by John Lasseter. Co-directed by Lee Unkrich and Ash Brannon, the film is the sequel to Toy Story. In the film, Woody is stolen by a toy collector, prompting Buzz Lightyear and his friends vowing to rescue him. However, Woody finds the idea of immortality in a museum tempting. The film returns many of the original characters and voices from Toy Story and introduces several new characters, including Jessie, Barbie, and Mrs. Potato Head. It is the last Toy Story film in which Jim Varney provides Slinky Dog's voice before he died in 2000.
Disney initially envisioned the film as a direct-to-video sequel and Toy Story 2 began production in a building separated from Pixar and was much smaller scale, with most of the main Pixar staff working on A Bug's Life (1998). When story reels proved promising, Disney upgraded the film to theatrical release, but Pixar was unhappy with the film's quality. Lasseter and the story team re-developed the entire plot in one weekend. Although most Pixar features take years to develop, the established release date could not be moved and the production schedule for Toy Story 2 was compressed into nine months.
Despite production struggles, Toy Story 2 opened in November 1999 to wildly successful box office numbers, eventually grossing over $485 million, and highly positive critical reviews. Toy Story 2 has been considered by critics and audiences alike to be one of few sequels that outshine the original, and it continues to be featured frequently on lists of the greatest animated films ever. The film has seen multiple home media releases and a 3-D re-release in 2009. The film's success led to the production of Toy Story 3 in 2010, which was also highly successful.