Toy Story 2: totally erased, the film was saved by an employee on maternity leave –…

Now producer of “Buzz Lightyear” (in theaters June 22), Galyn Susman had prevented the disappearance of “Toy Story 2” 20 years ago, by an incredible combination of circumstances. Back on this astonishing misadventure of the Pixar studios…

It was in 1998, during the production of Toy Story 2, that this incredible misadventure took place, as director and studio veteran Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3, Coco) told us in an interview.

At that time, Pixar was still groping on the animation scene, and even if the first Toy Story (soon to be followed by 1001 Paws) left everyone speechless, the studios remained fragile and were still awaited at the turn. .

With their third feature film – a new adventure dedicated to Andy’s toys – they intend to hit even harder and establish their reputation with the general public.

But as work progresses and Toy Story 2 takes shape little by little, one of the studio employees commits the ultimate blunder: by accidentally typing a wrong line of code into the computer, he finds that the servers are down. fading… and with them a huge part of the film.

For the space of a few hours – which must have seemed like an eternity to the animators of the studio – the recovery of the data seems totally impossible because – to make matters worse – the backups did not work correctly. Several hundred hours of hard work may have been forgotten, Toy Story 2 will probably miss its date with the public, and it’s a safe bet that the studio will have a hard time recovering from such a blow.

Toy story 2: totally erased, the film was saved by an employee on maternity leave –...
Pixar Animation Studios

Fortunately, as Lee Unkrich also told us, Toy Story 2 was finally saved by an employee of the studio, technical director Galyn Susman:

“A woman who was part of the film’s technical team had gone on maternity leave, and she had a copy of the whole film with her on a local computer that she had at home to work on it”says Unkrich. “When that happened, she remembered she had that. So they went to her house and they got the computer. The whole movie, which was supposed to come out several months later. So that kinda got to us. saved the day.”

After long procedures monopolizing almost all of the Pixar teams, the data could thus be recovered. But Andy’s toys weren’t over yet. As we can read in an article by (where Oren Jacob, ex-technical director at Pixar, evokes this story), Toy Story 2 nevertheless underwent significant modifications thereafter. On a screenplay basis, this time, and no longer linked to technical problems.

Toy story 2: totally erased, the film was saved by an employee on maternity leave –...
Pixar Animation Studios

Indeed, John Lasseter and the other founders of the studio, unhappy with the path the film was taking, considerably reworked the project less than a year before its theatrical release, forcing their teams to achieve a veritable sprint to review their copy in 9 months only. On November 22, 1999, the release date of Toy Story 2 in the United States, Woody and Buzz were finally able to make their big comeback in dark rooms in due time… after many adventures in the hands of their creators.

As for Galyn Susmanwhich can obviously be considered not only to have saved Toy Story 2but also indirectly the studios (which would probably never have recovered from such an accident), she still officiates today at Pixar, and will notably be the producer of Buzz Lightyear, expected in our theaters on June 22nd. .

To know other anecdotes about the “Toy Story” saga, it’s here…

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