‘Toy Story 2’ Was Saved by a Pixar Employee on Maternity Leave After the Movie Was Accidentally Deleted

Pixar has been delighting fans for decades. Their first movie, Toy Story, came out in 1995, a full 27 years ago. Since then, the movie has been followed by four sequels, and Pixar made itself the standard for modern animated movies. The Toy Story franchise was vital to that feat. 

'Toy Story 2' cast Tim Allen, Buzz Lightyear, Tom Hanks and Woody
Tim Allen, Buzz Lightyear, Tom Hanks and Woody | Ron Galella/Getty Images

Without Toy Story, there is no Pixar. According to IMDb, in 1999, the studio released the first sequel to Toy Story, Toy Story 2. According to Newsweek, the movie almost never made it to theaters.  

‘Lightyear’ is the first ‘Toy Story’ spinoff 

It seems like Toy Story sequels don’t get stale. Even though Andy grew up, fans still can’t get enough of Woody and the gang. But Pixar has decided to hang up Woody’s cowboy hat for good. Toy Story 4 will be the last Toy Story installment. There will be no more. 

But that doesn’t mean fans won’t have any new material from the Toy Story universe. Lightyear is Toy Story’s first official spinoff, a movie about everyone’s favorite action figure. Only in Lightyear, Buzz isn’t just a toy. He’s real. Or, so it seems from the trailers. 

Chris Evans, famous for his role as Captain America, will voice Buzz. According to a Tweet from Evans, fans shouldn’t be expecting Buzz the toy when they go to the movie theatre. Evans tweeted, “Just to be clear, this isn’t Buzz Lightyear the toy. This is the origin of the human Buzz Lightyear that the toy is based on.”

‘Toy Story 2’ was accidentally deleted during production 

If Toy Story didn’t have so many successful sequels, there probably wouldn’t be a Lightyear. And Toy Story almost didn’t have any sequels. The entirety of Toy Story 2 was saved by an employee on maternity leave after it was accidentally deleted. 

No one has named the person responsible for deleting the movie. But the savior is a woman named Galyn Susman. Back in February, Chris Albom tweeted about Susman’s efforts to save the second Toy Story installment after disaster struck.

Susman was ready to go on maternity leave while working on Toy Story 2. At the time, she was the Supervising Technical Director for the movie. Susman wasn’t planning on taking it easy on her maternity leave. She took home a laptop so that she could work in her downtime. On that laptop was the last non-deleted copy of Toy Story 2. 

The movie was saved. The laptop was brought back to the Pixar studios wrapped in a blanket, just in case. 

The same Pixar employee who saved ‘Toy Story 2’ is now working on ‘Lightyear’ 

Susman is clearly dedicated to Pixar. She’s still with the studio, and now she’s working as a producer on Lightyear. The trailers have been somewhat vague as to the plot of Lightyear so far, but Evans has heard the pitch, and he assured his fans that they should be excited. According to Newsweek, Evans tweeted about his reaction to Pixar’s description of the movie. 

Evans told fans two things about Lightyear, “I didn’t stop smiling through the ENTIRE pitch. Ear to ear. 2. Everyone can rest easy. And get very excited.” With Susman at the helm, everyone can rest easy, from fans to Pixar’s own artists and employees. Pixar probably has backups upon backups after the near-disaster that happened during the creation of Toy Story 2.

If all goes well, Lightyear could be the beginning of a new Pixar franchise.

RELATED: How Much Did Tim Allen Earn From ‘Toy Story’?