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|“||How am I ever going to pay back my debt!?||„|
|~ Dr. Facilier cries after he loses his talisman.|
|“|| ♫Don't you disrespect me, little man!|
Don't you derogate or deride!
You're in my world now, not your world
And I got friends on the other side!♫
|~ Dr. Facilier sings about who he is.|
|“||As soon as I dispose of Big Daddy La Bouff, and I'm running this town... I'll have the entire city of New Orleans, in the palm of my hand.||„|
|~ Dr. Facilier commenting on his plan.|
Dr. Facilier (also known as "The Shadow Man") is the main antagonist of Disney's 49th full-length animated feature film The Princess and the Frog. He is an evil witch doctor/bokor who plans to rule New Orleans with help from his "friends on the other side". Since his inception, Facilier has reached critical acclaim and major popularity with fans, making him one of Disney's most popular villains, in addition to quickly becoming a primary member of the Disney Villains franchise.
He was voiced by Keith David, who also played Thel 'Vadam in the Halo videogame franchise, Big Tim in Requiem for a Dream, Tublat in Disney's The Legend of Tarzan, Thailog in the Gargoyles series, Streaming in the Regular Show franchise by Cartoon Network, Malcolm Kane in the Netflix superhero cartoon Stretch Armstrong & the Flex Fighters, Julius Little in the Saints Row series, and Atlas in Teen Titans.
Facilier is a sneaky, devious, scheming, traitorous and manipulative bokor with "friends on the other side" that he deals with. Much like Ursula and Hades, he tricks his victims into making deals with him. He can read their past and present with his tarot cards; he then looks into their futures as well, and offers to "change it around some".
However, the deals that he makes usually backfire on the victim, though Facilier is questionably dishonest and underhanded, as he does give them exactly what he promised, even though it's not what his victims had in mind. For example, he tells Naveen that if he wants a future with the freedom to "hop from place to place", he would need "green" (heavily implying green to mean money). However, upon making the deal, Facilier transforms Naveen into a frog, giving him both "green" and a way to "hop from place to place" in a more literal sense.
As Naveen puts it, Facilier is indeed persuasive and charming, but also greedy and sadistic. An imperative and charismatic performer as Naveen acknowledges, Facilier is a smooth talker of drama and showmanship. A glutton for power, Facilier is willing to screw people over to get what he wants. In spite of his magic, Facilier believes that the real power in the world is not magic but money, "buckets of it" as he puts it.
He even admits in the song "Friends on the Other Side" that he also has voodoo and "things he hasn't even tried", indicating that he will work with anyone who can give him power. Like other Disney villains, he is highly Machiavellian, intelligent and arrogant, as shown by his manipulation of Naveen, Lawrence and later Tiana into helping them under false pretenses. He appears to be quite infamous and disreputable throughout the city of New Orleans when Mama Odie said it looks like someone made a deal with the Shadow Man. Tiana appeared to know who she was talking about.
Unlike most Disney Villains, such as Percival C. McLeach and Judge Claude Frollo, Facilier doesn't underestimate the powers of nature and like Mama Odie, he also knows that animals can talk and that they have minds just like humans. As shown when Ray the firefly tries to take the villainous voodoo doctor's talisman away from him, Facilier seems to understand Ray's intentions and tries to cease them. Also, knowing that Ray's bio-luminescent abdomen can destroy his voodoo shadow demons, Facilier swats and crushes the firefly without hesitation, ending Ray's interference.
Despite this complete lack of morals and treacherous nature, Facilier's motivations are hinted at briefly. Facilier seemingly sympathizes with the downtrodden and poor, implying that his own past may have been similar to Lawrence and Tiana - though he could easily be lying, given how readily he exploits their resentment and ambitions in pursuit of his own goals. He also never attempted to force Lawrence into villainy, though it was easy for him to do as Lawrence had been previously pushed around by his family.
Facilier is a voodoo witch doctor who often uses magic and trickery on the street to con customers out of their money, and also has a shadow that moves independently and interacts with him. Facilier is first seen striking a deal with a bald man who wishes to grow hair on the busy streets of New Orleans. So Facilier makes it so by having the man's hair grows over his entire body, frightening both civilians and the man himself, while amusing Facilier to the highest degree. However, Facilier's joy is short-lived as he witnesses Eli "Big Daddy" LaBouff, the richest man in New Orleans, gives a huge amount of cash to the newspaper boy after receiving the newspaper. The envious Facilier and his shadow look in disgust, knowing there must be a way to make themselves just as wealthy as Mr. LaBouff.
Later on, Facilier goes to a café where he overhears the waitress Tiana and Big Daddy's daughter Charlotte talking about Prince Naveen of Maldonia coming to town due to marry the latter. Facilier gets an idea from the information heard and an evil plan begins to form.
Once Prince Naveen and his overworked valet Lawrence arrive, Facilier invites the two to his Voodoo Emporium, using his charming words that he was responsible for transforming Prince Naveen into a frog, after Facilier captures some of the prince's blood in a voodoo talisman, and eventually then gives the talisman, which allows the wearer to assume the appearance of the person whose blood is stored within it, to the traitorous Lawrence. Believing that the only true power in the world is money rather than magic, Facilier plans to have Lawrence pose as Naveen and marry Charlotte LaBouff, the daughter of the extremely wealthy Big Daddy LaBouff; he would then kill Big Daddy and split his fortune between himself and Lawrence (while secretly giving himself the larger sum).
Facilier imprisons Naveen, due to the fact that the blood level in the talisman needs to be constantly refilled each time Lawrence poses as the prince. However, Naveen escapes, and Facilier is forced to make a deal with voodoo spirits to find and recapture Naveen in exchange for the souls of all of the people in New Orleans after he receives his fortune. Later, the voodoo spirits capture Naveen while he is with Tiana (who is also in frog form) and return him to Facilier, who locks him up and prepares to go through with his plans.
Amidst the events, Facilier hides in the shadows waiting for the moment to kill Big Daddy with a voodoo doll just as Lawrence is about to marry Charlotte. However, Naveen's firefly friend Ray manages to save him and they stop the wedding just in time, retrieving the talisman in the process. Facilier and the spirits chase after them, and Ray hands Tiana the talisman before being fatally squashed by Facilier.
As Tiana threatens to destroy the talisman, Facilier quickly returns her to her human form and plays on her emotions. He shows the girl her dream restaurant, he compliments her dreams and promises to make it a reality in an attempt to persuade her to give his talisman back to him. He shows her every hard work she has endured and doubt from others that she has experienced for years, which somewhat causes her to become vulnerable. When he shows her late father in struggling times, she becomes depressed and nearly gives him back his talisman. However, she regains her will and attempts to destroy the talisman anyway, but Facilier's shadow catches it in time and hands it back to its master.
Reclaiming his talisman, Facilier then sinisterly laughs as he transforms Tiana back into a frog before using his staff to pin her down. He tells her that she should have agreed before telling she will spend the rest of her life as a frog but this leads to his undoing.
Using her tongue, Tiana takes the talisman back again and smashes it on the ground. With his amulet destroyed, he loses any means by which he can pay back his debt, as he becomes horrified while holding its broken pieces as Tiana hides just as Facilier's former spirit allies appear so they can collect their debt.
He greets them jovially before they sing his song "Are you ready?", as he frantically pleas to them for more time, stating he still had Naveen held captive as well having him in stuck in frog form. Despite telling them the truth, his pleas are ignored and as punishment for his failure, his soul is claimed by the Loa as payment. Facilier screams that he will pay them back before he is dragged, terrified, into their world.
Presumably, Doctor Facilier dies or is sent to an eternity in the other realm when the last glimpse of his face with his horrified expression was captured on a gravestone after to confirmed his demise.
In other media
Once Upon a Time
- Main article: Dr. Facilier (Once Upon A Time)
- Dr. Facilier was inspired by the late treasured jazz singer Cab Calloway.
- In addition, the way Facilier moves is similar to that of Calloway's.
- Dr. Facilier is the first animated African-American Disney Villain.
- The name "Facilier" means "easier" in ancient Latin langauge. Given Facilier's tendency to offer the easy way out, it is unsurprising.
- Dr. Facilier's design, especially in the end of "Friends on the Other Side" that shows him with a skull makeup on his face shows that he is loosely based from Baron Samedi, the Haitian Loa of Death.
- Contrary to what some believe, however, he is not "being dragged into Hell" as the Loa are not demons, nor do they have any relation to the Christian concept of Hell.
- In some books and novelizations, Facilier is not sucked into the voodoo mask after the destruction of the voodoo amulet, but swallowed by his shadows (the voodoo dolls are not seen in this scene), leaving only his hat.
- In the Descendants series, Facilier is living on The Isle Of The Lost and appears as the headmaster of the VK's school Dragon Hall and in the Wicked World TV series, Facilier is shown to have a daughter named Freddie of whom he had run the Voodoo store he owned and gave her voodoo dolls, he also is so caught up in his work and obsession with ghosts that he doesn't even know her own birthday. He also would steal various items from his fellow villains and hide them in his store as revealed in season 2 of Wicked World.
- Facilier is the fourth Disney Villain to have French origins.
- In an earlier script, Dr. Facilier would not just be a dark wizard who wants to conquer New Orleans with the help of his friends, he would have been Mama Odie's son, who followed the path of the dark arts, unlike his mother. In this same script, there was to be a showdown between the two of them, which would have converged into a major battle during the Mardi Gras.
- Facilier is the first Disney Villain not to have a particular entrance of his own, instead appearing in the opening song in a casual way.
- Facilier and Tiana never meet until the film's climax, though she knows of his reputation and he knows of her father (most likely through the cards).
- Dr. Facilier is the only character in the film who refers to himself as such. Everyone else simply calls him "(the) Shadow Man". Dr. Facilier's first name is never revealed in the film either.
- Bruce W. Smith describes Facilier as the love child of the Disney Villains Captain Hook and Cruella De Vil.