I used to be a sports fan. I used to watch baseball and football regularly, and I at least kept up on other major sports. But in the last few years, I’ve faded away from the sports world. I used to host a big Super Bowl party -- even though for a long time, that was the only game of the season I actually watched. But in the last several years, I even stopped paying attention to that game.
I started ending up on vacation during the game because when the Super Bowl was happening, I never gave it much thought. One year, I watched the last quarter of the game from a bar in Hawaii. And in another, I learned who won when I had to deal with the crowds from a Super Bowl Champions parade at Disney World. I’ve maybe watched one complete football game in the last decade, but I’m setting my clock to watch Toy Story Funday Football on Disney+. To put it simply, it’s the most excited I’ve been for a football game in years.
This week, Disney announced a new way to watch football that I have to admit I’m very curious about. Toy Story Funday Football will be simulcast on Disney+ and ESPN+ concurrently, with the actual game between the Falcons and Jaguars on October 1, which will also be available to view on ESPN+. This alternate option will be a computer-generated match that looks like it’s happening in Andy’s Room from the Toy Story movies but will be created in real time based on the NFL’s player tracking data.
Certainly, part of the reason I’m interested is because I'm CinemaBlend's resident Disney expert, and the addition of Pixar characters to literally anything is going to interest me more than not having them involved. The presentation will apparently include veteran characters from the franchise on the sidelines, and I’m certainly curious to see what will happen with Buzz and Woody. Which team will they be cheering for? What will they be doing? How will the other toys be used? Also, will we get any hints about what's going to happen in the officially announced Toy Story 5?
The presentation will also have a unique halftime experience, with Duke Caboom set to attempt a special stunt. And that's almost certainly going to be more interesting to me than whoever they have to do the Super Bowl halftime show next year, even if it's a star like Taylor Swift.
I’m also just curious about how well this new take on live football is going to work. If it does make the game itself more accessible, or simply more fun to watch for people, then it opens the door to all sorts of interesting possibilities. We could see this technology used to recreate other sporting events in a variety of different ways, and not just by Disney.
I also fully support anything that brings more live events like the Oscars or DWTS to the platform. This is an area in which the streaming service could really leverage itself. And considering that Disney+ is currently running an amazing deal, that means a lot of new customers may have the service on October 1. It's a great way to offer them something that may make their Disney+ subscription worth keeping.
For many, watching a football game as a Toy Story recreation might prove to be a slight diversion amid the actual game. But for me, it’s something new and interesting that I'm looking forward to seeing. Even if it becomes a regular occurence, I’m not saying it will make me a regular football fan again but .if it works, I will absolutely watch the Toy Story Super Bowl when it happens.