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Give a bad boy enough rope and he'll soon make a jackass of himself!
―The Coachman[src]

The Coachman is the third antagonist to appear in Disney's 1940 animated feature film Pinocchio. He is a sinister figure who is notorious for luring "stupid little boys" to Pleasure Island, where they are transformed into donkeys and sold on the black market.



The Coachman is malevolent, sinister, menacing and dangerous, with absolutely no redeeming qualities, and is rather infamous for his wicked actions, greed and his pleasure in destroying children's lives. However, he could also be considered to be somewhat moralistic in his own dark and twisted way, as he teaches the boys he takes from the towns he visits a pricey lesson for prolonged misbehavior. He does not appear to be a kidnapper nor force the boys to accompany him to Pleasure Island and instead prefers to entice them to go there on their own accord, thus sealing their own fate. He also allows rumors of the "wonders" of his island to be spread to the public and thus entice troublesome boys, like Lampwick, into the trap; exemplifying his devious cunning.

The Coachman seems to specifically target disobedient, selfish boys who wish to indulge in trouble for pure enjoyment, probably because, as evidenced by calling them "stupid", he views those types of boys as especially gullible and easily tempted as he allowed them to smoke and drink on the island just to turn them into donkeys. He obviously enjoys taking advantage of them for that, with no care whatsoever for the disproportionate amount of suffering he inflicts on them for their actions.

Compared to Stromboli, the Coachman appears to be slightly less greedy and actually compensates those who aid him in his wicked plans well, as he offered a substantial amount of gold to Honest John and Gideon for bringing him troublesome boys to take to the island, which far exceeds what Stromboli gave them for Pinocchio. However, this is not out of generosity, but more because he can afford to, as well as to convince them to work for him instead. He is also not above intimidating those whom he hires to do his bidding, as seen by him frightening both Honest John and Gideon with his demonic face and warning them not to double cross him.

Like most Disney Villains, the Coachman is incredibly sadistic, enjoying other people's pain and is also very cruel, whipping his goons and selling young boys that come to his island into slavery so that he can make money off of them and shows no concern for the cruel life (and eventual death) that awaits them in slavery. The Coachman completely ignores their pain and despair and justifies his actions by claiming their slavery is payment for their ill behavior displayed on Pleasure Island. However, it is clear that attaining wealth is his primary motive, as he transformed the boys into donkeys specifically to end up in hard labor at circuses, salt mines, or possibly other places that buy donkeys.

Physical appearance[]

The Coachman is a tall, overweight man who has fair skin, pale blond hair and green eyes.



The Coachman is first seen sitting at a table in the bar of the Red Lobster Inn with Honest John and Gideon. He puffs quietly on his pipe, listening quietly and intently as John proudly recalls selling Pinocchio to Stromboli, a greedy puppeteer. The fox then produces a very 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 be taken to Pleasure Island. John is frightened at the mention of Pleasure Island, noting that it has issues with "the law", but the Coachman reassure that they won't get caught since the boys "never come back as boys," and when he maniacally laughs about his wicked business, John and Gideon jump in fear. The Coachman tells the two swindlers 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, but also warns them not to double-cross him. Pinocchio (who has just escaped Stromboli) is among the boys that John and Gideon take to the Coachman. Jiminy Cricket stows away aboard the coach, unnoticed either by the Coachman or his passengers. At the time, Jiminy is not fully aware of the dangers of Pleasure Island, though it appears he is concerned about Pinocchio's safety and fears that there is trouble ahead.

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 parents, teachers, pastors, or other adults of authority, until they turn into donkeys for the Coachman to sell into slavery. When the boys aren't paying attention, the Coachman whips his goons, ordering them to shut and lock the gates and prepare the crates before laughing and saying, "Give a bad boy enough rope and he'll soon make a jackass of himself." Days later, Jiminy 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 bray, ripping off the creature's remaining clothes before throwing the animals into crates for his minions to put on the ship. 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 to pull his stagecoach and/or keep them from exposing his crimes. Alexander and the other talking boys continue to beg for their freedom and become human again, but the Coachman instantly silences them with a loud crack of his whip, loudly barking at them to be silent before reminding them that they were already allowed to have all the fun they desired on the island and must now pay the price for it and their behavior. This, indirectly, gives Jiminy the knowledge of Pinocchio's impending fate.

At this point, Jiminy realizes the fate of Pleasure Island's visitors and rushes to warn Pinocchio. Though Lampwick is completely transformed into a donkey and rapidly lost his humanity, Pinocchio, despite growing donkey ears and tail and developing a bray in his laugh, manages to quickly escape the island down a small rocky path with Jiminy's help before the Coachman and his minions could spot him escaping and recapture him. The Coachman is unseen for the remainder of the film.

Other appearances[]

The Coachman appears in the episode "Mickey vs. Shelby" of the series House of Mouse, sitting with Honest John and Gideon.

Live-action appearances[]


The Coachman appears in this live action spin-off. In this iteration, however he is called The Ringleader and is much younger, agile and slightly less menacing, yet nonetheless dangerous, being portrayed by Usher. He and his henchmen charm and encourage the boys into acting like "Jackasses", using his songs and showmanship to mesmerize and coax them onto the rollercoaster, which is stated as the factor that turns boys into donkeys.

Pinocchio (2022)[]

Pinocchio 2022 teaser (9)

The Coachman in the live-action remake.

The Coachman appears in the live-action remake of the original film. Here, he is portrayed by Luke Evans, who previously portrayed Gaston in the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. Unlike the original version, this version of the Coachman not only collects naughty little boys but also collects little girls turned into donkeys whom he can sell to, including salt mines. The Coachman also has his own musical number known as "The Coachman to Pleasure Island", a song that was created exclusively for the remake, unlike in the original film where he had no solo song. He is also depicted as a handsome, charismatic man with a mustache rather than the elderly, obese one with the demonic face from the 1940 film.

As Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket are wandering around the streets, Pinocchio ends up suddenly ends up getting captured onto the Coachman's carriage where he is placed next to a group of naughty children onto the carriage as he takes the children to Pleasure Island. As Pinocchio tells the Coachman that he doesn't trust him, he becomes furious of Pinocchio not believing in him and telling him that returning to Geppetto and then joining him another time doesn't work that way just as he sings the musical number "The Coachman to Pleasure Island", telling the children and Pinocchio to decide whether they join him which Pinocchio agrees for the Coachman to take them to Pleasure Island just as the Coachman then takes all the children to Pleasure Island, much to Jiminy's worry. As the children arrive at Pleasure Island, the Coachman welcomes the children to this place just as Pinocchio and Lampwick board on a boat to see what the children do here. He the pops up next the two serving both of them two glasses of root beer for Pinocchio and Lampwick to enjoy their experience at Pleasure Island and then during the part before the two depart from their boat serving more root beer to them.

Later, the Coachman commands his minions, large shadowy creatures, to capture the children who were turned into donkeys and then sell them to the salt mines just as Jiminy realizes that Pleasure Island is a trap for Pinocchio. The Coachman then enters a bar where Pinocchio is at where he tells his henchmen to capture Pinocchio and sell him to the salt mines which Pinocchio and Jiminy plan to escape Pleasure Island just as the Coachman commands two of his followers to go after Pinocchio which he and Jiminy end up in the sea to escape from Pleasure Island, causing the Coachman and his shadowy followers to retreat. The Coachman and his followers do not appear again throughout the rest of the film.

Printed media[]

Descendants: Isle of the Lost Rush[]

20 years ago, his days of turning boys into donkeys were over. He was imprisoned in the Isle of Lost, where was put to work as an actual coachman. He drives a coach pulled by actual donkeys. One part of his punishment was that he was made to track down all the children he transformed into donkeys.

Disney Parks[]

Disneyland Resort[]

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. He appeared in the 1971 rendition of Fantasy On Parade, heading the coach that carried “stupid little boys” bent for Pleasure Island. The float was part of the parade’s Pinocchio unit. Later versions of the parade would replace the Coachman with Stromboli.


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


  • The reason the kids turn into donkeys is because donkeys are a symbol of ignorance, hence the derogatory term "jackass". By shunning schoolwork in favor of Pleasure Island, the kids go from metaphorical "jackasses" to literal jackasses.
  • Charles Judels, the voice of the Coachman, also did the voice of Stromboli.
  • Though the Coachman goes unpunished for his crimes in the original film, he does get his comeuppance in the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game version of Pinocchio by getting kicked off a cliff to his presumed death or at least knock out by Pinocchio.
    • There was a deleted scene where 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". This later led to Honest John and Gideon's arrest when they tried to swindle Pinocchio a third time, also cut from the film.
    • Additionally, it is revealed in the novel Descendants: Isle of the Last Rush that the Coachman was later caught and arrested by the authorities, and was banished in the Isle of Lost. He was also forced to change all his victims back to humans.
  • In an Italian crossover comic story, first published in Topolino "libretto" #1883, Mickey Mouse was washed on the shores of Pleasure Island after a storm. The amusement park had fallen into disrepair, and Mickey noted that it seemed to have been abandoned for a long time. The Coachman isn't there and also doesn't appear amongst the many Disney villains who meet up earlier in the story.
  • The Coachman may be the only English character in Pinocchio, speaking in a Cockney accent.
  • In the original Italian story of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, the Coachman was usually referred to as "The Little Buttery Man" ("L'Omino di Burro"), and he actually drove a large wagon instead of a coach. 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 devious and sadistic than his Disney counterpart, as displayed when he bites one of his boy-turned-donkeys' ears off while pretending to kiss him.
  • According to one of the books of Pinocchio, the Coachman's name is "Barker", though it is not sure if it's his real name or just an alias.
  • In another book adaptation of the film, the Coachman hires Foulfellow and Gideon to bring him just one more child in exchange for gold, rather than multiple children as in the film.
  • In a comic book adaptation of Pinocchio, the Coachman makes his offer to Honest John and Gideon after eavesdropping on a conversation they were having about their sale of Pinocchio to Stromboli, rather than listening to John tell the Coachman himself.

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