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 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 'Vadamin the Halo video game franchise, Big Tim in Requiem for a Dream, Tublat in Disney's The Legend of Tarzan, Thailog in the Gargoyles series, and Streaming in the Regular Showfranchise.
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 Meldonia 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 Voodo Emporium, using his charming words 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 though secretly gives 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 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 of 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.
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 as and as punishment for his failure his soul is claimed by the Loa as payment. Facilier screams that he'll 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 gliimpse of his face with his horrified expression was captured on a gravestone after.
Facilier is a sneaky, devious, scheming, traitorous and manipulative 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 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 is not what his victims had in mind. For example, he certainly 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 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 does not underestimate the powers of nature, and he may be aware 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 this 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. He also seemed to respect Tiana for dreaming big and showed empathy about her father, even offering her the resturant she wanted. He also didn't force Lawrence into villainy and although Facilier was going to get the slightly larger amount he wasn't going to betray Lawrence to keep all the money.
|“||Gentlemen, enchante. A tip of the hat from Dr. Facilier. How y'all doing?||„|
|~ Dr. Facilier first meeting Naveen and Lawrence.|
|“||(Lawrence, disguised as Naveen, runs into his guest house to find the real Naveen gone) (Lawrence: Oh, dear! [Dr. Facilier silently appears behind him] OH! You're so quiet!) You let him go?! (Lawrence: The poor devil was gasping, so I loosened the lid ever so slightly! [gets tripped by Facilier's shadow, who laughs maliciously] How did I ever get tangled up this voodoo madness? I can't go through with this! [he yanks the necklace off and instantly turns back into his chubby self] You wear this-this ghastly thing!) (Lawrence throws the talisman) CAREFUL WITH THAT! (Facilier catches the talisman before it hits the floor) ANYTHING HAPPENS TO THIS, I'M GONNA BE--! (He raises his cane at Lawrence, who cowers. Facilier takes a moment to recompose himself.) Fun fact about voodoo, Larry. (Facilier puts the necklace on. Nothing happens.) Can't conjure a thing for myself. Besides, you and I both know the real power in this world ain't magic. It's money! (points at a portrait of Big Daddy LaBouff) Buckets of it. (Lawrence: That's true.) Aren't you tired of living on the margins, while all those fat cats in their fancy cars don't give you so much as a sideways glance? (Lawrence: Yes... I am!) All you gotta do is marry Big Daddy's little princess, and we'll be splitting that juicy LaBouff fortune...(he places the necklace back on Lawrence's neck, who turns back into Naveen's look-alike) ...right down the middle. 60-40, like I said. (Lawrence: Hmm...Yeah. But what about Naveen?) Your little slip-up will be a minor bump in the road, so long as we've got the prince's blood in this.||„|
|~ Facilier scolding Lawrence for letting Naveen escape coupled when Lawrence nearly destroys the magic talisman. As Facilier recomposes himself, he convinces Lawrence to continue cooperating with the evil plan by reminding him of his past of constant neglect and disrespect. He then explains the plan to marry Charlotte for her fortune by impersonating Naveen while wearing the magic necklace with Naveen's blood in it.|
|“||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 of his plan.|
|“||(After barely avoiding being noticed by Charlotte as his disguise fades, Lawrence looks up to see Facilier appear before him. Facilier grabs the talisman and sees the remainder of Naveen's blood drain out) NO! (Lawrence fully transforms into his flabby self) (Lawrence: What do we do now?) Because somebody let our froggy prince go, Larry, I'm reduced to askin' for help from my Friends on the Other Side.||„|
|~ Facilier telling Lawrence that the former is forced to contact his Voodoo minions after the blood in the talisman runs out.|
|“||Friends, I know I'm in hock to y'all pretty deep already. But seems our little froggy prince lost his way, and I need your generous assistance gettin' him back. (The Voodoo masks snarl; Facilier laughs) Ha-HA! I hear ya! Now what's in it for y'all? Well... (he takes out a voodoo doll that resembles Mr. LaBouff) as soon as I dispose of Big Daddy LaBouff... (conjures a vision of the city) ...and I'm running this town... (snickers evilly) ...I'll have the entire city of New Orleans in the palm of my hand. And you'll have all the wayward souls your dark little hearts desire. (He blows over the envisioned townsfolk, whose souls fly into the nostrils of the masks.) Y'all love that, doncha? (chuckles) So, we got ourselves a deal? (The Voodoo Masks glance at each other. Then the leader opens his mouth and a horde of black, ghostly Shadow Demons flow out. Facilier cackles.) NOW WE'RE COOKIN'! We're gonna find ourselves a frog! Search everywhere! The bayou, the Quarter. Bring him to me alive! I need his heart pumping... for now. Alle! Tout de suite! (Facilier laughs evilly as the Shadow Demons leave on their search for Naveen.)||„|
|~ Facilier summoning Shadow Demons to find and retrive Prince Naveen for his evil plan.|
|“||Y'all should've taken my deal. Now you will spend the rest of your life being a slimy little frog!' (Tiana: I've got news for you, Shadow Man! It's not slime, it's mucus!)"||„|
|~ Facilier to Tiana before she defeats him.|
|“||I promise I'll pay y'all back! I PROMISE!||„|
|~ Dr. Facilier's last words.|
- 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 African-American Disney Villain, and he is also one of few black villains in fiction.
- 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 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 and novelizations, Facilier isn't 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. Also, he is so caught up in his work and obsession with ghosts that he does not 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.