With the release of the Toy Story spinoff “Lightyear,” the story of how Toy Story 2 was almost permanently erased has come back to the forefront.
It happened back in 1998 when Pixar was preparing to release the much-anticipated sequel Toy Story 2, starring Tim Allen and Tom Hanks. As final edits were being made at Pixar, an employee pressed the wrong button, and just like that, the movie’s files began to disappear. Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Rex, Hamm, Mr. Potato Head, and every other character were about to be wiped away permanently.
Oren Jason was an assistant technical director on the movie and shared the details with The Next Web.
“The command that had been run was most likely ‘rm -r -f *’, roughly speaking, commands the system to begin removing every file below the current directory.
“Unfortunately, someone on the system had run the command at the root level of the Toy Story 2 project, and the system was recursively tracking down through the file structure and deleting its way out like a worm eating its way out from the core of an apple.”
A good story has to have a hero, and to the rescue came Galyn Susman, a Pixar employee who was the supervising technical director. She had recently had a baby and was working from home, and in a panic, the team responsible for the film had a hunch that she may have a backup on her computer at her house.
She did. A two-week-old backup was sitting on her hard drive, and the movie was saved.
There’s more to this story. After Disney execs got a look at the finished product, they thought the movie sucked and told the team to start over.