While many of us believed Toy Story 4 had marked the end of Sheriff Woody and the gang’s adventures, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Toy Story 5 is currently in the works at Pixar. With a new instalment of the beloved franchise now confirmed, the story of how a Pixar employee accidentally deleted the entire Toy Story 2 film is doing its rounds on the internet yet again. But this time, it has a sadder ending.
RELATED: Did Toy Story Really Drop An F-Bomb?
Toy Story 2
It is hard to fathom a world without the beloved Pixar classic Toy Story 2. The film, released in 1999, introduced us to new characters like Jessie and Bullseye while also deepening our connection to Woody, Buzz, and the gang. Without it, we would not have had the emotional rollercoaster of Woody’s existential crisis or the heartwarming scene of Jessie’s backstory. However, this depressing thought was almost Pixar’s reality when the film was accidentally deleted by an employee.
We have all had that terrifying moment where we accidentally delete something important we have been working on. Still, that moment must have been especially horrifying for one poor soul at Pixar who almost deleted an entire movie from their central database. The co-founder of Pixar, Ed Catmull, wrote about what happened in his book Creativity, Inc.
RELATED: Lightyear Review – To Infinity and Beyond Toy Story
Why the Movie Almost Didn’t Happen
According to Catmull, during the early stages of the film’s development, one of the animators accidentally executed a command that began deleting files from the film’s central server. This command was intended to remove some unnecessary files, but due to a technical glitch, it began erasing critical files such as animation, models, and textures.
The incident went unnoticed for a while until someone realised that a large portion of the film was missing. Panic ensued when the team discovered that the film’s backup system had not been working for several months, leaving no recent backups. The prospect of losing years of work and the entire film devastated the production team. Fortunately, an employee named Galyn Susman swooped in to save the day and the data!
Susman had been working remotely from home while pregnant and had a copy of the entire film on her computer. Toy Story 2 was saved thanks to her copy. The technical team for the film quickly devised a strategy to transfer the files from her computer to the central server, effectively saving the film.
Without Galyn Susman, there might not have been a Toy Story 2—or it might have been delayed for years while the team painstakingly rebuilt the entire thing. Instead, it went on to gross nearly half a billion dollars for Disney and Pixar, making it the highest-grossing animated film in 1999.
Unfortunately, Susman’s position as an animator and Pixar producer was not saved in the latest round of layoffs at Disney and Pixar. Susman, who went on to create Ratatouille, Toy Story 4, and Lightyear, was one of 75 Pixar employees laid off last month. The layoffs, which took effect on May 23, are part of Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger’s previously announced plan to cut 7,000 jobs and save $5.5 billion in costs.
RELATED: The 10 Best Pixar Movies of All Time
Do you think the Toy Story franchise would have been the same without its huge save by Galyn Susman?