For the scene where Woody looks at the merchandise from "Woody's Roundup", mock-ups of the toys were shown to Tom Hanks in the recording booth. Hanks' spontaneous reactions to the toys were recorded and used for Woody's dialogue.
There was some discrepancy with regard to the song "When She Loved Me" and its place in the film. Randy Newman expressed concern over whether or not young children would be able to sit through the three-minute ballad while both Tim Allen and Tom Hanks admitted to being moved to tears by the scene featuring the song.
When Jessie first meets Woody (Tom Hanks), she exclaims, "Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln!" Abraham Lincoln's mother was Nancy Hanks, a blood relative of Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks is a direct descendant of an uncle of Nancy Hanks.
When Hamm is flipping through the channels looking for the Al's Toy Barn commercial, all the other stations show clips from shorts and commercials Pixar produced through the years including Luxo Jr. (1986), Red's Dream (1987), Tin Toy (1988), and Knick Knack (1989). There is also a logo for the NeXT computer developed by Pixar's then CEO, Steve Jobs, as well as a few clips of some of Pixar's television commercials they did, and a brief image of Pixar's old logo.
While driving around Al's Toy Barn, the gang drives down the Buzz Lightyear aisle. Tour Guide Barbie tells them "Back in 1995 short-sighted retailers did not order enough dolls to meet demand". This is an in-joke and a fact: When the original Toy Story (1995) was released, toy sellers did not think the movie would be a hit and they indeed did not order enough dolls to keep up with demand. The joke is also a self-deprecating dig at Mattel Toys, which denied use of the Barbie character in the first film, thinking it would be a flop.
The canyon at the beginning of the movie that Buzz is flying through was originally an earlier version of Ant Island from A Bug's Life (1998). The floating rocks had been an accident, but John Lasseter liked the effect, so it was used in the final film.
In the scene with Rex in the car in Al's Toy Barn holding the How to Defeat Zurg book, there is one frame where a clear glimpse of the bottom corner of the book is seen. As a lighthearted jab at Canadians, the cover price is shown as $4.95 and $50.00 in Canada. It should be about $6.95. In the waiting area for the new "Toy Story Mania!" ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida, there is a large replica of the book's cover that also reflects this joke.
At one point, while the toys are at Al's Toy Barn, Mr. Potato Head views Rex, chasing after the car, in a rearview side mirror, which parodies a scene in Jurassic Park (1993), when the T-Rex chases after the crew in a Jeep. Additionally, the phrase made famous in Jurassic Park, "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear," is also visible on the mirror of the car that the toys drive in the store.
The cleaner who fixes Woody for Al is Geri, from the Oscar-winning Pixar short Geri's Game (1997); some of the chess pieces he played with in the short are in one of the drawers of his case. Geri was based on renowned makeup artist Stuart Freeborn.
Jim Varney, the voice of Slinky Dog, died three months after the movie's release due to lung cancer from smoking. Because of this, Varney was replaced by stand-up comedian and actor Blake Clark in Toy Story 3 (2010), who had actually been a close friend of Varney.
One of the items in Al's Toy Barn behind Rex, before he and Mr. Potato Head board Barbie's car, is a pink teddy bear, which previously appeared as one of the silent toys on the shelf top, during the staff meeting in Toy Story (1995) (that actually served as the basis for Lotso in Toy Story 3 (2010).
Many people think the "Woody's Roundup" sequence was filmed with real puppets. But really they took the same CG models and made small changes to make them look like puppets. Then they animated the puppet versions of the characters in a CG black-and-white set. Then they used this technique called the kinescope effect, which adds scratches, hairs, and pieces of grain to the image to make it look old.
One of the inspirations for this sequel was when John Lasseter was traveling with his wife and kids. When they stepped of their flight into an airport, Lasseter saw a little boy holding a Woody doll and showing it to his dad. Lasseter immediately knew that his characters are not just his but everyone else's. When he sees the movie, Lasseter always thinks of the little boy.
During the opening credits (when "WALT DISNEY PICTURES" is displayed), the Pixar trademark lamp (from Luxo Jr. (1986)) can be seen as a constellation of stars in the stars in the upper right corner of the screen. Andy's red lamp, which is a colored version of this, also reappears from the first film, as does Andy's Mickey Mouse "watch" clock.
When he "arrests" Buzz 1, Buzz 2 says he is "in direct violation of Code 6404.5 stating all space rangers are to be in hyper-sleep until awakened by authorized personnel." Code 6404.5 is actually California's state law that bans smoking in public places.
Early drafts of the original Toy Story (1995) had a Barbie doll in the role that became Little Bo Peep, but Mattel refused to license the character to Disney. The huge popularity of the movie (and boost in sales for Mr. Potato Head and other featured toys) led them to agree to have Tour Guide Barbie included in this film. Naturally, Mattel released Tour Guide Barbie as an exclusive doll, as a tie-in with the film.
The movie has several references to A Bug's Life (1998). In Andy's bedroom, Andy has a wall calendar that shows the ants from the film standing on a leaf. Mrs. Potato Head reads a "A Bug's Life" book when Mr. Potato Head shows up with the earring. Heimlich the caterpillar can be seen munching on leaves as Buzz karate chops his way through the bushes. (Buzz chops a branch, causing Heimlich to fall.) In Al's office, there is an abstracted version of a shot from "A Bug's Life." The shot was reputedly abstracted to prevent people from identifying the shot until they got the video version and looked hard at it. In the final scene of Jessie's flashback the tree in the background is the tree from "A Bug's Life". There are some "A Bug's Life" toys seen in the background in Al's Toy Barn. Among the objects in the background by Hamm in Al's car is the Chinese take-out box used in Gypsy and Manny's magic act. Flik and Heimlich appear in an "outtake" during the closing credits.
Production of this film lead to a major disagreement between John Lasseter and Disney chairman Michael Eisner. At the time of production, Pixar Animation was in the midst of a five-picture deal with Disney. Pixar Animation had initially contracted with Disney to produce and distribute five computer animated films, three of which had already been released: Toy Story (1995), A Bug's Life (1998), and Monsters, Inc. (2001). Though this movie was produced while Pixar and Disney were operating under the same contract, it was counted as its own entity since the original agreement specified five original films, not sequels. Consequently, production on the final two movies of the initial deal, Finding Nemo (2003) and The Incredibles (2004) was delayed. When Disney, which owned all the characters, decided to move ahead with a low-budget direct-to-DVD sequel, Lasseter intervened, offering Pixar's services to produce the film. Lasseter assumed it would be counted as part of Pixar's five-picture contract, but Eisner refused, forcing a tense renegotiation between the two studios. It also led to Pixar's refusal to renew it's distribution contract with Disney, though Disney eventually bought Pixar Studios and integrated its creative staff into studio management. When producers saw the first results of the considerably lower-budget direct-to-DVD production they were dissatisfied and gave the project back to the makers of the original for a cinematic release.
When the toys are planning the rescue of Woody, Etch-a-Sketch shows a map to Al's Toy Barn located at 1001 West Cutting Boulevard. This is the address of Pixar Animation Studios in Richmond, California.
When working on the film, someone entered a code called RM*, a code which, when entered, deletes everything on the computer as quickly as possible. Because of this, the creators of the movie lost ninety percent of the film. The animators tried to get the back-up animation, but it wasn't working. Fortunately, supervising technical director Galyn Susman had recently had a child, so she took a copy of the movie home with her so she could work from home. They covered the extra copy in blankets and drove it back to the studio, and were able to recover most of the film.
When the toys enter the airport inside the pet carrier, if one looks closely in the background, they can see a boy and a girl playing patty cake on the chairs. The boy then slugs the girl and then hides behind the seat.
When the toys are crossing the street, Slinky Dog says, "I'm not a smart dog, but I know what roadkill is." This is a reference to a quote from the title character in the movie Forrest Gump (1994), who says, "I'm not a smart man, but I know what love is." Both Forrest Gump and Sheriff Woody are played by Tom Hanks.
Because of such a tight schedule, the editors of the film would often work 36-48 hour shifts. Editorial Department Manager Lindsay Collins said that some times editors would burst into tears purely from exhaustion.
When a Barbie backpack with the Prospector emerges out into the baggage claim area, the announcement "LassetAir Flight A113 now arriving from Point Richmond at gate three" can be heard from the PA. LassetAir is a pun on director John Lasseter. Flight A113 is a reference to a classroom at CalArts along with A113. And Point Richmond refers to Point Richmond, California, where the Pixar studio was located, before moving to Emeryville.
In the original story for the direct-to-video sequel, the "Woody's Roundup" toys that Woody met at Al's apartment included Bullseye (who had a voice and could talk), the Prospector (who was not named), and Senorita Cactus, a Mexican dancer doll. The Prospector and Senorita Cactus were snobbish "collector's item" characters, who treated Woody with disdain because he had been previously owned by a child and played with. The ending of the film featured a car chase, with Woody, Buzz, and the rest of Andy's toys stealing Al's car to escape, and Al pursuing them in the "Pizza Planet" truck (instead of the other way around, as in the finished film). When production of the sequel was returned to Pixar, John Lasseter and the other Pixar animators reworked the story, adding Jesse the Cowgirl, and expanding certain sequences (i.e. the visit to Al's Toy Barn) to give it more heart and humor.
The shot of Andy's Buzz Lightyear climbing up the display only to encounter the new Buzz Lightyear standing tall resembles the one of Woody climbing up Andy's bed only to encounter the original Buzz standing tall in Toy Story (1995).
The video game opening scenes feature several references to the Star Wars films: -The robotic scanning device that popped out of the rock face resembled the gatekeeper droid for Jabba the Hutt's palace in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). -Buzz's traveling through the tunnel in Zurg's fortress and it closing behind him upon entering, spiked wall trap aside, was taken from Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). -Zurg's line of "So, we meet again, Buzz Lightyear, for the last time!" is a paraphrase of what Darth Vader said to Obi-Wan Kenobi shortly before dueling him in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). This also occurred during the encounter with the Zurg toy in the elevator shaft of Al's apartment in the real world.
The scene where Woody, Buzz, and Bullseye are chasing the baggage tractor to save Jessie resembles a typical western film scene where the hero chases a train on horseback. In fact, the first trailer after the tractor is open-topped, to give it the appearance of the tender of a steam locomotive.
The baggage handler at the airport who shouts "Hold it! There's a couple more bags coming from the terminal!" is the voice of UK television personality Andi Peters. When filming a documentary on the making of Toy Story 2 (1999), he was offered this one small line in the film by John Lasseter himself. The recording almost didn't happen because Andi Peters did not have a U.S. work permit, but was allowed to record the dialogue from a London studio, supervised by John Lasseter via satellite.
Directly after Rex lands back in the car in Al's Toy Barn, Tour-Guide Barbie quotes "Remain seated please" then repeats it in Spanish. This is a reference to the safety spiel on the Matterhorn at Disneyland. (In the Spanish version of the movie, she repeats it in French.)
During the Al's Toy Barn commercial, one of the images of items on sale, also seen in the corner of the lobby when Al is about to leave with the toys in his bag, is the ball Buzz bounced off of in the original Toy Story, a trademark of Pixar's originally from Luxo Jr. (1986).
The Buzz Lightyear video game, at the beginning of the movie, appears to be a Super Nintendo game. This could be a reference to the video game for the first Toy Story (1996), which was on the Super Nintendo.
Al's car is actually a concept automobile never put into production. It was made by Ford as the 1955 Ford Mystere. Al's version bares minimal changes to the body design, including the exterior and interior colors.
When the toys arrive at the building where Al lives, across from Al's Toy Barn, it shows the elevator's highest point is the 23rd floor. If you look closely you'll notice that there is no 13th floor. Many hotels, apartment high rises, and skyscrapers do not have a 13th floor due to superstition. The elevator in the film goes from the 12th floor to the 14th floor. Therefore Al's apartment being on the 23rd floor, is actually only 22 floors up.
Al the toy collector is partially based on Pixar animator and storyboard artist Matthew Luhn's father Mark, who is a toy store owner and collector. A group of animators shadowed Mark Luhn for days to study his mannerisms and learn about toy collection. They also took references from his shop "Jeffrey's Toys", located in San Francisco.
When the toys enter the airport, the announcement "Passenger Leon Krich" can be heard from the P.A., a pun on co-director Lee Unkrich. The subtitles for the above announcement reads "Passenger Twitch, passenger Leon Twitch."
The Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robots found in Al's office at Al's Toy Barn were voiced by the film's director John Lasseter and co-director Lee Unkrich respectively, as had previously been the case with the bugs at the bug zapper in the previous film, A Bug's Life (1998).
In the airport, an announcement is made for Lasset Air, Flight A113. That's two references in one: to director John Lasseter, and to room 113 at Cal Arts College, famous for its alumni, including many Pixar animators. A113 is also Andy's mom's license plate number.
Pixar's first ever sequel, and the only sequel of theirs up until Toy Story 3 (2010), since Disney wouldn't let them make more sequels until they purchased/acquired Pixar in 2006, as well as Toy Story (1995) being their only film to become a franchise up until Cars (2006) with its sequel Cars 2 (2011).
When Buzz leaves the newer Buzz with Emperor Zurg (before he and the other toys head the airport to rescue Woody), he parts by making a Vulcan salute (from Star Trek), similar to what he did towards Woody in the first film, before the Pizza Planet Truck arrived at the Dinoco Gas Station.
In the closing outtakes portion during the credits, Stinky Pete (voiced by Kelsey Grammer) dismisses the two Barbie dolls with the phrase "off you go then." This is a catchphrase of another famous Kelsey Grammer character, Dr. Frasier Crane from Cheers (1982), which Pixar legend John Ratzenberger has been famous for being in as well.
The shot of Buzz climbing up the display only to encounter the new Buzz Lightyear with the Utility Belt at Al's Toy Barn standing tall is a direct resemblance to the one of Woody climbing up Andy's bed to encounter the original Buzz standing tall in the first Toy Story (1995).
When Rex is playing the Buzz Lightyear video game in the beginning, he is using an SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) controller to play the game, which means that one of Andy's toys was a SNES console.
The relationship between the second Buzz Lightyear doll and the Zurg doll is a reference to Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, when Darth Vader informs Luke Skywalker that he is Luke's father.