A hallmark of early Pixar films are the faux blooper reels that accompany the closing credits for films such as Toy Story 2, A Bug's Life, and Monsters, Inc., where characters like Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Mike Wazowski flub lines, pull pranks, and participate in various on-set shenanigans. Many of these bloopers reference real-life Hollywood culture, like the irritable Mr. Potato Head screaming “Get my agent on the phone!” after being forced to act next to a Barrel of Monkeys, or the little green aliens casually discussing their burgeoning film careers, with one proudly noting that he may soon be starring in a toothpaste commercial.
Last month, Rereleasenews.com discovered that one of these self-referential bloopers appears to be conspicuously missing from the new release of Toy Story 2, all new 4K Blu-ray versions and all new digital downloads. The scene depicts a casting-couch-esque moment involving the film's antagonist Stinky Pete (voiced by Kelsey Grammer) and two Barbie dolls. It bears a striking resemblance to many of the allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood that have been reported in recent years as part of the growing #MeToo movement.
"And so you two are absolutely identical?" Stinky Pete lecherously asks the two dolls with a chuckle, blissfully unaware of the camera trained on him. "You know I'm sure I can get you a part in Toy Story 3," he says as he grasps one of their hands. Only then does he realize he's being watched, and sheepishly ushers the dolls out of his toy box with a line about welcoming them back whenever they need more acting tips. He then ogles the dolls' butts as they pass by him before the scene cuts to the next blooper.
The full end credits can be seen here; the now-deleted scene starts at approximately 3:29.
Toy Story 2 was first released in 1999, before any kind of mass public dialogue about workplace harassment and assault in the film industry had taken place. The scene was still present in 2010 Blu-ray versions of the film, yet was silently removed from the recent rereleases that came out in June of this year.
Pixar has faced its own reckoning in the #MeToo era. Toy Story 2 director John Lasseter stepped down from the company permanently following an extended leave of absence after allegations of workplace sexual misconduct (a longtime staffer said Lasseter was known for "grabbing, kissing, [and] making comments about physical attributes") came to light. In a memo to staff, Lasseter apologized for unspecified “missteps,” and acknowledged that he had made some on his team feel “disrespected and uncomfortable.” In addition, Rashida Jones quit Toy Story 4 due, she said, to a company culture "where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice."
Disney, which bought Pixar in 2006, has a long documented history of editing its films after the fact, particularly those featuring controversial racial or sexual scenes. Neither Disney nor Pixar responded to multiple requests for comment on why they had decided to remove the scene; these requests noted that the blooper in question was still included in the official Disney UK YouTube clip of all Toy Story 2 bloopers. Subsequent attempts at reaching Disney and Pixar for comment were made, at which point VICE noticed the Disney UK video that included the blooper had also been quietly removed from YouTube. It is still viewable via the Internet archive. We have not yet received comment from the company on the deletion of the initial scene or the YouTube video's subsequent removal. VICE has also reached out to digital rental services Amazon and Apple for comment on when or how this edit was made on their platforms. As of press time, we have not heard back.