Between the years of 1995 and 2009, Pixar created an unprecedented and unmatched string of successes. Ten terrific films – critically lauded, commercially successful, instantly iconic. No other movie studio in history has a track record that can compare to Pixar’s golden age, and some filmmakers spend their entire careers hoping to curate a similarly spotless filmography (here’s looking at you, Quentin). What’s more, these films sprung to life from original, often unusual stories… save for one.
Of Pixar’s initial ten films, one could understandably accuse Toy Story 2 of being the safest bet of the bunch. After all, a return visit to a familiar setting and well-loved characters seems like a no-brainer, especially when compared to pitches like “what if a rat wanted to be a gourmet chef?” or “what if an elderly man came to terms with his wife’s death by flying his house to South America using thousands of balloons?” The reality, though, is that, from the beginning Pixar’s first sequel was plagued with problems and the film as we now know it was effectively made in just nine months.
The fact, then, that it turned out to be perfect is nothing short of a miracle.