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Characters: The Thief and the Cobbler
Characters who appear in The Thief and the Cobbler and tropes associated with them.

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     Tack 
Voiced by: Sean Connery (workprint), Steve Lively (Allied Filmmakers), Matthew Broderick (Miramax)

The Hero, and one of the two titular characters. Initially a simple cobbler working in the Golden City, he soon finds himself fighting along Princess Yum-Yum to save their city.
  • Adorkable: Just look at him while he's fixing Yum-Yum's shoe. The Miramax version even describes him as being "too shy to speak."
  • Adrenaline Makeover: See Clark Kent Outfit below.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: Tack is surprisingly tall and muscular when he stands up straight and half of his clothes have been ripped off in the final fight; this is more obvious in the original storyboards (and VERY clear in a concept drawing in the Recobbled DVD extras), as the animation finished by Calvert (which the Recobbled Cut uses to some extent) is very Off Model. This is probably part of his Coming of Age story, along with getting a handsome tan and starting to talk.
  • Clothing Damage: Gets some during the climax.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He pulls off a Tied Together Shoelace Trip on Roofless, and defeats ZigZag during their brief fight in the Calvert and Miramax versions by stitching his robe together.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Tack's color palette is mainly white with shades of grey and black, in contrast to the colorful characters and sets around him.
  • Fingore: At the film's beginning, he accidentally hits his own thumb with a hammer in his sleep. In retrospect, that might explain why both thumbs are bandaged.
  • Good Morning, Crono: A non-game example; Tack's first scene is of him sleeping.
  • Heroic Mime: In the original workprint and Recobbled Cut, he only says one line throughout the entire film. Averted in the Calvert and Miramax versions.
  • Meaningful Name: "Tack" is an item he uses in his profession as a cobbler. Also see the No Mouth section.
  • Nice Guy: Shown specifically when he fixes Yum-Yum's nanny's glasses.
  • Nice Hat: Wears a grey hat for most of the film.
  • No Mouth: His mouth is largely represented by the tacks he holds in his mouth.
  • Official Couple: With Princess Yum-Yum.
  • Rags to Riches: From a simple cobbler to the prince of the Golden City.
  • Tied Together Shoelace Trip: Pulls this off against Roofless.
  • Title Character: He's "the Cobbler" in the title.

     The Thief 
Voiced by: N/A (original), Ed E. Carroll (Allied Filmmakers), Jonathan Winters (Miramax)

The other title character, a nameless very persistent thief. His theft of the Three Golden Balls kicks off much of the plot.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: He's greenish-brown.
  • Born In The Theater: At the end of the movie, he literally steals the film off of the projector and makes off with it.
  • Butt Monkey/The Chew Toy: Nothing goes right for him until the end.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the workprint and Recobbled Cut, he uses the back scratchers he stole from YumYum to escape getting his hands cut off.
  • Clutching Hand Trap: At one point, he sees a bottle filled with jewels. Unfortunately, the jewels are too big for him to get past the opening. He won't let go of the diamond, even when the palace guards have him surrounded.
  • Deadpan Snarker: His inner monologue as provided by Jonathan Winters in the "finished" versions. Tends to provoke a Love It or Hate It response, with some finding it obnoxious and distracting, while others think it (along with the animation) is the only thing that makes those cuts watchable
  • Determinator: When he sees something shiny, there's no stopping him.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: An old lady turns out to be a martial artist, a bed turns out to be a pack of giant, angry guard dogs, the polo players constantly hit him... and the giant war machine has such things as a giant flyswatter, a giant broom and a giant iron.
  • Five-Finger Discount: As openly stated in the Miramax cut, he'll steal anything. In one scene, he actually picks his own pocket.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em/Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the end of the workprint, when he has Tack and the golden balls cornered; having literally been through hell and back trying to get the balls, he decides the balls are more trouble than they're worth and walks off in a huff.
  • No Name Given: He's simply referred to as "the Thief." The narrator notes at the beginning that he "shall be nameless."
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: When he comes across YumYum bathing, he is less concerned about the nude woman in front of him and more concerned about her jewel-encrusted backscratchers.
  • The Pig Pen: He's constantly surrounded by flies, and both Tack and YumYum smell him on different occasions, the latter thinking that the smell must be coming from a backed up sewage pipe.
  • Title Character: He's "the Thief" in the title.
  • The Voiceless: Unlike Tack, he is completely silent throughout the original. In the other versions, not so much.
  • Villain Protagonist: While he's not the Big Bad, he isn't exactly a good guy either, considering the whole mess is his fault. Miramax apparently felt pity for him and made him an Accidental Hero when the King believes that he recovered the golden balls for the city and he gives the balls back out of guilt (and not wanting to be attacked by the King's guards).

     Zigzag 
Voiced by: Vincent Price (all versions)

The Big Bad, an Evil Chancellor who has his eyes on the princess and the throne.

    Princess YumYum 
Voiced by: Sara Crowe (workprint), Bobbi Page (Allied Filmmakers), Jennifer Beals (Miramax)

The princess of the Golden City and Tack's Love Interest.

     Mighty One-Eye 
Voiced by: Paul Matthews (workprint), Kevin Dorsey (Allied Filmmakers/Miramax)

The other main villain of the film, the leader of a race of one-eyed marauders with designs on the Golden City.

     King Nod 
Voiced by: Anthony Quayle (workprint), Clive Revill (Allied Filmmakers/Miramax)

The sleepy king of the Golden City.
  • Big "NEVER!": Lets one out when Zigzag asks for YumYum's hand in marriage in return for the golden balls.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: He has a prophetic dream of the One-Eyes' upcoming invasion.
  • Get Out: What he screams to Zigzag after letting out the Big "NEVER!".
  • Large Ham: Complete with incongruous close-up shots of his face and mouth.
    King Nod: "The BALLS are GONE! My KINGDOM will COME to destruction AND DEATH!"
  • Meaningful Name: His name is King Nod, and he's always nodding off.
  • Papa Wolf: In the original cut. When Zigzag fools the King into thinking he can "magic the balls back," he requests Princess YumYum's hand in marriage as compensation. The king vehemently refuses to send off his daughter to him. Note that, as far as the king is concerned, this is his only chance to get the balls back and keep his kingdom safe. It's honestly rather badass of the King to do so.
  • Sleepy Head: Several of his scenes begin with him snoozing.

    Phido 
Voiced by: Donald Pleasence (workprint and Allied Filmmakers), Eric Bogosian (Miramax)

Zigzag's much abused pet vulture.

     Nanny 
Voiced by: Joan Sims (workprint), Mona Marshall (Allied Filmmakers), Toni Collette (Miramax)

Princess YumYum's nanny.

     The Witch 
Voiced by: Joan Sims (workprint), Mona Marshall (Allied Filmmakers), Toni Collette (Miramax)

An old witch whom Tack and YumYum consult for advice on how to defeat the One-Eyes.
  • Cain and Abel: In the Miramax dub, she's stated to be the Mighty One-Eyes benevolent twin sister.
  • How Unscientific!: In contrast to Zigzag, who is clearly using sleight of hand and smoke bombs, the Witch's magic is legit.

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