October 24, 2000 -- HOLLYWOOD (Variety) — Disney's animated movie Toy Story 2 has turned into a horror story for the company's public relations division.
Some copies of Toy Story 2 — which Disney expects to be its best-selling DVD title ever — have turned up at Costco stores around the country with footage in the middle of the movie from the R-rated romantic comedy High Fidelity, in which the dreaded F-word is used twice.
Costco pulled the movie from its shelves Thursday after the retailer and Disney received about eight complaints from consumers (Mr. Showbiz is owned by the Walt Disney Co.).
Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment blames the glitch on the studio's manufacturer, Technicolor Videocassette Inc., and says the problem affects less than 1 percent of the discs. Disney and Technicolor say the problem is limited to a batch of the most expensive Toy Story — The Ultimate Toy Box three-disc sets that were shipped to Costco stores nationwide.
The retailer pulled all those collectors' sets off its shelves — about 1,000 copies — and is awaiting replacement sets from Disney and Technicolor. The problem does not affect the lower-priced, two-disc sets that feature both Toy Story and Toy Story 2.
"We are confident that the defective product has been isolated and removed from store shelves," Disney said in a statement. It is not clear how the glitch happened, but it was apparently done at Technicolor's facility in Camarillo, Calif., where the DVD version of Disney's High Fidelity was also duped.
This is not the first time Disney has had this kind of public relations nightmare with its animated features. And it's only the latest in a series of recent glitches on the relatively new digital DVD platform.
In 1999, Disney had to recall several million videocassettes of The Rescuers when it was discovered that the video version had been transferred from an old master that had a couple of frames of film featuring the silhouette of a naked woman inserted in a scene of the movie.
A few years ago, the studio was embarrassed to learn that the videocassette and laserdisc versions of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? featured a few frames of the animated Baby Herman doing some un-baby-like things with his fingers to a live-action woman as he walked under her dress. Those frames were digitally altered for future video releases.