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Why Hank The Octopus From Finding Dory Sounds So Familiar

At the time of its release, "Finding Dory" was arguably one of the most highly anticipated Pixar movies of all time. The long-awaited follow-up to "Finding Nemo" flipped the formula of the original, seeing the titular Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) go missing while searching for her long-lost parents and Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence) having to find her. The sequel proved incredibly successful upon its release, raking in well over $1 billion at the global box office (via Box Office Mojo). A number of factors contributed to the overall success of "Finding Dory," including the incorporation of some fantastic new characters — including Hank, an octopus with seven tentacles who works with Dory to help her escape from her aquarium prison.

Hank from "Finding Dory" likely sounded familiar to many audience members in the theater. That is because the neurotic octopus is voiced by none other than Ed O'Neill, a seasoned film and television actor who has had numerous on-screen and voice-over roles throughout his career. In fact, with 32 acting credits to his name and numerous performances in his filmography, it's likely that audiences have seen him in several roles for years. With that in mind, let's dive in and take a look at some of the roles that would make Hank's voice sound so familiar.

His first credited voice-over role is in Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil

Ed O'Neill's role as Hank in "Finding Dory" wasn't the actor's first voice-over role in a Disney-owned property. In fact, O'Neill's first credited voice-over role was in 2011 with a one-episode arc as Grandpa on "Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil." The show ran for two seasons on Disney XD and followed the titular Kick Buttowski (Charlie Schlatter), a young boy who dreams of becoming a world-class stuntman and daredevil.

O'Neill appeared in the 2011 episode "Truth or Daredevil," in which Kick agrees to help his grandfather clean his garage and in the process, stumbles upon evidence of his grandfather's history as a war hero. What follows is a flashback sequence in which Kick becomes his grandfather and acts out the events of his grandfather's life. After hearing his story, Kick has a newfound respect for his grandfather, and the episode ends with the two of them riding on his grandfather's old motorcycle.

He voiced Orson in The Penguins of Madagascar

Ed O'Neill is no stranger to the world of children's animation. In fact, while much of his children's animation work has been with Disney, he has also worked with Nickelodeon in another major children's franchise, albeit in a much smaller role than his role as Hank in "Finding Dory." Specifically, he portrayed a seal named Orson in "The Penguins of Madagascar." The one episode O'Neill is in is 2012's "Operation: Antarctica," which follows the titular penguins as they work together to get a young leopard seal named Hunter back to her home in Antarctica. However, this mission brings the penguins up against a group of hungry older seals (including her father, Orson) who want to make the penguins their next dinner.

"The Penguins of Madagascar" is a spin-off of DreamWorks Animation's "Madagascar" film franchise, which kicked off in 2005. The series ran from 2008 to 2015, following the four penguins as they carry out missions from their home base in the Central Park Zoo. Though it only had a loose connection to the main "Madagascar" franchise (much of the film cast was replaced for the series), it remains the longest-running entry in the "Madagascar" series.

He voices Mr. Litwak in the Wreck-It Ralph franchise

Thus far in his career, Ed O'Neill has provided voices for two major animated Disney franchises: One is his role as Hank in Pixar's "Finding Dory," and the other hails from the other side of Disney's animation business, at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Specifically, O'Neill provided his vocal chops to the role of Mr. Litwak in the "Wreck-It Ralph" franchise. The character is the owner and operator of the arcade that houses the games that Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sara Silverman) call home in the movies.

Mr. Litwak debuted in the first "Wreck-It Ralph," which hit theaters in 2012. He also appeared in the sequel, "Ralph Breaks the Internet," which debuted in 2018. In that film, Litwak finally purchases a computer and hooks it up to the Internet, which allows Ralph to escape the confines of the arcade and go viral in cyberspace.

He voiced Joe's dad in Family Guy

Given the fact that Ed O'Neill played the patriarch on two of the most iconic live-action sitcoms of all time, it was only a matter of time before he made his way to the world of animated sitcoms. In 2015, O'Neill joined the "Family Guy" ensemble for a one-episode arc in "Papa Has a Rollin' Son." In the episode, he portrays Bud Swanson, the estranged father of Patrick Warburton's Joe Swanson.

"Papa Has A Rollin' Son" introduces Bud as a tough-as-nails father with a dislike of disabled people, creating a conflict for Joe, who had never told his father about his accident that put him in a wheelchair. As a result, Peter volunteers to pretend to be Joe in order to trick Bud during his visit. However, during the visit, Peter decides to go rogue and eventually begins to embrace Bud as his real father due to his lack of a loving relationship with his own father.

He played Jay Pritchett in Modern Family

Though not a voice-over role, Ed O'Neill's performance as Jay Pritchett in "Modern Family" is too critical to his overall filmography to ignore. Moreover, since the beloved series routinely employed the talking head narrative device popularized by "The Office," many of the performers (O'Neill among them) frequently relied on voice acting to provide narration complementing the comedy and drama scenes shown in the series. As the patriarch of the titular familial unit in "Modern Family," Jay is a successful, stern, but loving father and grandfather who sometimes finds himself at odds with the younger and more progressive members of the family.

Like his previous role as Al Bundy on "Married... with Children," O'Neill created an instantly iconic sitcom character with his performance as Jay on "Modern Family." In fact, over its 11-season run on ABC, O'Neill was one of six actors to have appeared in all 250 episodes. He was even nominated for an Emmy for outstanding supporting actors in a comedy series three years in a row (via Television Academy).