Last October, Disney and ESPN released a first-of-its-kind animated special called “Toy Story Funday Football “, which was an animated recreation of a live NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars, which took place in London, England and aired on Disney+ and ESPN+.

This special saw Andy’s room replicated the on-the-field gameplay from Wembley Stadium, where each Falcon and Jaguar player had an animated representation of a traditional-looking field, catered to the “Toy Story” setting. Fans got to view every run, pass, score, and football-related action through state-of-the-art tracking technology enabled by the NFL’s Next Gen Stats player tracking data and Beyond Sports.

During the 45th Annual Sports Emmy Awards ceremony on Tuesday night, ESPN won eight Emmy awards, with three of those going to this original special, which included:

  • Studio or Production Design/Art Direction
  • George Wensel Technical Achievement Award
  • Graphic Design – Event/Show

Other ESPN wins during the Emmys included:

  • Live Series  – Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli (ESPN2)
  • Technical Team Studio – NFL Draft (ESPN, ABC)
  • Personality/Play-by-Play  – Mike Breen (ABC)
  • Studio Show – Weekly College GameDay (ESPN)
  • Promotional Announcement Top Rank on ESPN – Battle of the Baddest | Rumble (ESPN, ESPN+)*

Roger’s Take: This new take on the NFL was technically groundbreaking and was a bit of a hit among younger audiences, which the NFL is trying to target. Hopefully, we will see another of these events later this year, when the Jaguars take on the Patriots at Wembley Stadium.   Plus as ESPN becomes a bigger part of Disney+ moving forward, this cross-over type of content makes a lot of sense.

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Roger Palmer

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. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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