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Why Rick Dicker From The Incredibles 2 Sounds So Familiar

There's been seismic shift in Hollywood over the past two decades that's seen the the world of superhero cinema bring arthouse flourishes to its signature big-screen bluster. While Christopher Nolan's pitch-black Dark Knight trilogy and the Marvel Cinematic Universe are typically cited as turning points for superhero cinema, animation giant Pixar is typically left out of the conversation. 

That's hard to believe as, the studio's beloved 2004 animated super flick The Incredibles — which followed a loving family of supers struggling to make their way in a world where their powers are technically illegal — no doubt helped change the conversation about superhero movies. It did so behind a whip-smart screenplay that simultaneously took the superhero realm super seriously while also lovingly lampooning it. It helped, of course, that the film also featured a slate of characters as vividly realized as they were wholly original, and a brilliant cast of vocal performers who miraculously brought it all to life.

Though it took more than a decade to materialize, it was hardly a surprise when Pixar got their wily band of undercover supers back together for 2018's The Incredibles 2. While fans no doubt recognized the familiar voices of Craig T. Nelson's Mr. Incredible, Holly Hunter's Elastagirl, and Samuel L. Jackson's Frozone, they might have noticed a change in the voice of the family's no-nonsense g-man handler Rick Dicker. Sadly, that change came about as the man who originally voiced Agnet Dicker, animation guru Bud Luckey, passed away between productions. 

While Luckey's vocal work was certainly missed in The Incredibles 2we're pretty sure you recognized the voice of the actor who ably stepped into the role. It belongs to Jonathan Banks, and it's one of the most distinctive (and oddly soothing) voices in Hollywood today. Here's why Rick Dicker from The Incredibles 2 sounds so familiar. 

Jonathan Banks did the dirty work on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul

Though you may or may not recognize Jonathan Banks by name, if you've turned on a television in the past decade or so you've almost certainly seen his face. While Banks has featured in programs of all sizes and genres in recent years, he's undoubtedly best known for his work as the grizzled former detective who's played fixer to all manner of evil-doers over a pair of AMC's best-loved series. Those series are, of course, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, where Banks has made a habit of stealing virtually scene in which he ever appeared as Mike Ehrmantrout. 

Banks made his first appearance as the iconic Mike in Breaking Bad's first season, and though he appeared in just one episode of season 1, his wearily wicked character cast an ominous shadow over literally every moment that came after. Banks would reprise the role in 28 episodes of Breaking Bad over its five-season run, and bring the same formidable weariness to every single appearance. Along the way, his character became a full-on fan favorite, and Mike's untimely (if utterly inevitable) death on Breaking Bad remains one of the show's most heart-breaking moments.

Luckily, death was not the end for Banks' Mike Ehrmantrout as Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan decided he wasn't entirely done with the show's meth-and-violence-addled world in 2014, resurrecting several characters for the unexpected (and unexpectedly brilliant) prequel Better Call Saul. Centered around Bob Odenkirk's unapologetically sleazy attorney to New Mexico's criminal elite Saul Goodman, Better Call Saul picks up a couple of years before Breaking Bad's torturous and tragic narrative, and finds him first making the acquaintance of the man who'll eventually put him in touch with cartel bosses. It also finds Banks in top form as Mike, as evinced by the five Emmy nominations he's received for his performance between the two shows.   

Jonathan Banks laid down the law on Community

Of course, in the wake of his tragic Breaking Bad end, Jonathan Banks suddenly found himself out of a job. Luckily, the veteran actor saw his profile raised considerably by his Breaking Bad gig, and was hardly hurting for work after it was over. Surprisingly, one of Banks' highest profile post-Ehrmantrout jobs came not in another heavy drama, but in one of the best comedy series to every grace the airwaves, NBC's brilliant community college farce Community.

Banks joined the cast of Community in the second episode of the show's fifth season, and did so under the guise of Greendale Community College's new professor of Criminology, Buzz Hickey. Across the ensuing nine episodes, Banks' proceeded to leave a decidedly wacky impression on the show, playing the role of a menacing goofball instead of head-breaking baddie. He also helped elevate the fifth season of Community after a lackluster season 4 run that left many fans dropping out the action. 

And while we'd freely admit Community's fifth season suffered from some of the same season 4 missteps (i.e. turning its penchant for madcap farce into an overabundance of rapid fire narrative absurdity), the addition of Banks' Professor Hickey to the mix was one of the things Dan Harmon and the Community creative team got right in season 5. 

Jonathan Banks is no stranger to voice work

If you've somehow managed to not see Banks' distinguished face on the screen in his decades-long career, there's still safe bet you've heard his beyond distinctive voice here and there. That's because The Incredibles 2 was far from Jonathan Banks' only memorable turn as a voice actor. In fact, he's featured in a handful of prominent animated projects over the years.

As it happens, one of his longest running voice gigs is also under the production shingle of the Mouse House, and most likely helped him land the job on The Incredibles 2. The gig in question is on the Disney Channel's small screen continuation of their big screen breakout Tangled. The series — titled simply Tangled: The Series — tells the tale of what went down for Rapunzel (Mandy Moore), Eugene (Zachary Levi), and the rest of the Tangled crew between the 2010 movie and 2012's Tangled: Ever After, and finds Banks voicing Quirin, the protective father of the series' young Alchemist Varian.

Among Banks' other notable voice gigs, fans of Netflix's Skylanders Academy will no doubt recognize him as the voice of the hotheaded fire-starter Eruptor, while more adult animation enthusiasts will likely recognize his work from the short-lived series Axe Cop (alongside Nick Offerman, Ken Marino, Patton Oswalt and many more). Hey, we're even betting a few sharp-eared gamers out there spotted Banks as the voice of Gotham's Police Commisioner Jim Gordon in 2015's Batman: Arkham Asylum.  

Jonathan Banks fought an endless war on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Throughout his career, Jonathan Banks has typically portrayed tough guys who do tough guy things. It'll come as little surprise that the actor fully earned some serious sci-fi cred while doing just that back in 1993. He did so with a one-off appearance on what many sci-fi die-hards consider to be among the best of the Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine. 

If you didn't follow Deep Space Nine, it was set on the titular space station, in the far reaches of the Gamma Quadrant near a massive wormhole. The show followed the DS9 crew on various adventures in and around the quadrant. One of those adventures came in the season 1 episode "Battle Lines," and found series regulars Sisko (Avery Brook), Bashir (Alexander Siddig), and Kira (Nana Visitor) making an unscheduled stop on a distant prison moon inhabited by the Ennis.

As a form of cruel and unusual punishment, the inhabitants of said moon are afflicted with microbes which prevent them from permanently dying. By cheating death, it's ensured the Ennis will be entrenched in their ongoing war with their Nol-Ennis cohabitants for all eternity. Banks turned up in the episode as the tortured and war-addled leader of the Ennis, Golin Shel-la. And even working under a ton of appropriately Star Trek-y make up, the actor still manages to bring some seriously fiery pathos to his role.

Jonathan Banks saw little green creatures in Gremlins

It's been mentioned already, but Jonathan Banks has indeed been in the acting game for a very long time, and has appeared in dozens of film and TV projects over the years. He actually earned his first legit screen credit with a one-off appearance on How the West Was Won in 1976. While Banks kept himself more than gainfully employed through the '70s and early '80s, he likely didn't fully pop into public consciousness until 1984. Whether you realize it or not, he did so in the Steven Spielberg-produced holiday nightmare Gremlins.

Having trouble placing Jonathan Banks' face in the film? Try picturing him a couple of decades younger than Mike Ehrmantrout, then try picturing him with more or less a full head of hair and you'll be in the ballpark. Yep, that was actually Jonathan Banks portraying the dimwitted Kingston Falls Deputy Brent Frye, who casually dismisses warnings from Billy (Zach Galligan) that something wicked had indeed come to the sleepy little town. He's also among the Gremlins characters whose ultimate fate (along with that of Scott Brady's Sheriff Frank) is left up in the air after having a head-turning encounter with the vile titular creatures and unceremoniously crashing their police cruiser. 

Though his role as Deputy Frye is little more than a bit part, Jonathan Banks managed to make the affable smart-aleck one of the more memorable characters among Gremlins' impressive cast. And yes, that's something he's continued to do with staggering ease throughout his career.