Could you imagine a world without all the adventures of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and crew? What if the story ended after the first movie and we never saw the toys return to Andy? A story resurfaces reminds us how close we were to no longer having toy story adventures – and how a mom on maternity leave literally saved the franchise.
Disney/Pixar toy story, which opened in 1995, was a great success. The characters were wildly loved, and it was no surprise when it was announced a toy story 2 was on his way. However, panic set in just before the film’s release. In 1998, Oren Jacob, the film’s associate technical director, sat down to watch a cut of the film. Unfortunately, there was one significant problem – the film was literally disappearing before his eyes.
“Unfortunately someone on the system had run the command at the root level of the toy story 2 project, and the system would recursively follow the structure of the file and suppress its output like a worm worming its way from the core of an apple,” Oren said. The next web in 2012.
He was sitting with Larry Cutler, another Pixar technical director at the time, and the two freaked out. “He looked at the directory, and there were about 40 files, and he looked again, and there were four files,” Oren said. “Then we saw footage start to fade.”
They realized the movie was being deleted from the company’s servers after an order was executed that they couldn’t undo. Thus, the entire film had practically disappeared before their eyes. Hundreds of hours of work that they may not be able to recover from to get the film out.
The save for the movie was also unusable, thanks to a separate issue. Fortunately, an employee, who was on maternity leave, saved the whole film. Galyn Susman, the film’s technical director at the time, was on maternity leave.
Galyn had received a company computer to work from home while caring for her newborn baby on maternity leave. This computer had the only viable copy of the film. And the movie was taped, and we didn’t just get toy story 2 but 3 and 4 – and now Light year.
Someone at Pixar deleted all of Toy Story 2 and the save hadn’t worked in a month, and the only reason we saw that movie was because someone on maternity leave had a copy of it on their personal computer.
Her name is Galyn Susman and she is now the producer of the new Lightyear movie!
— Chris Albon (@chrisalbon) February 15, 2022
The story resurfaced recently when Chris Albon tweeted it and reminded people that Galyn Susman is the reason we have the movie franchise. “Someone at Pixar deleted everything toy story 2 and the backup hadn’t worked for a month, and the only reason we saw this movie was because someone on maternity leave had a copy on their home computer,” he wrote. “Her name is Galyn Susman and she is now the producer of the new Light year movie!”
Light year is set to hit theaters later this summer.