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The Coachman

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The Coachman
Background information
Feature films Pinocchio
Short films
Television programs Walt Disney anthology series
House of Mouse
Video games Pinocchio
Park attractions Pinocchio's Daring Journey
Portrayed by
Portrayed by
Animators Charles Nichols
Norman Ferguson
Kathy Zielinski
Voice Charles Judels (original)
Ray Templin (Pinocchio's Daring Journey)
Performance model
Inspiration L'Omino del Burros ("The Little Donkey Man") from the original story of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name
Other names
Personality Sinister, ruthless, evil, greedy, very cruel, villainous, sadistic
Appearance Obese, white hair, long red coat with big brass buttons, green eyes, black boots
Occupation Coachman, ferryman, overseer and owner of Pleasure Island
Alignment Bad
Affiliations Disney Villains
Goal To take as many 'stupid little boys' as possible to Pleasure Island so that he can turn them into donkeys, which he then sells in bulk.
Home Pleasure Island (may also have stayed in The Red Lobster)
Allies Honest John, Gideon
Minions Honest John, Gideon, his goons
Enemies Pinocchio, Lampwick, Alexander, the Stupid Little Boys
Likes Money, turning naughty boys into donkeys and selling them to salt mines and circuses just for fun, getting his way
Dislikes Little boys, talking donkeys, not getting what he wants
Powers and abilities
Weapons Whip
Quote "Alright now, hop to it, you blokes."
"Finely there now, we haven't got all night!"
"You boys will make a nice price!"
"QUIET! You boys have had your fun, now pay for it!"
"They Never come back... as BOYS!"

The Coachman (also known as Barker) is one of the five antagonists of Disney's 1940 animated feature film Pinocchio. He enlists Honest John and Gideon to aid him in "collecting" stupid little boys; 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 amongst the most sinister Disney villain, part by his 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 originally voiced by the late Charles Judels.


Like most Disney villains, the Coachman is sadistic, enjoying other people's pain and is also very cruel whipping his minions and also selling Little Boys that come to his island into slavery so that he can make money off of them. He enjoys their pain and sells children to slavery just for fun.



The Deal

The Coachman is first seen sitting at a table in the bar of The Red Lobster with Foulfellow and Gideon. He puffs quietly on his pipe, listening quietly and intently as Honest John proudly recalls selling Pinocchio to Stromboli. The fox then produces a small bag of gold coins - Stromboli's payment - as proof of his success, and inquires about the Coachman's business. The Coachman gets the attention of the two when he places a huge bag of gold coins, 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 in terror when the Coachman gleefully laughs about his wicked business. He tells the two crooks to meet him with any "good prospects" they find 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. Foulfellow and Gideon end up taking to the Coachman Pinocchio (who has just escaped Stromboli). Jiminy Cricket, fearing for Pinocchio's safety, stows away aboard the coach, unnoticed either by the Coachman or his passengers.

Pleasure Island

The Coachman takes the coachload of boys, including Pinocchio and Lampwick, 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 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 donkeys that likewise can still talk. These donkeys are presumably kept by the Coachman until they finally lose their voices.

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.

Disney Parks

The Coachman appears in Pinocchio's Daring Journey and its Pleasure Island scenes. At one point, he tries to trap the riders in a giant crate to keep them from escaping.

He was also once a walk-around character, but has since been retired.


The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to The Coachman.


  • 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.
      • Also in one concept art of him he reveals his true face removing a mask of a fake face. This "true face" of his strongly resembled Stromboli. Coincidentally, both antagonized Pinocchio, shared the same voice actor and they lost Pinocchio.
        • In an annotated English edition of the original novel PINOCCHIO, the Coachman has been compared to Mephistopheles, the demon prince in the classic tale of Dr. Faustus. His boy victims, like Faustus, in effect sell their souls to the Coachman for a life of unlicensed pleasure and, like the devil, the Coachman is there at the end to foreclose the deal.
  • The Coachman may be the only English character on Pinocchio, speaking in a cockney accent.
  • The Coachman is the first British Disney villain.
  • In the original Italian story of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, the Coachman was usually referred to as "The Little Buttery Man" ("L'Omino del Burro"), and he actually drove a large wagon instead of a coach. He was also described as a fat little man who resembled a walking butterball (hence his name), with a small round face like an orange, a red cherry-like nose, and a mouth that was always smiling sweetly. He spoke in a soft, purring voice "like a cat trying to ingratiate itself into its' owner's good graces." He also was rather effeminate in manner, clucking like a mother hen and addressing his prospective young passengers as "my dears" and "my darlings". Yet for all that he was even more sadistic than his Disney counterpart, as displayed when he bites one of his boy-turned-donkeys' ears off while pretending to kiss him.
  • In the final movie, The Coachman unnoticed Pinocchio's escape, but in some adaptations and scrapped ideas he send his minion to chase them. This idea was latter used in the Pinocchio videogame
    • Also there was a deleted scene were the Coachman hires Honest John and Gideon one last time to bring Pinocchio back to him so that "the law doesn't learn of their business".

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