Tom Hanks has become an icon in the industry. With a history of great blockbusters behind him and a broad future lying head, it is difficult to imagine that once upon a time, he wasn’t well-known. ‘Toy Story’ helped get him out of that rut, and here is that story.
‘Toy Story’ is a classic Pixar movie. The animated film that was released in 1995 has been entertaining generations of children ever since. But, how did Tom Hanks, who was stringing along with a series of flops, end up getting into the superhit Pixar movie?
- Tom Hanks’ Career
- As Woody
- Why was he cast?
TOM HANKS’ CAREER
Before Tom Hanks lead ‘Toy Story’ as Woody, Pixar had a lot to go on. Hanks had a history of blockbuster films. He started on the stage acting in Shakeapearan productions for the “Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival”. He spent three years with the company and has been their benefactor even after becoming famous.
He started his film career in 1980 with a cameo in ‘He Knows You’re Alone’ and soon became one of the best actors on the screen. His film performances in ‘Philadelphia’ and ‘Forrest Gump’ won him back-to-back Oscars. Plus, his performance in ‘Philadelphia’ as an AIDS-stricken lawyer earned him global praise.
By 1990, Tom Hanks had arrived. He starred in the films above in the early 90s and then turned in a brilliant performance in ‘Sleepless in Seattle’. He also stepped into the producer’s seat with long-term collaborator Goetzman to create “Playstone Pictures”. The production house constantly shows excellent television shows, including the fan-favourite ‘The Pacific’ for HBO.
Goetzman and Hanks also received a “Norman Lear” award for their production efforts in 2010. The long history of Tom Hanks’ career means that fans have a lot to remember him by. However, his role as Woody in the ‘Toy Story’ films would be the most memorable for kids everywhere.
Pixar’s smash hit ‘Toy Story’ was produced in 1999. After that, it has created a legacy of its own. The film was the first of its kind. It was utterly computer-generated and revolutionized graphics for the entire industry.
The movie’s core follows Sherriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear, two toys that make a somewhat unstable friendship. The group of toys gathers together to have adventures and create movie magic that has become a children’s classic.
The movie spun out into three sequels, with the latest being released in 2019. Over the years, multiple toy lines and merchandising efforts have made the film a great success. Not only did it re-affirm Hanks’ position as a star, but the movie also helped establish “Pixar” as one of the best animation studios in existence.
Some 25 years later, ‘Toy Story’ is still a fixture in the “Best Animated Movies” lists worldwide, and its influence on the industry is legendary. But, what’s the story of how “Pixar” selected Tom Hanks as lead for their movie?
When Tom Hanks walked into the audition for the voice of Sherriff Woody in ‘Toy Story’, the producers had already made a choice. Hanks revealed that they were playing his voice clips from ‘Turner & Hooch’, fitting it into Woody in a recent interview.
‘Turner and Hooch’ was a buddy-cop film where Hanks partnered with a dog to solve mysteries. The film has since been responsible for a TV series and is one of the most beloved films for its fans. But, it was nowhere near as famous as ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, ‘Philadelphia’, or Hanks’ other roles in movies.
But it seems that Pixar selected Tom Hanks as the ‘Toy Story’ lead because of his detective role in the movie. Pixar was right in casting Hanks, whose comedic timings and serious acting both made Woody into a memorable character for the audience. Years later, while Detective Turner doesn’t turn up regularly on our television screens anymore, Woody still does, and a production team at Pixar are the ones who made that dream come true.
Hanks has too many memorable roles to count. For someone who plays excellent roles every year that he has been acting, ‘Toy Story’ was a landmark. But, Hanks was chosen as Woody because of his role as a detective in ‘Turner and Hooch’. Pixar saw the actor’s chance to play a comedic role and let him into the cast; thus, history was born.