
It’s worth noting that currently, Disney+ has only hosted a handful of live events, such as an Elton John concert, some Oscar nominations and “Dancing With The Stars”. So, while “Toy Story Funday Football” has been a success for Disney+, it’s hard to know how this compares to other live events on linear or other streaming platforms.
“Toy Story Funday Football” is the latest in ESPN’s innovation strategy, providing alternate telecasts in signature events, following a previous NHL event with characters from “Big City Greens” and a way to try to encourage younger audiences into sports.
Did you check out the “Toy Story Funday Football” special on Disney+?
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.