Pixar almost lost the Toy Story franchise due to a lack of data backup. Read how the story unfolded!
When you’re Pixar, dealing with large files is a daily task.
Each movie, from Finding Nemo to The Incredibles, involves an immense amount of soundtracks, 3D assets, animation files and more. These large files are large because of the enormous amount of hyper realistic detailing that goes into every film or game.
Toy Story 2 was as commercially successful as its predecessor. It was 1999’s highest-grossing animated film, earning $497.4 million worldwide, and became the third highest-grossing animated film of all time. Just behind The Lion King and Aladdin — Wikipedia
At Pixar, creativity and innovation is held with the highest regard. After countless hours and sleepless nights, the studio developed a series of illustrations, animations and more, that perfectly fit their audience.
This was the case for Pixar Studios, as they were working on Toy Story 2.
Ed Catmull the co-founder of Pixar described this saga in his book, “Creativity, Inc.” that around 90% of the entire production files of Toy Story 2 were deleted just because of a single mistake.
All of the work that had been done on the film to date was nearly lost in 1998 when one of the animators, while routinely clearing out some files on his computer, accidentally hit delete on the root folder of Toy Story 2 assets. The story got worse; the backup systems in place were unfortunately not doing what they needed to do, leading to a bit of chaos.
After an emergency meeting of Pixar executives, and due to one lucky “work from home” stint, the files were recovered.
The film’s supervising technical director had given birth to a baby in the prior year, meaning that while she was working from home she had almost all of the files on her personal laptop.
Millions worth of money saved by pure luck.
Pixar, a company that was valued at almost $2 billion in 1998, had a flagship film saved by sheer luck and good due diligence by an employee. Will companies in 2022 be this lucky, in a similar situation?
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