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Tom Hanks to Play Walt Disney In New Movie -- See the Comparison

Caption: Saving Mr. Banks

Credit: Getty Images

Unless it is for a movie role, Tom Hanks rarely changes his look. That fact is exactly why Hollywood has been buzzing since Hanks was recently spotted sporting a little upper lip growth.

On Wednesday we learned the reason for the 'stache. Hanks is starring as Walt Disney in a new movie called "Saving Mr. Banks." The film, which started shooting inside Disneyland on Tuesday, is actually a movie about a movie. The Examiner reports:

“Saving Mr. Banks” traces the Walt’s prolonged efforts to gain the rights to adapt “Mary Poppins” from author P.L. Travers. The movie highlights their 1961 head-bumping collaboration during the film’s pre-production.

Joining Hanks will be a few other big names: Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford and Jason Schwartzman.

The news about the film leaked when Disneyland visitors spotted Hanks and the crew shooting inside the theme park. Photos were snapped and tweeted. Thanks to a very enthusiastic army of information-hungry Disney fans, the photos and news about the film went viral on the web.

Take a look at Hanks in full Walt Disney costume and make up. Does he look the part?

Image: Melissa Farley

If you need a reminder of what the real Walt Disney looked like. Here's a 1954 press photo of Walt when he announced plans to build Disneyland.

Image: Disneyland

The Orange County Register has more on how the movie is working through the logistics of filming at such a high profile place:

Disneyland is blocking off sections of the park on and off Tuesday and Wednesday during the recording. Signs in front of the entrance and around the park warn that some areas will be closed for part of the days.

On Tuesday morning, most of the hub area in front of the castle initially was roped off with signs stating, "No Flash Photography Please." Disneyland employees told visitors that the area was closed for the "Saving Mr. Banks" movie.

Because the plot is based in 1961, crews couldn't risk having visitors in modern clothing in the background. So, Disneyland employees were cast as extras in period costumes to act as Disneyland guests. Around 11:30 a.m., a line of extras in below-the-knee skirts, flip hairdos, Keds and plaid pants filed in through the castle's gates to prepare for a scene in Fantasyland.

Shortly after, employees temporarily cleared out the Fantasyland rides behind the castle for a scene captured on and around the King Arthur Carrousel. Behind the ropes, two director's chairs with the names "Walt" and "Pamela" on them sat in front of Mr. Toad's Wild ride.

Period carts, including a popcorn stand with a 5 cents sign and a flower merchant, were brought in.

Tom Hanks as Walt Disney? Thumps up or down?

"Saving Mr. Banks" is slated for a Christmas release next year.

One last thing…
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