Most advertising for the film that showed Tiana as a human showed her in either her plain outfit that resembles the plain outfits worn by Belle and Cinderella, or the sparkly blue gown she wore when she met Naveen. Most Disney Princess merchandise and artwork shows her in the green dress she wears at the end. This is for similar reason to why Disney Princess merchandise and artwork usually shows Aurora in a pink dress and Rapunzel in a purple dress. If the merchandise and artwork always showed her in the blue dress she had in promotions for the movie then some people might mistake her(especially when she is not shown with most or all of the other princesses) as just a black version of Cinderella, much like how there is a black version of Barbie that doesn't have a separate name!
"Big Daddy" LaBouff is a very big fellow, shall we say, who sure does love his beignets. Dr. Facilier's plot is to kill him by stabbing the heart of a voodoo doll once his daughter is wed to the fake Prince Naveen. This is certainly a pretty stealthy way to kill anyone, but no one would find a heart attack on a man LaBouff's size to be suspect.
Take a look at Tiana's Palace in all of its incarnations. When Tiana first imagines it, it is of course in the gold art-deco style, and when Facilier visualizes it for her in the climax, it also is completely decorated in yellow and gold, symbolizing money, fortune and a life without love - the path Tiana would take if she hadn't realized her dream would be incomplete without Naveen. Finally, however, when the restaurant actually appears in full glory, it is stylized very much like the bayou, with lily pad theming and light green lighting. Which would symbolize Tiana's journey toward accepting love and family as a viable part of being a happy person and fulfilling your dreams.
In the very last scene, you can see a wedding band on Naveen's finger several times. When you finally get a view of Tiana's finger, she's wearing the ring that Naveen made for her on the riverboat! Possibly doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
Evangeline is the "evening star", aka Venus. The goddess of the desirous and the desired, of loves and passions and longing. Explains why she's so powerful!
It also explains another thing... Venus/Aphrodite is the Goddess people pray to for love, but how often has she been loved? Her beauty has been admired, her power has been idolized, and her sexiness has been lusted after, but how often has someone just loved her with a sincere and devoted affection? No wonder she loved Ray in return, enough to apotheosize him!
The wine flows freely at LaBouff's party... in the middle of Prohibition. This isn't an error, it's a subtle way of showing just what kind of money and power he has, and Facilier wants.
The rule wasn't enforced much at the time, and I don't think the police would try to lock up the richest man in New Orleans.
Grape Juice. No, seriously. When Prohibition struck, the wineries started producing perfectly alcohol free grape juice. And Yeast. With instructions to not combine the two because that would make wine and they would never tell you to do that. If LeBouf were a bootlegger, or controlled any, there would be, at the very least, gin and mint julips at the party, the two drinks everyone associates with Prohibition era New Orleans. However, with those images of magnificent neighbourhoods with lush, well kept flora that Facilier showed everytime he mentioned LeBouf, it's possible that LeBouf's money came from Real Estate.
I think some of the material said that "Big Daddy" was a sugar baron.
Sugarcane is the main ingredient for the distillation of rum.
Dr. Facilier's deal with Naveen is sealed with a traditional right-handed handshake. For his deal with Lawrence (to doublecross Naveen) he uses his left hand; considered by some traditions to be sinister.
Also, from the viewer's perspective, Naveen is on the right, and Lawrence is on the left. (Facilier is between them, and crosses his arms when he shakes their hands).
Also during the handshake scene, Lawrence shakes Facilier's hand before Naveen does. Lawrence gets what he wanted, be to like his prince, with a few caveats while Naveen doesn't either the money or freedom he wanted.
There's a case of palette-based Fridge Brilliance, in regards to Dr. Facilier and his Friends. During his Villain Song, when the transformation occurs, things have a purple-dominated scheme, with green undertones. Near the end, when Tiana breaks the talisman and the Friends come back, the color scheme has reversed, likely showing the changed allegiances of the Friends.
Oh! The inclusion of Lawrence would also be that, wouldn't it? In the original fairy tale, the story ends not with the prince being freed from the spell, but with him and the princess riding off in a carriage drawn by the prince's loyal servant. Said servant apparently was so distraught at his master's fate, that he bound his heart with three metal bands, all of which break when his heart swells to see the prince freed. In this movie though, the servant is put-upon and is quite eager to give Naveen retribution for all of the humiliation he endured.
The breaking of the curse on Tiana and Naveen is proven to have been a solution that essentially Naveen was carrying around with himself the entire time - if he marries anyone, that person becomes a "princess" and would be able to turn him back. Lest we forget, though, it's marriage that Naveen is so desperately afraid of! And not only that, but Facilier instantly figured that out about him, and so he gave Naveen the key to his own problem, knowing that the spoiled prince would never be able to go through with it.
Listen to "Friends on the Other Side" with the knowledge that Naveen is going to be turned into a frog. To elaborate, Facilier says that "if ((Naveen and Lawrence)) relax, it will enable me to do, anything I please". This means that if they let him, Facilier will do as he planned, turning Naveen into a frog and corrupting Lawrence. Also, although he shows dollar bills, it's clear the verse "It's the green, it's the green, it's the green you neeed!" alludes to Naveen's fate, as well as being "free to hop from place to place", and the words "transmogrification central". There's even a lily pad in the background of the final tarot card. And before that, at one point his shadow turns into a top-hatted snake. As you may know, snakes eat frogs...
There's another layer to that. Snakes eat frogs, but some frogs are poisonous, which represents how Facilier's plot resulted in his own undoing.
Additionally, "And when I look into your future it's the green that I see" could not only refer to frog!Naveen, but to Tiana, who is wearing a green dress after she and Naveen are turned human again.
I just realized that the lyrics "you need to marry a little honey whose daddy's got dough," are a double or even a triple entendre: he is a rich man, but he is also quite large, and, well, doughy. In addition, he loves those beignets.
And when he winds up marrying Tiana, it still works, since her father wanted to open a restaurant, which would mean literal dough.
Not to mention "But in your future, the you that I see is exactly the man you always wanted to be." This could allude to the way Laurence always wanted to be like Prince Naveen — handsome and swooned over, able to do whatever he wanted and with lots of money and influence — and his role in Dr. Facilier's plan to take Naveen's image and his place during his wedding to Charlotte.
Facilier also mentions that Lawrence has been pushed around all his life, and will be pushed around in the future too. Lawrence becomes Facilier's sap, pushing him around to achieve his own goals, since he can't conjure anything for himself.
Specifically, Facilier says that Lawrence would be "pushed around by [his] wife", should he be married. Had their plan gone successfully, Lawrence would have wound up married to Charlotte, who is a rather... energetic person and rather forceful. Who wants to guess how their marriage would have gone if it had happened?
Also, you know the whole want/need theme? Well, in " Friends on the Other Side" what does Facilier say to Naveen: "is the green, is the green, is the green you need". And he is completely right: what he needed was to be turned into a frog in order to sort out his priorities and find love, even if the trasformation is not even remotely what he wants.
The Evening Star, upon which everyone wishes, could also be the Northern Star... which Tiana's predecessors would have used to reach their dreams of escaping slavery by running North from their Southern slave-owners.
Speaking of fridge brilliance and the Evening Star, though I'm not quite sure if this was intentional, I just realized that The Evening Star is not really a star, but the planet Venus. Ray is in love with the planet named after the goddess of love.
This troper had a moment when reflecting on Charlotte's decision to kiss Naveen, but let him marry Tiana, completely willingly and without a second's hesitation. The moral of the movie was that people need to concentrate on what they need rather than what they want, with the "need" being love (family, friends, significant others, etc) and the "want" being things like a dream job, or a lot of money. In Charlotte's case, she wanted to be a princess, but needed her friendship with Tiana and knew that Tiana needed Naveen more than she did. So really, Charlotte fit into the wants vs. needs theme just like Tiana and Naveen!
Going a little further, take note of when Facilier strikes a deal with Naveen and when Facilier tries to strike a deal with Tiana. In both cases, they're being offered exactly what they want for seemingly a very small price. During his bargain, Naveen gives into his wants and suffers for it. When she is being tempted though, Tiana has learned enough to appreciate her needs and refuses the deal as a result, ultimately being able to stop Facilier and save the town. The two are foils to each other!
Even deeper than that is the reason why Tiana becomes a frog upon kissing Naveen and Charlotte doesn't has to do with her motivations for doing so, in regards to want vs need. Tiana's motivation for kissing him? The Green. And she gets what she wants! Charlotte's? True friendship, which some would argue is a form of love. Granted it doesn't work because Charlotte isn't a princess, but I digress.
Symbolism: Color-Coded for Your Convenience ! Tiana spends most of the beginning of the movie (as a child, as a waitress, and at the party initially) wearing yellow - it's even the leading color in 'Almost There,' and so it becomes associated with hard work and diligence. However, when Tiana is reduced to wishing on a star and kissing a frog to get her restaurant, she's wearing a blue dress with sparkles. You could practically call that dress "Evangeline Blue" - Evangeline who represents faith and hope and love and magic. And then in the conclusion Tiana wears green - the union of hard-working yellow and loving blue!
and frogs, don't forget frogs!
This Troper's favorite mythology gag ever actually comes from this movie. Upon Ray's death, he turns into a star alongside Evangeline. Now, where else did that happen... listed under Fridge Brilliance because it took most of this Troper's friends a while to get it.
I think s/he may be referring to when Timon tells Pumbaa that stars are actually "fireflies that got stuck up there in that big... bluish-black thing." Which this troper actually thought of immediately when that scene occurred.
Also, perhaps it was like Mufasa's speech at the beginning - where he explains to Simba that the stars were the "Great Kings of the Past, looking down on us." We can assume that, since Mufasa was a "great king", he turned into a star as well.
Also, as of the end of the movie, there are two bright stars side-by-side in the sky. Peter Pan, anyone?
That's exactly what this troper thought!
Evangeline was the Wishing Star from Pinocchio. Ray became the Second Star To The Right. The same two stars can be seen side-by-side in Peter Pan and it's sequel.
Problem with that theory is that the Peter Pan stories takes place around 1904 and Ray with Evangeline is 1926.
Since most have concluded that Evangeline is actually the planet, Venus, it could also be a Greek Mythology gag, as most heroes and the occasional lover were made into constellations after death.
There's also Naveen's dialogue during his first "mincing lesson", in which he describes himself as completely helpless outside his cocoon of wealth and privilege. As a younger son who won't inherit the throne (he wouldn't have been disowned if he were crown prince), Naveen has grown up feeling useless and unnecessary. The revelation that he's a worthwhile person with a real contribution to make is the greatest gift Tiana gives him.
Um, he's the older son. His brother is six.
Doesn't mean that Naveen isn't a middle child, with a brother or sister older than he is.
It just hit me that the whole idea of Wishing and Working isn't all that new in Disney Canon after all. In the original star wishing story, Gepetto wishes on a star that Pinnochio could be a real boy. Yet that Blue fairy only takes that PART of the way by bringing him to life instead of making him a real boy. Then, Pinnochio has to go on a long journey to learn what it means to be a real boy, and only after his Heroic Sacrifice does Gepetto's wish finally come true. And who said that this was a refute of that old Disney tradition? You always had to work after that star "takes you part of the way".
When I saw the two asshole realtors in the donkey suit, I thought it was rather odd to wear a Donkey costume to a masquerade. Then it hit me! They're wearing the symbol of the Democratic party! Before the presidency of FDR, the Democratic Party was essentially ruled by conservatives in all issues including race relations; after his presidency, the Democrats did a Heel–Face Turn on that issue. Essentially, they represented both personal and political racism without at all being Anvilicious. Rhyme Beat
Again, a research failure. All those '60s civil rights laws wouldn't have had a prayer of passing without Republican support. Democrats were actually the ones putting all those legislative hurdles between the bills and their passing, with the party itself split along regional lines (South, not-South).
Early on, Tiana tells Charlotte the way to a man's heart is through his stomach and Charlotte uses Tiana's food to try to seduce Naveen. Not only is Tiana the one who ends up with Naveen, but one of the scenes showing Naveen and Tiana starting to fall in love is her teaching him to work with food. And to top it off, when Naveen attempts to propose, he brings Tiana a ton of food.
In the "When We're Human" sequence, Naveen says that he's got a redhead and a brunette in each arm, and the blondes surrounding him just "hold the candles". He then ends up with Tiana (a brunette) because Charlotte (a blonde) held up a candle for their relationship while disregarding her childhood dream.
Does that mean the only redhead of the film, Big Daddy, is in Naveen's arms? Brain Bleach, please.
Perhaps Naveen and Tiana's oldest daughter will be red-headed; she will be "on his arm" in a different sense, but still....
I noticed that the reason they showed Steamboat Willie at the start of the film was because, hey, the film takes place when Steamboat Willie was created, and when the Disney company was founded.
That's actually just the logo for Walt Disney Animation Studios; it first appeared at the beginning of Meet the Robinsons, I think.
Dr. Facilier has friends on the other side...because he is one. More specifically, his shadow is. Basically, the shadow is the real Doctor Facilier, and it created a smooth-talking human for it to inhabit because taking on A Form You Are Comfortable With makes it easier to scam people into handing over their souls. This explains why Shadow!Facilier moves independently of Human!Facilier, and why he's perfectly fine with New Orleans being inhabited by soul-eating loa ("help a brother out" much?). Also instills some Fridge Horror considering Human!Facilier is technically nothing more than a walking meat puppet.
An interesting theory, but the fact that the two can react differently (particularly when the "friends" come out) indicates that his shadow may be a loa, but Dr. Facilier is also a real life human being.
Why wasn't Naveen at all afraid during "Friends on the Other Side" until he got bound to his chair? Because he knew phony fortune tellers are common in New Orleans, figured Facilier was one of them, and was just enjoying the show!
The film becomes a whole new level of brilliant if you think of the Friends on the Other Side as being an example of Dark Is Not Evil/Good Is Not Nice, and were actually intending to take Facilier’s soul and not the innocent people of New Orleans’ playing a Batman Gambit. Facilier effectively ‘punishes’ people who try to take an easy route out of their troubles: the bald man in the beginning, granting him hair that quickly spread to his entire body; Lawrence, who wanted to stop being pushed around by everyone, and got involved in Facilier’s Evil Plan; and Prince Naveen, who wanted to solve his financial issues, and was turned into a frog. Near the end, he tries pulling that trick on Tiana too. His own downfall comes when he tries doing the same for himself — whipping up an Evil Plan to rise quickly through the socio-economic ladder, and offering his Friends on the Other Side a deal that would grant them a lot of souls quickly. The Aesop of hard work and diligence and avoiding shortcuts works here on multiple levels extra-well if you assume the Friends were effectively exploiting Facilier heading for a Hoist by His Own Petard situation.
Facilier says that he is a royal on his mother's side. Was he perhaps referring to the Voodoo queens of Louisiana, implying that his mother had been a Voodoo queen (who would have taught her son what she knew)?
In an earlier script, Facilier would've been the son of "Mama Odie, the Voodoo queen of the bayou" herself.
According to Word of God Facilier is of Creole decent so his mother is likely descended from European royalty.
The two Realtors who refuse to sell Tiana the property she wants for her restaurant claim it's because of "her background". But it's most likely less about her roots as a poor, working-class woman, and more the fact she's a single black woman in the 1920s U.S. South.
The three frog-hunters scene seems to be just a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment. However, it does have a purpose as it shows that humans that were transformed into animals can speak to humans, which becomes important later.
Also in his Villain Song when Dr. Facilier says he has some royalty on his mother's side he pulls out a shrunken head and shows it to Naveen; think about it as it seems to imply that he killed his own mother and shrunk her head.
Or maybe Dr. Facilier's mother died naturally, and he keeps it as a sort of memory of her... doesn't make the shrunken head's presence less strange, though.
Both ideas are rather horrifying, actually; on the one hand, we have matricide, which should go without saying. On the other hand, we have an extreme case of Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas, bordering on Oedipus Complex...
However, it might just due to cultural differences. Like cannibalism nowadays is meant as anthropology, but originally it was actually a way to pay respect to the dead: it might look creepy to western culture, but it doesn't have to actually be creepy per sé.
Facilier's plan is to turn Lawrence - Naveen's fat, middle-aged, balding, spineless servant - into a copy of the prince and make him essentially marry Charlotte so he can kill her father and swindle her out of her fortune. Now keep in mind that the only times when Lawrence shows any hesitation with this plan is when he thinks it's not going to work and he wants to chicken out. Meaning that he's perfectly happy to go along with tricking a young, pretty, very naive woman into marrying him. And now keep in mind that the spell keeping Lawrence looking like the hot, young Naveen only lasts as long as there is Naveen's blood in the amulet. This sets up for two scenarios. The first is that Naveen is recaptured and locked up, essentially condemned to a lifetime of having blood drawn from him and being forced to watch his servant steal his life. The second is that without Naveen's blood, sometime after the wedding, Lawrence will turn back into his much older self, in short meaning that poor Lottie will be stuck married to a strange dude.
Or they'll sacrifice her to Facilier's "friends". Charlotte will be lucky to live out the year.
The end has a nice happy ending... until you realize that it takes place with Prohibition and the Great Depression right around the corner, and most places like Tiana's had to close. In about ten years she'll likely end up right where she started - poor and working like a dog to make ends meet.
Not to mention that in real life, her restaurant would probably end up vandalized and boycotted until it went out of business. That's why it's probably for the best to assume that Disney movies take place in an alternate world.
Yes... like say an alternate world where her restaurant has the financial and political support of town patriarch Big Daddy Le Bouff, overseas royalty, and, oh yeah, a big freakin' trumpet playing alligator who makes it clear he'll eat anyone who messes with her. You can't assume Disneyfication stops at the end of the film.
New Orleans hosts several restaurants that are over a century old. If a dozen other restaurants survived two world wars, the great depression and Hurricane Katrina why couldn't hers?
Are people forgetting that Tiana becomes a - I dunno- princess at the end of the movie? Worst comes to worst she can always hop on a boat to Maldonia and call it a day.
Imagine how Lottie would have reacted if Facilier succeeded in making her father die right in front of her.
Not to mention that he said he planned to do that when Charlotte and "Naveen" got married. If Facilier's plan had gone the way he wanted, Charlotte would likely have seen her father die on her wedding day.
Facilier planned on killing Big Daddy while he was atop the parade float. The still moving parade float in a long line of floats. It's very likely that had he been killed, Big Daddy's body would have fell from the float and gotten run over, horribly mangling it. To not only have her father killed, but to have that happen to his corpse would have likely traumatized Charlotte into a vegetable.
It is established that animals can talk to each other and the only humans who can talk to them are ones who practice voodoo. So, at the end of the movie when Tiana and Naveen turn back into people, they can't talk with Louis ever again.
Eh, maybe not. Everyone still knows where Mama Odie is. Its not unfeasible that she would be able to conjure something to still allow them to communicate. Especially if one likens her as the Benevolent Genie to Facilier's Jackass Genie.
Or possibly, like some other animal transformation stories, the power to speak to animals stays with you when you return to your human form.
Well, they could communicate with Louis well enough to explain "Okay, we're going to give our money to these people, and if they hesitate in giving up a key growl at them." so they're probably fine with communication.
This troper watched the "Friends on the Other Side" Reprise many, many times. Something that struck me as horrific is that when the "friends" first appear, Facilier seems pleased to see them. He says "Friends!" with a huge grin on his face. The horrific part of this is that even after his little scramble moments before, he seems extremely happy to see the things who drag him to the other side less than a minute later.
Not necessarily. His tone and smile seem a lot less happy than fearful. It seems more like he's scared to death knowing he screwed up and he's hoping to appease them. Smiling because you're nervous or scared isn't unheard of.
The scene that introduces Ray has a bit of this. That firefly that Tiana and Naveen go after looks a lot like Ray, and the circumstances would tend to suggest that it's definitely him, meaning that they almost ATE the guy that would get them to Mama Odie's and help resolved the conflict of the movie.
Also doubles as Heartwarming, since he helps them anyway.
Tiana turned into a frog when she kissed Naveen, but Lottie didn't? Why not?
Maybe because the voodoo talisman was destroyed/Dr. Facilier was dead. Tiana and Naveen were still frogs because of magic inertia, but no new voodoo magic was happening.
Additionally, if I recall correctly, the spell could only be broken by her kiss prior to the breaking of the talisman, so she would be immune to the spreading effects of the spell. Presumably.
Actually, Tiana was transformed into a frog because she wasn't a real princess, thus causing the spell to turn backward and make her a frog, too. Charlotte was a princess, but her kiss didn't work because she did it after the clock struck midnight.
Except she wasn't a princess. The only reason Charlotte had to be kissed before midnight is because she only counted as a princess during Mardis Gras, so the spell should have backfired there too. Also, the talisman was part of Lawrence's deal, not Naveen's. Since Naveen and Tiana stayed frogs and broke the spell through the princess clause, all after the talisman was destroyed, there's no reason to believe the "spell backfires if the kisser isn't a princess" clause wouldn't also be in effect.
It could also be intentions. Tiana's reason for kissing Naveen was similar to enough to his to spread the spell. Lottie was doing it as a favor for a friend and for non-selfish reasons. This combined with the fact that the voodoo talisman was destroyed could be the reason.
This troper always assumed that there may have been some residual frog-transformation magic left in Naveen since he had JUST turned into a frog mere hours ago. The sort of 'voodoo dust' probably hadn't settled yet, so to speak, and Tiana just got caught up in an extension of Naveen's curse.
Lottie is Prince Crazy, and Facilier is (supposedly) royalty on his mother's side. Why didn't he just marry Lottie himself, kill LeBouf with the voodoo doll, and rightfully inherit the riches? (Possibilities below...)
The LeBouf non-racism doesn't extend that far. He's fine with Tiana and Lottie being friends, but would never stand for Lottie marrying a black man.
He was fine with letting her marry Naveen, so maybe not? (Of course, he's pretty fair-skinned, and his claims of royalty are a bit more credible than Facilier's, so maybe Big Daddy was just willing to let the matter slide to please his daughter.)
The FOTOS don't think that's evil enough and actually want Facilier to be as evil as possible.
Complete lack of interest on Facilier's part makes some sense, I suppose.
Also, it occurs to me that Jim Crow laws would probably prevent it.
Though none of this (other than lack of interest, I suppose) would explain why Facilier couldn't just steal a form.... (can steal a white form, marriage/consummation under false pretenses is a special kind of evil)
Well, he does say he can't conjure a thing for himself.
Lottie may be Prince Crazy but that doesn't mean she lacks taste or common sense.
He could have just been lying about the royalty thing, too.
Also, he's a royal on his mother's side, but most royalty is patriarchal so he didn't inherit and thus is not a prince.
Even if he was telling the truth, would you believe him? More importantly, would Lottie and her father believe him? And Lottie was looking for a fairytale prince, so she wouldn't necessarily care even if he could convince her.
This, pretty much. Naveen is the spitting image of the classic, Disney-Prince type that Charlotte is interested in. He's tall, handsome, charming, smooth-talking even through the most bizarre situations, has connections befitting a member of royalty (even if his parents cut him off, there's nothing saying they wouldn't keep in contact with him or let him visit on occasion)...Facilier is a dirt-poor voodoo witch doctor who lives on the streets, is towering, wiry, and thin as a twig, has a gap between his teeth, is probably at least a few years older than Naveen, wears skimpy, dark clothes...He's far from the princely image Charlotte is going for.
When Facilier says he's royalty on his mother's side he probably meant that she was a voodoo queen. Probably not the kind of royalty Charlotte, or her father, would consider.
It seems that most people in New Orleans knows about the "Shadow Man" Dr. Facilier and try to have as little to do with him as possible.