Doctor Facilier, A.K.A. the Shadow Man, is the main villain in The Princess and the Frog. Sinister and charismatic, he is a voodoo master of dark magic that turns Naveen into a frog, and schemes to use this advantage to take over land and become the richest man in the town. Keith David, the voice of Facilier, describes Facilier as "a schemer, a conjurer and a sorcerer of sorts". He has a song in the movie called "Friends on the Other Side". Like his polar opposite, Mama Odie the voodoo priestess, who serves as the film's fairy godmother, Facilier serves as the film's witch (bokor: a voodoo magician who practices both black and white magic).
Doctor Facilier personifies the Deadly Sin of Greed and Gluttony, for his desire for money and power, despite that his motives of wickedness are only for his "Friends on the Other Side".
Doctor Facilier has become one of Disney's most popular villains, achieving critical acclaim from both critics and Disney fans alike.
Facilier is a scheming bokor with "Friends on the Other Side". Much like Ursula and Hades, Facilier 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 'round some." However, the deals he makes usually backfire on the victim, though Facilier isn't exactly dishonest as he does give them exactly what he promised, even though it isn't what his victims had in mind. For example, he told Naveen that if he wanted 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 transformed Naveen into a frog, giving him both "green" and a way to "hop from place to place" in a more literal sense. The fact his deal's are always somehow in his favour is corroborated by the fact he briefly mentions to Naveen "If I were a betting man, and I'm not, I stay away from games of chance...", this suggests he prefers to play rigged games and hates failure.
As Naveen says, Facilier is indeed suave, smooth-talking and often charming, but also cruel, remorseless and sadistic. A charismatic performer as Naveen acknowledges, Facilier is a smooth-talker of drama and showmanship. A glutton for power, Facilier controlling and vindictive, doing whatever he can to get what he wants. Like other Disney villains, he is highly Machiavellian as shown by his manipulation of Naveen, Lawrence, and later Tiana into helping them under false pretenses. Unlike most Disney Villains such as McLeach and 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 have understood his intentions, and tried to cease them. Also knowing that Ray's bioluminescent abdomen can destroy his voodoo shadow demons, Facilier, without hesitation, swats and crushes the firefly, ending Ray's interference.
Despite this complete lack of morals and a treacherous nature, Facilier's motivations are hinted at briefly. Facilier frequently sympathizes with the downtrodden or poor, implying that his own past may have been similar to Lawrence and Tiana.
Facilier bears many physical traits that are similar to Jafar, such as being tall, skinny, mustached; and dressed in very linear black-and-red clothing. Facilier has purple eyes, and a thin mustache, as well as a gap between his front teeth. He has long, boney fingers, and lanky arms and legs.
Dressed as the infamous Loa of the dead, Baron Samedi, Doctor Facilier wears a top hat with a purple feather in it and a skull and crossbones on it; the skull can be magically removed and change into a skull make-up as shown in "Friends on the other side". Under his top hat, instead of being bald or having a comb-over, Facilier has a huge hairdo to fit in his hat, also to many villians are seen to have hair like he does. Around his neck, he wears a necklace with two crocodile teeth. Facilier wears a dark maroon undertaker tailcoat and black pants, white spats over black shoes, a purple vest under his coat that doesn't entirely cover his midriff, and a red cummerbund. One might say he somewhat looks and performs like a showman. Like most Disney Villains, Facilier wears mostly purple, red, and black in his clothing.
He wields a cane with a purple globe on top, possibly a crystal ball, though it is never revealed. Facilier seems to use his cane for show performances, a tool, or a weapon. He carries a voodoo talisman, which is the fragile source of his powers. As shown, only a person besides Facilier, who wears the talisman, becomes who ever they want, provided it has a particular person's blood.
Facilier is accompanied by his sidekick shadow that actually has a life and personality of its own, being able to move of its own free will and move objects like the voodoo shadow spirits. It is possible that his shadow is a similar spirit given to Facilier by his "Friends," though as it fears the same fate that will befall Facilier if he cannot pay back his debt, it is perhaps a more personal creation of the doctor; it is absolutely obedient to his wishes and seems to reflect his mood at several points.
Powers and Abilities Edit
Facilier is a bokor that performs left-handed Voodoo (the dark and stereotypical voodoo magic). He is a conjurer and sorcerer of sorts, possessing powerful voodoo magic capable of accomplishing nearly anything. He can see into the past of a person and see what people desire the most. He is proficient in sleight of hand, effortlessly shuffling, twisting and manipulating his deck of tarot cards. He is a skilled conjurer as well, being able to pull his staff and tarot deck out of nothing (although this may also be attributed to sleight of hand.) His tarot cards possess strange properties: the images on them seem to change, reflecting the desires of Facilier's victims (such as when Tiana's restaurant picture appeared on a card in the deck.) The cards usually show his victims their future in a positive light; however, they are unable to corrupt the truth entirely and usally include a clue as to the victim's real fate (for example, when Naveen sees his future filled with "green," he fails to see the lilypad made of money in the background). Facilier is also shown casting spells through use of a strange pink powder. The effects of this powder include the reversal of the frog spell on Tiana, a man spontaneously growing hair (then having it sprout all over him), producing puffs of smoke that display memories, and the creation of a full scale rendition of Tiana's dream restaurant (although it is possible that what he works with the powder are only illusions). His Voodoo Emporium is shown to be filled with strange objects and voodoo paraphenila (some of which he admits that he "aint even tried") including shrunken heads and voodoo dolls which seem to come alive, chant, and beat drums when Facilier is about to perform his biggest spells. The dolls also serve a practical application - he has a voodoo doll of 'Big Daddy' La Bouff primed and ready for the moment he can get his hands on the rich man's fortune.
Facilier's shadow acts as a familiar and is capable of moving on its own, being able to separate itself from him for a short while as well as changing its shape and size. Furthermore, his shadow can affect other things through their own shadows - such as when it plucked Naveen and Lawerence's hats off their heads, or when it pushed the shadow of Facilier's chair up so Facilier could sit down. It also seems to reflect Facilier's current mood, such as when it was shown biting it's nails when Facilier was starting to worry about what would happen if Naveen wasn't found (although considering it would share Facilier's fate, it was probably showing its own concern). Later on, Facilier makes a bargain so he can call upon an army of fiendish shadow minions to do his bidding, with similar powers to his shadow. These shadows came in many shapes and forms which they can alter while moving. Being shadows, they are capable of squeezing through anything and travel along any surface, including water. Their only true weakness is light, as seen when Mama Odie destroyed a gang of them to save Naveen and when Ray used his light to inflict some damage on a few of them. However, in these cases, the light was shined directly at them, meaning they can probably withstand indirect light. When not serving Facilier, the shadow demons hide in other shadows until Faciler calls for their aid again.
Facilier's powers stem primarily from his "Friends" on the Other Side: these "friends" of his are in fact a multitude of voodoo spirits (known as 'Loa') which appear in the forms of voodoo masks in his Voodoo Emporium. While he does call upon them for help, he is in actuality deeply indebted to them already (the nature of which is never explained), and secretly fears them. Facilier's powers seem to stem from a voodoo talisman - a gift from the Other Side, given to him by his "Friends." The amulet seems to be capable of transformation spells in two manners. It can pinch someone with its mouth-like compartment, inflicting a transformation spell on the victim while at the same time, being able to take a sample of their blood. After taking in a blood sample, the talisman allows its wearer (except Facilier) to take on the appearance of the blood doner. However, in order for this transformation to last, the talisman must be constantly refilled with the victim's blood, otherwise it will run out and the wearer will slowly revert back to his original appearance as the last of the blood is drained out. Furthermore, this talisman is also crucial to his magic; without it, he seems to be powerless. So much of his power is invested in this amulet, in fact, should it be destroyed he would be unable to continue doing the bidding of his "Friends," making him unable to work off his debt to them - and prompting them to claim him as payment instead.
Curiously, despite having great power, the nature of his voodoo leaves Dr. Facilier unable to conjure a thing for himself. Instead, he must rely on trickery and guile to manipulate other people into doing what he wants. The nature of his power seems to stem around making deals; he only gains full access to his voodoo when fulfilling someone else's wishes (although he can usually twist them to suit his own ends) or tempting them. Luckily (for him), Facilier is a master of deceit, with charm and persuasion being second nature to him.
Doctor Facilier is voiced by veteran voice actor, Keith David, known to many as Goliath from the Disney melodrama animated show, Gargoyles. His chief animator is Bruce Smith who chooses to animate Dr. Facilier because "for every lead character to shine, they must have an equally entertaining adversary." Bruce Smith even describes Facilier as the love child of the Disney Villains Captain Hook and Cruella De Vil.
"Friends on the Other Side" EditUnlike many Disney Villains, who always have minions that do their every whim or suffer their masters' wrath, Dr. Facilier is the second villain to have minions that actually become the threat to him (the first is Scar from "The Lion King," who promises the hyenas the Pridelands, but he is later on killed by them after he betrays them.) His "Friends on the Other Side" are Petro Loa that seem to be the real villains of the movie, and are initially the ones responsible for the voodoo bokor acquiring his black magic. They are in the form of the Gris-Gris in his dark emporium, such as masks, voodoo dolls, shrunken heads, and shadows, and are planning to feast upon the wayward souls of New Orleans.
During Facilier's musical number Friends on the Other Side, the Loa sing a tiny bit in the beginning, and stay camouflaged until the end after Naveen and Lawrence shake Facilier's hands in agreement for their dreams to come true. The Masks chant, the Voodoo Dolls beat drums with their needles and dance as Facilier whips out a talisman given to him by what seems to be the 'Head' Mask Loa, a horned mask that is much larger than the other Loa. After nipping Naveen's finger, the prince turns into a frog, and Facilier makes Lawrence his partner-in-crime by disguising the envious manservant as Naveen.
Later on, when Facilier asks help from his "Friends" to retrieve Naveen when he escaped, the doctor proposes a deal with the incensed Loa that once he takes over New Orleans, he will hand over all the souls of the citizens to the gluttonous spirits. Enticed by the offer, the 'Head' Mask summons voodoo shadows to do Facilier's bidding, his first being to retrieve Naveen.
Finally, during the climax at the Lafayette Cemetery, after Tiana smashes Facilier's talisman, the sinister Petro Loa come out from hiding, reprising "Friends on the Other Side," and prepare to take the frightened bokor away to the spirit world. Despite his pleas, the Loa corner Facilier to a grave that takes the form of the 'Head' Mask, which as it turns out to also be the Hellmouth to the Voodoo Underworld. Dr. Facilier tries to escape, but his "Friends" snare his shadow, thus dragging him into the awaiting mouth of the Mask Loa. As the evil Facilier and his shadow disappear inside the Mask's mouth, the rest of the Loa get sucked back into their world, just as the 'Head' Mask closes its jaws, and too vanishes in a flash of light. This is the last time Dr. Facilier and his "Friends" are seen through the remainder of the film.
SongsEditDr. Facilier's most notable song is Friends on the Other Side. But in the music CD, Bayou Boogie, he has three more songs.
Facilier's background in booksEdit
Facilier's situation is the one thing that does not make itself very clear in the book merchandise. Though his clues about his deals with his Friends on the Other Side is obvious, his revelation of his future consequences are not entirely mentioned. And finally, Facilier has a much different demise in books than in the movie. Tiana smashes the talisman during her dream restaurant, instead of doing it after being turned back into a frog after her first failed attempt. Once there, Tiana's hallucination disappears and she is turned back into a frog. While the talisman serves as a tool of Facilier's powers in the movie and novel, in some books it is what Facilier uses it as means of controlling the Shadows, thus he loses that control, and the evil spirits turn on him. Soon his Friends on the Other Side arrive and order the Shadows to remove the frightened Facilier. The Shadows immediately surround Facilier and spin rapidly around him until they finally disappear, along with the evil Loa, and Doctor Facilier as well. All that is left of him is his top hat.
How these differences existed in the books but not in the movie is unknown, though some believe these were the original plans, but were changed for the final film.
- Facilier was originally named Dr. Duvalier, and was originally a voodoo magician and fortune teller.
- Facilier is the first black Disney Villain and the fourth to be French or have French origins.
- Facilier appears to resemble Baron Samedi, the Haitian voodoo Loa of the dead. He wore a top hat, a tuxedo, and other accessories. He too has associations with voodoo spirits. It may be presumed that Facilier is a worshipper of Samedi.
- Aspects of Facilier's appearance are shared by shock-rock singer Screamin' Jay Hawkins.
- 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.
- Dr. Facilier is the only character in the film who refers to himself as such. Everyone else simply calls him "Shadow Man".
- In the Danish trailer he is called the king of villains.
- Dr. Faciler might not be human. Since had a shadow that moves it self, and his shadow henchmen aren't human either.
- Like Oogie Boogie, Dr. Facilier is inspired by Cab Calloway.