Call him Tommy 'Toon. Tom Hanks, 45, who is already a very busy actor and major TV mini-series producer (HBO's "Band of Brothers") has accepted the added responsibility of chairing the newly formed award screening committee for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, reports Variety. The group, which has about 100 members, will decide upon the three finalists for the animated feature category. Hanks's duties will include arranging screenings for his fellow committee members and serving as the liaison between the short film and feature animation branches of the organization. This year, for the first time ever, the Oscars will include a special category for Best Animated Feature, for which both DreamWorks's "Shrek" and rival Disney's "Monsters, Inc." are expected to duke it out for the Oscar. Hanks already serves as a governor in the actors' branch of the academy, in a post he was elected to last summer, when the seat was vacated by actor Gregory Peck, 85, who retired. Hanks's link to the field of animated movies has to do with his turn as the voice of Woody in Disney's phenomenally successful "Toy Story" (1995) and "Toy Story 2" (1999). This year, his lack of appearance in a 'toon permits him to serve his newest post, as there would be no conflict of interest, says an academy rep.
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