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Why Admiral Hornagold From Netflix's The Sea Beast Sounds So Familiar

Netflix's new animated feature "The Sea Beast" is a beautifully rendered fantasy film that cautions viewers against the dangers and deceit of imperialism. The production follows Jacob Holland (Karl Urban) and Maisie Brumble (Zaris-Angel Hator) as they discover the truth behind their government's violent othering of massive sea beasts that, when left alone, mind their own business. While the film focuses mostly of the budding found family relationship between Jacob and Maisie, the supporting cast is stacked with unique characters, too. There's all of them ... and then there's Admiral Hornagold.

Hornagold receives little screen time, but savvy audiences will implicitly understand the merit of his character. He's vocally dutiful to his King and Queen, quick to berate their enemies, and even quicker to run from a fight. Basically, he's sentient slime. Imagine if Captain James Norrington (Jack Davenport) from "Pirates of the Caribbean" had no spine. Now, imagine a different British actor, because they're not the same person. Who's coming to mind? Hopefully, it's Dan Stevens, the man behind the muttonchops. If that name doesn't immediately sound familiar, it will soon. Here are a few of his biggest voice acting credits so far. 

Dan Stevens was a pompous prince in Beauty and the Beast

In 2017, as part of an ongoing effort to relive the 1990s animated renaissance, Disney released a (somewhat) live action retelling of "Beauty and the Beast." This latest retelling of Disney's older retelling follows Belle (Emma Watson), a young woman who desperately wants to have a conversation with someone who has an IQ that can't be wholly counted with a single hand's worth of fingers. Instead, she gets imprisoned inside an enchanted castle run by wolf-bear thing known by many names. Once upon a time, he was Prince Adam to his subjects. To his servants, he's simply called Master. By the village, audiences, and IMDb, he's known best as the Beast. Regardless of title, though, the buffalo monster in a fancy suit is portrayed by Dan Stevens.

Unlike the 2D cartoon variant, Dan Steven's Beast was explicitly an adult when the Enchantress decided to punish an entire population for a single man's vanity (which doesn't make her judgement call any better, as adult viewers would notice, she's still a horrible person, but that's beside the point), so his behavior is more pompous than immature. A personality overhaul wasn't enough to shake Belle's furry fascinations, though, and the two eventually found love in a hopeless place. 

Kupo and the Age of Wonderbeasts turns Dan Stevens into a mad, musical monkey

In 2020, Netflix released all three seasons of "Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts," a feat which would be far more impressive if cocreators Bill Wolkoff and Rad Sechrist hadn't officially confirmed (via Collider) that they gave Netflix all 30 episodes at once. Based on Sechrist's 2015 webcomic entitled "Kipo," the Netflix series follows Kipo Oak (Karen Fukuhara), a young human, on her journey through a postapocalyptic surface world where powerfully mutated animals — known as mutes — are the dominant species. As the show progresses, Kipo gains friends and enemies and ultimately restores peace between all sentient creatures that call Earth home. 

And somewhere in the middle of all that is Scarlemagne (Dan Stevens). Unlike Rafiki, this chaotic mandrill is far less friendly, and that's all thanks to his human parents abandoning him (it wasn't entirely their fault, but they didn't exactly prioritize him, either, it was a whole thing) and a scientist brutally experimenting on him after he was caught playing piano. As a weaponized mute, Scarlesmagne could control humans with his pheromones, something he used for global domination or cutesy dance parties, depending on the day. The deeply traumatized monkey eventually returned to his kinder roots, as well as his original name, Hugo Oak, just in time to sacrifice himself to save his little sister. 

Dan Steven played a familiar face in Earwig and the Witch

Also in 2020, Studio Ghibli released "Earwig and the Witch," a CGI fantasy film based on the late Diana Wynn Jones' 2011 novel of the same name. In 2021, the English dubbed released stateside — and for today, that'll be the cast list referenced. The story follows Earwig (Taylor Henderson) — or Erica Wigg, depending on the person in charge — after her witch of a mother (this isn't a euphemism, by the way, she's literally a witch) leaves her in an orphanage. Eventually, she's adopted by Bella Yaga (Vanessa Marshall) and Mandrake (Richard E. Grant) who use her treat her like an employee in their magical home. With the assistance of Bella Yaga's familiar, a cat named Thomas (Dan Stevens), Earwig takes magical dominion over the home. 

Like so many familiars before him, Thomas is a small, black cat with an attitude that far outstrips his size. There's unfortunately precious little to say about his unique characteristics because, as a startling number of reviewers noted, "Earwig and the Witch" exclusively retreads familiar (let us have this one, please) ground. Without straying too far into critical territory, let's instead appreciate how often Stevens elects to portray fuzzy weirdos. It's almost a trend at this point, right? 

The Prince saw Dan Stevens mock the British royal family

Now let's break that trend because, in 2021, HBO Max released "The Prince," an animated series that satirized the current British royal family.  It, uh, didn't go over well. Like, at all, and got canceled after a single season. The short lived series follows a young Prince George (Gary V. Janetti) as he goes out of his way to cause as much mayhem in Buckingham Palace as possible. That's it, that's the plot. In supporting cast, mostly comprised of caricatures of real people, Dan Stevens lends his voice to two separate people — the comically old Charles, Prince of Wales, and the late Prince Philip (who, for the purposes of the series, is still alive), Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Charles is essentially a background joke in the series. He's more or less just there, if that makes sense, and mostly groans like a zombie to remind everyone that he is in fact still alive. "The Prince" is often compared to "Family Guy" in terms of humor and style, so that should frame what one might expect from watching the 12 episodes.