Little-known sci-fi fact: A computer glitch almost killed Toy Story 2

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Dec 17, 2012

These days, we remember Toy Story 2 as one of the great animated film sequels of all time, and as proof that Pixar Animation Studios was more than just a CGI flash in the pan. Certain Pixar staffers who lived through the making of the flick remember it as the film they almost lost entirely because of a simple computer operation gone horribly wrong.

Oren Jacob, associate technical director for the film, and Galyn Susman, supervising technical director for the film, explain what went wrong in an adorable little animated short straight from the Pixar studios. Apparently, all the work on the film was being done on Linux and Unix-based machines, both of which have a particular keyboard command that, once entered, will begin erasing everything on a particular drive as fast as possible. One day at Pixar, someone entered that command, and Toy Story 2 started vanishing.

"Woody's hat disappeared, and then his boots disappeared," Jacob said. "And then as we kept checking, he disappeared entirely. Woody's gone. Soon after that, whole sequences were disappearing off the disk drive right in front of our eyes."

With thousands of hours of work vanishing off their hard drive in seconds, Jacob and Susman had to act fast. They shut the system down, but too late to save most of the film. But wait, what about backups? Surely they had backups, right?

"What do you mean backups have failed for the last month and we don't have any backups?" Susman said.

Things were looking bleak for the Toy Story 2 technical team, until Susman remembered that a second, impromptu backup actually existed. Watch the video below to find out how a baby (yes, a baby), saved Toy Story 2 for us all.

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(Via Vulture)