Clayton's Pirates (also known as Thugs) are the tertiary antagonists in Disney's 37th full-length animated feature film, Tarzan. Working as a crew to the ship's captain, they were secretly hired by Clayton as his personal henchmen to capture Tarzan's ape family and take them to London, England to be sold to a zoo. The crew consists of about fourteen pirates (excluding the captain and his officers, who they turn on in the film's climax).
Under the orders of the ship's captain, the thugs are first seen packing up the luggages and supplies of Jane, Archimedes, and Cecil Clayton (much to the latter's dismay) onto the ship to return home to London. When Clayton manipulates Tarzan's feelings for Jane by telling him that she would stay in the Jungle with if he showed them the gorillas, Tarzan agrees. Clayton then informs Snipes (one of the thugs) to gather the other pirates together for the next phase of his plan.
When Tarzan, Jane, and Archimedes boarded the ship the next day to return to England, Jane and her father are captured by the thugs (who have also turned on the captain and his officers); after seeing this, Tarzan tried to escape them by jumping on the cages and climbIing the ship's masts.
Even though he almost effortlessly avoided them at first, the thugs quickly started catching up with him, with one of them grabbing him from his ankle. He shakes him off, but as they were closing in on him, he makes a huge leap from the top of the mast and manages to hold on to the funnel's end, only to fall down shortly afterwards. As Tarzan crawled out of the boxes' remnants, two of the thugs were quick enough to grab him and slam him against the wall of the superstructure; as Tarzan was still weak, infirm, suspicious, pessimistic, and hurting after falling from such a height, he didn't have enough strength to break free from the thugs' grip. When Tarzan sees Clayton, he begs for his help while trying to break free from them, but Clayton reveals to him that he tricked him into leading them to the Gorillas' nests so that he and his pirates could capture them easily and sell them to a zoo in London.
After locking Tarzan in the ship's brig along with Jane, Archimedes, and the captain, Clayton and his pirates take a loading boat through a river into the jungle and ambush the gorillas, netting them, forcing them into cages, and throwing the babies in burlap sacks. Tarzan's ape father, Kerchak intervenes to rescue his group but is overpowered when the thugs restrain him with whips and a net.
Clayton slowly approaches Kerchak and prepares to kill him, preferring him to be stuffed before Tarzan, Jane, and Archimedes (who escaped from the ship's brig with Terk and Tantor's help) intervene and fight off Clayton's pirates, freeing the gorillas and putting the thugs in the cages that they used to confine the gorillas in. The thugs are not seen after this, so their fate is unknown, but it is likely that they were put in the ship's brig and taken back to England to await trial for their crime.
The Pirates are known to be evil, nasty, greedy, selfish, arrogant, eccentric, persuasive, treacherous, vituperative, and short-tempered to their conceited leader, Clayton. They are basically hateful, ruthless, murderous, destructive, unscrupulous, inconsiderate, manipulative, egotistical, possessive, conniving, wrathful, violent, brutal, cruel, mean, livid, and sneaky, so they are able to capture Tarzan's ape family somewhere in the jungle. Despite their traitorous nature, they can also be loyal, helpful, delighted, intelligent, and productive, so they can pack up the luggages and supplies of Jane, Archimdes, and Cecil Clayton onto the ship to return home to London. They can also be fearful, timorous, skeptical, frightened, pusillanimous, threatened, and nervous, as they are chased by animals.
Jonathan is an obese man with hazel eyes, brown hair, a mustache, eyebrows, and a beard, gold earrings, a gray coat, a yellow shirt, a silver undershirt, navy pants, and black boots. He could also be 41 years old.
He is voiced by the late Jerry Orbach.
Larry is a slender man with green eyes, gray hair and eyebrows, a shaven face, a teal coat, dark teal pants, a turquoise shirt, black shoes, and gray bullets. He could also be 59 years old.
He is voiced by Paul Eiding.
Snipes is a slender man with gray eyes, dark blonde hair, a mustache, and a goatee, a turquoise shirt with dark turquoise buttons, a dark brown belt, brown boots, a gray canteen held by his belt, and dark olive shorts. He could also be 32 years old.
He also serves as Clayton's second-in-command.
He is voiced by Bob Bergen.
Jones is an obese man with brown eyes, a blue vest, brown hair, eyebrows, a mustache, gold earrings, a red bandana and red socks with silver stripes, a black belt, brown shoes, and dark gray shorts. He could also be 44 years old.
He is the only thug in the group who dies in the film.
He is voiced by Corey Burton.
Max is a slender, muscular man with brown eyes, blonde hair, eyebrows, and a mustache, a black eyepatch, shoes, and a black outlined tattoo shaped like a heart on his arm, a brown belt, and denim jeans. He could also be 39 years old.
He is one of the two thugs who capture and manage to restrain Tarzan after he falls from the ship's funnel trying to escape from them, alongside Kevin.
He is voiced by Philip Proctor.
Kevin is a slender, muscular man with blue eyes, dark gray hair, eyebrows, a mustache, and a beard, an olive vest, maroon pants, copper boots, and a black belt. He could also be 68 years old.
Alongside Max, he is one of the two thugs who capture and manage to restrain Tarzan after he falls from the ship's funnel trying to escape from them.
He is voiced by Frank Simms.
Sylvester is a slender man with blue eyes, dark blonde hair, eyebrows, a mustache, and a beard, dark brown shoes, black pants with a little rip, a turquoise shirt, and a black belt over his shirt. He could also be 37 years old.
He is voiced by Jack Angel.
Hamilton is an obese, bald man with green eyes, a shaven face, dark gray eyebrows, gold earrings, a silver sleeveless shirt, a dark beige vest, black shoes and a belt, and brown pants. He could also be 34 years old.
He is voiced by Charlie Adler.
Peter is a slender man with brown eyes, dark gray hair, a mustache, and eyebrows, a cream sleeveless shirt, navy pants, a red sash tied around his waist, and brown shoes. He could also be 53 years old.
During the escape sequence aboard the ship, he is the only one out of the entire thug crew who briefly manages to get a hold of Tarzan, stopping him in his tracks by grabbing him from his ankle when he was about to leap to save Jane and the rest, and leaving him hanging from the ship's mast in the process before Tarzan kicks him in the face and resumes his escape.
He is voiced by Eddie Korbich.
Cornelius is a slender, barefoot, bald man with gray eyes, a gray goatee and eyebrows, a pink undershirt, a beige shirt, and dark beige pants, and a black belt over his shirt. He could also be 46 years old.
He is voiced by Denis Leary.
David is a slightly obese man with brown eyes, dark brown hair, eyebrows, a soul patch, and a mustache, a green shirt with lime buttons, a black belt, dark green shorts, brown shoes, red socks, and dark olive cuffs. He could also be 48 years old.
He is voiced by Rodger Bumpass.
Samuel is a slender, muscular man with teal eyes, gray hair, a blue sleeveless shirt with silver stripes, a red bandana, gray pants, a black belt without a buckle, and brown shoes. He could also be 79 years old.
He is voiced by Michael Gough.
Florentino is a slender man with brown eyes, brown hair, a beard, a mustache, and eyebrows, a red shirt, pink cuffs, navy suspenders, brown pants, and light brown shoes. He could also be 50 years old.
He is voiced by Ralph Fiennes.
Dennis is a slender, bulky, muscular man with blue eyes, blonde hair, eyebrows, a beard, and a mustache, a green coat with a lime button, a red shirt with silver stripes, dark green pants, a black belt over his coat, and brown shoes. He could also be 61 years old.
He is voiced by Jim Cummings.
- They are very similar to John Silver's pirates (Onus, Grewnge, Krailoni, Hedley, Torrance, Blinko, Turnbuckle, Mertock, Crex, Longbourne, Fayvoon, Hands, Verne, and Zoff) from Disney's 2002 animated film, Treasure Planet.
- They are also villains who got imprisoned in the films.
- They are also very similar to the Neverland Pirates from Disney's 1953 animated fantasy-adventure film, Peter Pan.
- They are also the tertiary antagonists in the films who would like to capture the main protagonist.
- Jonathan's voice actor, Jerry Orbach also did Sa'Luk from the 1996 Disney's animated film, Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
- Jones's voice actor, Corey Burton also did Chernabog from Disney's 1940 animated film, Fantasia.
- Sylvester's voice actor, Jack Angel also did Chunk from the 2010 3D computer-animated film by Disney/Pixar, Toy Story 3.
- Hamilton's voice actor, Charlie Adler also did Gazeem from Disney's 1992 animated film, Aladdin.
- David's voice actor, Rodger Bumpass also did Squidward Tentacles from the animated television series by Nickelodeon, SpongeBob SquarePants.
- Florentino's voice actor, Ralph Fiennes also did Victor Quartermaine from the 2005 stop-motion animated comedy film by DreamWorks, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
- Dennis's voice actor, Jim Cummings also did Steele from the 1995 animated film by Universal Pictures, Balto.
- One of the thugs, Samuel, who captures Jane, but is bitten by her on the ship is a caricature of former Disney animator, Glen Keane.
- Multiple duplicates of Jones, the fat thug with the blue vest, the brown mustache, gold earrings, and the red bandana appear in the Tarzan stages of Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure and are all identified as "Henchman".
- Along with Jones, this thug, Max, the shirtless thug was one of the only thugs who had action figures made after them in the Tarzan Disney Heroes toys.
- Despite being Clayton's minions, they aren't the secondary antagonists, Sabor is.
- Jones is the only thug in Clayton's group of pirates to die.
- Out of the entire crew of pirates, only three are able to get ahold of Tarzan and effectively restrain him even if momentarily, namely Peter, Max, and Kevin: the first one manages to grab him from his ankle right when he attempts to leap forward to save Jane and leaves him hanging from the mast for a while before Tarzan kicks him in the face and breaks free; Max and Kevin, meanwhile, are the two that finally capture Tarzan when he was hurting and recovering from his fall from the funnel's top, thus Tarzan was unable to break free from their grip. These two are also implied to be the ones who lock him up in the ship's cargo room alongside Jane and the rest.