They are giving it a chance.
The NHL’s first-ever animated broadcast follows Tuesday’s game between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.
the “NHL Big City Greens Classic” The broadcast uses NHL Edge positioning data (puck and player tracking) to recreate the real on-ice action that unfolds at Madison Square Garden.
It airs on ESPN+, Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney +The TV also features characters from the Disney comedy series “Big City Greens” skating alongside Animated versions of NHL players.
ESPN commentators Kevin Weekes and Drew Carter call the game virtual wearing motion capture suits that allow full-body animation to appear in the big city.
Facial recognition technology is used to mimic the reactions of Chris Hutton, co-creator/executive producer of the animated series, and actor Marieve Herrington, who voices Tilly.
“I really want my curiosity running deep, and my excitement about it,” Weekes, a former NHL goaltender, said. NHL.com.
“I hope it will end up translating into the broadcast itself because we are transported, for sure, for me, I will be transported to a different world. Most importantly, we want to be able to transport the viewer, the listener, to a different world.”
“Not only are the players the artists, but the characters as well, and we’re now going to merge and blend those two genres into storytelling through animation and through that technology,” added Wikeez.
The special is a collaboration between ESPN, Disney Channel, and the NHL. The real-time animation is produced in collaboration with the ESPN Edge Innovation Center and NHL EDGE Innovation Partners Verizon, Beyond Sports, and Silver Spoon.
Traditional telecasts between the Rangers and Capitals are available on ESPN and ESPN+.
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