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Happy birthday Tom Hanks! To celebrate, here's why we think he's the perfect Woody


You don't need us to tell you what a great guy Tom Hanks is - but we're going to anyway.

Seeing as it's his birthday (he's 62 today) and with Toy Story 4 on release now, here's a Woody-themed, yee-hawing round-up of why he's such a good fit for the leader of the toys. Can you imagine anyone else doing it? Neither can we.

He makes us feel better about the world

Tom Hanks might have the most kind and reassuring voice in Hollywood, so listening to Woody tell his friends that they will make it out of whatever scrape they've got themselves into makes us believe that everything will be alright in the end. A lifetime of seeing him save the day makes us feel like we're in safe hands.

We always root for him

Whether it's the countless underdog scenes in Forrest Gump or heading into outer space in Apollo 13, holding tense hostage negotiations while suffering from a bad cold in Bridge of Spies or stopping the presses in The Post, we always want Tom to prevail.

As the slightly hapless guy in Sleepless in Seattle and even as a cynical corporate bookseller in You've Got Mail, we want him to get the girl, win the day and have a happy ending. Throughout the trials and tribulations to get there - surviving war, grief, heartache or the perils of high-stakes newspaper publishing - we feel like we're with him every step of the way. 

He can tug on our heart strings

Don't think too hard about his final scenes in Saving Private Ryan, or the end of Forrest Gump or Captain Phillips (unless you feel like a good cry), but Hanks has proven that he can win over an audience's sympathy with ease and aplomb.

It might have been Andy we were relating to when he gave away his toys at the end of Toy Story 3, to the sound of muffled sobs in cinemas everywhere. But the incinerator scene, when the toys thought they were all done for and Woody has to try and comfort them, was no walk in the park either. 

He's always the good guy

Woody is a hero, through and through. He always wants what's best for the team and (almost always) does his best to help them, even if it means putting himself in harm's way. From Saving Private Ryan to Bridge of Spies, Tom Hanks seems to have mostly taken on roles where selflessness plays a pivotal part and he never fails to take one for the team. 

He can bring the comedy

As well as tugging on our heart strings, the Toy Story films are also bubbling over with moments of slapstick comedy and wry humour. Big might not be a perfect film (the whole age-gap thing didn't seem so weird in the 80s?) but it does show that Tom can let loose and be a funny guy. Turner and Hooch also has its moments, and his turn as a dressing gown-clad suspicious neighbour is arguably the best thing about wacky comedy-thriller The 'Burbs. 

He's still keeping it real

Woody rarely gets too big for his cowboy boots and similarly Tom Hanks, despite the Oscar wins and being everyone's favourite guy in Hollywood, can still get bashful and intimidated. Especially if he's being directed by Clint Eastwood. Check out his crowd-pleasing impression that shows he's still got his feet on the ground. 

What are you favourite Tom Hanks roles? Tweet us @Cineworld to let us know. And don't forget to click here and book your tickets for Toy Story 4.