- “Not bad for a 197 year old blind lady!”
- ―Mama Odie
Mama Odie is a kindly old blind voodoo priestess who lives deep in the swamps of Louisiana. She is one of the minor protagonists in Disney's 2009 animated feature film The Princess and the Frog, where she acts as the film's Fairy Godmother. She is voiced by Jenifer Lewis.
An eccentric, sunny, wise woman who has great power and doesn't use it to grant wishes. She challenges Tiana and Naveen to 'dig deeper' in themselves. According to the wise woman, she tells the other visitors she gains the same thing. 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 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's immortal, is unknown, but judging by her immense power, it could very well be the case.
Powers and abilities
- “She got magic, and spells...! All kind of hoodoo!”
- ―Louis on Mama Odie
Overpowering Dr. Facilier, Mama Odie is the most powerful character in the film, and amongst the most powerful characters in the Disney universe. 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. Additionally, she also has the ability to summon her wand out of thin air. 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.
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.
Role in the film
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 restraint, 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'll 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 doesn't 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.
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's able to uncover the whereabouts of the substance through her magic. However, Mama tells the duo her help won't 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's 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 assist Tiana throughout the game. She is also featured in a mini-game.
Like other characters from the film, Mama Odie is briefly mentioned by Tiana in the game.
- "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."
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 by Tiana.
On board the Disney Dream cruise ship, 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.
In Frontierland and Liberty Square, Mama Odie 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".
- 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.
- 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.
- Jennifer Lewis, Mama Odie's voice actress, also voiced Flo from Cars.
- Mama Odie is the second elderly female to be shown barefoot, after Madame Bonfamille (although in Madame's case, she was seen barefoot for a split second when she realizes that her cats have been kidnapped).
- Despite being apparently good friends with Ray, Mama Odie is mysteriously absent during his funeral.
- Mama Odie resembles Suga Mama from The Proud Family.