‘Toy Story 4’: Tom Hanks Reveals How He Felt Saying Goodbye to Woody

Considering how much of an acting icon Tom Hanks is, some fans might not think he’d become emotional about a movie franchise when he’s always nurtured new acting horizons. When you realize the Toy Story franchise is almost 25 years old, you can start to see why. That mid-’90s era when the first film released was a magical time in Hanks’ own career.

Coming off two back-to-back Oscars wins in 1993-94 for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, respectively, just made that decade all the sweeter linking with Toy Story. However, Hanks started recorded his first voice tracks several years before in 1991.

Recently, he’s expressed just how much this movie series has meant to him. Perhaps the sad goodbyes are also unfounded.

Hanks reflected emotionally on his voice work with Pixar

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks | Jordi Vidal/Getty Images

We have to wonder what would have happened to Hanks’ career had the first Toy Story come out before his big Oscar live-action movies. After revealing on The Graham Norton Show recently he’d started recording the voice of Woody 28 years ago already, having the movie out in 1992 or ’93 would have possibly changed his acting trajectory.

No one can think of Woody now without the familiar voice of Hanks. Having 28 years of this profound pop culture become a major part of your life would make anyone with a heart grow emotional when it ends.

Hanks told Graham Norton his final recording sessions for Toy Story 4 were a little too businesslike by the producers. Tom asked the team if they needed any other recordings done before leaving. When they said no, he said he felt his lip quiver while driving home. It seemed like a large chunk of his life was heading into the sunset.

Hearing Hanks say this is more than a little gratifying since he’s done and seen virtually everything in his acting career.

Was his emotional story just a ruse to cover up a Toy Story 5′?

Let’s not be completely convinced this is the swan song for the Toy Story franchise. Everyone thought Toy Story 3 was the end, and it definitely wasn’t. The writers of the series know how to increasingly tap into interesting stories, including going deeper into personal philosophy and the meaning of existence.

There’s arguably plenty more stories they could tell with these toy characters, even if it might be a while before they go back to the creative well. As Pixar said themselves, they won’t be doing any sequels any time soon as they focus on creating original features.

Pixar’s keyword, however, was “for now.” Despite Hanks, Tim Allen, and the other cast likely being much older in the next three to five years, their voices would likely still sound the same then.

If one or more of the original voice cast passes, they could bring them back digitally like they did Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head. In other words, the Toy Story franchise could be done at any time in the future, whether the voice cast is complete or not.

Most fans would want a new film before the cast becomes too old

With the popularity of the franchise still being tremendous, Pixar no doubt is just waiting to see if a good script comes their way to keep it going. It’s a good bet one will be written, if not already in draft form.

Every fan will probably want another film within five years so we can have the entire cast reunite once more before they become too elderly to do voice work, or retire.

We all know Tom Hanks is one of our greatest actors who’s pulled many heartstrings in his movies. His interview on Graham Norton’s show might have been another one of those performances, no matter if we don’t hear him as Woody again until well into the 2020s.