|“||Gentlemen. *speaks french* A tip of the hat from Doctor Facilier. How y'all doing?||„|
|~ Dr. Facilier first meeting Naveen and Lawrence|
Dr. Facilier the Shadow Man is the main antagonist in Disney's 49th full length animated feature film The Princess and the Frog.
He was voiced by Keith David who also voiced Thel 'Vadam from the Halo series.
Facilier is a voodoo witch doctor who often uses magic and trickery on the street to con customers out of their money. He also has a shadow that moves independently and interacts with him. Facilier is responsible for transforming Prince Naveen into a frog, after he captures some of the prince's blood in a voodoo talisman. Facilier then gives the talisman, which allows the wearer to assume the appearance of the person whose blood is stored within it, to Naveen's traitorous aide 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. 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 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 kill Big Daddy with a voodoo doll just as Lawrence is about to marry Charlotte. 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 returns her to her human form and plays on her emotions and dreams to persuade her to give it back to him. She attempts to destroy the talisman anyway, but Facilier's shadow catches it and hands it back to its master. Facilier then laughs with sinister cheer as he transforms Tiana back into a frog, but using her tongue, she takes the talisman back again and smashes it on the ground. When his amulet is destroyed he loses the means by which he can pay back his debt, and as such his soul is claimed by the Loa as payment and he is dragged, screaming, into their world. Presumably, Facilier is killed when the last glimpse of his face was captured on a gravestone after.
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 is not 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 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 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 is controlling and vindictive, doing whatever he can to get what he wants. He even admits in the song "Friends on the Other Side" that he also has hoodoo and "things [he] hasn't even tried", indicating he will work with anyone who can give him power. 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. He appears to be quite infamous 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 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.
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.
- Dr. Facilier was inspired by treasured jazz singer Cab Calloway.
- "Facilier" means "easier" in ancient Latin.
- He has some similarities to Krudsky from Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King, Stromboli from Pinocchio, and Rasputin from Anastasia.
- Dr. Facilier's design, especially in the end of "Friends on the Other Side" that shows him with a skull make-up 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, Facilier isn't sucked into the voodoo mask, but swallowed by his shadows, leaving his hat.