We all know Sheriff Woody, the lovable cowboy in the Toy Story franchise. But did you know that the two Hanks brothers voiced the character?
Tom Hanks’ younger brother, Jim, is a well-known voice actor who did Woody’s voice in the Toy Story spin-offs, commercials, and games. Tom Hanks did the voice of Woody in the movies.
Who Is Jim Hanks?
James Matthew Hanks was born on June 15, 1961, to Amos and Janet Hanks in Shasta County, California. He is the youngest of three brothers. Sadly, Hanks didn’t grow up with his siblings. When their parents divorced in 1960, Janet Hanks moved to Red Bluff, California, just before Hanks was born. (Source: Movie Fit)
Little is known about Hanks’ educational background. He moved to Sacramento to work as a waiter after college. By 1993 he started his acting career. His wife’s agent encouraged him to take up acting. Because of this, Hanks auditioned for the lead role in Buford’s Beach Bunnies. He auditioned under the pseudonym Jim Matthews because he wanted to earn the part without being recognized as Tom Hanks’ brother.
His true identity was only discovered when the final paperwork for the movie was being processed. Though the movie producers noted Hanks’ resemblance to his brother, he landed the lead role due to his performance.
In 1994 Hanks played his brother’s double in the movie Forrest Gump. He continued acting, taking up minor roles and starring in B-Grade films and TV shows like Xtro 3: Watch the Skies, Baby Geniuses, and the 1999 Blood Type. In this movie, his role as Stew earned him the Best Supporting Actor award at the Angel Film Awards.
Hanks is more recognized as a voice actor. He was the voice behind Woody in the Toy Story spin-offs and video games like The Polar Express and the Disney Infinity series.
Hanks is married to actress Karen Praxel, whose agent convinced him to start his acting career. They have one child, Gage Hanks, who did a few films in the early 2000s. (Source: Married Biography)
Toy Story Franchise
Toy Story was the first-ever computer-animated film. The animation was created by Pixar and distributed by Walt Disney. The story revolves around a group of toys that magically come to life when humans are not watching. The toys end up embarking on remarkable journeys throughout all four films.
All four films garnered extreme success, grossing a total of $1.9 billion altogether. It is also the fifteenth highest-grossing franchise worldwide. The franchise’s success gave way to a number of spins offs such as the film Lightyear focusing on Buzz Lightyear. The film is expected to show on June 17, 2022.
Other spin-offs also include TV specials and short animation films called Toy Story Toons. The franchise also produced around eight video games throughout the years and even has its own theme park attractions in the Disney parks. (Source: Disney)