- “Not bad for a 197-year-old blind lady!”
- ―Mama Odie
Mama Odie is a supporting character in Disney's 2009 animated feature film, The Princess and the Frog. She is a kindly voodoo priestess of great magical power, who lives deep within the swamps of Louisiana.
An eccentric, sunny, wise woman who has great power and does not use it to grant wishes. She challenges Tiana and Naveen to 'dig deeper' in themselves, and uses the same advice on all the individuals that seek her out, looking for a 'better' life via magic . Mama Odie is a well known woman throughout the bayou; Louis the Alligator refers to her as the "Voodoo Queen of the Bayou". Though incredibly sweet and motherly, Mama Odie appears to be greatly feared by others. Louis himself had a fear of her prior to the events of the film. The dark magic voodoo demons working with the evil Doctor Facilier were also shown to fear her, as her good magic is able to eliminate them rather easily.
Mama Odie's closest companion is her snake Juju, who acts as her assistant, constantly helping the woman with various tasks throughout their home. Being blind, Mama Odie can usually find herself in comical peril in her tree house home, only to be saved by Juju. Mama Odie's love for her snake is shown several times, treating him as her own child many times. Mama Odie also appears to be good friends with Ray the Firefly and his family prior to the events of the film, admiring the spunk of Ray's grandmother, especially.
Mama Odie is also said to be 197 years old. Whether or not she is immortal is unknown, but judging by her immense power, it could very well be the case.
Mama Odie has the sensibility of a zany grandparent—warm and nurturing, but also talkative and easily-distracted. She is very causal, never presenting herself as a knowingly all-mighty figure, despite the amount of power and intelligence she holds. This makes her rather unique for a sage figure, specifically in terms of how she utilizes her abilities to assist others. Rather than simply using her magic to grant other's requests, Mama Odie challenges her visitors to look beyond their materialistic desires to hopefully realize that, while reaching one's goals are important, sacrificing love and relationships in order to do so, is misguided. This is notable in her words to Tiana; she alludes to the fact that her father worked tirelessly to achieve his goal of opening his own restaurant, and although he died before he could, his life was still remembered as a joyous one, due to the strong relationship he shared with his family and neighbors, proving Mama Odie's words of wisdom.
Powers and abilities
Overpowering Dr. Facilier, Mama Odie is the most powerful character in the film. She holds control over mystical elements including magic, voodoo, and nature to some degree (as she can communicate with animals), though she rarely uses it, unless necessary. Her primary source of powers seems to be light magic, which she conjures up from her club-esque wand. Also, with said wand, Mama has the power to transform creatures at will, as seen when she transformed Juju into a dog, pig, cow, and goat. Additionally, she also has the ability to summon objects out of thin air, as seen with her wand, and again when she showered Naveen in gold coins from her sleeves.
As mentioned above, Mama Odie is known for her wisdom. A trait that relates to her apparently physic abilities. Without having met Tiana, nor Naveen, the kindly voodoo priestess knew of their history, likes, dislikes, family relations, desires, and necessities.
Other abilities featured include conjuring items from nowhere at will, the live creation of mental visions, and ownership over an all-seeing/all-knowing gumbo pot, which acts as both a cooking pot and magical cauldron.
After becoming frogs through the magic of the evil Dr. Facilier, Tiana and Prince Naveen team up with a firefly named Ray and an alligator named Louis to find Mama Odie so she could reverse the curse. However, the evil Doctor requires the blood of Naveen as part of his plot to dominate New Orleans, and sends out a hoard of Shadow Demons to capture him. In the middle of the night, Naveen is suddenly kidnapped by said demons. Fortunately, Mama Odie arrives just in time and uses her light magic to eliminate the monsters with ease. With that out of the way, Mama Odie take them to her home.
Inside, Tiana attempts to ask Mama for help, but the wacky voodoo priest is far too preoccupied with other things such as cooking and fixing up her gumbo. Not only that, Mama Odie knows that both Tiana and Naveen desire to be human, but need something much more. She tries to explain to them just that through her gospel number "Dig a Little Deeper". The song's theme proves to be a failure, having Tiana believe she needs to work extra hard to get her restaurant, instead of follow her heart and ease up a bit.
Since the song was a failure, Mama Odie decides to give the duo what the want and takes them to her gumbo pot brew where she locates a princess that will break the curse through a kiss from Naveen. The princess turns out to be Charlotte La Bouff, who is the "Princess" of the Mardi Gras parade, being that her father is the King. Mama explains that Tiana and Naveen only have until midnight to get to Charlotte, which is when Mardi Gras ends. With their task fully realized, the team heads out. Mama Odie does not appear again until the film's finale, where she uses the power invested in her to marry Tiana and Naveen at their wedding ceremony in the bayou after the two proclaimed their love.
Since Tiana became the wife of Naveen, she became a princess, thus turning the two back into human, living happily ever after.
Mama Odie is mentioned by Tiana in the episode "Winter's Gift". According to the princess, Mama Odie was responsible for informing her of Princess Sofia's latest dilemma, prompting her to visit the kingdom of Enchancia to provide assistance by being called on by the mystical amulet of Avalor.
Concept art shows that Mama Odie was slated to appear in the cancelled short Princess Academy. She was to be featured alongside other fairy godmother-figures from Disney animated films.
A Hidden Gem
When Naveen goes on a hunt for swamp amber, he and Louis visit Mama Odie and Juju in the bayou, asking her if she is able to uncover the whereabouts of the substance through her magic. However, Mama tells the duo her help will not be needed, and to find it themselves. Later on, Mama Odie and Juju take a trip to Tiana's Palace in the evening, where Naveen reveals to have found some filthy and mucky swam amber. Mama takes the stone and uses her magic to transform it into a beautiful, emerald-like necklace, telling the royal couple it is an old bayou trick; turning the worthless and disgusting into something beautiful and awe inspiring; like a frog into a prince.
The Stolen Jewel
In this story, a magic pearl belonging to Mama Odie is stolen, resulting in her flamingo companion Alphonso to seek the assistance of Tiana to help find and retrieve it.
Mama Odie makes a brief appearance in Something Old, Something New, attending Tiana and Naveen's wedding in New Orleans.
Mama Odie makes an appearance in the game as a non-playable character who assists Tiana throughout the game during the refurbishment of the old sugar mill, which would eventually become Tiana's Palace.
She is also featured in a mini-game, where she leaves Tiana, Naveen, Louis, and Ray in charge of her home during her absence.
Mama Odie is also mentioned during Tiana's stage in Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure. Here, Tiana was given a magic gumbo pot by Mama Odie, and the game's player used her own magic to see what powers the gumbo pot held.
While having appearances within the Disney theme parks in some entertainment, Mama Odie has not made a live appearance outside of Disney on Ice. However, her trademark song, "Dig a Little Deeper", is commonly featured in entertainment, usually sung with altered lyrics by Tiana.
Mama Odie plays a major role in Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. In Frontierland and Liberty Square, she receives a message from Merlin that an evil is arising in her area. She checks her gumbo in the pot to find that Doctor Facilier has returned from his death via Hades and plots to take over Frontierland while helping Hades in his search for the Crystal of the Magic Kingdom. Mama Odie guides the park guests in their quest to defeat the Shadow Man. She also has her own spell card known as "Mama Odie's Magic Charm".
In Believe, aboard the Disney Dream, Mama Odie is one of the last "Magic Makers" that the practical father meets on his journey. She performs "Dig a Little Deeper" and transports him back home as he has finally learned to believe in magic for once
- She is the polar opposite of Doctor Facilier, in both appearance and approach. Doctor Facilier is tall, young and thin while Mama Odie is short, old and fat. Facilier gives people what they think they want while Mama gives people what they (whether they know it or not) need. In addition, Doctor Facilier is implied to have "made a deal with the Devil" (metaphorically) for his powers while Mama is implied to have gained her powers over the course of her long life.
- Another thing between Dr. Facilier and Mama Odie is they both have pet snakes seen in the film. (Facilier's snakes only appear when they tie up Naveen before Facilier turns him into a frog at the end of the song "Friends on the Other Side", although one of his snakes was seen again when he captured Tiana in Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom; Mama Odie's snake, Juju, on the other hand, is more friendlier, and is seen more than Facilier's snakes.)
- When first greeted, she mentioned that she is 197 years old.
- Mama Odie demonstrates the ability to communicate with animals, including Louis, Ray, and Tiana and Naveen in their frog forms. This may be in part due to her voodoo powers, although the nature of the film's portrayal of animal speech leaves the explaination ambiguous at best. Regardless, she never converses with Juju over the course of the movie.
- In an earlier script, Dr. Facilier would have been Mama Odie's son, who followed the path of the dark arts, unlike his mother. In this same script, there was to be a showdown between the two of them, which would have converged into a major battle during the Mardi Gras festivities.
- Despite being apparently good friends with Ray, Mama Odie is mysteriously absent during his funeral.
- Mama Odie resembles Suga Mama from The Proud Family.
- ↑ Tiana: "Mama Odie taught me how important it is to figure out what you need, and it's not always the same as what you thought you wanted"