Tag Archives: The Princess and the Frog

Brother Bear “Great Spirits” (2003)

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Brother Bear is another example of a Disney animated film that has slowly but surely been forgotten. The 44th animated feature produced by Disney, Brother Bear was one of the last traditionally animated films produced by the company until The Princess and the Frog (2009), as the company was transitioning to computer animated features during this time. Like Tarzan (1999), Brother Bear features a Phil Collins musical soundtrack.

Set at the end of the last Ice Age, Brother Bear follows three Inuit brothers, Sitka, Denahi, and Kenai as they go about their lives in their village. The film particularly focuses on Kenai, who is receiving his totem that he must fulfill in order to become a man. While Sitka receives the eagle of guidance, and Denahi the wolf of wisdom, Kenai receives the bear of love (much to his embarrassment) and ends up going on a long journey to learn the meaning of his totem.

The story begins with “Great Spirits,”  a song that feels very similar to “Steady As the Beating Drum” in Pocahontas. The lyrics, like many Disney songs, contain the lesson that Kenai will have to learn, that “we are all the same, brothers to each other.”

When the earth was young
And the air was sweet
And the mountains kissed the sky
In the far beyond, with its many paths
Man and nature lived side by side

In this wilderness of danger and beauty
Lived three brothers, bonded by love
Their hearts full of joy
They ask now for guidance
Reaching out to the skies up above

Great Spirits of all who lived before
Take our hands and lead us
Fill our hearts and souls with all you know
Show us that in your eyes
We are all the same
Brothers to each other
In this world we remain truly brothers all the same

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Give us wisdom to pass to each other
Give us strength so we understand
That the things we do
The choices we make
Give direction to all life’s plan

To look in wonder at all we’ve been given
In a world that’s not always as it seems
Every corner we turn
Only leads to another
A journey ends
But another begins

Great Spirits of all who lived before
Take our hands and lead us
Fill our hearts and souls with all you know
Show us that in your eyes
We are all the same
Brothers to each other
In this world we remain truly brothers all the same

The post-Ice Age world is beautifully animated, with gorgeous landscapes and subtle reminders that this isn’t quite the world we’re familiar with (views of the receding glaciers, Kenai riding a mammoth). It’s a shame this film doesn’t get more attention because it really is beautiful and “Great Spirits” is a wonderful song.

Let me know what you think about “Great Spirits” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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Disturbing Disney #9: Dr. Facilier’s Fate (The Princess and the Frog, 2009)

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Dream-that-never-got-off

Ever since the Evil Queen fell screaming to her death in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), there has been a tradition of Disney villains meeting a particularly gruesome fate by the end of the story. And few are more gruesome or disturbing than what happens to Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog (2009).

“Friends on the Other Side (reprise”/Facilier’s Demise (2009)

Facilier is a witch doctor operating in New Orleans, making a living by promising his “clients” one thing and then trapping them into something else entirely. His latest victims are Prince Naveen and Tiana, who have both been turned into frogs. But they’re small fry compared to Facilier’s big plan: capturing the souls of everyone in New Orleans for his “friends on the other side”, the dark voodoo spirits. These spirits are impatient for Facilier to deliver what he has promised and at one point make it clear that if the witch doctor does not deliver, then it will be HIS soul in jeopardy.

Facilier makes a deal with his “friends”

Fast forward to the climax of the film: Facilier tempts Tiana with everything she ever wanted if she will only give back a magic amulet that allows the witch doctor’s current spells to work. When Tiana refuses and attempts to smash the amulet, Facilier changes her back into a frog (he’d temporarily made her human again) and prepares to finish her off. But having learned about what it means to be a frog, Tiana uses her sticky tongue to seize the amulet back and smashes it into oblivion!!

Princess-disneyscreencaps.com-9485

This is a big problem for Facilier. The voodoo spirits had made it clear that they would not help him any more once they gave him that amulet, he would have to deliver what he promised….or else. But with the amulet smashed, it was now impossible for Facilier to deliver New Orleans to the voodoo spirits, so the spirits come to collect Facilier in their place.

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Welcome to Hell Dr. Facilier

As someone brilliantly commented on YouTube, “when a villain’s theme song is used against them, you know they’re screwed.” The voodoo spirits come crawling out of the earth, singing a refrain from Facilier’s song “Friends on the Other Side”, and keep asking “Are you ready?” , to which Facilier keeps pleading that he is NOT ready, this is only “a minor setback in a major operation”, he can still deliver what the spirits want, “I just need a little more time” he pleads. But then the head voodoo spirit appears and his glare makes it clear, he is DONE with waiting. The shadows literally grab hold of Facilier and drag him screaming to Hell via the mouth of the head voodoo spirit. The entire way Facilier is pleading for his life, screaming “I promise I’ll pay ya’ll back, I PROMISE!!” And with a final scream, he is pulled into Hell and the mouth of the voodoo spirit slams shut!!

The scene gives me goosebumps every single time I watch it. For all the bravado Facilier has shown up until now, he is completely terrified when he realizes that the voodoo spirits are coming for HIM and him alone.

It’s really a disturbing way to go, being dragged alive into Hell, where he’ll suffer who knows what for all eternity. And this is why Dr. Facilier’s demise is part of the list of Disturbing Disney. What do you think of Facilier’s death at the hands of the voodoo spirits? Does it send chills down your spine? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear what you think about it 🙂

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See also:

Disturbing Disney #1: The Coachman in Pinocchio (1940)

Disturbing Disney #2: The truth of Pleasure Island in Pinocchio (1940)

Disturbing Disney #3: Escaping Monstro from Pinocchio (1940)

Disturbing Disney #4: Dumbo loses his mother (1941)

Disturbing Disney #5 The death of Bambi’s Mother

Disturbing Disney #6: Faline vs. the dogs (1942)

Disturbing Disney #7: Cruella wants to do WHAT??

Disturbing Disney #8: The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met (from Make Mine Music, 1946)

Disturbing Disney #10: The rat in Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Disturbing Disney #11: Clayton’s Death in Tarzan (1999)

Disturbing Disney #12: The Bear from The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Disturbing Disney #13: “Smoking them out” in The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Disturbing Disney #14: The Salt Trap in The Jungle Book (1994)

Disturbing Disney #15: Night on Bald Mountain from Fantasia (1940)

Disturbing Disney #16: King Triton destroys Ariel’s grotto

Disturbing Disney #17: Ratigan becomes a monster in The Great Mouse Detective

Disturbing Disney #18: The Queen’s assignment for her Huntsman

Disturbing Disney #19: Cinderella’s dress is destroyed (1950)

Disturbing Disney #20: Quasimodo is crowned ‘King of Fools’ (1996)

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