The Coachman (also known as Barker) is one of the primary antagonists (along with J. Worthington Foulfellow featured in Pinocchio. He enlists J. Worthington Foulfellow and Gideon (who are both terrified by him) to bring him "stupid little boys" (among them Pinocchio and Lampwick); he then takes them in a stagecoach to Pleasure Island, where the boys are free to "tear the place apart", though "they never come back... as boys!" He is perhaps the most sinister Disney villain by actions and his pleasure in torturing children. However, he could also be considered to be moralistic in his own dark and twisted way, as he teaches the boys a pricey lesson for prolonged misbehavior. He was voiced by Charles Judels (who also voiced Stromboli).
Role in the film
The Coachman is first seen sitting at a table in the bar of The Red Lobster with J. Worthington Foulfellow and Gideon. He puffs quietly on his pipe, listening quietly and intently as the fox proudly recalls selling Pinocchio to Stromboli. Foulfellow then produces a small bag of money - Stromboli's payment - as proof of his success, and inquires about the Coachman's business. The Coachman gets Foulfellow's attention when he places a huge sack of money, promising them "some real money" if they help him. He tells the fox and cat that he is collecting "stupid little boys" to take to Pleasure Island. Foulfellow is frightened at the mention of Pleasure Island, and he and Gideon jump when the Coachman gleefully laughs about his wicked business. He tells the two crooks to meet him with a group of boys at the crossroads of the village, where he will be waiting with his stagecoach, which is pulled by six donkeys; he promises to pay them well. Among the boys Foulfellow takes to the Coachman are Pinocchio (who has just escaped Stromboli) and Lampwick. Jiminy Cricket, fearing for Pinocchio's safety, accompanies the wooden boy.
The Coachman takes the coachload of boys to a ferry bound for Pleasure Island, a naughty boys' paradise, where the boys are free to run riot without fear of reprimand from adults or mature teenagers until they make such "jackasses" of themselves that they turn into donkeys for the Coachman to sell into slavery. The Coachman whips his minions, ordering them to shut the gates, trapping the boys on the island. Later that night, Jiminy Cricket finds the Coachman's minions loading crates of donkeys onto boats. The Coachman examines every donkey, first checking that it can no longer talk by asking its name, then, if the response is a hee-haw, ripping off the creature's clothes, if it has any on, before his minions throw the animals into crates. One donkey, Alexander, can still talk, and cries to be allowed to go home. The Coachman throws Alexander into a pen of still-talking donkeys. These donkeys are presumably kept by the Coachman to pull his stagecoach.
At this point, Jiminy realizes the fate of Pleasure Island's visitors and rushes to warn Pinocchio. Though Lampwick is transformed into a donkey, Pinocchio, despite growing donkey ears and a tail, manages to escape the island, with Jiminy's help. After that, the Coachman is not seen again in the film.
The Coachman appears in Pinocchio's Daring Journey and it's Pleasure Island sequences and tries to cage riders to keep them from escaping. He was also once a walkaround character.
- Charles Judels, the voice of the Coachman, also did the voice of Stromboli.
- The Coachman did get his comeuppance in the SNES Pinocchio video game; he gets kicked down a cliff by Pinocchio.
- The Coachman might not be human. Some possible hints at this being the demonic face he makes when revealing his Pleasure Island plan, his shadowy minions who may not be human either, and the fact that he has four fingers on each hand while every other human character has five, though this could be a technical fault since four fingered gloves were easier to draw.
- This said, the Coachman could very well be a demon in disguise, or at least he has access to magic, since he clearly is responsible for the transformation of all the boys who come to Pleasure Island
- Curiously, despite being one of the most vicious of all the Disney Villains, the Coachman appears in little to no material centering the villains.
- The Coachman may be the only English character on Pinocchio speaking in a mid cockney accent.
- The Coachman is the first British Disney villian. The other two who are British are Edgar and Clayton.
Characters: Pinocchio | Jiminy Cricket | The Blue Fairy | Geppetto | Figaro | Cleo | John Worthington Foulfellow | Gideon | Stromboli | The Coachman | The Coachman's Minions | Lampwick | The Stupid Little Boys | Alexander | Monstro
Objects: Stromboli's Puppets