"Hank is an octopus. Actually, he’s a ‘septopus:’ he lost a tentacle — along with his sense of humor — somewhere along the way. But Hank is just as competent as his eight-armed peers. An accomplished escape artist with camouflaging capabilities to boot, Hank is the first to greet Dory when she finds herself in the Marine Life Institute. But make no mistake: he’s not looking for a friend. Hank is after one thing — a ticket on a transport truck to a cozy Cleveland facility where he’ll be able to enjoy a peaceful life of solitude."
Hank first appears in the film in Dory's tank room in the Marine Life Institute, planning to escape into Quarantine so he can live a life of solitude in Cleveland. To do so, all he needs is a tag, which Dory has. He decides to help Dory find her family as long as she gives her tag in return.
Hank takes her through the building, but Dory's clumsiness causes her to fall into a bucket of fish food for Destiny, who tells her she's from the Open Ocean exhibit. Dory decides not to go through the pipes and with Hank, as she thinks she'll get herself lost without company.
Dory and Hank use a baby stroller to find the Open Ocean Exhibit, but Dory's interest in glasses causes them to fall into a touching tank, where Hank shows his fear of being touched. Dory calms him down by telling him to keep swimming, only for him to release ink upon being poked, scaring all the kids away.
Dory and Hank finally make it to the Open Ocean Exhibit, where Dory thanks Hank for helping her by giving Hank her tag. Hank tells Dory he thinks she's ready before dumping her into the tank, but not before he tells her that he will have a hard time forgetting about her when Dory states that she thinks she'll remember him, finally revealing the softer, sweeter side of his personality.
Hank later appears in Quarantine and helps Dory, Marlin, and Nemo get to the Blue Tang tank, telling Dory to hurry as the truck leaves in 3 minutes. When Dory starts to hallucinate upon hearing her parents may be dead, Hank finally loses his patience and scoops Dory from the tank, leaving Marlin and Nemo in the tank by accident, only to drop the beaker carrying Dory when a human tries to grab him, sending Dory down a drain and back into the ocean where she finds her parents.
In the truck to Cleaveland, Marlin and Nemo spot a fish they think is Dory, only for it to be a camouflaged Hank. He sadly apologizes for losing her as the doors close.
Otters and Dory break into the truck, and try to save Marlin and Nemo, only for Becky to appear and carry her bucket with Marlin and Nemo away, leaving Dory in the truck with Hank. Dory asks Hank to come live in the ocean with her; at first, he refuses, but eventually accepts, possibly upon realizing that he'd rather be in the ocean with those he cares about instead of being in a glass box all alone.
Hank scares off the truck drivers and drives the truck around towards the ocean, only for it to fall off a cliff into the water, freeing all of the fish. At the end of the film, Hank becomes Mr. Ray's substitute while the latter joins the stingray migration. When asked when Mr. Ray will return, Hank says that if Mr. Ray is smart, he would stay away from the class as long as possible, implying that he likes his new position.
Unlike real octopuses, Hank has only seven tentacles.
The real reason Hank only has seven tentacles is because the animators realized they were unable to fit eight onto his body. He was thus given seven, with the loss of his eighth tentacle being worked into his backstory, though it is never revealed exactly how he lost his tentacle. However, it is implied that he lost it in an incident that involved being touched by kids.
On April 1, 2016, Hank's voice actor, Ed O'Neill, was featured with Andrew Stanton as part of an April Fool's joke. The joke involved deceiving viewers into believing that Hank was the oldest and most coveted Pixar Easter Egg in history.
Hank is Ed O'Neill's second voice role for a Disney film after playing Stan Litwak in Wreck-It Ralph. This is also Ed O'Neill's first voice role in a Disney/Pixar film.
Ty Burrell who plays Bailey in Finding Dory, is one of Ed O' Neill's Modern Family co-stars.