Tag Archives: The Princess and the Frog

The Princess and the Frog “Friends on the Other Side” (2009)

Well, it’s been a long time since I did one of these, but I thought it was high time I got back to blogging about the amazing songs one can find in Disney’s animated films. And I decided to start with a film that I really should have covered several years ago back when the blog is new and that’s The Princess and the Frog. This 2009 film is an update of the classic tale of a prince turned into a frog, all set in the city of New Orleans.

There were a number of songs I could’ve started with in this film, but I decided to start with my favorite: “Friends on the Other Side.” This is the song that introduces Dr. Facilier, the film’s villain, to the story and sets Naveen’s dilemma (being turned into a frog) into motion. This song has striking similarities to “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from The Little Mermaid, in that Dr. Facilier is offering Naveen a deal in exchange for what the prince thinks he wants and he uses his magical voodoo powers to make it happen.

Watch for yourself:

Keith David absolutely kills it as Dr. Facilier. Like any good Disney villain, Dr. Facilier oozes charm and menace in equal proportions and this song shows off both sides. Also, like any classic villain, Dr. Facilier cannot STAND to be disrespected, which is made pointedly clear in the beginning of the song:

Don’t you disrespect me, little man
Don’t you derogate or deride
You’re in my world now, not your world
And I got friends on the other side


(He’s got friends on the other side)


That’s an echo gentlemen.
Just a little something we have here in Louisiana
A little parlor trick. Don’t worry.

Sit down at my table
Put your minds at ease
If you relax it’ll enable me to do
Anything I please

I can read your future
I can change it ’round some, too
I’ll look deep into your heart and soul
(You do have a soul, don’t you, Lawrence?)
Make your wildest dreams come true

I got voodoo, I got hoodoo,
I got things I ain’t even tried
And I got friends on the other side


(He’s got friends on the other side)

Now while Dr. Facilier might initially come off as a charlatan (indeed Lawrence accuses him of being as much right before the song starts), what’s coming up with the cards implies that there really is some magic at work here. Note how Facilier twists the images to match everything Naveen seemingly wants (namely, money, which he’s currently cut off from until he gets married).


The cards, the cards, the cards will tell
The past, the present, and the future as well
The cards, the cards, just take three
Take a little trip into your future with me


Are you ready


Now you, young man, are from across the sea
You come from two long lines of royalty
I’m a royal myself, on my mother’s side
Your lifestyle’s high, but your funds are low
You need to marry a lil’ hunny whose daddy got dough
Mom and Dad cut you off, huh playboy?


Eh, sad but true.

And if the similarity to “Poor Unfortunate Souls” wasn’t already clear, that last line above from Facilier to Naveen about the latter being cut off from his money is another callback, because it reminds me very much of the comments Ursula made during her song (Remember her “Pathetic” line?)


Now y’all gotta get hitched but hitchin’ ties you down
You just wanna be free, hop from place to place
But freedom takes green

It’s the green, it’s the green
It’s the green you need
And when I looked into your future
It’s the green that I seen

But it’s this last verse below that really makes things interesting. Dr. Facilier is pulling double duty in this song, as not only is he offering a deal to Naveen, he’s also offering one to Lawrence, Naveen’s butler. Pay close attention to Lawrence’s reactions in this last verse, as it quickly becomes clear that the butler isn’t nearly as loyal as he looks (more like Edgar from The Aristocats than Grimsby from The Little Mermaid if you get my drift).

On you little man, I don’t want to waste much time
You’ve been pushed ’round all 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
But in your future, for you I see
Is exactly the man you always wanted to be

Shake my hand, c’mon on boys
Won’t you shake a poor sinner’s hand
(both Naveen and Lawrence shake Facilier’s hands)
Yes…
Are you ready?


(Are you ready?)

One last note, I find it really cool how Dr. Facilier transforms his face to do his voodoo magic. It’s a simple transition but oh so effective. Plus, it makes Facililer ten times scarier. Also, I can’t help but notice the fear on poor Naveen’s face once he’s tied up by the magical snakes, he realizes far too late that he’s in way over his head.


Are you ready?
Transformation Central
(Transformation Central)


Reformation Central
Reformation central!


Transmogrification Central

Naveen:
(As Facilier’s Talisman bites him) Ow!


Can you feel it?

You’re changing, you’re changing,
You’re changing all right
I hope you’re satisfied
But if you ain’t, don’t blame me
You can blame my friends on the other side
Ha, ha, ha


(You got what you wanted)
(But you lost what you had)
(Ohh…Hush!)

It’s really interesting how the film holds off from showing the result of Naveen’s transformation (even though the trailer kind of gives it away). Lawrence’s reaction is really telling: even though he’s basically agreed to betray his master, I don’t think he was expecting THIS. He’s clearly spooked by Facilier’s voodoo and probably wondering something along the lines of “What on EARTH have I gotten myself into??”

And there you have it, my thoughts on “Friends on the Other Side” from The Princess and the Frog. It felt nice to get back to reviewing Disney songs and I can’t wait to do more.

See also:

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

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Brother Bear “Great Spirits” (2003)

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

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

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

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

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).

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.

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.

screen-shot-2015-06-14-at-4-42-02-pm

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 🙂

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

For more Disturbing Disney, check out the main page here

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)

And don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂