The Three Merchants are three men, one tall and skinny, one medium and skinny, and the last short and round from Disney's 1978 animated Christmas short film, The Small One, who walk around the marketplace taking money from people, "for the bank". They are the ones who point the Boy to the Auctioneer.
Role in the film
The Three Merchants are seen during the climax of the story. They are first seen as figures behind drapes of a marketplace. When they drop a gold coin, the Boy picks it up intending to keep it, not before one of them, the short and round one seen behind drapes, asks him to give it back. Then, he and the two others, the tall and skinny one plus the medium and skinny one, are seen fighting over the coin. Finally, they come completely out of the drapes, singing "Clink, clink, clank, clank", dancing, and playing with their sacks of gold.
When the Boy tries to sell his donkey, Small One, to an overweight potter, the potter clearly explains while singing that "he will not buy" and tells them to go away. Then, the 3 Merchants are seen singing their song, dancing, and playing with their sacks of gold again.
When the Boy tries to sell Small One again, this time, to a short baker, the baker clearly explains while singing that "he will not buy" as well and that "he would rather buy a horse at least since his wife's a "healthy" size" and when the 3 Merchants hear him say that, they take him seriously and literally and start emptying his pockets full of gold coins into one of their sacks while singing their song, dancing again, and presenting him with a funny-looking scrawny horse.
Then, they continue singing their song, dancing again, and finally, they "help" the Boy by telling him to see a "jolly" auctioneer about selling his donkey. The Boy asks them: "An auctioneer?" Then, the 3 Merchants reply: "Yes. Now, go away." and continue singing their song, dancing, playing, and juggling with their sacks of gold again while walking away. They aren't seen throughout the rest of the film after this.
- Their number and title is almost similar to that of The Three Musketeers.