Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 May 2019

Tom Hanks records a touching 'Toy Story' video for twins conjoined at birth

The brothers kept Woody and Buzz Lightyear toys with them through 52 operations

Tom Hanks recorded and sent a personalised message to two young 'Toy Story' fans that were born conjoined in 2009. YouTube / Miceal O'Hurley
Tom Hanks recorded and sent a personalised message to two young 'Toy Story' fans that were born conjoined in 2009. YouTube / Miceal O'Hurley

Tom Hanks has made an adorable mini-movie for two young Toy Story fans, Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf.

In the video, the actor – who voices Woody in the popular Disney franchise – can be seen personalising two toy versions of the famous cartoon cowboy for the Ireland-born twins, who were born conjoined in December 2009 and successfully separated in 2010. The twins have had 52 operations to date, and have kept their Woody and Buzz Lightyear toys with them throughout all of the procedures.

Watch the full video here:

The video is set to the Toy Story theme tune, You've Got a Friend in Me. It was posted by Miceal O'Hurley, who runs Fantastic Flavours Ice Cream Parlour that the Benhaffaf twins frequent.

"[My wife] Oksana and I enjoyed serving a remarkable family as some of our first customers when we opened Fantastic Flavours Ice Cream Parlour. Not long ago, Oksana and I reached out to Tom Hanks and told him about two extraordinary young lads we know here in Ireland," O'Hurley explained in the YouTube description.

Hanks personalised the two dolls with each of the twins' names, Hassan and Hussein. YouTube / Miceal O'Hurley
Hanks personalised the two dolls with each of the twins' names, Hassan and Hussein. YouTube / Miceal O'Hurley

"Born conjoined twins, separated while infants, overcoming the odds and surviving – Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf have proven not only to be ordinary boys with extraordinary talents – today they are incredible boys who are thriving," he goes on to say.

"They play basketball, climb indoor walls and have great friends and an incredible friendly. Having endured more than 52 life-threatening operations (with more to come), they have proven themselves 'brave warriors' and, having learned they kept their Buzz and Woody dolls from Toy Story with them through all of their operations, Tom Hanks wanted them to know, 'You've Gotta Friend in Me'."

The personalisation was in the style of the 'Andy' label famously included in the 'Toy Stories' series of movies. YouTube / Miceal O'Hurley
The personalisation was in the style of the 'Andy' label famously included in the 'Toy Stories' series of movies. YouTube / Miceal O'Hurley

The video also came with a typewritten letter from Hanks to the nine-year-old twins.

"I think what I love about Tom Hanks is that if he wasn’t a mega star, and he was the local guy in the hardware store, he would still go out of his way to be a decent person," O'Hurley added to the Irish Times. "Tom wanted the boys to know that he admires them and wants to be their friend."

The parents of the twins are Angie and Azzedine Benhaffaf, and they are yet to publicly comment on the video.

"What people don’t realise is the boys' dad, who was an extraordinarily talented chef, had to leave his job to care for the family. He and the boys' mum, Angie, are full-time carers and they also have two other children," O'Hurley went on to say of the family to the Irish newspaper.

"They go to London for surgeries. Some things are covered but the out-of-pocket expenses aren’t. On any given trip it costs them €2,000 to €3,000 (Dh8,300 to Dh12,400) out of pocket that they don’t get reimbursed. This family face adversity that people don’t even realise."

Updated: April 21, 2019 03:32 PM

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