From 'Forrest Gump' to 'Big' and everything inbetween
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Bonus: 'Toy Story' series
If anyone but Hanks had given voice to Woody the Cowboy, Pixar might have had a problem on their hands. If you really examine Woody's actions in each film closely, he is, to put a fine point on it, a massive jerk. His insecurities drive every choice, he is prone to insane jealousy, and he very nearly costs his friends their home and their health repeatedly. But when the chips are down, Woody does finally snap to, and it is thanks to the decency that Hanks projects and the amiable way he can play even the most exasperated moment that we are willing to give Woody the benefit of the doubt in his worst moments. I think the real reason Hanks rarely plays bad guys is because he knows just how appealing they would end up being, and he's not prepared to use his powers for that kind of evil. Woody may be animated, but he's as complex and multi-layered as any live-action character he's ever played.
- Drew McWeeny