TOY STORY 2
TOM HANKS (Woody) reprises his vocal role as the lanky, likable cowboy toy
(who has long been Andy's favorite) and provides the character with an
incredible range of humor and emotion. This time around, Woody finds himself
torn in more ways than one. First his arm is ripped during a rambunctious play
session with Andy. Then the dependable Sheriff gets toynapped by an obsessive
collector, discovers that he is a highly collectible toy and must decide whether
he wants to go back home (where his inevitable fate is to be outgrown by Andy)
or spend his days as a museum piece. What's a toy to do?
Stepping back into the character of Woody wasn't too difficult for the
multi-talented actor. He observes, "It isn't too hard because you come to
the recording sessions and you're surrounded by the whole history of 'Toy Story'
in general. The greatest thing is you get to see the movie continuously over a
two-year period while they're making it. You see the story reels and get a good
sense of what Woody is going through. By the time you actually step up to the
microphone, you're Woody. Of course, I'm kind of like Woody in real life anyway.
"Doing an animated voice is exhausting work," he adds. "You're
in a room and you're trying to create all of these verbal grunts and groans and
also the energy that goes along with the character. You're having to tax your
psychic talents as well because you have to see it all in your head and make it
all up. I always leave with a very sore diaphragm. I don't know how opera
singers feel after they've performed on stage, but I think it's not unlike the
way I feel driving home after a five or six hour recording session."
As for his thoughts about the characters, Hanks says, "Woody and Buzz
are great friends because they are opposites and yet they are peers all at the
same time. They're the man toys — the man inside the astronaut suit and the
man who is the cowboy. They are the icons; the heroes of the age — the
astronaut and the cowboy. In 'Toy Story 2,' they share a sense of past
adventures where they reached out and saved each other at the right time. They
have a good healthy respect for each other but, at the same time, a good healthy
competition as well. They learn from each other what it really is to be a toy
and when not to let your head get bigger than your hat. Friendship is a long and
sometimes rocky road."
Hanks observes, "It always comes down to the moment when you see the
finished film. It seems to appear out of some sort of magic conjurer's pot. It's
you and it's not you. I did stand there at one point and do it but the end
result has been translated through so many other artisans and perfectionists and
engineers. It comes out to be like a brand new enterprise for me just like it is
for the guy in the audience. There is a vividness to it all that supersedes the
reality of it just being a motion picture. And that's very different from my
experiences with live-action filmmaking."
According to Lasseter, "Tom gives 110% every time he comes to the
recording studio. You can hear that in his performance. He brings so much
creativity to the project. He told us that he used to be introduced to people as
the guy from 'Philadelphia' or here's 'Forrest Gump.' But now, with kids he's
almost exclusively introduced, 'This is Woody.'"
One of today's most admired and respected actors, Academy AwardÂ¨-winner
Hanks most recently starred in the critically acclaimed film "Saving
Private Ryan" as well as the romantic comedy "You've Got Mail."
He also executive prod
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