Toy Story 2 Was Almost Destroyed by a Tiny Error
New mom saved the day when Pixar had no backup copy
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 8, 2015 7:43 AM CST
Woody and Buzz Lightyear managed to survive.   (AP Photo/Disney Pixar)

(Newser) – If it hadn't been for a new mother working from home, we might never have seen Toy Story 2—or any later Pixar film, for that matter, writes Simon Brew at Mental Floss. In his book Creativity Inc, Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull tells the story of how most of the film was almost lost. An employee entered an erasing command into Pixar's systems—apparently in the wrong place, as the Next Web reported. The result was that the computers began to wipe the film data. "First, Woody's hat disappeared. Then his boots. Then he disappeared entirely," Catmull wrote, per Mental Floss. "Whole sequences—poof!—were deleted from the drive." Rebuilding the film "would have taken 30 people a solid year."

What's perhaps even more unbelievable is that Pixar didn't have a backup copy. That's because its backup system was down. But then a hero rode to the rescue: Galyn Susman, the film's supervising technical director, had recently had a baby and had been working from home—requiring her to take home a copy each week. She brought her whole computer into work, and the movie was saved. So, perhaps, was Pixar, Brew notes, since the then-small company had a lot riding on the movie. But the Next Web adds another wrinkle to the story: After that nightmare, the film was mostly destroyed again—this time intentionally. The film simply wasn't good enough, so it was rewritten and remade in a matter of months before its release. (The Fifty Shades of Grey movie, meanwhile, is fueling a very different toy story.)