Disney: The Princess and the Frog
"The evening star is shinin' bright.
So make a wish, and hold on tight.
There's magic in the air tonight,
And anythin' can happen..."
The 49th animated feature of the Disney Animated Canon
, as well as the first since 2004's Home on the Range
to be traditionally animated. It's inspired by the novel The Frog Princess
, E. D. Baker
's take on the classic fable "The Frog Prince
," and written and directed by Disney staples John Musker and Ron Clements. It is also notable for introducing the first black and first American Disney Princess
into the official line-up. note
In 1920s New Orleans, 19-year old waitress Tiana struggles to earn money in order to get her own restaurant
— a dream she and her dad shared before he passed away. Things seem to be turning around when the handsome prince Naveen comes to town, prompting Tiana's rich friend Lottie
to pay her lots of money if Tiana will cater at the party Lottie throws for Naveen. Unfortunately, Lottie is not the only one interested in the egocentrical prince, as an evil voodoo sorcerer named Dr. Facilier
manages to trick him into a Deal with the Devil
and replaces the prince with his transformed manservant. Naveen is turned into a frog and requires a princess' kiss to lift the spell. Mistaking Tiana for a princess at Lottie's party, he asks her to kiss him. Tiana, disillusioned because her attempt at getting the restaurant failed, reluctantly agrees to kiss Naveen if he pays for her restaurant, but there's a twist — since she's not a princess, the plan backfires and she's turned into a frog as well! As Tiana and Naveen have very different outlooks on life
, they have a hard time cooperating, but they're forced to bond together and embark on a journey through the lush bayou of Louisiana to find the mystical Mama Odie
who can lift their spell. While they are joined by Louis, an alligator jazz enthusiast, and a Cajun firefly named Ray
, Dr. Facilier is hot on their trail, intent on using Naveen's blood for further nefarious purposes.
For almost a decade, Disney had been firmly entrenched in the growing 3D/CGI movement (not counting Direct-to-Video
sequels); a Disney exec announced that Princess
would be a long-overdue return to the animation tradition the company maintained for over fifty years. Randy Newman composed the songs for a film that harkens back to the age of Disney where music played as much a character as the actual cast members themselves. The film is also in large part a love letter to the city of New Orleans
, a town even Walt Disney
himself considered to be the most magical city in the world. The end result was a film that was well-received by both critics and audiences. Unfortunately, it was only a solid
financial success (Disney was hoping for an overwhelming
financial success), coming out in the same crowded holiday season as Avatar
and Sherlock Holmes
. To add insult to injury, the critically-panned Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
beat it as well, earning more than twice as much; Disney's lukewarm response to this film's take resulted in Tangled
getting a title change (originally Rapunzel
) and its marketing playing down the traditional fairy-tale aspects (which paid off handsomely, doubling up Frog
's box office receipts; the studio took the same approach with Frozen
, formerly The Snow Queen
, and is set to repeat the trick with the 2018 Jack And The Beanstalk
). However, Tiana being an official Disney Princess
solidified that the film would be a major money-earner through merchandise and the parks.The Princess and the Frog
got three Oscar
nominations (two for Best Song, the third for Best Animated Feature).
Before adding examples, note that tropes pertaining to the more sensitive political issues (gender and race) have been moved to the analysis page
This film provides examples of:
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- Adaptation Expansion: Quite considerably, given how brief the original storyline is.
- Adipose Rex: Big Daddy's only king of the parade, but he is also basically in charge of the town so he counts.
- Adorkable: Naveen provided the page quote just because of how adorably awkward he becomes trying to propose to Tiana.
- Affably Evil: Dr. Facilier may be trying to capture all the souls of Louisiana for his evil friends on the other side but, as Prince Naveen admits, he is very charismatic, to the point where almost no one in New Orleans knows the real Dr. Facilier (consider that someone can be seen taking a deal from him at the beginning of the movie). That said, on the outside he is very persuasive, attractive, and a good communicator, so it could be assumed he tricks people this way on a regular basis, to satisfy his evil shadow-friends... which is the only reason his scheme gets off the ground at all.
- A Friend in Need: The fireflies acting as guides.
- All In The Manual: The cat's name is Marcel.
- All Work vs. All Play: Tiana is All Work, The Prince is All Play. It Gets Better.
- Almost Dead Guy: Ray the firefly, after being stepped on.
- Almost Kiss: Naveen and Tiana, after their Dance of Romance.
- Always Check Behind the Chair: This trope usually only applies to video games, but pay attention to the wallpaper behind Dr. Facilier's chair during his Villain Song, particularly when his shadow first passes over it. The pattern turns into skulls and crossbones.
- American Accents: Most of the accents sound more Dixie than Yat, though Tiana uses "y'all" as a singular noun, which is more of a Yat tendency.
- Ray has a Cajun accent. Who Dat!? His voice actor, Jim Cummings, actually lived in New Orleans before he began his voiceover career, where he worked constructing Mardi Gras floats alongside actual Cajuns. This explains how he was able to pull off the difficult accent.
- Ambiguously Brown: Naveen. Suffice to say that this is a hot topic so we won't go into more detail here (see the analysis page).
- Amusing Injuries: The frog-meets-book Running Gag is powered by this.
- Anachronism Stew: A mild example but Louis mentions that he wants to eat Bananas Foster even though the dish wasn't created until 1951. Another example is alcohol served even though Prohibition was at its height (though this can be justified by New Orleans' tendency to ignore legislation that gets in the way of having fun).
- An Aesop: A twofer:
- Having dreams and ambitions is all well and good, but work hard to achieve them and don't take any shortcuts that seem too good to be true.
- Work hard, but don't lose sight of other things that matter, like having fun with the people you love.
- Angel Face, Demon Face: Naveen again. He starts off the movie as a smarmy pretty boy. By the end of the movie, there is that subtle change to the artwork to indicate that he has grown from the experience into a better person than he started out.
- Animal Stereotypes: Averted. Louis, the alligator, is a Gentle Giant. The inversion is more evident in Mama Odie's pet, Juju; a gentle, loving snake that takes care of a blind old lady who uses him as a pole and a bridge, among other things.
- Animal Talk: Once Naveen and Tiana are turned into frogs, they are able to understand and communicate with other animals, first noted in a very brief encounter with Charlotte's dog, Stella. Interestingly, they can still talk to regular humans as well.
- Animated Musical
- Anticipatory Breath Spray: Froggy Naveen does this with some perfume on the dresser as Tiana agrees to kiss him and break the curse.
- Art Evolution: The digital-ink-and-paint process for the film was done using Toon Boom Harmony software, as opposed to the now-obsolete CAPS system used by Disney from 1990 to 2004.
- Artistic License: While beignets do have powdered sugar on them they don't have honey. It's probably done to make the food look more appetizing...
- Artistic License – Religion: A rare invoked example - Disney didn't want to use any actual symbols for fear of offending real life practitioners of Voudou (or summon any evil spirits). They essentially give a bit of this since Dr. Facilier and Mama Odie appear to practice magic and call it "Voodoo", however give Facilier a little bit of credit - he says "I got voodoo, I got hoodoo, I got stuff I haven't even tried", implying he (and the writers) are well aware that "Voodoo" isn't just a catch-all-term for folk magic. There's a bit of Genius Bonus too - Facilier appears to be using easily-bribed spirits, not so much caring for actual voodoo rituals so much as aligning with what will give him more power.
- Art Shift: In "Almost There", the animation switches to an Art Deco style to denote Tiana's fantasy sequence.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: After Dr. Facilier kills Ray the firefly by stepping on him, Ray becomes a star alongside his love Evangeline the evening star.
- Aside Glance: Ray glances at the fourth wall when Louis over-reacts to getting a thorn stuck in his foot.
- Award Bait Song: "Never Knew I Needed" by Ne-Yo, in Ye Grande Olde Disney tradition. The duet version with Cassandra Steen seems to be trying to push it further. Also duet version two with Italian singer Karima.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: When Tiana and Naveen marry while in their previously incurable frog forms, they kiss and are transformed back into humans. Mama Odie reveals that when Tiana married Prince Naveen she became a princess, and Naveen kissing her as a princess lifted the curse!
- Bad Samaritan: Dr. Facilier only "helps" others in order to fleece them.
- Bare Your Midriff: Facilier, in a rare MALE example.
- The Barnum: Dr. Facilier, using his charisma to scam people and manipulate them to his own ends.
- Beautiful Condemned Building: The abandoned sugar mill that Tiana - and her father before her - wants to convert into her restaurant.
- Beauty Mark: Charlotte puts on a fake one when "Naveen" finally shows up to the party.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Prince Naveen wished to be free of his old responsibilities. He should have paid attention to the clues getting dropped by Dr. Facilier, and was turned into a frog when he agreed to the contract.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Naveen's butler, Lawrence. It's no wonder he teams up with Facilier to impersonate the polymorphed Naveen and marry Charlotte LaBouff, daughter of one of the richest men in New Orleans.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Tiana and Naveen. Though most of the sexual tension starts when the belligerence dies down.
- Berserk Button:
- Facilier's "friends" lose all patience with him after he lets their talisman break.
- Fearing this fate, threatening to break the talisman also works as this for Facilier. He loses his cool with this twice: first with Lawrence (but he recomposes himself), and then with Tiana (who succeeds in destroying the talisman). He also kills Ray for trying to break it.
- Bewitched Amphibians: The whole plot of the movie, since Naveen and Tiana are turned into frogs.
- The Big Easy: Swamps, steamboats, and gumbo for all!
- Big Eater:
- Big Daddy LaBouff who celebrates being chosen King of Mardi Gras by ordering a positively mountainous quantity of beignets with an order to "keep 'em comin' 'til I pass out."
- Louis is implied to be this, since when he lists the food he'd like to eat at the moment, the list is huuuuge.
- Bigger Bad: The Friends on the Other Side. While it's Facilier's Evil Plan that drives the plot, they are the greater and more powerful evil in this setting.
- Big Good: Mama Odie is known as the Queen of the Bayou and a powerful vodou sorcerer on the heroic side.
- Big Guy: Louis. Though he's a Gentle Giant for most of the film, he gets to (briefly) throw his weight around in the Mardi Gras parade, and when Tiana signs the mortgage papers.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: The three frog hunters.
- Bilingual Bonus: See Dr. Facilier's Meaningful Name below.
- Black Best Friend: Inverted, as Tiana is the black protagonist, and Charlotte is her white best friend.
- Blatant Lies: As could be expected, Dr. Facilier specialized in these.
Dr. Facilier: That's an echo, gentlemen. Something we have here in Louisiana, a little parlour trick, don't worry.
- Blood Magic: Dr. Facilier gives Lawrence a talisman that disguises him as Naveen, but it only works with Naveen's blood fueling it.
- Book Ends: The movie begins by showing the Evening Star, then fireflies flying down from the night sky onto New Orleans. The movie ends by showing fireflies flying up from New Orleans into the night sky, encircling two Evening Stars.
- Bouquet Toss: At the end. Of course Charlotte catches it, with a fantastic leap that would make an Olympian cry.
- Brick Joke: Ray's death. Guess where that joke started!note
- Brilliant but Lazy: Naveen. He's a polyglot, seems pretty decently educated about scientific facts (frog biology at the minimum), and can adapt impressively well to being a frog for a guy that has spent his life being waited on hand and foot.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Everyone has some understandable doubts about Mama Odie, the eccentric old hermit who lives in a swamp with pecuilar things. These doubts finish when she zaps living shadows and dispenses sage-like wisdom.
- Butt Monkey: Lawrence. Even when he gets what he wants, it still doesn't work out.
- California Doubling: At points in the film, the sounds of the bayou sound awfully like the The Australian Bush...
- Can Not Spit It Out: Naveen attempting to confess his love for Tiana and propose to her. Justified because Naveen never expected to fall in love. Even coming to New Orleans to marry, he had only intended to marry for money, not for love. Plus, although he bragged about his romantic peccadilloes, he had never taken any of those dalliances seriously. And then there's the fact that if he does finally spit it out, he'll break his deal to marry Charlotte and doom Tiana to a life without realizing her dream of owning a great restaurant.
- Career Versus Man: Tiana doesn't choose one as much as she acknowledged that she wouldn't be happy without both of them. Also, the man in this case is 100% supportive of her career even at his own expense and in the end, she gets both.
- Catch Phrase: Naveen exclaims "Achidanza" when surprised or impressed, a Maldonian word meaning "cool" according to some of the Disney tie-in books. Fun fact: The word bears a striking resemblance to "accidenti", an Italian interjection that's used more or less in the same way.
- Carnivore Confusion: Louis the 'gator does not want to eat frog-form Tiana and Naveen unlike his fellow alligators. His stated preferences are for New Orleans cuisine —human food. Meanwhile, despite being driven to eat bugs, Tiana and Naveen manage to keep their tongues away from Ray once Tiana cooks them all some swamp gumbo. Louis even lists frog legs as something he'd like to eat (not that Naveen and Tiana should really care, not being real frogs and all).
- The Casanova and/or Chivalrous Pervert: Naveen. Also the only man in the world to treat being turned into a frog as the most minor of setbacks in his lady-macking abilities.
- Chain of Deals: Dr. Facilier turns Naveen into a frog so he can get Naveen's disgruntled valet Lawrence to disguise himself as Naveen to woo and marry Charlotte. Once Lawrence marries Charlotte, Facilier will kill Charlotte's father and take heirship of the LaBouff family, and promptly take control of New Orleans via the disguised Lawrence as well as take all the LaBouffs' wealth. After all that, he'll promptly offer the souls of all the people of New Orleans to his "Friends on the Other Side".
- Character Development: Naveen, starting when the frog hunters captured Tiana.
- Tiana develops too. She loosens up, and focuses on what she needs.
- Chekhov's Gun: Facilier's Shadow's ability to manipulate objects in the real world, promptly countered by another one; Tiana, as a frog, has a sticky tongue.
- Chew Toy: Lawrence.
"On you, little man, I don't wanna waste much time
You've been pushed around all of your life -
You've been pushed round by your mother, and your sister, and your brother,
And if you was married — you'd be pushed around by your wife!"
- Circling Monologue: Dr. Facilier does this to Tiana when trying to convince her to give him back the talisman that turned Naveen into a frog.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander:
- Charlotte is a grown woman who is still in the Princess Phase.
- Mama Odie. She falls asleep mid-conversation, kisses a snake repeatedly on the mouth, and changes topics almost mid-sentence, but she also moves the plot towards resolution better than anybody else in the movie.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Dr. Facilier wears a black Baron Samedi-esque outfit while Mama Odie wears white, which is the traditional color for voodoo garb. This also fits with the way they represent shadow and light respectively.
Purple, traditional hallmark of comic book villains, is part of the Doctor's costume and no one else, even though it's one of the standard Mardi Gras colors (Purple, Green and Gold).
The person who wrote the color script made a conscious decision to include the three Mardi Gras colors: Facilier has purple in all of his scenes (since, of the three colors, purple is the most "unnatural"), the scenes in the swamp with frog Tiana and Naveen are green, and Mama Odie's scenes are awash in gold.
- Comically Missing the Point:
- Tiana, after the "Dig A Little Deeper" sequence, in which Mama Odie explains that you have to find out what you NEED to do, not WANT to do, and she asks Tiana if she understands. Tiana's answer: "Yes! I need to dig deeper, and work even harder to get my restaurant!" Mama Odie's response is something the internet knows too well.
- Louis makes the exact same mistake, though he also gets the point later. It's more understandable since the song wasn't directed at him.
- "I could use a little help." "Oh. I will play a little louder!"
- Compressed Vice: The realtors Tiana wants to buy the old sugar mill through seem to be perfectly nice gentlemen until one ill-fated encounter at the Mardi Gras party. In fact, the implied racism seems to show up specifically to make it easier for the audience not to take their side after they have another buyer come and try paying for the mill in full.
- Conspicuous CG: Facilier's cards. Also, all the vehicles in the film (streetcars, carriages, parade floats, etc.)
- Cool Old Lady: Mama Odie. "Not bad for a 197-year-old blind lady!" And she doesn't look a day over 190. She seems to be based on Mam'zelle Marie Laveau, the New Orleans voodoo queen whose real life modern day followers believe to be either alive or a very active spirit; however, according to the movie's IMDB trivia page, the character is based on famed New Orleans storyteller Coleen Salley, "even down to the voice".
- Covered in Kisses: Naveen, courtesy of Charlotte, though it doesn't do any good after midnight (and whether it would have done any good before midnight is also debatable).
- Creator Cameo: Directors Rob Clemens and John Musker appear on a Mardi Gras float tossing beads. Walt Disney himself appears at the parade, and in the ending watching the wedding procession and as a customer at Tiana's Palace. The directors also appear in Doctor Facilier's villain song. If you look at the Floating Masks behind Naveen's chair, two are barely recognizable caricatures.
- Creepy Doll: As Dr. Facilier is being dragged away by his "friends", some of them take the form of voodoo and rag dolls.
- Curse Escape Clause: Only a kiss from a princess will release Naveen from the frog curse. This comes with two twists. First, Charlotte temporarily qualifies as a princess because her father was voted king of the Mardi Gras parade. Second, after Tiana and Naveen give up on turning human and just get married as frogs, Tiana qualifies on the technicality that she's married to a prince.
- Daddy's Girl: Both Tiana and Charlotte have strong relationships with their fathers and grow up similar to them; a hardworking chef and a jovial upperclass.
- Dame Not Appearing In This Trailer: Charlotte LaBouff, at first. She did make an appearance in the last trailer, causing some people to call shenanigans due to the movie featuring a "blonde princess" as well as a black one. See Never Trust a Trailer, below.
- Dance of Romance: Naveen teaches Tiana how to dance after she teaches him how to to mince.
- Darkest Hour: Naveen and Tiana figure that their curse is permanent, and have decided to stay together as frogs. Then they find Ray...
- Dark Reprise:
- Deadly Dodging: Their entire tactic for fighting the hunters. They win, too.
- Deal with the Devil:
- The source of Dr. Facilier's powers, with the souls of the entire city of New Orleans as an installment. It doesn't work out so well.
- This is also Facilier's method of choice. It's apparent that he can't just kidnap the Prince by force, his magic will only work if he gets Naveen to make a deal with him first (Naveen of course has no idea what he's truly agreeing to).
- Death by Irony: Dr. Facilier. When his talisman breaks, his "Friends" get so upset with him that they decide his soul is as good as any other, and drag him to the other side.
- Deep-Fried Whatever: All of the delicious beignets that appear through the movie.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Naveen, when he tries to propose to Tiana, stumbles through it and offends her with each sentence.
- Disappeared Dad: It is suggested that Tiana's dad died at some point between her childhood and teenage years, perhaps while fighting in World War I, since at one point we see a photo of him in a WWI-style uniform on Tiana's dresser. Not only is he wearing a uniform, but there's a Distinguished Service Cross on the frame. Since that's a step below the Medal of Honor, Tiana's dad probably died doing something significant. note
- Dish Dash:
- Tiana's waitressing skills include being able to catch and carry flying plates full of food stacked on every available extremity and her head.
- Naveen eventually picks this up as well. Just see him dancing around Tiana's restaurant with loaded trays.
- Disney Acid Sequence:
- Played with; "Friends on the other Side" is depicting supernatural events that are actually happening, but is still freaky as all get-out, especially that one bit with Facilier's face.
- "Almost There" is a straight example, as it's an Art Shift into Tiana's fantasy of her restaurant.
- Disney Death: Ray the firefly gets stepped on, and it looks like he's been killed. This being Disney, you might suspect it's just a Disney Death. Later, near the very end, it turns out that, yay, he's still alive! But then he dies for real. Yes, Disney itself subverted the Disney Death.
- Disney Villain Death: Averted. Dr. Facilier doesn't fall like you'd think.
- Disney Princess: Tiana joined the line up in the "by marriage" category.
- Disproportionate Retribution: As revenge for being publicly embarrassed by Naveen, Lawrence agrees to turn Naveen into a frog and take his place, thus stealing his life.
- Does He Have a Brother?: Luckily for Charlotte, Naveen does have a brother. He's 6.5 years old but she'll wait!
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- Mama Odie's "Dig A Little Deeper" is modeled after a big Gospel number.
- This line from Facilier's dark and sinister "Friends on the Other Side".
"If you relax, it will enable me to do, anything I please."
- From "When We're Human":
"And I'd blow this horn so hard and strong like no one they've ever seen."
- Don't Explain the Joke:
- Dramatic Drop: Blink and you'll miss it. Naveen almost buried in gold coins during "Dig A Little Deeper" but then he turns and sees Tiana, and he drops the coin he was left holding after Mama Odie rescued him and pointed him at Tiana.
- Dramatic Sit-Down: Tiana sees fake Naveen ready to marry Charlotte. She runs into the French graveyard and sits down on a tombstone, completely depressed.
- Dramatic Necklace Removal: Lawrence rips the voodoo talisman from around his neck. Facilier ties it back on later, though, and Lawrence never tries it again.
- Due to the Dead: Tiana wants to honor her father's memory with the restaurant. At the end, she and Naveen attend Ray's funeral.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Implied with Tiana's father. In her bedroom is a portrait of her father in US Army uniform, with a Distinguished Service Cross hanging from the frame. The DSC is the second-highest military award after the Medal of Honor, awarded for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy.
- Eccentric Mentor: Mama Odie, who says and does more than a few odds things between teachings the protagonist to 'dig a little deeper' and find what will truly make them happy.
- Eldritch Abomination: Dr. Facilier's Friends on The Other Side are creatures from another plane of existence. They appear as shadows, masks, and dolls which implies that humans cannot grasp their true form and they presumably eat souls.
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Light beats darkness. Ray's crowning moment is based on this.
- Establishing Character Moment: How do we know Facilier's not a nice man? It's not the outfit or the Living Shadow, but his first customer on-screen. Man suffers from male pattern baldness, so Facilier hits him with a magic powder that grows a full head of hair...followed by the rest of his body.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: This attitude is spoofed with Charlotte, but still played straight with the merchandise.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles:
- Take a good guess what some of the dresses do.
- The fireflies of the swamp and Evangeline the evening star.
- Invoked in one scene with Charlotte throwing sparkles over herself.
- Everything Is an Instrument: Including Lulu the potato bug/squeezebox. Also, Naveen manages to make a fully functional frog-size ukulele out of a stick and a spider web. Twice.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in Maldonian: Probably the trope responsible for Naveen's accent.
- Evil Laugh: Dr. Facilier, in grand ol' Disney tradition. His shadow has one, too!
- Evil Is Not a Toy: As Facilier finds out when his 'friends' turn on him.
- Evil Plan: Faciler's Chain of Deals outlined above. The general gist of it is to get filthy rich.
- Evil Sorcerer: Dr. Facilier, the vodoo practioner, is apparently the 1920s Big Easy's version of an Evil Sorcerer.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Again, Dr. Facilier (thanks to Keith David).
- Exact Words:
- Word to the wise; when the creepy voodoo man says he sees 'green' in your future, do not assume he means money. Similarly, Lawrence probably assumes Facilier is speaking figuratively when he says he'll make him "Exactly the man he always wanted to be").
- The Curse Escape Clause: In order to be freed, the affected victim has to "kiss a princess". In this case, Charlotte qualifies as the daughter of a 'King' (her father being declared King of Mardi Gras) but technically, a "princess" can be anyone who is married to a prince...even if said marriage just happened and the prince in question is also the one affected by the curse.
- According to Word of God, Facilier's look was modeled on the voodoo god Baron Samedi: he's lean, he wears a top hat, his logo is a skull with a top hat, and at one point he sports a skull mask.
- The creator of The Proud Family was one of the animators for this; and it shows. Dr. Facilier not only looks like Baron Samedi, but he also looks like Oscar Proud. Mama Odie even looks like Suga Mama. In an early version of the script, Mama Odie actually was Facilier's mother.
- Family-Unfriendly Death:
- Dr. Facilier is dragged into voodoo-hell — screaming and struggling— by his "Friends on the Other Side" when it's apparent his plan to pay off his "debt" to them is foiled for good. His gravestone, oy. It's even worse if you look at how they animated his eyes during that scene. Most Disney villains meet their end with a little gasp and a look of surprise or a Big "NO!"; as Facilier reacts to his talisman breaking with a Little "No" followed by a Big "NO!", you can see him realize clearly before his friends even show up that he is about to die horribly. Even to adults, it's incredibly unsettling to watch the man have a Villainous Breakdown and beg for his life as his "friends" kill him. Even Tiana is visibly horrified as she watches.
- Ray being stepped on. It's not the kind of thing you expect in a Disney film, especially with it ultimately averting the Disney Death trope.
- Fangirls: The women who swoon over Prince Naveen.
- Fashion Dissonance: A couple outfits look like they raided the costumes from Cinderella, though it should be noted that the pimped out clothes we see are costumes or magically generated. Tiana's blue princess dress actually belongs to Charlotte, who was both rich and completely obsessed with being a princess from time of childhood. Charlotte gives it to Tiana after Tiana's own simple, High Middle Ages maiden costume is ruined. The characters' street clothes are a bit more accurate for the time period.
- Fat and Skinny: Henry and Harvey Fenner.
- Fat Bastard:
- Averted with Louis. He's notably the chubbiest alligator in the film, and yet he's also one of the nicest characters in the film.
- Same for Big Daddy; he is a man who could throw his weight around physically, influentially, and monetarily, but he seems to just be sweet, jovial, and dotes upon his daughter.
- Played straight with Lawrence, Naveen's double-crossing butler.
- Inverted with Doctor Facilier who is built like a stick.
- Played straight amongst the two obnoxious real-estate investors. The fatter of the two is also clearly the meaner of the two.
- Buford, the Chef who mocks Tiana's dream of having her own restaurant.
- Fat Idiot:
- Subverted with Louis. While he's shown to have a poor sense of direction (something that Ray points out all alligators have), he is skilled in trumpet playing for an alligator who has never taken any formal music lessons.
- Played straight with the largest of the frog-trappers.
- The Final Temptation: Facilier promising Tiana her dream come true if she gives him the talisman.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Tiana and Naveen finally start to get along after they fight the redneck frog hunters together.
- Flashback Cut: Louis when he remembers the last time he tried to play trumpet for humans. Given an Ironic Echo when he tries again, but luckily for him the band members are dressed as animals for Mardi Gras and mistake him for a costumed trumpet player, thus granting his dream.
- Flechette Storm: "Two-Fingers", despite his natural disadvantage.
- Rich, spoiled, princess-wannabe, desperate-for-romance Charlotte in contrast to level-headed, workaholic Tiana who couldn't care less about marrying a prince. In a twist, Charlotte is not the Alpha Bitch; she's Tiana's best friend, and likable in her own right.
- Prince Naveen and Facilier have racked up loads of debts and are running out of time to pay...
- Tiana and Naveen are both offered their greatest dreams by Facilier, for what seems to be a small price. Their responses are quite different...
- Food Porn: Your mouth will be watering by the end of the breakfast-serving montage in the diner. It seems that everyone, even the non-transformed animals that you would think wouldn't be accustomed to eating human food, is in love with the gumbo and beignets covered with honey and powdered sugar that Tiana makes. Tiana is indeed a Supreme Chef.
- Foreshadowing: The opening song gives us this verse:
We got magic, good and bad
Make you happy or make you real sad
Get everything you want, lose what you had
Down here in New Orleans.
- "You just wanna be free; hop from place to place. But freedom... takes green!" (As it turns out, he's not talking about money...) Note that on the card ("And when I look into your future, it's the green that I see!"), the part of the background with the dollar bills all over it is in the the shape of a lily pad.
- Also during that scene: when Facilier holds out his hands for Lawrence and Naveen to shake, sealing the deal? As if you needed any more of indication of the hero in this scenario, just take a good look at who hesitates for a moment before going for the deal, and who gets the greedy look in his eyes and shakes first. Looks like Naveen wasn't that much of a Horrible Judge of Character.
- The movie opens with Tiana and Lottie as children, apparently in the middle of playing dress-up; Lottie is dressed as a princess, but Tiana is the one wearing the crown.
- For Mardi Gras I Am Going As Myself: Thanks to a musician complimenting him on his alligator costume, Louis gets to play with a Jazz Band.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: 1920s-style clothing generally did not accentuate the waist or bust like that.
- For the Evulz: Facilier curses some guy to grow hair all over his body just for his own amusement.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Tiana is choleric, Naveen is sanguine, Louis is melancholic, and Ray is phlegmatic.
- Fourth Date Marriage: The relationship Tiana and Naveen create is the typical speed for a Disney movie.
- Friend or Idol Decision: Dr. Facilier offers to give Tiana her hopes and dreams in return for his voodoo pendant. He makes the mistake of reminding her that her father never reached his dream... Because not only does she realize that her father was still a happy man, thanks to his family, but it reminded her that she always believed in working hard to reach her goals. It's a real idol, too.
- Frogs and Toads: No duh.
- Gainaxing: Charlotte, when she readjusts her dress.
- Genre Savvy:
- Tiana, Charlotte, and Naveen are all familiar with the fairy tale in question, with the girls willing to try kissing the frog to solve the problem.
- Facilier knows enough about a Deal with the Devil to be very worried about what will happen if he fails to please the shadow demons. The only one who could harm his friends (besides Mama Odie) was Ray. Instead of gloating, he takes care to kill him on screen.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- Charlotte stuffing her neckline with napkins (we're supposed to believe it's to wipe off sweat since she's nervous, but...). Later, Charlotte pulling up her bust before going back to the party.
- This particular line from after Tiana and Naveen escape from gators into a tree trunk...
Naveen: Well, waitress, it looks like we're going to be here a while. We might as well get... comfortable.
- As if this wasn't blatant enough already, we hear Tiana slapping him afterwards.
- This little exchange with Mama Odie and Ray.
Mama Odie: How your grandma doin'?
Ray: She got into a little trouble for flashin' the neighbors again [Ray's butt lights up]
- This jewel:
Naveen: You will enjoy, I guarantee. All women enjoy the kiss of Prince Naveen. Come! We pucker!
[puckers up, then his throat expands]
Naveen: That's new.... [suggestive grin]
- Any time Naveen makes a comment about being a frog, really, it's nearly always accompanied by a suggestive tone or grin.
Tiana: Just... one kiss?
Naveen: Just one.... [perverted/suggestive tone and grin] Unless you beg for more [licks lips]
- When Tiana and Naveen are tied together by their tongues and Louis comes to help by tying their tongues around each others' bodies. According to Ray's reaction, it was entirely intentional.
- Girlish Pigtails: Tiana as a child.
- Girls Need Role Models: It's been stressed that Tiana doesn't need a prince and works to achieve her dreams. Anika Noni Rose pointed out how this is a stark contrast to any of the other Disney I Want Songs, in that she knows what she wants, she's "Almost There", and she's done it on her own. Her character is best summed up with her line:
"I know exactly where I'm going
And gettin' closer and closer everyday!"
- Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: Though they don't directly do battle, it's assumed that Mama Odie is aware of Facilier's dark doings with the shadow demons. At the very least, she knows his reputation enough to accurately surmise that the shadows that attacked Naveen just before she turned up belonged to Facilier.
"Now which one of you naughty children is messing around with the Shadow Man?"
- Go Out with a Smile: Brave Ray, who survives being stepped on just long enough to see that Tiana and Naveen have declared their love for each other. This makes him smile to his tearful companions before he finally fades.
- Gorgeous Garment Generation: Tiana is married as a frog wearing a veil. After the kiss breaks the spell, she transforms back into a woman in a proper wedding dress.
- Gray Rain of Depression: When Ray dies.
- Groin Attack: With a shotgun. Don't worry, he only takes Clothing Damage, revealing Goofy Print Underwear.
- Happily Ever After: After dealing with the big bad, the heroine marries her love interest and fulfills her dream of opening a resturant.
- Hands-On Approach: When Tiana teaches Naveen how to mince vegetables.
- Hard Work Hardly Works:
- You may think the movie's going to end with this, but Tiana refuses to take Facilier's offer of the easy, magical way out. In the end, even after she marries Naveen, and he reconciles with his filthy-rich family, it's still her money, the coffee cans full of the cash she scraped together from her tips from three jobs, that gets her that building. All it takes is a stare from her new alligator best friend to get those bankers to accept the original offer. It's possible the extra money is only used to help fix the place up, but even then Tiana and Naveen do all the physical labor by themselves.
- Tiana's dad fits this trope because he worked just as hard as Tiana but never got the mill himself, though Tiana has more money to spare because she doesn't have a family to support.
- Hard Work Montage: Tiana and Naveen renovating the sugar mill.
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: Tiana says this about Naveen. Ray assumed so because their (long froggy) tongues were tangled up all around them.
- Hell Gate: The giant mask Dr. Facilier summons during his Villain Song and later he gets dragged through it by the Shadow Demons when Tiana breaks their talisman.
- Hellish Pupils: Inverted. The alligators attacking Naveen and Tiana have ordinary slitted pupils; Louis' pupils, however, are round dots, him being an exception to Reptiles Are Abhorrent.
- Henpecked Husband: Invoked in Dr. Facilier's Villain Song.
Dr. Facilier: "You been pushed around by your mother, and your sister and your brother. And if you was married...You'd be pushed around by your wife."
- Here We Go Again: Ray attempting to restart "Dig a Little Deeper" (but immediately averted).
- He's Dead, Jim: We see Ray give his last words and close his eyes for the last time, but then the shot pulls back and we see his firefly light flicker then finally fade out, removing any hope that this was a Disney Death.
- Hidden Depths:
- While deliciously suave, Facilier is more than a standard Disney villain. Facilier seemed genuinely frustrated and bitter with his lot in life, (likely due to being black in 20's New Orleans). This is likely what sparked his original deal with his "Friends", and after that just dug a little deeper each time... This gets obvious when he is convincing Lawrence to follow his Evil Plan, saying how he (Lawrence) should be tired of being in poverty while the big shots only get richer and richer. The expression in his face tells that he wasn't speaking much about Lawrence as he was about himself. He was supposed to be a Creole, and hence an ethnic minority to boot. Free African Americans and Creoles of mixed ancestry would have been lumped in under Jim Crow laws after the Civil War. The LaBouff family were probably Creole too, but would have been considered "French" and white. Facilier also had economic motives as well as racial ones. New Orleans is run by a capitalist white patriarch, and by turning everyone into souls for his "Friends" to collect, he's equalizing everyone—no more class system. The undertones are clear because he teams up with Lawrence, who is obviously unhappy with his role as a servant and would like to move farther up the totem pole.
- Naveen also seems like a smarmy, cheesy "no-account, good for nothing" as Tiana calls him, but he displays resourcefulness, adaptability, scientific knowledge, and multilingual knowledge, plus a willingness to learn. To say nothing of his musical talents, which enhanced his image as a himbo. Combine this with the fact that a lot of his behavior is used as a mask to hide deep insecurities about literally not knowing how to do anything for himself due to his parents spoiling him most of his life and then kicking him out...
- Charlotte, despite her lifelong dream, takes about a second to decide to kiss Naveen with no strings attached for Tiana's sake. She may be The Ditz, but she doesn't have to think before sacrificing for her friend. Not only that, but when the kiss doesn't work, she seems genuinely upset and repeatedly tries to make it work.
- After Tiana's accident at the party, Charlotte immediately leaves Prince Naveen on the dance floor to help Tiana clean up and change her dress. She also offers Tiana a ridiculous amount of money for beignets. This may just be Charlotte having no concept of the value of money, but it gives Tiana enough cash to buy her resturaunt. This is also a Character Establishing Moment. It would not have been unthinkable at that point for her to have reamed out Tiana, and demanded more of her "man-catching beignets", but being a true friend, promptly took her leave, helped Tiana get herself cleaned up, and loaned her one of her dresses. She may be spoiled, and not exactly deep, but she knows what's truly important to her.
- Ray appears at first to be a stereotypical hillbilly-type. He turns out to be one of the most insightful, caring, and helpful people in the group. He's also competent, which goes a long way when the first two things he does are untying Naveen and Tiana (after Louis's well-meaning attempt made things much worse), and pointing out that Louis had been leading them in the wrong direction. The rest of his family (who also appear to be hillbilly-ish as well) are just as helpful for the brief amount of time they do show up, helping the group find the way to Mama Odie's home.
- Hollywood Voodoo: Disney did a better job than usual:
- Mentioning Hoodoo and giving themselves an escape hatch in the next line—"I've got things I ain't even tried." Facilier isn't stuck on any one tradition; he'll work with anything and anyone that can give him power.
- It's a step in the right direction that Disney also made a 'good' Voodoo priestess dressed in the traditional white, since Voodoo is usually seen as only something evil in Hollywood Voodoo.
- Facilier makes use of Voodoo dolls, usually the only known object in Voodoo but the use of this object is only used in Louisiana Voodoo. So that is again a thumbs-up for Disney.
- They also intentionally tried to avoid using real religious symbols because they didn't want to offend anyone who practiced Voudou in real life (or summon any spirits on accident).
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Facilier is dragged to ‘the Other Side’ by his ‘Friends’ after failing to keep up his end of the deal with them.
- Horrible Judge of Character:
- Naveen has no reservations about following a shady guy with a skull on his hat down a dark alley, and when the floating voodoo masks start singing and the shadows start moving things around, he's obliviously enjoying the show with a big goofy grin on his face. This is lampshaded when Tiana comments about Naveen "messing with the Shadow Man", for which he responds, "He was very charismatic!"
- Lawrence; when it comes to shaking hands and actually sealing the deal, Naveen is the one who looks doubtful and hesitates for a moment- whereas Lawrence digs right in, complete with a greedy look on his face.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Ray is a guide, a matchmaker, and the only one that can fight shadow things.
- Hypocritical Humor:
] Pardon me, but your accent... it is funny, no?
Charlotte: I thought wishing on stars was for babies... and crazy people! [eyetwitch]
- I Can't Believe Someone Like You Would Notice Me!: Ray and Evangeline. He says it in "Ma Belle Evangeline" and it is proven true after his death when he appears beside her in the sky as another star.
- I Can't Dance: Tiana, but she learns pretty quickly, especially considering she is a frog at the time.
- I Can't Hear You: Ray and Naveen on the Mardi Gras float.
Naveen: Ray! Get me out of this box!
Ray: I can't hear you! I'mma get you outta this box!
- Image Song: "Life in the Swamp" for Ray and "I Was Born To Blow This Horn" for Louis from the Bayou Boogie CD, which is basically an Image Song album for all the characters in the film.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: How does Tiana's dress stay up?
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Some of Charlotte's dresses fall under "trying too hard" to look like a princess.
- Impoverished Patrician: Naveen reveals that while his family are Maldonian royalty and quite wealthy, they have cut him off and he is penniless. The reason Naveen came to New Orleans in the first place was to find and marry a girl from a rich family.
- Inelegant Blubbering: Charlotte, for comedic effect.
- Inexplicably Awesome: Dr. Facilier and Mama Odie are both this, since they are both eccentric and have awesome Voodoo powers, but their backstories of how they got them are never explained. It's heavily implied that Facilier sold his soul to his "Friends" on the Other Side and has been racking up a considerable debt with them by promising more souls in his place, all in exchange for more power. Whether the Friends are Loa or demons or Satan is never made explicit, however. Odie's case is almost definitely more benign, but goes unexplained and plays the trope fairly straight.
- Insistent Terminology: It's not slime. It's mucus.
- Instant Fan Club: The squealing girls who briefly follow Naveen around upon his arrival in New Orleans.
- Instant Gravestone: Dr. Facilier gets one after his "Friends" drag him off to the "Other Side".
- Instant Leech, Just Fall in Water: Naveen gets one on his elbow after landing in the swamp as a frog.
- Interacting with Shadow: Dr. Facilier, the aptly named Shadow Man, often interacts with his shadow.
- Inter-Class Romance: Naveen is rich (but cut off) and Tiana is poor.
- In the Blood: Tiana inherited her passion for cooking from her father, who passed his skills on to her when she was little.
- Ironic Echo: Done twice in quick succession; the former example...
Dr. Facilier: You're almost there...
- Ironic Nickname: The Friends on the Other Side are most certainly not your friends. That includes you, Facilier.
- I Take Offense to That Last One:
Tiana: Listen mister, this "stick in the mud" has had to work two jobs her whole life, while you've been sucking on a silver spoon, chasing chamber maids 'round your ivory tower.
Naveen: ...Actually, it was polished marble.
- It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Justified in that Naveen's visit instigates the plot, and it would make sense that he'd choose to travel there in time for the festivities. Also, the Mardi Gras king is a plot point.
- It Was with You All Along: Naveen always had the potential to make a princess to break him from his curse...after all, as a prince, any woman he marries qualifies as a princess. Of course, him being a Handsome Lech was about as big an obstacle for marriage as the whole frog curse.
- I Want Grandkids: Tiana isn't "almost there" until she pops one out, at least according to her mother.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
- Right before Naveen proposes to Tiana, it occurs to him that she will never be able to afford her restaurant unless he keeps his promise to marry Charlotte and reward Tiana for helping him when he's rich again. He unselfishly abandons the sincere proposal and resigns himself to his fate.
- In a more platonic sense, Charlotte. The one thing she's wanted more than anything else is to be a real princess, and because of the aforementioned marriage plan, she could get it, yet because Tiana's her best friend and it's Tiana that the real Naveen really loves, Charlotte doesn't even hesitate to go along with the kissing plan in an attempt to get them human, together, and happy.
- "I Want" Song: "When We're Human", "Ma Belle Evangeline", and "Almost There", although the latter is more of a "I've Just About Got It" song.
- Jackass Genie: Naveen never actually made a wish. He went in to get his fortune told, but Facilier knew he was looking for money, i.e. 'The Green', and, when the deal was sealed by a shake of hands, Faciler promptly gave Naveen his OWN interpretation! Lawrence also did not get quite what he expected; Facilier told him he'd "be the man he always wanted to be", but he didn't realize that would mean literally becoming the Prince.
"... I hope you're satisfied! But if you ain't, don't blame me! You can blame my friends on the other side! Hahahaha!"
- Jail Bait Wait: At the end of the movie this is what Charlotte (possibly jokingly) plans to do with Naveen's 6-year old brother. (Considering she also is the first to catch Tiana's thrown bouquet, it's very likely a joke.
- The Jeeves: Though equipped with a British accent and clearly more level-headed than his master, Prince Naveen's pompous valet, Lawrence subverts this. It's made obvious from day one that he completely envies and resents the young prince.
- Jerkass: The two real estate broker brothers, revealed as such by both their choice of costume and how they treat Tiana. There was also Buford, the short order cook, in the beginning of the movie, who mocks her dream of opening a restaurant.
- "Just So" Story: Stars are indeed the ghosts of dead fireflies. Looks like Timon was right after all.
- Just The Way You Are:
- The lesson Louis learns is that he doesn't have to become human to fulfill his dreams.
- Tiana and Naveen declare their love for one another not caring anymore if they're humans or frogs.
- Karma Houdini: The Friends on the Other Side. Downplayed because Mama Odie wards them off to rescue Tiana and her friends but they are still around and still able to find a new Faciler.
- Kick the Dog: Facilier is a bit prone to this such as the nameless balding guy that gained a full body fur.
- Killed Off for Real: Poor ol' Ray was the first Disney protagonist since Mufasa to suffer this fate at the hands of a villain. It's bittersweet since he turned into a star after dying.
- Ladykiller in Love: Despite dating "thousands" of women, Naveen isn't serious until he falls for Tiana.
- A Lady on Each Arm: Naveen sings about this, specifically a brunette and a redhead.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Prince Naveen has one to match his cockiness and he ultimately fulfills the heroic part too.
- Large Ham:
- As the villain, Dr. Facilier is an exceptional ham, in finest Disney tradition.
- Naveen has these moments, especially early on. "All weemeen enjoy the kees...of Prince Naveen."
- Charlotte is a rare combination of female and heroic, and is impossibly hammy about it. She hams it up even when applying make up.
- Lean and Mean: Dr. Facilier has only slightly more bulk than his cane.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Naveen and Tiana. It's mentioned by name in a deleted scene.
- Living Shadow: Dr. Facilier has one that functions as his sidekick and an entire army of them "from the other side".
- Lotus-Eater Machine: Dr. Facilier attempts this on Tiana in order to get the talisman back. It almost works.
- Love at First Sight: Averted. Tiana and Naveen encounter each other, briefly, early in the movie when they are both human. She is visibly unimpressed and he gives a "can't win them all" shrug.
- Love Epiphany: During the Dance of Romance when Naveen sees the stars shining in Tiana's eyes.
- Mad Eye: Invoked. "I was starting to think that wishin' on stars was for babies! And - an' crazy people."
- Magic A Is Magic A: Facilier explains to Lawrence that he can't use his voodoo magic on himself and needs him to pull off their identity theft scheme. This is why Mama Odie is noticeably more powerful than Facilier (she uses her magic to help others, rather than herself, so she naturally has more of it), zapping the shadow creatures away effortlessly while Facilier has to rely on his Friends On The Other Side to do most of the magic, and when they turn on him, he's as powerless as any mortal man.
- Magical Incantation: Mama Odie's is...different.
Gumbo, gumbo, in the pot. We need a princess...whatcha got?
- Magic Pants: Surprisingly averted; Tiana's dress visibly doesn't transform with her when she turns to a frog. Though, when she changes back, the movie pulls a King Triton by having her magically clad in lily pad clothing, and Naveen gets a lily pad-like suit upon turning human as well. It's a standard opportunity for a Disney Pimped-Out Dress. Like they would pass that up.
- Make a Wish: Like some other Disney flicks, it focuses on wishing on a star; unlike other Disney flicks, it explicitly states that you have to work hard to get what you want, too, and it's left ambiguous as to whether wishing on a star really make wishes come true, or if it's just a coincidence. After Ray becomes a star, you get the impression Evangeline the wishing star is pretty powerful.
- Make Up Is Evil: Spoiled Sweet though Charlotte is, the moments at which she dons makeup clearly emphasize her silly and vain side.
- The Man Behind the Man:
- It's clear that the Friends on the Other Side are the real power behind Facilier.
- Facilier himself clearly plans on being this once Lawrence marries Charlotte and takes over Big Daddy's role as head of the city's most influential family. Which would make it the spirits behind the man behind the man pretending to be another man...
- Manic Pixie Dream Boy: Naveen, although Tiana has more of an influence on him than traditional for this trope. He still manages to help her come out of her shell during their adventure.
- Marry for Love: A list:
- Charlotte wants to do this for the romantic ideal.
- Naveen doesn't want to do this; first because he's a ladykiller and a second because of I Want My Beloved To Be Happy.
- Tiana didn't want to get married at all but this is the only reason she would.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Ray becoming the new star or not.
- Meaningful Name:
- Dr. Facilier's name is a play on the French word ""facile", for "easy", indicative of how he always offers "the easy way" out to his clients (or how he tries to take it for himself).
- "La Bouffe" in French means "The Grub" as in "food". Appropriate for the Big Eater father...
- Ray also, to an extent, as in "ray of light", reflecting his optimistic attitude. And how he attacks Dr. Facilier's friends.
- Also "Evangeline", since it's the name of a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem about a woman looking for her lost love. It's also the name of a parish in Louisiana. Specifically, "Evangeline" is meaningful in that the Longfellow poem is about an Acadian woman looking for her lost husband after they were separated in the expulsion of Acadians from their homeland that started in 1755. Some Acadians migrated to Louisiana after this and over time became known as Cajuns. Of course, Ray is a Cajun firefly, so the name of his true love is ethnically significant.
- The very-briefly-seen character Beau...a moth who functions as a bow-tie.
- Tiana is also an example; her name literally means princess, probably referring to the fact that she was the princess that could break the spell all along.
- Meaningful Echo:
- "It's not slime. It's MUCUS!"
- Also, while Tiana's father didn't achieve his dream, he had something more important: "He had love."
- Minor Injury Overreaction: "Prickle bushes got me! Gator down! Gator down!"
- A Minor Kidroduction: The movie begins by showing Tiana and Charlotte as children being read the source material of the movie by Tiana's mother.
- Missing Mom: Charlotte has a father who dotes on her shamelessly, but we never see her mother and it's never mentioned why she's not around.
- Mistaken Identity: The reason Tiana's kiss doesn't solve Naveen's frog curse problem. She isn't really a princess when she kisses him; Naveen just assumed she was because of her outfit. She points out it was a Masquerade Ball.
- The Mockbuster: Ironically titled The Frog Prince.
- Mock Millionaire: Prince Naveen really is rich and influential, but has been cut off by his family. He still pretends to be well-off in order to try and marry a rich woman.
- Modest Royalty: Except for special occasions, Naveen dresses no more fancily than any other man and Tiana sticks to modest dresses even after marrying him.
- Mood Whiplash:
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Facilier is a witch doctor.
- Morally Bankrupt Banker: Two of them; see jerkass.
- Mr. Fanservice:
- Naveen and totally on purpose! According to the commentary, they were down to three options for Naveen's voice so they gathered together female members of the crew and asked them to pick the most attractive voice.
- Facilier. Voiced by Keith David.
- MST3K Mantra: Invoked when Naveen tells a newly transformed Tiana not to think too hard about the fact that she can suddenly understand animals talking.
- Multi-Armed Multitasking: The guy in the octopus costume.
- My Card: Facilier to Naveen; dreams made real next to a skull.
- My Instincts Are Showing: While Naveen attempts to satisfy his Frog Form's taste for insects when he gets hungry, Tiana tries to resist when her own tongue rebels against her.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Louis is obviously named after Louis Armstrong, and this is Lampshaded when he mentions him first and foremost among the people he wants to surpass in the world of trumpet playing. Also consider that that they live in Louisiana, named for King Louis XIV. The comparison goes as far as the animation itself. See this image◊ for comparison.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Facilier is more commonly known as "the Shadow Man".
- Never a Self-Made Woman: Weirdly narrative example: it's obvious to the viewer that Tiana gets her dreams through her own hard work, sacrifice, and perseverance, but every character who knows about Tiana's father attributes her success to his influence. At least one reference to Tiana's father being the source of her hard-working nature is made in every song she participates in, and in the end, she has to realize that her father wasn't just a hard worker, he was a family man too in order to learn her personal lesson.
- Never Recycle a Building: Tiana's father sets his sights on an abandoned mill as the place to set up the restaurant he dreams of starting. Not only was the mill empty for some time before he announces this, it remains empty for another ten years or so, while Tiana grows up and saves the money so she can buy the mill for the same purpose after her father dies. One of the things that kicks off the plot is that as soon as she tells the men selling the mill that she's able to afford it, she's informed that someone else just happened to outbid her on it. Given the warehouse's long-abandoned state and that the sellers are jerks, fanon has taken to the notion that Tiana was simply lied to about the competition.
- Never Say "Die":
- Averted. Tiana's mother mentions that Tiana's father died before he could see his dream of owning a restaurant come true. In other words, perfect Disney Tradition.
- Never Smileata Crocodile: The alligators that Tiana and Naveen encounter in their first entrance into the bayou. Majorly averted with Louis.
- Never Trust a Hair Tonic: Some hair-voodoo worked by Dr. Facilier initially grants a man a full head of hair, but it quickly spreads to the rest of his body.
- Never Trust a Trailer:
- Tiana not actually being a princess is a major part of the plot. On the other hand, she becomes one, and Charlotte is theoretically a princess.
- In the third trailer, a line was added in with Mama Odie telling Tiana that "all that matters is what's under the skin". Not only does this line never appear in the movie, but it is in no way related to the moral that either Tiana learns or that Mama Odie is attempting to teach.
- In the same trailer, it emphasizes that it's "the kind of magic that can only happen when you wish upon a star". "Wishing upon a star" is 100% contradictory to the moral of the story, which is that while wishing (determination) takes you part of the way, you still have to work for what you want.
- Overall, Disney did an excellent job making this movie look like something it isn't in the TV spots, putting emphasis on butt jokes, fart jokes, and Louis and Ray at their goofiest.
- Nice Hat: Dr. Facilier sports a very nice hat indeed.
- Nice to the Waiter: In a very literal example, Charlotte and Big Daddy La Bouff. They're a bit oblivious to Tiana's problems and come across as airheaded socialites sometimes, but their kind treatment of servants and workers shows that their hearts are in the right place.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Not only is Naveen easily duped into following Facilier, once he's inside the Voodoo Emporium, witnessing some magic that goes well beyond the scope of a normal tarot reading and the ostensibly decorative masks starting to sing with Facilier — he seems to really get into it and really enjoy being around the strange, magical things. In fact, he doesn't show any signs of fear until he's bound up in the chair, being turned into a frog.
- Nobility Marries Money: Prince Naveen comes to New Orleans to marry rich commoner Lottie because his parents cut him off.
- No, Except Yes:
Mr. La Bouff: All right now, princess, you're gettin' that dress, but that's it. No more Mr. Pushover. Now who wants a puppy?
- No More for Me: The man dressed as the octopus at Charlotte's party, pouring out eight glasses of champagne at once after seeing a disembodied giraffe's head getting chased by a dog in a mermaid costume.
- Non-Human Sidekick:
- Mama Odie's pet snake Juju.
- In Disney tradition, Tiana and Naveen get Louis and Ray.
- Nonindicative Name: Tiana only becomes a princess by the last minute of the film, and she is, by occupation, a waitress whenever she's in the company of Naveen in frog form. One could say the title refers to how she becomes a princess.
- No Self Buffs: The Shadow Man's magic won't work on himself. He even gives us the page quote:
Faciler: Fun fact about voodoo, Larry... can't conjure a thing for myself.
- No Sense of Direction: Louis was distracted by the geography...a-and the topography, and the choreography!
- No Sympathy: Averted - Charlotte shows real concern when Tiana accidentally falls into a table full of "man-catching" beignets, taking Tiana upstairs to fix her makeup and change out of her messy costume. Charlotte doesn't even expect Tiana to make more beignets to replace what she ruined. All of this is on top of the fact that she had been busy chatting up the prince when it happened and left him without a second thought; Spoiled Sweet indeed!
- Not So Different: Implied through Subtext when Facilier persuades Lawrence to continue acting as his accomplice.
Facilier: 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?
- There's a lifetime of envy, resentment, and rage in this line. See it here.
- Not What It Looks Like: When Tiana and Naveen accidentally get their frog tongues tangled up around them while trying to catch food, Ray assumes they got carried away doing something else.
- The Noun and the Noun: The Princess and the Frog.
- Obviously Evil: Tall, freakishly thin, likes skulls and crossbones, has a shadow that moves independently of the one casting it...
- Oh, Crap: Dr. Facilier, when his "friends" show up to demand payment... after their talisman gets broken. The way they surround him makes it very clear what the price they demand is, and it isn't long before they get it. You just know you're in trouble when your Villain Song gets a Dark Reprise. Even though he was going to offer the city as a buffet to his "friends", you still feel pity for what's about to happen.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Dr. Facilier's name is only said once (by himself) in the movie. The other characters refer to him as "The Shadow Man". Tiana even calls him it to his face once.
- Opera Gloves: Tiana wears them whenever she's dressed as a princess. They add to the elegance.
- Orphaned Punchline: Ray delivers this when they're eating swamp gumbo.
- Pale Females, Dark Males: Despite Tiana having a darker skin tone than Naveen, her frog form is lighter than Naveen's.
- Parental Bonus: So much so, yet another Classic Disney Tradition!
It's good to see you again, Ray. How's your grandma? Ray:
Oh, she's fine. Got in a little trouble for flashing
the neighbors again!
- Picture-Perfect Presentation: The "Down in New Orleans" number introducing the main characters has several, newspaper photographs turning from black and white to color and coming to life.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Tiana's magic lily pad dress, as well as the hundreds of pink monstrosities Tiana's mother makes for Charlotte.
- Prayer Pose: It's the standard "wishing on a star" pose. Both Tiana and Charlotte do it, while repeating "Please, please, please!"
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "It's not slime... it's MUCUS!"
- Pretty in Mink: A few of Charlotte's princess dresses have a bit of fur trim, and she wears a dark pink boa when telling Tiana about the Prince's arrival. Tiana herself imagines herself in a white fox wrap with her white dress during her "I Want" Song. The temptation dream at the end gives her the same dress and wrap.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: Invoked and averted. Charlotte wants to be a princess, so she favors pink, due to this trope. Tiana favors green and blue when she becomes a real princess.
- Pintsized Powerhouse:
- Tiana and Naveen as frogs against the frog hunters.
- Ray the firefly against Dr. Facilier's shadow demons at least until Dr. Facilier intervenes and kills Ray by stepping on him.
- The Power of Blood: See Blood Magic.
- Pretty Freeloader: Best summed up in a line that was understandably cut from the film:
Naveen: I do not take advantage of women... I only give them pleasure.
- Product Placement: Both in the animationnote , and given a line but justified in that we are talking about Louisiana hot sauce for gumbo. Besides it's such a household name that a lot of people don't realize it's a brand in the first place.
Tiana: Hit it hard with two shots of Tabasco, and it's the bee's knees!
- Properly Paranoid: Facilier knows damn well what happens if you make a Deal with the Devil you can't keep. He loses it when Lawrence threatens to destroy the talisman. When Tiana does destroy the talisman, we get to see that Facilier had some damn good reasons to be so protective of it.
- Prophecy Twist: You need a princess to break the curse. It never said that she had to be born one...
- Rant Inducing Slight: Lawrence calling Dr. Facilier a charlatan turns the first few lyrics of his Villain Song into this.
Dr. Facilier: Don't you disrespect me little man! / Don't you derogate or deride!
- Reality Ensues: Invoked when Tiana, shortly after a fight with Naveen, lashes out at Ray when he talks about his Evangeline.
Tiana: Evangeline is a star, Ray. A big ball of hot air millions and millions of miles away.
- Really Gets Around: Strongly implied for Naveen. Tiana calls him a "philanderer" (!) Naveen even says at one point that he has dated thousands of women. Unfortunately, it's when he's trying to propose to Tiana.
- Really Dead Montage: Ray gets a funeral fit for a firefly king.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: More like "Real Life Sets the Entire Project Into Motion", the reason Disney made this movie in the first place was so that they could put a princess in the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland, the part of the park which didn't have one at the time.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Averted with Juju the snake who is nice
- Refrain from Assuming: Without looking at the soundtrack listing, it's easy to assume that "Gonna Take You There" is actually called "Going Down the Bayou".
- Reluctant Monster/My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Tiana and Naveen befriend Louis, a friendly alligator who only wants to play jazz on his trumpet alongside humans and not eat frogs like other swamp alligators.
- The Renaissance Age of Animation: The film is clearly an attempt to make a film with the style and quality of writing and music of the mid 90's Disney. They even brought back writers and producers from Aladdin and other such films.
- Rhyming with Itself: The song "When We're Human" rhymes "right" (as in "my right arm") with "right" (as in "correct").
- Rich Bitch: Charlotte is a refreshing aversion. Though she had a privileged and spoiled upbringing, she's actually a nice person. See Spoiled Sweet below.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense:
- Subverted. Naveen is pretty resourceful for a guy who's been turned into a frog, but the idea behind the trope is why his parents cut him off from the family fortune.
- Charlotte plays it straight. Two big fistfulls of money is what a catering job costs, right?
- Road Trip Romance: The traditional gender role are reversed, with Tiana having the experience and skills to guide on the journey, while Naveen more or less tags along. The end result is the same. Disney used this plot again in their following animated feature.
- The Roaring Twenties:
- According to the newspaper Big Daddy reads during "Down in New Orleans", it's 1926. The date is left ambiguous: the front of his newspaper says "Friday, April 25, 1926" (actually a Sunday), the back says "Friday, July 16, 1926", and none of the real events the headlines are referring to (including Mardi Gras) actually took place on either of those dates.
- Early on in the film, when Young Tiana and her mother board the trolley, a man is seen in one of the front seats reading a newspaper with the headline "Wilson Elected". It was Wilson's second term in office; he won the U.S. Presidential Election of 1916, dating the prologue as exactly ten years before.
- Worth noting- Mardi Gras can NEVER take place in April. It can only occur between early February and early March. This is because Mardi Gras is Fat Tuesday; the day to run through all your excess before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. (Lent being the extended period of time prior to Easter Sunday). For a Mardi Gras to take place in April is to have an Easter in June (or maybe even July).
- Running Gag:
- "Allow me to introduce myself! I am Prince Naveen!" [freaked out girl slams a book on him and from crumpled lips, he finishes] "...of Maldonia."
- The many many Shout Outs seem to be this due to just how numerous and obvious they are to people who can recognize them.
- Scary Black Man: Averted. Dr. Facilier's menace does not come from him being physically imposing...but don't think, even for a minute, that he isn't menacing.
- Scenery Porn: From the town to the bayou, yep, it's New Orleans in all its natural glory.
- The Scottish Trope: The animators clearly did some research on Vodou imagery, but refused to use real symbols for Dr. Facilier's Instant Runes, and instead used fake ones that kept the style.
- Sealed with a Kiss: Tiana and Naveen go out to the balcony of the new restaurant and kiss. Cue credits.
- Seldom Seen Species: The spoonbills at Mama Odie's place.
- Senior Sleep Cycle: Mama Odie falls asleep in the middle of talking with Naveen and Tiana.
- Setting Off Song: "Gonna Take You There."
- Shadow Discretion Shot: Played with, and Played for Laughs. It looks like Big Daddy is going to give Little Charlotte a stern talking to because she's so spoiled, but then he produces a puppy out of nowhere!
- Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: Tiana emerges from her now-empty princess dress after kissing Naveen turns her into a frog.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: Prince Naveen, who admits to Tiana that he was rather terrified when his parents cut him off financially because he never learned to do anything besides being a Rich Idiot with No Day Job.
- Shipper on Deck: Ray for Tiana and Naveen. Eventually Louis and Ray become Team Tianaveen. Mama Odie doesn't take long to join in. Charlotte wanted to marry a prince for more than half of her life, and even she thought Naveen should marry Tiana. It's easier to list by the end of the movie who isn't shipping those two.
- Charlotte's dance scene with 'Naveen' closely resembles the dances Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty had with their Prince Charmings. The reason for these dances being duplicated in previous films was to save time and money but this time it's deliberate.
- When Ray goes up to be a star with Evangeline, it brings to mind the song in Peter Pan, "The Second Star To The Right".
- In the Mardi Gras scene, we get a brief shot of King Triton on a parade float.
- One of the party guests is also dressed as a mermaid with a suspicious resemblance to Ariel. Her attempt to kiss someone dressed as a pirate is interrupted by the chase scene.
- When explaining the abilities of Mama Odie to Naveen and Tiana, Louis grabs a hanging cobweb or something, thrusts his face through it, and pulls it out on either side of his head like hair while grimacing. This makes him look strikingly similar to the marvelous mad Madam Mim from The Sword in the Stone when she turns her face into a pig's. See here◊.
- Charlotte's father calls his dog to action by loudly bellowing, "HEY, STELLAAAAAAA!"
- The guy dressed in an octopus costume who pours out his drink(s) when seeing the commotion being caused by two frogs is very reminiscent of The Aristocats, where a guy pours out his wine after seeing a mouse chase a bunch of cats (when really the mouse was trying to catch up with them).
- The goofy frog hunters were pretty obviously a Shout Out to Tex Avery's George and Junior cartoons - the big one's even called Junior!
- The subplot involving Ray lusting after "Evangeline", and being transformed into a star after his death, seems to be an intentional reference to Timon's theory in The Lion King about stars being fireflies trapped in the night sky. Tiana's comment, about "Evangeline" being "a big ball of hot air, a million miles from here", echoes Pumbaa's comment about the stars being "balls of gas burning billions of miles away".
- Shown Their Work:
- Disney chief John Lasseter, the Pixar head whose brainchild it was to bring back 2D animation, insisted on setting the film in New Orleans. When he found out Disney Renaissance directors Clements and Musker had never been to The Big Easy, he paid them to visit the post-Katrina city three times. Their research strongly influenced the plot as well as the look: Tiana's character was based on a person they met who dreamed of opening a restaurant.
- Clements and Musker researched voodoo for the movie. However, they insisted on not using real voodoo symbols, only fake ones for fear of conjuring spirits (or angering actual voodoo practitioners).
- The music (by New Orleans native Randy Newman) is also extremely location-specific and culture-specific.
- Shrinking Violet: Ray thinks Evangeline is one of these and that is why she keeps her distance.
- Shrunken Head: Dr. Facilier states "I'm a royal too on my mother's side" during his Villain Song, and shows a woman's crowned, shrunken head to the prince he sings the song to.
- Sickening Crunch: Shadow Man stepping on Ray.
- Simpleton Voice: Although Darnell (the big frog hunter) talks like this, his vocabulary is surprisingly more expansive than that of his father and brother, with the use of words such as "insolence" and "suspicious".
- Simple Yet Opulent: Tiana's blue dress is simpler than Charloette's other dresses but no less princess-y.
- Sissy Villain: The creepiness of Charlotte being seduced by a guy in disguise is downplayed by making Lawrence as Naveen extremely effeminate.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Played with. None of the female characters run into any slapstick, least of all Tiana... as a human. When she's a frog, all bets are off and everything is Played for Laughs - in fact, within her first few minutes as a frog involves a madcap, slapstick rich chase sequence.
- Slasher Smile: Facilier has one towards the end of his Villain Song when he sings "I hope you're satisfied".
- Sleep Mask: Charlotte uses one.
- Smarter Than You Look:
- Raymond, who from his appearance and mannerisms looks like he's missing a few brain cells, but is one of the more competent characters in the film.
- Mama Odie seems completely senile at first, but she's very wise and clever - she just went a little strange from all the voodoo.
- Smug Snake: Dr. Facilier is charismatic because he is so sure of himself.
- The Smurfette Principle: The film is ostensibly aimed at girls, and has a female lead character, but otherwise it has a 1:3 female-to-male ratio — female lead, male LoveInterest and co-lead, two male (animal) supporting characters. Then one woman in a supporting role (a mentor). Although it does also feature Tiana's mother and her supportive friend, Charlotte.
- Soul Jar: Dr. Facilier's amulet, though not granting him immortality, still fits since he sold his own soul to the Friends on the Other Side for the source of his powers. You break it, you bought it!. note
- Southern Belle: Charlotte's southern accent and high class mark her as such.
- The Southpaw: Tiana is meant to be left-handed, as a Shout-Out to her voice actress, Anika Noni Rose. (Close viewing, however, reveals that she's more ambidextrous than anything else).
- The Speechless: Juju, even though all the other animals can talk.
- Spoiled Sweet: Charlotte, Tiana's best friend since the two of them were small children. She's shallow and spoiled but still willing to give up her dream of marrying Prince Naveen to give Tiana her chance at true love. Heck, she's the freaking trope picture!
- Ray lets out one of these when he begins to gush about Evangeline.
- Also Charlotte, when she's telling Tiana about Price Naveen coming to the costume ball.
- Louis pulls the biggest squee-face an alligator can when he sees that Ray has become a star.
- Stars Are Souls: Ray and it's extra fitting because he claimed a star he calls Evangeline is his true love, which he is next too when he becomes a star.
- Stealth Pun:
- The firefly's name is Ray which would be an Incredibly Lame Pun except for the fact that he's the most hopeful and bright-spirited character in the cast, and he embodies the name even more after going on to his reward as a star beside the evening star.
- Dr. Facilier's name is a pun on "Easy" which references The Big Easy, but also ...one who makes things easy. Lawrence takes him up on that offer, and finds to his dismay that taking the easy way is not the same as the right way. The core Aesop of the movie is "Work hard to Earn Your Happy Ending, because wishing can only take you so far." The villain of the movie is a magician who relies on his friends' magic to accomplish his goals. What better name for the villain than Dr. "Person Who Makes Things Easier"? Especially since he promotes this attitude to others. The title "Doctor" is descended from a medieval title denoting a license to teach. Dr. Facilier doesn't just take the easy way, he tries to teach everyone else to take it too.
- Tiana's name is one letter away from Tiara. Hmm... Her name also literally means "Princess".
- The realtors shared the joint costume of a donkey. The ye olden term for donkey is 'Jack ass', as seen in the second film the studio made. Guess how they treat our heroine. Go ahead, guess. Bonus points because the one in the head tried to break the news to her gently while the hind one interrupted and put it bluntly.
- Louis is a jazz playing alligator. "Gator" was a slang term for a jazzman in the 20s. To be more specific, Louis is a trumpet playing Gator: a multi-layer reference to Louis Armstrong. These are far from the only similarities the two share.
- A throwaway line at the masquerade party was Big Daddy calling one of the party goers "senator". Said party goer was in a devil costume.
- Suggested By: The film in relation to the source novel.
- Supernatural Is Purple: Purple is used repeatedly to represent Facilier, because of the Mardi Gras colors, it's the most "unnatural." Mama Odie, however, is associated with gold.
- Super-Persistent Predator: The Blue Heron that our heroes run into in the swamp. When the first strike fails, it tries several more times, then flies after them and tries to grab them with its feet. Yes, indeed,
- Never mind the alligators that set up an all-night vigil for a couple of frogs. Naveen seemed to have this incredible talent for cheesing off the local fauna without saying a word!
- Supreme Chef: Tiana's character arc is driven by having the skills to be a world class chef but not the money to open a restaurant.
- Surprisingly Happy Ending: It looks like Tiana and Naveen will be stuck as frogs, only to discover that them marrying makes Tiana a princess, thus giving her kiss the power to turn them back.
- Survival Mantra: Just before she kisses Naveen, Tiana keeps telling herself "Okay, Tiana, you can do this, you can do this, its just a little kiss, a little kiss..."
- Sweet and Sour Grapes: Tianna and Naveen give up on finding a cure and decide to live their lives as frogs. They marry, kiss, and turn human.
- Talking Animal: The transformed Prince Naveen and Tiana. As frogs, they can understand other animals. It's a little inconsistent, though, as regular people can also understand Louis.
- Louis is a bit unclear, people react to him but he never actually SPEAKS to other humans.
- Tarot Motifs: When Doctor Facilier reads Naveen and Lawrence's fortunes. We clearly see The Fool, Three of Pentacles, and the Tower in Naveen's hand, while Lawrence is almost a replica of Ten of Wands. And it's not overdone, and it works! Although the Eye of Horus on the back of the cards is a bit confusing. You'd think it'd be a bit too late for Facilier to try to get protection from evil.
- Tempting Fate: An entire musical number of it early on- "I've climbed a mountain, I've crossed a river, and I'm almost there!" You may wanna check your map again, Tiana.
- Throw It In: In-universe: the rest of the band playing at the Masquerade Ball assumes the drummer is starting in with some jazzy improv, and follow suit. The drummer was actually trying to strike a frog with his drumsticks.
- Through His Stomach: Tiana reminds Charlotte of this, and Charlotte orders her food for the ball.
- Toothy Bird: Naveen still has his teeth even when he is a frog. Ray the firefly also has teeth, albeit wonky ones. The animator for Naveen said they based his design off of African species of frogs that have teeth.
- Trailers Always Spoil:
- One of the last few online behind-the-scenes featurettes uploaded before the film's release gave away Dr. Facilier being dragged away by his Friends on the Other Side to his death.
- There's also at least one trailer showing that Frog!Tiana, not Human!Tiana, smashes the talisman.
- Two scenes might be more suspenseful and/or made great reveals if 1.they didn't show Louis in any trailer, with the contrast with the vicious frog-eating alligators introduced beforehand and 2.they didn't show the wedding scene where they turn back into humans!!. Though the latter might be justified, since a Happily Ever After ending is, after all, in the finest Disney tradition.
- Trick Dialogue: Ray overhears Naveen practicing a proposal to Tiana, but believes he's trying to move in on Evangeline.
- Also, when Naveen translates Ray's endearments to Evangeline for Tiana.
- Troperiffic: Just look at this page's Running Gag.
- True Blue Femininity: Tiana is given a blue dress by Charlotte. This convinces Naveen that she might be a princess to break his curse.