Eli "Big Daddy" La Bouff is Charlotte's father in The Princess and the Frog. He loves Charlotte dearly, and is a good man (if not particularly good with discipline) who would do anything for his little girl. He is very wealthy and has been elected Mardi Gras King five years running. He is voiced by John Goodman.
Role in the film
Eli is first seen at the beginning of the film after Eudora (Tiana's mother) reads the story of The Frog Prince. He notices the new dress the seamstress made for Charlotte, and claims he would "expect nothin' less from the finest seamstress in New Orleans". However, Charlotte notices the dress from her storybook and begins to beg her father that a replica be made for her. Though he attempts to refuse, Eli quickly gives in to his daughter's pleas, and asks Eudora if she can whip something up, and she agrees, telling him "anything for my best customer" (while motioning to other numerous dresses Charlotte owns).
As Tiana and Eudora leave, Mr. La Bouff tells Charlotte that while she will receive the dress, he will no longer be "Mr. Pushover", seconds before giving her a new pet puppy.
Years later, while Tiana is planning to open her restaurant, he starts hosting a masquerade ball for Mardi Gras. He has invited Prince Naveen to stay at his home as an honored guest. Charlotte hires Tiana to cater for the ball, which gives her enough money to finally buy an old sugar mill that she wants to convert into her restaurant.
That evening, Mr. La Bouff is hosting the masquerade ball when the guest of honor, Prince Naveen (actually, Naveen's valet Lawrence in disguise) arrives and dances with his daughter, Charlotte. The dance, however, ends in a mess when two frogs (a transformed Naveen and Tiana) land on his daughter's dress, frightening her, and he orders his dog Stella to chase them.
Despite the mess, 'Prince Naveen' proposes to his daughter the next day, and the La Bouffs decide to use the wedding as part of the Mardi Gras Parade that evening. Unbeknownst to the La Bouffs, the marriage plan was part of a big scheme by the voodoo master Dr. Facilier, in which the latter plots to murder him with a voodoo doll once the wedding vows are completed.
Fortunately, Eli La Bouff's life was saved when the real Naveen (who was captured and put in a box) manages to escape and distract the fake Naveen, causing the latter to retreat into a church. The fake Naveen was afterwards exposed, and an angry Mr. La Bouff ordered the imposter arrested.
At the end of the movie, Mr. La Bouff and his daughter attended Naveen and Tiana's wedding as well as the opening of Tiana's restaurant.
- Despite being a wealthy, white sugar baron in the city of New Orleans, Eli La Bouff is in no way a villain and almost became a victim of Doctor Facilier's scheme. He is also pleased with Tiana's success through the opening of her new restaurant.
- Despite apparently spoiling his daughter and not being good on disciplining her, he does show some ability to control her, even if slightly, as he once stuffed a beignet in her mouth to stop her from continually interfering his talking.
- His wife has never been revealed, which has made some assume that he is a widower.
- In "Kinect Disneyland Adventures", Eli is briefly mentioned by Tiana.
- It is assumed that Big Daddy has been like a second father to Tiana since her father James died.
Tiana: "We just told Big Daddy La Bouff the news. He's King of the Mardi Gras parade... again."