Philoctetes, better known as Phil, is an old Satyr (half-man, half-goat) infamous for training heroes who, more often than not, end up as failures. He appears as the deuteragonist in Disney's 1997 film, Hercules, and its television series. He was voiced by Danny DeVito (and may also be a possible caricature of him) in the film and Robert Costanzo in the television series as well as in later appearances.
Phil has likely based on the satyr Pan, half-man and half-goat. He has two goat-like horns on his head, a beard, and a round red nose. And he is also bald.
Although he has a large heart, Phil can be easily ticked off. He dislikes others who ignore him or refuse to grant him respect. When not busy training heroes, he spends his time watching beautiful women and flirting with them, only to usually face rejection. A peculiar habit of his is announcing certain statements by saying their word count, then following with a sentence that fails to match the aforementioned count.
At the command of his father, Hercules travels to Phil's island with Pegasus to begin his training. He stumbles upon Phil watching Nymphs bathing, angering the Satyr when they flee at his arrival. Hercules introduces himself and his purpose, though Phil refuses to hear his plea, insisting he had retired with the many failures he had trained in the past. Even with a tremendous display of strength and the claim that he is the son of Zeus, Phil refuses to believe him or train him. It isn't until a lightning bolt comically strikes Phil that he settles on taking the young teenager into his hands.
Years of training pass under Phil's counsel before he declares Hercules ready to begin his work. They begin flying to Thebes, a rough city in Greece, before being sidetracked by the cry of a damsel in distress. After Megara is rescued, Phil flirts with her but is rejected, distrusting her immediately. The trio of Pegasus, Hercules, and Phil then continue their flight to the misfortunate city, where Phil loses his patience with the disrespect shown by the citizens there. It isn't until Hercules defeats Hades' Hydra that Phil receives recognition for his efforts. From there on, Phil keeps Hercules on a strict schedule while enjoying the benefits of wealth and glory.
When Hercules goes off to train and accidentally leaves his mentor behind in a garden, Phil witnesses Meg speaking with Hades, who had Meg seduce Hercules in order to learn of a possible weakness. Phil hurries to the stadium in which Hercules is training and insists that Meg is tricking him. Hercules ignores him the first few times before becoming so overcome with anger that, to his own horror, he slaps Phil. At this, Phil gives up on Hercules and attempts to return home to his island during Hercules' most vulnerable hour. It takes Meg to convince Phil to forgive his student and help as the Titans attacked.
Hercules prevails in the end, and instead of becoming a god as he had often dreamed, he stays on Earth with Phil, Pegasus, and Meg. He is overcome by a sense of unrivaled pride when the stars form a constellation in the shape of Hercules and a man shouts, "That's Phil's boy!", giving him a true sense of fulfillment as a trainer.
Phil was a main character in the series that took place during Hercules training. He and Hercules would regularly go on adventures often stopping legendary beast or training to become the true hero he will eventually be.
Phil is seen training Hercules when the duo are attacked by the evil sorcerer Jafar, who has team up with Hades in a domination plot. Jafar conjures up a few giant monsters to destroy Hercules, but the hero defeats them, sending Jafar to the Underworld. Later on, Hercules receives word that his friend Icarus has been kidnapped by a boy named Aladdin. Hercules, Phil, and Pegasus, travels to Agrabah to save Icarus. There, Hercules and Aladdin battle, as Aladdin thinks Hercules kidnapped his monkey Abu. Eventually, the heroes realize that neither of them are the kidnappers. Upon mentioning Jafar's revival, Phil realizes that Jafar had to have team up with Hades. Hercules and Aladdin travel to the Underworld where they eliminate Jafar, leaving Hades to simply give up.
Phil made rare usually non-speaking cameos in the animated series usually seen sitting alongside Hercules and Megara. He had a speaking role in the episode "Donald Wants to Fly" when he and Hercules were witnessing Carpet's stunt. In the episode "Salute to Sports", Phil had his own advertisement at the end of the show promoting a training camp where he promised to have you go from zero to hero in twelve weeks.
Video Game Appearances
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Ten years prior to the events of the original Kingdom Hearts, Phil is training Hercules to become a hero. After Zack repeatedly asks him to train him and Phil sees him fight with Hercules and Ven, Phil tells them to enter in the games, and that he will watch how they do and decide from that. After Hercules and Zack both withdraw from the tournament to help Ven fight a huge swarm of Unversed, Phil decides to continuing training Hercules, since he decided to help Ven first. However, Phil later confides in Ven that he had no intention of training Zack; Hercules had just been slacking and Phil had used Zack as a way to get him to work harder.
Phil is the coordinator of the games at Olympus Coliseum he asks Sora to move a rock thinking that he is Hercules. When Sora says he can't do it, Phil realizes it's not Hercules. He rejects Sora from participating in the games because he is not a true hero. This leads to a minigame that has Sora destroying barrels. Phil still rejects Sora from entering the games and tells him to go master this spell. When Sora leaves, he attains a pass from Hades. Phil grudgingly allows him in the games and teaches them as the games go on until the fight with Cloud. If Sora wins or loses, Cerberus shows up and attacks. Phil tells Sora, Donald, and Goofy to run for it. After Hercules shows up to fight Cerberus and rescue Cloud, Phil worries about him and warns Sora when he enters the stadium to help. After the battle, Phil makes them junior heroes and from then allows Sora to compete in the games.
Phil returns as memory and still runs the games. This time around, he makes it more into a race than an actual battle. He also gives the rules for competing.
Phil was ready to train a new recruit Hercules scouted, in order to have a backup hero to give Herc a break from fighting Heartless and in the Coliseum. However, he mistoke Roxas (on a mission with Xigbar) for the recruit, constantly interupting him whenever he tries to explain his mistake. Roxas was often teamed with Demyx in this world, and battled against Xigbar in the final round of the games before a Guard Armor Heartless interrupted the match. Phil eventually realized that Roxas wasn't the hero Hercules had told him about, much to his dismay. However, Phil wasn't mad at Roxas and told him to come by to the Coliseum anytime he wants next time they met.
Something rather ironic Phil says is that he considers Roxas a hero, but not Sora; both are the same person.
Phil once again prepares games for Olympus Coliseum and tournaments for Hercules so he can wow the crowd. Phil again demands Sora do a test that is a mini game where Sora must destroy urns. Phil leaves right before the Olympus Stone is said to be stolen. Sora later finds him in the Underworld and was incapacitated by Demyx. He says he was looking for a new hero to have fight in the Coliseum since Hercules is slowing down. When the Hydra destroys the Coliseum, Phil is there to help Sora defeat it.
In the return visit Phil is seen cheering Hercules on against Auron. But also before the world is completed Donald asks Phil if they can become heroes now, Phil avoids the subject until stars in the sky form the images of Sora's group and Phil tries to hide his tears. This is most likely a sign from Zeus.
He is shown talking to Data Sora in the lobby of the Coliseum that he has trouble finding Hercules. After Data Sora heals the Coliseum he will trade with Data Sora a Power Chain for an Energy Bangle ++.
Though Phil was once a regular at the Disney parks, his appearances became less frequent in the 2000s and are now extremely rare. He still makes occasional appearances at Disneyland Paris. Phil also has a small cameo appearance in the bubble montage during Disney's Hollywood Studios version of Fantasmic! and appeared on the Mark Twain in the Disneyland version in 1997.
- Animator Eric Goldberg used the character Grumpy from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as a basis for Phil during creation.
- Phil bears a striking resemblance to his voice actor, Danny DeVito.
- Phil's character is somewhat inspired by Pan, the God of Nature. Pan is the same species as Phil, and they have a tendency to chase after Nymphs, like what Phil was doing when Hercules first met him. However, the Nymphs would always run from Pan due to his hideous face, with some even being turned into trees to keep them away from Pan. This also happened to Phil.
- The Kingdom Hearts series shows that Phil is almost as big as Donald Duck.
- Phil is similar to Jiminy Cricket in the sense that both characters try to guide the protagonist throughout their films, but one point leave due to the protagonist choosing to listen someone else (Lampwick, Megara) instead of them, leave in anger, but come back when the protagonist is in danger.
- Although Phil and Hades are enemies and have noticed each other for a bit (Phil when he discovers Meg works for him, Hades saying "Geez Louise, what's got HIS goat, huh?") they do not interact.