Toy Story-themed simulcast to stream the Jaguars vs. Falcons animated game on ESPN+ and Disney+ in Week 4

Soccer fans are used to watching an excited player yell “I’m going to Disney World!” after winning the Super Bowl every February. This year, ESPN is using “Toy Story” and the power of technology to bring NFL players into the Walt Disney Company universe in a different way.

When the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons face off for their Week 4 game at London’s Wembley Stadium on October 1, Disney+ and ESPN+ will stream an animated simulcast of all the action.

ESPN dubbed the event “Toy Story Funday Football.” Notice. The video above offers a glimpse of what the game set in Andy’s room will look like.

Fans familiar with the colorful Pixar films will recognize the setting, as animated versions of the players recreate every “run, pass and score.” Tracking technology and the NFL’s Next Gen Stats player tracking data will help ensure everything happens in real time.

The animation doesn’t stop with the players. Woody, Buzz Lightyear and other characters will be visible during the game. They will “participate from the sidelines and in other non-gameplay elements,” according to the press release.

Drew Carter (play-by-play), Booger McFarland (analyst) and 12-year reporter Pepper Persley will provide commentary. Each of them and their body movements are fully animated using motion capture technology. Players will also contribute via pre-recorded segments and interviews.

The halftime performance will feature a jump attempt by Duke Caboom, the motorcycle daredevil voiced by Keanu Reeves in “Toy Story 4.”

It is unclear whether the characters’ voices will be used during the animated simulcast. Hollywood’s actors and screenwriters continue to strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, a trade group that negotiates with major studios and streaming services.

Alternative television shows, particularly those aimed at children, are becoming increasingly relevant to sports television.

Nickelodeon’s simulcast “NFL Nickmas Day” featured slime zones and other graphics enhancements, while Patrick Star from “Spongebob Squarepants” provided commentary.

The cartoon character went viral for angering Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson after one of his three interceptions that day.

It helps the NFL generate early interest in the league. The Jaguars and Falcons game will not only reach a young audience, but also benefit from global publicity. It’s part of the NFL’s annual series of international games, so it starts at 9:30 a.m. ET.

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