Toy Story has been a staple of pop culture for more than 20 years. The movies, which largely center on Woody and his relationship to his human owner, Andy, have touched the lives of many Disney fans over the years and it remains one of Tom Hanks' most recognizable roles, despite the fact that he's not actually on screen. Or is it really one of his most recognizable roles? As it turns out, Tom Hanks has a brother named Jim Hanks and, believe it or not, Jim actually voices Woody rather frequently.
Yes, when you're watching any of the main Toy Story movies, or the upcoming Toy Story 4, it's Oscar-winner and generally beloved man Tom Hanks providing the voice for Woody. However, there's a lot of licensed merchandise, such as short videos, toys and video games that are made for the Toy Story franchise. Given that Tom Hanks is one of the most in-demand actors in the world, he can't possibly be expected to do the voice all of the time.
So, instead of hiring someone else in the voice acting community, Jim Hanks steps in to do these parts. And truly, you'd never know the difference, which is probably why you are likely finding this out for the first time. During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show a while back, the host brought out a Woody doll and, though it sounds like Woody, it's not Tom Hanks who recorded the lines for the toy.
"There are so many computer games and video things and Jim, he just works on those all year long. They said, 'You don't wanna do this.' I said, 'Get my brother Jim. He'll do it.' So that's my brother Jim.
If you've played Disney Infinity, Toy Story 3: The Video Game or have seen things like Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins, you've definitely heard Woody. However, those projects, and many others, were done by Jim Hanks. He gets to reap the rewards, but certainly not the fame. However, while speaking about it in the documentary I Know that Voice, which is all about voice actors in Hollywood, Jim Hanks reveals he's not the least bit envious of his brother's fame.
"I've seen what it's like. I've hung out with the absolute pinnacle of, you know, someone who's famous on pretty much every square inch of this planet...I've traveled with Tom and stuff like that and I see the crap that he goes through, but he's incredibly gracious about it. I mean, it's mind blowing. But not being able to go to the Third Street promenade without getting mobbed?"
In fairness, Jim Hanks isn't just riding on his brother's coattails. Though he's voiced Woody plenty of times over the years, Jim Hanks has more than 70 acting credits to his name, many of them having nothing to do with Toy Story, or any other of his famous brother's roles, for that matter. But still, being able to sound just like Tom Hanks is a profitable skill, as noted by Hello Giggles. You can check out a video of Jim Hanks for yourself below, as well as Tom Hanks' appearance on The Graham Norton Show.