Tom Hanks and Ellen DeGeneres have enjoyed massively successful careers far beyond their animated work, but to young children they’re still just Woody and Dory. The voices of the two beloved Pixar characters came together as Hanks joined The Ellen DeGeneres Show as his new film Sully with Clint Eastwood premieres – but, of course, Toy Story 4 also came up.
Though Hanks reportedly won’t start recording his lines until December, Toy Story 4 is already in production along with fellow Pixar sequel The Incredibles 2. Pixar has no plans, however, for any kind of cross-over film, but Hanks may have given the studio some ideas as he got some practice with his Woody voice in his appearance on Ellen.
In a recent clip from the show released on YouTube, Hanks tells a brief anecdote about meeting random parents in public who introduce their small children to him as “Woody.” Hanks then calls for a “Pixar-off” between himself as Woody and DeGeneres as the title character from Finding Dory, the high-grossing sequel to Finding Nemo. The audience closes their eyes so they only hear the voices, then Hanks and DeGeneres launch into an improvised back-and-forth between the two iconic Pixar characters, as if they had randomly encountered each other on an adventure.
The improvised conversation centers around “Woody” losing his hat and desperately seeking help from “Dory,” who unfortunately struggles to remember everything “Woody” tells her due to her short-term memory loss. “I know where a hat is, I’ve seen a hat!” Ellen ad-libs as “Dory,” earnestly trying to help “Woody” retrieve his hat only to forget the entire conversation. “Who are you?” she asks to put an exclamation point on the Pixar-off.
The two follow up the back-and-forth with an amusing discussion about the hours they put in recording their voices, the grueling effort that viewers never notice. Pixar apparently demands many more takes from its stars than those that make the final cut – even with throw-away lines and random grunts, yelps and gasps. “I said, ‘You guys should have this in the hard drive somewhere,'” Hanks quipped.
The brief talk after the Pixar-off was an eye opening (or ear-opening) look at how much work voice actors really put in. Simply standing there and talking isn’t easy when you’re tediously repeating lines for hours at a time. DeGeneres added that she often needed to munch on apples during recording sessions to keep her throat from drying up. Hank and DeGeneres’ sampling of their voices as their famous characters certainly makes the idea of some kind of Toy Story/Finding Dory crossover intriguing, if not a real possibility for the future.
Toy Story 4 opens in U.S. theaters on on June 15, 2018.