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|“||Gentlemen, enchanté. A tip of the hat from Dr. Facilier. How y'all doing?||„|
|~ Dr. Facilier first meeting Naveen and Lawrence.|
|“||♫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 singing about who he is.|
Dr. Facilier, also known as "The Shadow Man", is the main antagonist of Disney's fourty-ninth full-length animated feature film The Princess and the Frog, which is based on the 2002 children's novel The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker and the German fairytale The Frog Prince by the Brothers Grimm.
He is an evil witch doctor/bokor and Lawrence's new employer who plans to rule New Orleans (and eventually, the entire world) 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 is also Tiana and Naveen's arch-nemesis.
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 The Legend of Tarzan, Thailog in the Gargoyles series, Streaming in Regular Show, Malcolm Kane in Stretch Armstrong & the Flex Fighters, Julius Little as well as Himself in the Saints Row series, Atlas in Teen Titans, Lord Marmoo from Kulipari: Army of Frogs, Thrull from The Last Kids on Earth and King Andrias from Amphibia.
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 unquestionably dishonest and underhanded, as he does give them exactly what he promised, even though it is not what his victims had in mind. For example, he tells Naveen that he would need "green" (heavily implying green to mean money) if he wants a future with the freedom to "hop from place to place". 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. This is one of many signs that he torments people for fun or at the very least, proves that he is willing to torment others for a quick buck.
As Naveen puts it, Facilier is indeed persuasive, polite and charming, but also very greedy. 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. Thus, he is willing to backstab or even kill anyone for a few bucks.
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 that 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 Judge Claude Frollo, Facilier does not 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.
Facilier has a shrunken head of his mother implying he killed her or keeps it to remember her in a loving way.
Despite this complete lack of morals and treacherous nature, Facilier's motivations are hinted at briefly. Facilier frequently sympathizes with the downtrodden and poor, implying that his own past may have been similar to Lawrence and Tiana. We see a glimpse of this when Big Daddy gives a little kid money but drives by Facilier without glancing at him (foreshadowing his comment to Lawrence about "fat cats not giving him a sideways glance."). He also never attempted to force Lawrence into villainy (and wasn't planning to betray his partner to keep all of the profits to himself, though he was going to get a greater sum in the bargain), though it was easy for him to do as Lawrence had been previously pushed around by his family.
He also respected Tiana for dreaming big and sympathized with her father and promised to give her the restaurant she wanted and noticeably although he could have snatched the talisman from her while she was thinking he waited and let her make her choice. But overall, even if Tiana is horrified and sympathetic for Facilier when he got dragged by his Friends on the Other Side, Dr. Facilier is nothing more than a greedy and heartless conman who will endanger thousands if not millions of others for his own selfish desires. His greed, lust for power, and lack of remorse or true care for anyone but himself is proof of this. The fact he was willing to endanger the poor in addition to the middle and higher-class makes him even worse than he already is.
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 grow 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, give 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 flamboyant daughter named 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 to get Naveen and Lawremce to accept his deal. Once the deal is set, Facilier casts a curse on Prince Naveen that transforms him into a frog, after he 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 and Lawrence imprison Naveen in a jar and put it in a cupboard, due to the fact that the blood level in the talisman needs to be constantly refilled in order to keep Lawrence posing as the prince. However, Lawrence loosens the lid on the jar so Naveen would have more air and Naveen escapes. Shortly after, he comes to a woman named Tiana. Believing she is a princess due to her costume, Naveen asks her to kiss him to break Facilier’s curse, promising a reward in return. Tiana reluctantly does, but due to her not being an actual princess, she too falls victim to Facilier’s frog curse. Afterwards, they end up entangled in balloons, and float over to the Louisiana Bayou, which Facilier and Lawrence witness at the masquerade ball. Afterward, the two rush to the house where they left Naveen and find the jar empty. Facilier then scolds Lawrence for letting Naveen escape, who is having second thoughts about the villainous scheme, but Facilier persuades him to continue his part in the plan.
The next day, when the blood runs out in the talisman and Lawrence's disguise wears off (though not before proposing to Charlotte), 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 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, compliments her dreams and promises to make it a reality and restore her humanity 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 James, her late father, in struggling times, she becomes depressed and nearly gives him back his talisman. However, the discussion of James actually backfires on Facilier, as Tiana realizes that while her father did not get what he wanted, he had love, which was more important. With that, she denies the deal 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 then tauntingly tells her that she should have agreed and claims that she will spend the rest of her life as a "slimy little frog," but this leads to his undoing.
After Tiana tells him that frogs are covered in mucus, not slime (which was what Naveen told her when she first became a frog), she takes the talisman back again with her elastic frog tongue, 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 collecting its broken pieces; Tiana takes the opportunity to hide just as Facilier's former spirit allies appear so that 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 that 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, Dr. 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.
Powers and Abilities
- Voodoo: Dr. Facilier is a bokor that performs left-handed or Petro Voodoo (the dark and stereotypical voodoo magic).
- Conjuration: Dr. Facilier can cast spells which can summon any form of creatures, items, spirits, demons, deities or elements. Thus, he can summon anything against those who he thinks is a threat.
- Voodoo Doll Creation: Dr. Facilier can create voodoo dolls of other beings to utilize in whatever way the user deems necessary.
- Memory Projection: Dr. Facilier is able to project the memories of oneself and others, either as holographic images or onto reflective surfaces. As shown it during the climax, he can use this power to trick others.
- Illusion Generation: Dr. Facilier can generate various types of illusions.
- Mystical Conversion: Dr. Facilier can turn others into another type of being through the use of magic of anyone's blood in his talisman.
- Spell-Casting: Dr. Facilier can cast spells, which is a procedure for producing specific magical effects through pink powder.
- Shadow Magic: Dr. Facilier able to perform a legendary form of magic that allows the user to cast magical spells and feats derived from shadows and darkness.
- Pilokinesis: Dr. Facilier has control over hair of others, allowing him to freely alter, grow out, change texture, color others hair through the pink powder.
- Umbrakinesis: Dr. Facilier create and manipulate darkness and shadows.
- Mediumship: Dr. Facilier can view ghosts/spirits of deceased and communicate and/or interact with them, even if they have possessed inanimate objects/subjects/people.
- Animated Shadow: Dr. Facilier can transform his shadows into living beings.
- Shadow Generation: Dr. Facilier can generate and project shadows and darkness which absorb or nullifies light in the area.
- Shadow Telekinesis: Dr. Facilier can manipulate objects using darkness/shadows.
- Darkness Symbiosis: Dr. Facilier can gain powers by hosting darkness/shadow-based beings/forces in one’s body.
- Fortune Telling: Dr. Facilier has the ability to foresee possible futures and observe what may happen through his tarot cards.
- Desire Intuition: Dr. Facilier has the ability to obtain instantaneous knowledge of other people's deepest desires.
- Kártakinesis: Dr. Facilier can create and manipulate his tarot cards.
- Future Manipulation: Dr. Facilier can control what will happen in the future; he can decide what he wants to happen and it will come true, although he cannot control when it happens.
- Cartomancy: Dr. Facilier can gain insight into the past, current, and possible future situations of the subject through his cards.
- Transmutation: Dr. Facilier can transform, alter or transmute matter, energy, elements, objects, beings (animals, aliens, mythical beings, etc.), etc into anything else, either completely or partially, permanently or temporarily.
- Animal Transmutation: Dr. Facilier can turn matter/others into any animal they desire, effects can be permanent or temporary depending on what level of power the user is. It is unknown if he himself can transform into an animal without any side effects.
- Eli "Big Daddy" LaBouff - Archenemy On His Side and Attempted Victim
- Naveen - Secondary Archenemy and Attempted Victim
- Tiana- Attempted Victim and Indirect Killer
- Ray- Victim
- Charlotte LaBouff- Attempted Victim
- The Friends on the Other Side (only at the end) and Killers
In other media
Once Upon a Time
- Main article: Dr. Facilier (Once Upon A Time)
- Main article: Dr. Facilier (Descendants)
- Dr. Facilier was inspired by the late treasured jazz singer Cab Calloway.
- In addition, the way that 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 the ancient Latin langauge. Given Facilier's tendency to offer the easy way out, it is unsurprising.
- He has a shrunken head of his mom implying that he killed her or he keeps it to remember her in a loving way.
- Facilier has one of the darkest Disney villain defeats, being graphically dragged away to the voodoo world.
- 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 on 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 (he would instead be dragged to Guinee, which is the spirit-world of the Loa).
- 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. It's unknown why this was done or if it reflects an early draft of the script.
- 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 that he owned and gave her voodoo dolls, he is so caught up in his work and obsession with ghosts that he does not even know her own birthday as well. He would also 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 to not have a particular entrance of his own, instead of 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, and it was not shown in the film.
- Dr. Facilier acts as a foil to Naveen, as they are both characters who desire to become fabulously wealthy, and are unwilling to earn it through hard work, unlike Tiana. While Naveen is only willing to resort to marrying Charlotte and inheriting her fortune, Dr. Facilier is willing to resort to murdering Eli "Big Daddy" LaBouff to achieve his goals. As the film progresses, Naveen learns from Tiana and Mama Odie that he has to work to get what he wants, and that love is what he truly needs to be happy, not wealth. Dr. Facilier, on the other hand, never realizes the error of his ways, and his obsession with money and power leads to his downfall. Thus, Dr. Facilier serves as an example as to what Naveen would have become if he had never met Tiana or Mama Odie.
- Bruce W. Smith describes Facilier as the love child of the Disney villains, Captain Hook and Cruella De Vil.
- Facilier is the first villain in the Disney animated canon to have his song since Alameda Slim in Home on the Range.