“Toy Story” Wasn’t Supposed to Star Tom Hanks and Tim Allen

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Looking back, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing in Toy story. After all, this 1995 film not only marked a major shift in cinema, it also spawned two iconic characters. Arguably, Woody and Buzz Lightyear remain the most popular and recognizable characters in any Pixar Animation Studio movie. But Tom Hanks and Tim Allen weren’t always the right people to voice Andy’s most beloved toys.

Jessie, Woody and Buzz Lightyear | Fred Duval / FilmMagic

Disney and Pixar changed animated films in 1995

The period now known as the “Disney Renaissance” was in full swing throughout the 1990s. The studio had achieved monstrous success with The Lion King the previous year, the culmination of a successful race that includes The beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Even earlier in 1995, Pocahontas was released at a solid box office and ultimately two Oscars. But that’s not the animated Disney hit that most people think of when it comes to that year.

It’s because Toy story – Who Pocahontas beat for the Oscar for Best Original Song – released in theaters in November 1995. The first feature film produced by Pixar, the film is also the first computer-animated feature film. And in one case, the industry turned not only to this style of animation, but also to Pixar’s more mature, less musical storytelling. Sequels, of course, followed, but Toy storyThe immediate cultural impact of ‘s cannot be underestimated.

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‘Toy Story’ had almost 2 very different stars

By the time the first Disney and Pixar collaboration arrived, Hanks and Allen had the lead roles. And indeed, the two iconic actors – one fresh out of back-to-back Oscars, the other the star of the hit ABC sitcom. Home improvement – each brought their distinctive energy to the roles. Indeed, anyone other than Woody and Buzz would’ve made a very different movie, which is why VultureThe mention of who almost played is so fascinating.

Apparently, the roles of cowboy and astronaut were originally intended as depictions of two different eras of Hollywood. The producers watched Paul Newman as Woody and Jim Carrey as Buzz. Newman was about as legendary as the movie stars come. So this casting makes a lot of sense. As for Carrey, he was in full swing at the time. And he would have been a fun choice, albeit a very different one. But the budget would not allow any actor.

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The “Toy Story” franchise has been running for decades

Newman would end up working with Pixar as the voice of Doc Hudson in the 2006s Cars. And Carrey would lend his voice to Dr. Seuss’ Horton hears a who! in 2008. However, the two actors could have been defined by Woody and Buzz for a generation of fans. In particular, Carrey’s career could have taken a very different direction.

That said, few fans regret that Hanks and Allen landed the roles of Woody and Buzz. After all, they’ve made these characters their own and picked them up time and time again. Now with decades of experience as iconic heroes of the Toy story franchise, the two players are indistinguishable from their Pixar counterparts at this point.

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