Nathan95
Something I've been curious about recently. Ed Catmull mentioned in Creativity Inc having to replace two first time directors attached to Toy Story 2 when it was decided the film needed to be re-done. My first guess was Lee Unkrich and Ash Brannon, since they are credited as co-directors. But it wouldn't make sense for Unkrich since he was busy with A Bug's Life. Brannon I've seen somewhere that he was attached to the movie the whole time. Another guess I had was Chris Wedge, as he wrote the first draft of the script. It would make sense if he was fired from Toy Story 2 so then went to direct for Blue Sky. I haven't had much luck in finding the correct info, so was wondering if anyone here knew?
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JD
I'm not sure either, but I do think it was Unkrich and Brannon. Also, I think it was Chris Webb wrote the script, not Chris Wedge.
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Nathan95
Thanks for correcting me there, somehow I've been thinking Chris Wedge the whole time 😂
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Pixar Post - T.J.
This is a great question - thanks for jumping in an joining the forum Nathan95!

You’re right that Lasseter was brought in to clean things up because the Toy Story 2 story wasn’t working.

Brannon is mentioned In a November 2019 article from Den of Geek as being one of the original directors, but Creativity, Inc. says,

Quote:
We had to make a difficult decision. It was obvious that to save the film, a change was needed at the top. This would be the first time I would have to tell the directors of a film that we were replacing them, and it was anything but easy. Neither John nor I relished breaking the news that they were out and that John would now be taking over on Toy Story 2. But it had to be done.

Unkrich was brought in to co-Direct after A Bug’s Life wrapped. Creativity, Inc. says, “Lee had joined us in 1994 and had quickly become known for his superb sense of timing. Now, John tapped him as co-director of Toy Story 2.” This quote from the book was mentioned after the news of replacing the Toy Story 2 directors took place.

So, although the online article notes Ash was one of the original Directors, Ed’s book notes that BOTH directors were replaced. I can’t find anything official that says that Ash was one of the original two directors - even a few speeches by Ed (Stanford Graduate School) notes that the directors weren’t getting along and implies that they cleaned house at the top.

In case anyone wanted to know the part Nathan95 was referencing, here are the quotes from the book (pulled sections from different parts 

The production of Toy Story 2, however, would be severely hindered by a series of faulty assumptions on our part. Since this was “only” a sequel, we told ourselves, it wouldn’t be as arduous to make as the original. While the creative team that had led Toy Story focused on A Bug’s Life, we picked two skilled animators (and first-time directors) to helm Toy Story 2. All of us assumed that an inexperienced team—when backed up by an experienced team—would be able to simply replicate the success of our first film.
...
A year into production, I began to notice signs of trouble. Mainly, the directors were lobbing a continuous stream of requests for more “John time”—seeking to get on his calendar to pick his brain. This was worrisome. To me, it signaled that, as talented as the Toy Story 2 directors were individually, they lacked confidence and weren’t gelling as a team.
...
Only after A Bug’s Life opened on Thanksgiving weekend 1998 did John finally have the time to sit down and take a hard look at what the Toy Story 2 directors had produced up to that point. He went into one of our screening rooms to watch the reels. A couple of hours later, he emerged, walked right into my office, and shut the door. Disaster is the word he used. The story was hollow, predictable, without tension; the humor fell flat.
...

Irrelevant to this topic, but it’s like how I’ve always wanted to know who the original Director of Monsters University was.
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JD
Monsters University originally had another director? I totally didn't know that! I wonder who it was. Does anyone have any guesses?
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Nathan95
Aha! Just stumbled across this post on This Day in Pixar. 
http://www.thisdayinpixar.com/2016/06/the-toy-story-2-that-never-was.html?m=1
The directors were Ash Brannon and Colin Brady. Looking up Colin Brady, he was an animator at Pixar during Toy Story and A Bug's Life, and has continued to work in animation after leaving Toy Story 2.
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