Woody prepares to go to cowboy camp with Andy, but when he accidentally rips Woody's right arm, Andy puts him on a shelf and leaves without him. The next day, Woody finds that Wheezy, a penguin squeaky toy, has been shelved for months due to a broken squeaker. Andy's mother puts Wheezy in a yard sale, but Woody rescues him, only to be stolen by a greedy toy collector, who takes him to his apartment. Buzz Lightyear and the rest of Andy's toys identify the thief from a commercial as Al McWhiggin, the owner of a toy store called Al's Toy Barn. Buzz, Hamm, Mr. Potato Head, Slinky Dog, and Rex set out to rescue Woody.
At Al's apartment, Woody learns that he is based on a 1950s TV show called Woody's Roundup, and that along with the other Roundup toys—Jessie, Woody's horse Bullseye, and Stinky Pete—he is set to be sold to a toy museum in Tokyo, Japan. While the others are excited about going, Woody intends to return home to Andy. Jessie is upset because the museum is only interested in the collection if it is complete, and without Woody they will be returned to storage. When his arm later gets torn off completely, Woody attempts to retrieve it and escape but is foiled when Al's television set turns on, and blames Jessie when he finds the TV remote in front of her. The next morning, Woody's arm is fixed by a toy repair specialist, and Woody learns that Jessie once belonged to a child named Emily, who eventually outgrew her and gave her away. Stinky Pete warns him that the same fate awaits him when Andy grows up, whereas he will last forever in the museum. Woody decides to stay, now believing that all toys will eventually get discarded by their owners.
Meanwhile, Buzz and the other toys reach Al's Toy Barn. While searching for Woody, Buzz is imprisoned by a new Buzz Lightyear toy, who believes Buzz is a rogue space ranger. New Buzz joins the other toys, who mistake him for their Buzz. After discovering Al's plan, they go to his apartment while Andy's Buzz escapes and pursues them, accidentally freeing an Emperor Zurg toy, who in turn follows him with the intent of destroying him. After the toys find Woody, Buzz rejoins them and proves that he is Andy's Buzz, but Woody refuses to go home. Buzz reminds Woody that a toy's true purpose is to be played with, which he would never experience in a museum. After seeing a boy play with him on TV, Woody realises Buzz was right and asks the Roundup gang to come home with him and Andy's toys. However, Stinky Pete refuses and traps the gang, revealing that he wants to go to the museum to be appreciated forever, having never been sold or played with. He was also the one responsible for foiling Woody's earlier escape attempt and framing Jessie for it. Al then returns, takes the gang in a suitcase, and leaves for the airport.
Andy's toys pursue Al, but are caught by Zurg, who battles New Buzz until Rex knocks him off the elevator, injuring him. New Buzz then chooses to remain behind with Zurg, who has revealed himself as Buzz's father. Accompanied by three toy Aliens, Andy's toys steal a delivery truck and follow Al to the airport, where they enter the baggage handling system and free Woody; Stinky Pete rips Woody's arm during a struggle, but Andy's toys stuff him into a little girl's backpack. They free Bullseye, only for Jessie to end up on the plane bound for Japan. Assisted by Buzz and Bullseye, Woody frees Jessie and the toys find their way home.
When Andy returns from camp, he accepts Jessie, Bullseye, and the Aliens as his new toys, thinking his mother bought them. He then repairs Woody's torn arm while Wheezy's squeaker has also been fixed. Meanwhile, Al's business has suffered due to him failing to sell the Roundup gang. Woody tells Buzz that he is not worried about Andy not discarding him because, when he usually does, they will still have each other for company.Tom Hanks as Sheriff WoodyTim Allen as Buzz Lightyear/Utility Belt BuzzJoan Cusack as Jessie (Mary Kay Bergman as Jessie's yodeling voice)Kelsey Grammer as Stinky PeteDon Rickles as Mr. Potato HeadJim Varney as Slinky DogWallace Shawn as RexJohn Ratzenberger as HammAnnie Potts as Bo PeepEstelle Harris as Mrs. Potato HeadWayne Knight as Al McWhigginJohn Morris as AndyLaurie Metcalf as Andy's MomR. Lee Ermey as SargeJodi Benson as Tour Guide BarbieJonathan Harris as Geri the CleanerDave Foley as FlikJoe Ranft as Wheezy and Heimlich (Robert Goulet as Wheezy's singing voice)Jeff Pidgeon as Squeeze Toy AliensAndrew Stanton as Evil Emperor ZurgJohn Lasseter and Lee Unkrich as The Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots
Talk of a sequel to Toy Story began around a month after the film's opening, in December 1995. A few days after the original film's release, Lasseter was traveling with his family and found a young boy clutching a Woody doll at an airport. Lasseter described how the boy's excitement to show it to his father touched him deeply. Lasseter realized that his character no longer belonged to him only, but rather it belonged to others, as well. The memory was a defining factor in the production of Toy Story 2, with Lasseter moved to create a great film for that child and for everyone else who loved the characters.
Ed Catmull, Lasseter, and Ralph Guggenheim visited Joe Roth, successor to recently ousted Jeffrey Katzenberg as chairman of Walt Disney Studios, shortly afterward. Roth was pleased and embraced the idea of a sequel. Disney had recently begun making direct-to-video sequels to its successful features, and Roth wanted to handle the Toy Story sequel this way, as well. Prior releases, such as 1994's Aladdin sequel, The Return of Jafar, had returned an estimated $100 million in profits.
Initially, everything regarding the sequel was uncertain at first: whether stars Tom Hanks and Tim Allen would be available and affordable, what the story premise would be, and even whether the film would be computer-animated at Pixar or traditionally at Walt Disney Feature Animation. Lasseter regarded the project as a chance to groom new directing talent, as top choices were already immersed in other projects (Andrew Stanton in A Bug's Life and Pete Docter in early development work for a film that would eventually become Monsters, Inc.). Instead, Lasseter turned to Ash Brannon, a young directing animator on Toy Story whose work he admired. Brannon, a CalArts graduate, joined the Toy Story team in 1993. Disney and Pixar officially announced the sequel in a press release on March 12, 1997.
Lasseter's intention with a sequel was to respect the original film and create that world again. The story originated with him wondering what a toy would find upsetting, how a toy would feel if it were not played with by a child or, worse, a child growing out of a toy. Brannon suggested the idea of a yard sale where the collector recognizes Woody as a rare artifact. The concept of Woody as a collectible set came from the draft story of A Tin Toy Christmas, an original half-hour special pitched by Pixar to Disney in 1990. The obsessive toy collector named Al McWhiggin, who had appeared in a draft of Toy Story but was later expunged, was inserted into the film. Lasseter claimed that Al was inspired by himself.
Secondary characters in Woody's set were inspired by 1950s cowboy shows for children, such as Howdy Doody and Hopalong Cassidy. The development of Jessie was kindled by Lasseter's wife Nancy, who pressed him to include a strong female character in the sequel, one with more substance than Bo Peep. The scope for the original Toy Story was basic and only extended over two residential homes, whereas Toy Story 2 has been described by Unkrich as something "all over the map".
To make the project ready for theaters, Lasseter would need to add 12 minutes or so of material and strengthen what was already there. The extra material would be a challenge, since it could not be mere padding—it would have to feel as if it had always been there, an organic part of the film. With the scheduled delivery date less than a year away, Lasseter called Stanton, Docter, Joe Ranft, and some Disney story people to his house for a weekend. There, he hosted what he called a "story summit", a crash exercise that would yield a finished story in just two days.
Back at the office that Monday, Lasseter assembled the company in a screening room and pitched the revised version of Toy Story 2 from exposition to resolution. Story elements were recycled from the original drafts of the first Toy Story. The original film's original opening sequence featured a Buzz Lightyear cartoon playing on television, which evolved into the Buzz Lightyear video game that would be shown in the opening Toy Story 2. A deleted scene from Toy Story, featuring Woody having a nightmare involving him being thrown into a trash can, was incorporated in a milder form for depicting Woody's fear of losing Andy. The idea of a squeak-toy penguin with a broken squeaker also resurfaced from an early version of Toy Story.
As the story approached the production stage in early 1997, it was unclear whether Pixar would produce the film, as the entire team of 300 was busy working on A Bug's Life for a 1998 release. The Interactive Products Group, with a staff of 95, had its own animators, art department, and engineers. Under intense time pressure, they had put out two successful CD-ROM titles the previous year — The Toy Story Animated StoryBook and The Toy Story Activity Center. Between the two products, the group had created as much original animation as there was in Toy Story itself. Steve Jobs made the decision to shut down the computer games operation and the staff became the initial core of the Toy Story 2 production team.
Before the switch from direct-to-video to feature film, the Toy Story 2 crew had been on its own, placed in a new building that was well-separated from the rest of the company by railroad tracks. "We were just the small film and we were off playing in our sandbox," co-producer Karen Jackson said. Lasseter looked closely at every shot that had already been animated and called for tweaks throughout. The film reused digital elements from Toy Story but, true to the company's "prevailing culture of perfectionism, [...] it reused less of Toy Story than might be expected". Character models received major upgrades internally and shaders went through revisions to bring about subtle improvements. The team freely borrowed models from other productions, such as Geri from Pixar's 1997 short Geri's Game, who became the Cleaner in Toy Story 2. Supervising animator Glenn McQueen inspired the animators to do spectacular work in the short amount of time given, assigning different shots to suit each animators' strengths.
Whilst producing Toy Story, the crew was careful in creating new locations, working within available technology at that time. By production on Toy Story 2, technology had advanced farther to allow more complicated camera shots than were possible in the first film. In making the sequel, the team at Pixar did not want to stray too far from the first film's look, but the company had developed a lot of new software since the first feature had been completed. To achieve the dust visible after Woody is placed on top of a shelf, the crew was faced with the challenge of animating dust, an incredibly difficult task. After much experimentation, a tiny particle of dust was animated and the computer distributed that image throughout the entire shelf. Over two million dust particles are in place on the shelf in the completed film.
Controversy and troubled production
Disney became unhappy with the pace of the work on the film and demanded in June 1997 that Guggenheim be replaced as producer, and Pixar complied. As a result, Karen Jackson and Helene Plotkin, associate producers, moved up into the roles of co-producers. Lasseter would remain fully preoccupied with A Bug's Life until it wrapped in the fall. Once available, he took over directing duties and added Lee Unkrich as co-director. Unkrich, also fresh from supervising editor duties on A Bug's Life, would focus on layout and cinematography, while Brannon would be credited as co-director.
In November 1997, Disney executives Roth and Peter Schneider viewed the film's story reels, with some finished animation, in a screening room at Pixar. They were impressed with the quality of work and became interested in releasing Toy Story 2 in theaters. In addition to the unexpected artistic caliber, there were other reasons that made the case for a theatrical release more compelling. The economics of a direct-to-video Pixar release were not working as well as hoped thanks to the higher salaries of the crew. After negotiations, Jobs and Roth agreed that the split of costs and profits for Toy Story 2 would follow the model of a newly created five-film deal—but Toy Story 2 would not count as one of the five films. Disney had bargained in the contract for five original features, not sequels, thus assuring five sets of new characters for its theme parks and merchandise. Jobs gathered the crew and announced the change in plans for the film on February 5, 1998.
The work done on the film to date was nearly lost in 1998 when one of the animators, while routinely clearing some files, accidentally started a deletion of the root folder of the Toy Story 2 assets on Pixar's internal servers. Associate technical director Oren Jacobs was one of the first to notice as character models disappeared from their works in progress. They shut down the file servers but had lost 90% of the last two years of work, and the backups were found to have failed some time previously. The film was saved when technical director Galyn Susman, who had been working from home to take care of her newborn child, revealed she had backups of the assets on her home computer. The Pixar team was able to recover nearly all of the lost assets save for a few recent days of work, allowing the film to proceed.
Many of the creative staff at Pixar were not happy with how the sequel was turning out. Lasseter, upon returning from the European promotion of A Bug's Life, watched the development reels and agreed that it was not working. Pixar met with Disney, telling them that the film would have to be redone. Disney disagreed, and noted that Pixar did not have enough time to remake the film before its established release date. Pixar decided that they simply could not allow the film to be released in its existing state, and asked Lasseter to take over the production. Lasseter agreed, and recruited the first film's creative team to redevelop the story. To meet Disney's deadline, Pixar had to complete the entire film in nine months.
Unkrich, concerned with the dwindling amount of time remaining, asked Jobs whether the release date could be pushed back. Jobs explained that there was no choice, presumably in reference to the film's licensees and marketing partners, who were getting toys and promotions ready. Brannon focused on development, story and animation, Lasseter was in charge of art, modeling and lighting, and Unkrich oversaw editorial and layout. Since they met daily to discuss their progress with each other (they wanted to ensure they were all progressing in the same direction), the boundaries of their responsibilities overlapped.
As was common with Pixar features, the production became difficult as delivery dates loomed and hours inevitably became longer. Still, Toy Story 2, with its highly compressed production schedule, was especially trying. While hard work and long hours were common to the team by that point (especially so to Lasseter), running flat-out on Toy Story 2 for month after month began to take a toll. The overwork spun out into carpal tunnel syndrome for some animators, and repetitive strain injuries for others. Catmull would later disclose that "a full third of the staff" ended up with some form of RSI by the time the film was finished. Pixar did not encourage long hours, and, in fact, set limits on how many hours employees could work by approving or disapproving overtime. Employees' self-imposed compulsions to excel often trumped any other constraints, and were especially common to younger employees. In one instance, an animator had forgotten to drop his child off at daycare one morning and, in a mental haze, forgot the baby in the back seat of his car in the parking lot. "Although quick action by rescue workers headed off the worst, the incident became a horrible indicator that some on the crew were working too hard," wrote David Price in his 2008 book The Pixar Touch.
Toy Story 2: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack is the original Score Soundtrack album to Toy Story 2. Although out of print in the U.S., the CD is available in the U.S. as an import and all but one song is available digitally.
All tracks written by Randy Newman.
Randy Newman wrote two new songs for Toy Story 2 as well as the complete original score:"When She Loved Me" – performed by Sarah McLachlan: Used for the flashback montage in which Jessie experiences being loved, forgotten, then abandoned by her owner, Emily. The song was nominated at the Academy Awards in 2000 for Best Original Song, though the award went to Phil Collins for "You'll Be in My Heart" from another Disney animated film, Tarzan."Woody's Roundup" – performed by Riders in the Sky: Theme song for the "Woody's Roundup" TV show, and also used in the end-credit music.
The film carried over one song from Toy Story, "You've Got a Friend in Me," sung at two different points during the film by Tom Hanks and Robert Goulet.Chart positions
Pixar showed the completed film at CalArts on November 12, 1999, in recognition of the school's ties with Lasseter and more than 40 other alumni who worked on the film. The students were captivated. The film held its official premiere the next day at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles—the same venue as Toy Story's—and was released across the United States on November 24, 1999. The film's initial theatrical and video releases include Luxo Jr., Pixar's first short film released in 1986, starring Pixar's titular mascot. Before Luxo Jr., a disclaimer appears reading: "In 1986 Pixar Animation Studios produced their first film. This is why we have a hopping lamp in our logo".
In 2009, both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 were converted to 3-D for a two-week limited theatrical re-release, which was extended due to its success. Lasseter said, "The Toy Story films and characters will always hold a very special place in our hearts and we're so excited to be bringing this landmark film back for audiences to enjoy in a whole new way, thanks to the latest in 3-D technology. With Toy Story 3 shaping up to be another great adventure for Buzz, Woody and the gang from Andy's room, we thought it would be great to let audiences experience the first two films all over again and in a brand new way".
Translating the films into 3-D involved revisiting the original computer data and virtually placing a second camera into each scene, creating left-eye and right-eye views needed to achieve the perception of depth. Unique to computer animation, Lasseter referred to this process as "digital archaeology". The lead stereographer Bob Whitehill oversaw this process and sought to achieve an effect that impacted the film's emotional storytelling. It took four months to resurrect the old data and get it in working order. Then, adding 3-D to each of the films took six months per film.
The double feature was opened in 1,745 theaters on October 2, 2009, and made $12,491,789 in its opening weekend, finishing in third place at the box office. The features closed on November 5, 2009, with a worldwide gross of $32,284,600. Unlike other countries, the U.K. and Argentina received the films in 3-D as separate releases. Toy Story 2 was released January 22, 2010 in the U.K., and February 18, 2010, in Argentina.
Toy Story 2 was released on both VHS and DVD and as a DVD two-pack with Toy Story on October 17, 2000. That same day, an "Ultimate Toy Box" set was released containing both films in FullScreen and a third disc of bonus materials. The standard VHS, DVD, DVD two-pack, and the "Ultimate Toy Box" sets returned to the vault on May 1, 2003. On December 26, 2005, it was re-released as a "2-Disc Special Edition" alongside the first film's 10th Anniversary Edition, which came out on September 6. Both editions returned to the Disney Vault on January 31, 2009.
The film was available for the first time on Blu-ray Disc in a Widescreen Special Edition Combo Pack released on March 23, 2010, along with the first film. On November 1, 2011, the first three Toy Story films were re-released, each as a DVD/Blu-ray/Blu-ray 3D/Digital Copy combo pack (4 discs each for the first two films, and 5 for the third film).
Reviewers found the film to be a sequel that managed to equal or even outshine the original. "Toy Story 2 does what few sequels ever do," The Hollywood Reporter proclaimed. "Instead of essentially remaking an earlier film and deeming it a sequel, the creative team, led by director John Lasseter, delves deeper into their characters while retaining the fun spirit of the original film".
On review aggregation website, Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 100% based on 163 reviews, with an average rating of 8.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The rare sequel that arguably improves on its predecessor, Toy Story 2 uses inventive storytelling, gorgeous animation, and a talented cast to deliver another rich moviegoing experience for all ages." The film is 27th on Rotten Tomatoes' list of "Best Rated Films", and is the third best rated animated film. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 88 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film a rare "A+" grade.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four and said in his print review "I forgot something about toys a long time ago, and Toy Story 2 reminded me". Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times said "Toy Story 2 may not have the most original title, but everything else about it is, well, mint in the box". Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly said "It's a great, IQ-flattering entertainment both wonderful and wise".
In January 2000 upon seeing the film, animation legend Chuck Jones wrote Lasseter (a personal admirer of Jones) a letter calling the film "wonderful" and "beautifully animated", and telling Lasseter he was "advancing the cause of classic animation in a new and effective way." Lasseter has the letter framed in his house.
The film was no less successful than its predecessor in a commercial perspective. It became 1999's highest-grossing animated film, earning $245.9 million domestically and $497.4 million worldwide—beating both Pixar's previous releases by a significant margin. It became the second highest-grossing animated film of all-time, behind Disney's The Lion King (1994). Toy Story 2 opened over the Thanksgiving Day weekend at No. 1 to a three-day tally of $57,388,839 from 3,236 theaters, averaging $17,734 per theater over three days, making $80,102,784 since its Wednesday launch and staying at No. 1 for the next two weekends. By New Year's Day, it had made more than $200 million in the U.S. alone, and it eventually became 1999's third highest-grossing film and far surpassing the original. Box Office Mojo estimates that the film sold over 47.8 million tickets in North America.
Toy Story 2 received several recognitions, including seven Annie Awards, but none of them were previous nominations. The first went to Pixar for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Theatrical Feature. The Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production award was given to John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich and Ash Brannon. Randy Newman won an Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production. Joan Cusack won the Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Feature Production, while Tim Allen for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an animated feature Production. The last Annie was received by John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Ash Brannon, Andrew Stanton, Rita Hsiao, Doug Chamberlin and Chris Webb for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production.
The film itself also won many awards, including the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Family Film (Internet Only), the Critics Choice Award for Best Animated Film, the Bogey Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Along with his other awards, Randy Newman and his song "When She Loved Me" won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. A Satellite Award was given for Outstanding Youth DVD, and a Golden Satellite Award for Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media, and one for Best Original Song "When She Loved Me".
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:2003: AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains:Buzz Lightyear – Nominated Hero2004: AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs:"When She Loved Me" – Nominated2008: AFI's 10 Top 10:Nominated Animated Film
Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue, a video game for the PC, PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast, was released in November 1999. The game featured original cast voices and clips from the film as introductions to levels. Once earned, these clips could be viewed at the player's discretion. Another game was released for the Game Boy Color.
The film was followed by Toy Story 3, released in 2010. In the film, Andy's toys are accidentally donated to a day-care center as he prepares to leave for college. A second sequel, Toy Story 4 will be released on June 21, 2019. The story will follow the toys in a quest to find Bo Peep who did not appear in the third film.