Skip to main content

Disney is animating an NFL game in Toy Story style - but who is it for?

It's hard to imagine the appeal of watching real-time animated toy football players for more than a few minutes or so

Animated version of NFL Football game from promotional materials
Image credit: Disney+

Disney's all-encompassing corporate synergy has birthed many interesting ideas over the years - The MCU, Kingdom Hearts, Star Wars Galaxy's Edge. Now, it's heading into territory of live sports, with Disney+ and ESPN+'s plans to present a fully-animated real time Toy Story version of a football game called Toy Story Funday Football.

Yes, this Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars broadcast will take place on Oct. 1, at 9:30 a.m. ET, on Disney+, ESPN+ and on mobile with NFL+ and will simultaneously recreate the live game in Andy's room, a.k.a. one of what Disney's press release calls "the movie's most recognizable settings."

It wont just be the game, of course; over the broadcast, we'll catch peeks of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep, Bullseye, Bunny, Ducky, Forky, the Green Aliens, Jesse, Rex, and Slinky Dog. Not to mention Duke Caboom, who will be attempting a motorcycle jump at halftime.

Perhaps more interestingly, there will be segments about learning the game of football, which will probably at least give the affair some sense of real programming for children, who are obviously the target audience for this strange collaboration. But the real question is - will they watch it?

Disney's press release stresses all ages family viewing, but it's hard to imagine a football parent watching a game live but in animated form - and it's equally difficult to imagine a child young enough to appreciate that "recognizable" Toy Story setting being interested enough to watch a three hour game of toys playing real-life (with all the clock stops) football. It just sounds plain boring, for everyone.

But then again, maybe the setting and the little extras will be enough for a parent to get their kid into football, if only for a day. And I'd be surprised if there weren't a few households streaming the big game on the television and the Toy Story game on the tablet for the little ones (but who gets to broadcast audio is the question here).

Watch on YouTube

Strange Sports Stories: Five of the greatest comic book cameos from real life sports heroes

Featured events