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My name Raymond, but everybody call me Ray.
―Ray introducing himself to Tiana and Naveen


Raymond (commonly known as Ray) is a major character in Disney's 2009 animated feature film, The Princess and the Frog. He is a Cajun firefly with a romantic infatuation with the evening star, Evangeline.

Background

Ray was an old firefly residing in the Louisiana Bayou of New Orleans alongside his massive family. His worn-down and damaged appearance have significance, indicating a rough and interesting history throughout his life.[1]

At some point in time, Ray met and fell in love with the Evening Star, known as Evangeline; he sees her as a goddess and proves to be quite attached to her. Though it appeared that Evangeline was nothing more than a star, fireflies were revealed to become stars once they die, heavily implying that Evangeline was once an actual firefly who eventually passed away. Though, despite her death, Ray's love for her continued to shine brightly. His one dream mentioned in the film was to someday unite with his love.

Development

According to The Princess and the Frog's DVD commentary, during the earliest stages of Disney's The Frog Prince-inspired film, the idea of a firefly in love with a star was always prominent; when John Musker and Ron Clements came on to direct the film, they kept the idea. Ron and John's iteration of the character was inspired by Cajun culture, an ethnic group in Louisiana. Ray's character was imbued with Cajun mannerisms and idioms, including the ability to speak French and love for zydeco among others.

The commentary also reveals that Ray was originally going to recover after being stepped on by Facilier. However, the filmmakers believed the story was too light; that wishes it was suggested that Ray should die and that his demise would result in him becoming a star beside Evangeline. The idea was praised, thus Ray's final fate was altered. The director also noted that the circumstances of Ray's death made Dr. Facilier more imposing as a villain.

Personality

Friendly and helpful, despite being the smallest creature in the movie, he has the biggest heart. Some of his loves include music, singing, and entertaining guests of all kind. The firefly was also shown to have no real fear; he helped fight off the frog hunters attacking Tiana and Naveen, as well as taking on Facilier's shadow demons all by himself. He is also extremely generous and agrees to help Tiana and Naveen without any reward expected (though he receives one unexpectedly nevertheless). Though undeniably sweet, he is rather eccentric, often shown to be very excitable, in spite of serious situations. Also, when angered, his golden light becomes a bright red color.

In spite of being rather eccentric, he proves to be quite intelligent and wise, also appearing to be considerably older than the rest of the main cast (with the obvious exception of Mama Odie). With his wisdom, he acts as, not only a good friend but a father figure to Tiana several times throughout the film, specifically through Tiana's more emotional moments as a frog.

Powers and abilities

Ray is a peculiar character, in that he appears to harbor some form of magical abilities within his photic organ, though it is never explained or fully delved into. With said organ, he was shown to create images of light, such as inscriptions, in the open air (like the spelling of his name, or a heart made of tiny particles of light). He was also shown to produce immense heat from his organ, as he was able to carve a burning inscription in tree bark, and light lotus flowers to have them illuminate, during "Ma Belle Evangeline".

Most notably, however, he was shown to have the power to destroy shadow spirits. These spirits are supposedly only destroyed by light magic, such as the kind of power generated from Mama Odie's wand, yet Ray has the power to eliminate them with ease, furthering the implication that Ray harbors mystical attributes.

Appearances

The Princess and the Frog

Ray meeting Tiana and Naveen.

One day in New Orleans, Louisiana, a handsome prince named Naveen was turned into a frog by a witch doctor named Facilier. Thinking she was a princess, Naveen kissed a waitress named Tiana at a masquerade in an attempt to break the spell. However, all this does is turn Tiana into a frog as well. The two eventually end up in the bayou, meeting Louis the alligator who decides to assist the two frogs by taking them to Mama Odie to break the curse. When Tiana and Naveen's frog instincts kick in, they attempt to eat Ray. However, they embarrassingly fail, having their tongues end up tied together. Spotting this, he flies over to help. After freeing them, he introduces himself. With everyone greeted, Tiana and Naveen explain to him that they are actually humans under a frog curse put upon them by the evil Dr. Facilier and that they need to find Mama Odie to break the curse. Ray explains they are going in the wrong direction (as a result of Louis) and offers to lead the way, with the brief help of his firefly family. Soon enough, they are off. Eventually, he offers to take them the rest of the way, allowing his family to return home. As they continue on, he tells Tiana, Naveen, and Louis about his girlfriend, Evangeline. After the romantic description, they're attacked by frog hunters. He tries to fend them off, but one of the hunters defeats him, rendering him unconscious for the rest of the battle, which is fortunately won by Tiana and Naveen. He is soon revived by Louis.

Ray sings "Ma Belle Evangeline".

Tiana and Naveen fix up dinner for the group, and afterward, Evangeline appears, having Ray starstruck as he sings a ballad about his beloved. During it, Naveen and Tiana begin falling for one another, much to his happiness. He, as well as Louis, begins setting a mood for them, helping them realize their feelings. Unfortunately, the romantic moment is cut short when a hoard of demons sent by Facilier attack and capture Naveen. They are soon rescued by Mama Odie, however, who takes them to her home; a boat in a tree. Mama Odie informs Naveen and Tiana that the only way for them to become human again is for Naveen to be kissed by Charlotte La Bouff (Tiana's best friend), who has been made the Princess of Mardi Gras. Ray accompanies them back to New Orleans, and in during which, Naveen finally reveals his feelings for Tiana to him, much to the latter's joy. Afterward, he accidentally tells Tiana, though she only brightens up upon hearing the news, prompting her to go out and look for the prince to proclaim their love once they docked in New Orleans.

Ray evading Facilier and Lawrence with the talisman.

However, unbeknownst to Ray, Louis, and Tiana, Naveen was kidnapped by Facilier's demons and imprisoned. It turns out, he wants to steal the fortune of Charlotte, making him the wealthiest man in New Orleans. To do so, he has his minion, Lawrence, disguise himself as Naveen via magic to marry Charlotte, thus inheriting her father's fortune. Unfortunately, the master plan was near completion as Tiana and Ray come across Charlotte and what appeared to be Naveen on a parade float about to marry. Feeling he betrayed their love, a heartbroken Tiana leaves the scene. Ray tries to talk her through the moment, but she snaps, calling Evangeline nothing more than a star, telling him to open his eyes before he gets hurt. This drives him to tears and looks at Evangeline, but he refuses to believe her and claims for it to be nothing more than her 'speaking out a broken heart', and instead goes to reveal the truth. He discovers the Naveen about to marry Charlotte is actually a phony, and heroically finds the real one, frees him, and puts a stop to Facilier's plot. However, it turns out Lawrence's disguise is activated by a voodoo talisman. Naveen pulls the trinket off Lawrence and throws to Ray who flies away with it. Facilier then summons his demons to stop him and when he reaches Tiana, he hands the talisman over to her and tells her that she mustn't let Shadow Man get it no matter what. Afterward, Ray fights off Facilier's demons, but the latter soon arrives and crushes Ray, fatally injuring him. His wounded body is recovered by Louis, who takes him to safety.

Ray as a star beside Evangeline.

After Facilier's demise through the heroism of Tiana and Lawrence is arrested for impersonation after being discovered by Charlotte and her father, Tiana and Naveen reunite with each other and they proclaim their love, but the midnight deadline has already expired, supposedly leaving the two to be permanent frogs. Nevertheless, they decide it does not matter whether they're humans or frogs, so long as they could be together. Just then, Louis arrives with Ray in his hands explaining to Tiana and Naveen that the Shadow Man laid poor Ray low and he’s hurting awful bad. He gently places Ray on a leaf and he looks over to Tiana and Naveen and asks why they’re still frogs to which they reply that they’re staying that way and they’re staying together. Ray tells them that he likes that and Evangeline likes that too. He gives his final farewell before peacefully passing away. A funeral is held for Ray in the bayou with Tiana, Naveen, Louis, and Ray's family. As they all mourn the death of their friend, the sky clears up and a bright light shines down on everyone from above, drawing their attention up at the sky. In the night, a bright new star appears right next to Evangeline, identified as Ray. Tiana, Naveen, and Louis are rejoiced, as Ray's firefly family cheers ecstatically for their relative, as he finally receives his longing wish to be with his true love once again. Ray is seen again as a star one last time with Evangeline, both shining over New Orleans, as Tiana sings and dances with Naveen during the opening of her new restaurant, Tiana's Palace, at the end of the film.

Other appearances

Ray makes a cameo in the animated short, Electric Holiday, during the end credits with Tiana.

Video games

The Princess and the Frog

Ray in the video game

Along with the rest of the film's characters, Ray appears in the video game adaption of the movie, being featured in several mini-games with his firefly family, Louis, Tiana, Naveen, and Mama Odie. During the game's main storyline, however, he is absent, being as the story takes place after the events of the film. However, during the final chapter, Tiana and Naveen has his firefly cousins put on a spectacle for him and Evangeline on the opening night of Tiana's Palace as they watched down on them.

Kinect Disneyland Adventures

Ray makes a minor non-speaking cameo during the Mickey's Soundsational Parade mini-game as part of Tiana's float.

Disney Parks

Ray in Disney On Ice

Ray's likeness can be found in the Disney theme parks. To date, his only appearance as a walkaround character has been in Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream.

Disneyland Resort

Ray makes a cameo in World of Color, during the "So Close" sequence, entering Tiana and Naveen's first cameo.

Ray can also be seen in Mickey's Soundsational Parade apart of Tiana's float alongside Louis and Naveen. While the float passes by, he sings "Gonna Take You There".

Ray is also seen as an animatronic in the Main Street, U.S.A. Enchanted Window display themed after The Princess and the Frog.

Walt Disney World

In Florida, Ray's likeness is featured throughout Disney's Port Orleans Resort.

Ray can be seen in Tiana's portrait on display inside the Princess Fairytale Hall in the Magic Kingdom.

He also appears on Tiana and Naveen's float in the Magic Kingdom parade, Festival of Fantasy.

Gallery

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The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Ray.

Trivia

  • Ray's death seems to be an apparent reference to Peter Pan, after he dies he joins his love Evangeline in the sky and becomes the second star to the right.
    • Ray's death may also be a reference to The Lion King, in that Timon believes aloud that stars are fireflies.
    • Speaking of Peter Pan, similarly to Tinker Bell, Ray's color changes from yellow to red when he's angry.
  • In storybooks and in Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream, Ray does not die.
  • There are many references to Ray in the construction of Tiana's Palace. The walls of the dinner booths and the headlamps are shaped like lily pads which are symbolic of when Ray and his family helped Tiana and Naveen down the Bayou to Mama Odie, the table centerpieces are lit bayou flowers which are symbolic of the time he serenaded to Naveen and Tiana's first dance, and the restaurant is mostly decorated with green and lit gold like him. This implies that Tiana and Naveen still greatly miss him.
  • Jim Cummings has said in an interview that Ray is one of his favorite roles and would enjoy doing shorts starring the character. As of 2020, plans for any animated short films starring Ray are still yet to come to fruition.
  • During "Gonna Take You There", Ray shouts, "Alright, Lulu, let's get to it, darling!". This is actually a reference to Jim Cummings' daughter, also named Lulu.

References


v - e - d
Prin&frogtitle.png
Media
Films and Television: The Princess and the FrogA Poem Is...Tiana

Video Games: The Princess and the FrogKinect Disneyland AdventuresDisney Princess Enchanting StorybooksDisney UniverseDisney Princess: My Fairytale AdventureDisney Sorcerer's ArenaDisney Heroes: Battle Mode
Books: The Art of The Princess and the FrogDisney Princess Beginnings
Music: SoundtrackBayou Boogie

Disney Parks
Club VillainCastle of Magical DreamsMidship Detective AgencyPrincess Fairytale HallSorcerers of the Magic KingdomNew Adventures with Princess Tiana

Entertainment: Disney's BelieveDisney's Showtime SpectacularMickey's Magical CelebrationMickey's Royal Friendship FaireMickey and the Magical MapMickey and the Wondrous BookThe Golden MickeysThe Starlit Princess WaltzTiana’s Mardi Gras CelebrationTiana's Showboat JubileeVillains Tonight!
Parade: Disney Pirate or Princess: Make Your ChoiceDisney Stars on ParadeFestival of Fantasy ParadeMagic HappensMickey's Soundsational Parade
Firework: Cherish the MemoriesDisney Dreams!Disney EnchantmentHappily Ever AfterILLUMINATE! A Nighttime CelebrationWonderful World of Animation
Halloween: Celebrate the MagicDisney's Maleficious Halloween PartyDr Facilier's Carnival-LoweenFrightfully Fun ParadeHocus Pocus Villain SpelltacularIt's Good to be Bad with the Disney VillainsLet's Get WickedMickey’s Halloween Treat CavalcadeThe Disney Villains Halloween ShowtimeThe Nightmare ExperimentVillains GroveVillains Mix and MingleWorld of Color: Villainous!
Christmas: Royal Christmas Wishes

Characters
TianaPrince NaveenRayLouisMama OdieJujuDr. FacilierLawrenceCharlotte La BouffEudoraJamesEli La BouffEvangelineReggie, Darnell, and Two FingersStellaThe Fenner BrothersFacilier's Friends on the Other SideFacilier's ShadowFirefly FamilyAlligatorsGeorgia
Objects
Facilier's TalismanLouis' TrumpetMama Odie's WandMama Odie's Gumbo Cauldron
Locations
New OrleansBayou of New OrleansMama Odie's TreeTiana's PalaceMaldoniaDr. Facilier's Voodoo EmporiumDuke's Café
Songs
Original songs: Down in New OrleansAlmost ThereFriends on the Other SideWhen We're HumanGonna Take You ThereMa Belle EvangelineDig a Little DeeperNever Knew I Needed

Bayou Boogie: Everyday PrincessLive To See You SmileShadow ManDo What I Wanna DoWhen You're In Love You'll UnderstandZippin' To The ZydecoI Was Born To Blow This HornPlay With The BandNight and DayLife In The SwampLove is a Magical MysterySing Away The BluesMama Odie's Kitchen Song

See Also
Disney RevivalElectric Holiday


v - e - d
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Disney feature films
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The Lion King: SimbaTimonPumbaaRafikiScarSpirit MufasaNalaShenziBaby Simba
The Little Mermaid: ArielFlounderSebastianUrsulaKing TritonPrince EricWedding ArielVanessaFlotsam
Bambi: BambiThumper
The Aristocats: Marie
Hundred Acre Wood: Winnie the PoohTiggerPigletEeyoreRabbitHoney Bee PoohFlower PigletBunny Tigger
Pinocchio: Jiminy CricketPinocchioBlue FairyFigaro
Dumbo: DumboTimothy Mouse
Peter Pan: Tinker BellPeter PanCaptain HookWendyNanaSmeeJohn DarlingSlightly
Aladdin: The GenieAladdinJasmineJafarAbuRajahIagoMagic CarpetDisguised JasmineSnake JafarVacation Genie
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Big Hero 6: Hiro HamadaBaymax
Wreck-It Ralph: VanellopeRalphYesssFix-It Felix Jr.CalhounKing Candy
The Princess and the Frog: TianaLouisRayDr. FacilierAlmost There Tiana
Lady and the Tramp: LadyTramp
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The Emperor's New Groove: KuzcoKronkPachaYzmaYzma Kitty
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Snow WhiteDopeyMagic MirrorThe Evil QueenGrumpyThe PrinceSleepyDoc
The Rescuers: BernardBiancaMadame Medusa
Robin Hood: Robin HoodMaid MarianLady KluckLittle JohnSir HissPrince John
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: Mr. Toad
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: EsmeraldaQuasimodoHugo
The Sword in the Stone: ArthurArchimedesMerlinMadam MimSugar BowlYoung Mim
Mickey's Christmas Carol: Bob Cratchit MickeyGhost of Jacob MarleyEbenezer Scrooge McDuck
A Goofy Movie: MaxVacation GoofyPowerline
Raya and the Last Dragon: RayaSisuTuk TukNamaari
The Three Caballeros: JoséPanchitoCaballero Donald

Disney animated shows
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Darkwing Duck: Darkwing Duck
Rescue Rangers: ChipDaleGadgetMonterey JackDevil DaleAngel Chip
Gargoyles: GoliathBronxDemona

Pixar
Monsters, Inc.: MikeSulleyRandallCeliaRozBoo

Toy Story: WoodyBuzz LightyearAlienJessieBullseyeBo PeepForkyRexDuke CaboomHammMrs. NesbitZurgLotso
WALL-E: WALL-EEVE
Finding Nemo/Finding Dory: NemoDoryHankCrushBruceBaby DoryDestinyBaileyPearl
Cars: Lightning McQueenCruz RamirezJackson StormMater
Inside Out: JoySadnessAngerDisgustFearBing BongRainbow Unicorn
Coco: Miguel RiveraHéctorDanteImeldaPepitaAlebrije DanteErnestoMama Coco
Ratatouille: Remy
The Incredibles: Mr. IncredibleElastigirlJack-JackVioletDashFrozoneEdna ModeSyndrome
A Bug's Life: FlikPrincess AttaHeimlich
Brave: Merida
Up: DugRusselCarlKevinAlphaHeadphones Dug
Onward: IanBarleyThe Manticore
Soul: Joe22
Luca: LucaAlberto

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Kingdom Hearts: SoraAquaCaptain GoofyRoyal Magician Donald
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Pirates of the Caribbean: Captain Jack SparrowBarbossaDavy JonesElizabeth SwannPrison DogTia Dalma

Descendants: Mal
Hocus Pocus: Winifred SandersonMary SandersonSarah SandersonBinxBilly Butcherson
Mary Poppins: Mary PoppinsBert
Enchanted: Giselle
Jungle Cruise: FrankLily Houghton

Disney Parks
The Haunted Mansion: Hatbox GhostMadame LeotaThe BrideHitchhicker Ghost Phineas

Matterhorn Bobsleds: Abominable Snowman
Journey Into Imagination: Figment

The Muppets
The Muppets: Kermit the FrogFozzie BearSwedish ChefMiss PiggyGonzo
Lucasfilm
Star Wars: ReyFinnBB-8Kylo RenLuke SkywalkerPrincess LeiaDarth VaderThe MandalorianThe ChildChewbaccaHondoStormtrooperHan SoloR2-D2Cara DuneMoff GideonDeath TrooperPoe DameronC-3POBoba FettJabba the HuttAnakin SkywalkerQueen AmidalaDarth Maul
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