|“||You can't get what you want just by wishing for it.||„|
|“||The only way that you can get what you want in this world is through hard work.||„|
|“||"I've got news for you, Shadow Man! It's not slime, it's mucus!"||„|
|~ Tiana to Dr. Facilier, moments before defeating him|
Tiana is an intelligent, resourceful, and highly talented young woman. However, at the start of the film, and mostly throughout, she can be overly uptight and far too absorbed in work ethics to focus on relaxing, family, and friends. Though she notices this and appears to have some regret over her busy schedule, her obsession with bringing her dream of opening her own restaurant into fruition overshadows it all. She also, for the most part, has appeared to accept that over the years, as seen when she and Eudora visited the old sugar mill in preparation of its purchase.
With a strong sense of honor and integrity, Tiana firmly believes nothing deserves to be obtained in the world unless it's done through hard work, a view she's brought up when dealing with her excessively dreamy and immature best friend, Charlotte La Bouff, as well as the party-loving Naveen.
Aside from her workaholic nature, Tiana has another side to her; one that's passionate, imaginative, and ambitious. She enjoys humor, music, quality time with loved ones, and dancing (though not at first). She becomes excitable whenever mentioning her restaurant, lighting up when she does, as Naveen puts it, and although she initially had very little knowledge over romance, she values it highly once she starts to fall for Naveen, to the point where her restaurant was no longer the most important part of her life.
The film begins during Tiana's childhood where we see her and her best friend Charlotte La Bouff listening to the classic tale "The Frog Prince" read by Tiana's mother Eudora while she finishes Charlotte's newest princess gown. Whilst Charlotte adores the tale and openly wishes to find a prince and one day become a princess, Tiana shows that she's somewhat unamused with the story, considerably the kissing finale between the princess and the frog she was disgusted by. After the story's completion, Tiana and her mother depart, heading for home where they greet Tiana's father, the hardworking James. Later on, with the help of James, Tiana makes their favorite dinner, gumbo. Tiana gives her father a taste of some of her gumbo which she hopes to be the prime attraction when she and her father open their very own restaurant "Tiana's Place". That night, as Tiana was being put to bed, the young girl makes a wish on the evening star in hopes of getting her restaurant dream come true. James, however, tells Tiana that wishing can only get her halfway to her dream, and hard-work is also needed, which she understands.
About twenty years later, it is revealed that a now adult Tiana is still struggling to reach her dream even after her father passed away. Since childhood, she has become a mature young woman, though she has discarded her original childhood imagination of wishing and such and has become an overly practical workaholic instead. She works as a waitress at two local diners during the day and night. The desire to open the restaurant prevents Tiana from going out with her friends as she must work extra for more pay. Meanwhile, the handsome Prince Naveen arrives in New Orleans to marry Charlotte. To celebrate, Charlotte plans on throwing a masquerade ball and hires Tiana to make dozens of beignets, paying her with enough money to buy her restaurant. Excited, Tiana and her mother place a bid on an old run down sugar mill that Tiana's father had talked about many times before and had planned to use as the location. Though the building is extremely worn out and practically falling apart, Tiana couldn't have been more excited with her dream coming closer and closer to coming true.
Kiss the Frog
Later that night at the ball, Tiana discovers that she's been out bid and unless she earns enough money in two days, she loses the restaurant (though it is possible the restaurant was being withheld from her due to her race, which is historically accurate given that the movie takes place in the Southern United States, but this is never elaborated on). After a mishap, Tiana ruins her outfit and goes to Charlotte's room to change. Charlotte gives her a princess gown and heads back down to the ball. Saddened, Tiana heads to the balcony and, in desperation, makes a wish on the evening star in hopes of making things work out in the end. After her wish, Tiana meets a talking frog who reveals to be Prince Naveen. After being cursed by a voodoo witch doctor, Naveen needs help from Tiana who he believes is a princess. Following the tale of "The Frog Prince", Naveen asks Tiana for a kiss in an attempt to break the spell. Unfortunately, Tiana is incredibly hesitant to kiss a frog, but Naveen offers her a reward, telling her that he comes from a fabulously wealthy family. Knowing she needs more money to open her restaurant, Tiana reluctantly kisses Naveen. The only thing it does, however, is change Tiana into a frog, as well, being that she wasn't actually a princess.
Enraged at her shocking transformation, Tiana attacks Naveen, having them both fall off the balcony and onto the ball's dance floor. Charlotte's father, Big Daddy, orders their dog Stella to get the frogs. Tiana and Naveen luckily escape on a balloon, which floats over to the cold, miserable bayous of New Orleans. Naveen is confused on why the kiss did not turn him human. Tiana tells him that she is not a princess but a waitress. When he discovers that Tiana is not a princess, he is angered because he thought she was a "beautiful princess, not a waitress."
Unfortunately, the balloon pops. Later, he reluctantly makes a deal with her. After he marries Charlotte, the couple will purchase the mill that Tiana wants to convert to a restaurant. In return, Tiana will assist Naveen in leaving the Bayou. The two lands in a swamp filled with alligators. They find shelter in a hallow tree, deciding to stay there until morning. In the mix of the chaos, Naveen promises to pay for Tiana's restaurant if she can help him out the swamp. Tiana agrees, rescues the prince, and the next morning, the two begin their journey. On the way, they meet Louis, an alligator with a gift of playing the trumpet. Louis and Naveen quickly become friends, sharing a passion for music. Louis' gift has Naveen wondering why Louis has never tried playing with the other great musicians of New Orleans, but Louis explains his last attempt to do so ended with the audience, as well as the musicians, panicking at the sight of a gator. Tiana then interrupts the friendship and drags Naveen ahead, telling Louis they need to find someone to break their spell. However, Louis doesn't understand until Naveen and Tiana explain that they are truly human turned into frogs via the magic of a voodoo witch doctor. Hearing voodoo, Louis informs them of Mama Odie, a voodoo priest who can help them turn human. Though Louis is originally against taking them to her, being too afraid of the dangers that may lie ahead, Naveen convinces the gator to change their mind, having Louis realize Mama Odie could turn him human as well. The trio then make their way but eventually get lost.
Ray Lights the Way
They then meet Ray, a romantic firefly who's in love with the evening star, who he calls Evangeline. Ray happily decides to light the way and act as their guide to Mama Odie, with the help of his massive family of fireflies. During their journey, Tiana and Naveen begin to become closer, especially after saving each other from a trio of bumbling frog hunters. During a rest, Naveen helps Tiana cook for the friends by mincing some mushrooms. With that being the first piece of work Naveen has ever done, he reveals that, despite living the charm life of a prince, he feels deep down that he knows how to do absolutely nothing besides partying, which he is ashamed of. Tiana, feeling sympathy, compliments Naveen's mincing skills, growing the two even closer than before. Moments later, Ray introduces his friends to Evangeline, singing a love ballad in her honor. During which, Naveen attempts to waltz with Tiana, but the waitress declines, admitting that she's never learned to dance. Naveen decides that, in return for teaching him how to mince, he will teach Tiana how to dance. After the romantic waltz, Naveen and Tiana officially fall in love with one another.
Dig A Little Deeper
Unfortunately, the romantic moment is soon ruined when Naveen is captured by a pack of shadow demons sent by the witch doctor Doctor Facilier, who needs Naveen to fulfill his evil scheme to take over New Orleans. He is soon saved by Mama Odie, who takes them to her home; a boat in a tree. Tiana tries to explain to Mama that all they want is to be human, but Mama Odie knows what Tiana and Naveen really want after the adventure they had, was each other. However, Tiana fails to realize this and believes Mama Odie's motto of "dig a little deeper" means work extra hard to get her restaurant. Though Naveen completely understands that, instead of riches, what his heart truly desires was Tiana. But with Tiana misunderstanding, Mama Odie decides to put the romance aside and give the two frogs the solution to their problem. Mama Odie tells them that if Naveen were to kiss a princess, they'll both turn human. She then uses her magic brew to locate a nearby princess, which reveals to be Charlotte, who is princess of the Mardi Gras Parade. Unfortunately, Naveen only has until midnight, when Mardi Gras is over, to kiss Charlotte and break the spell.
The gang head off on a riverboat to New Orleans, where Naveen decides he wants to reveal his true romantic feelings to Tiana, figuring he'll merely get a job to help raise money for her restaurant. Naveen sets up a date later that night, under the stars on the riverboat. The prince was far too sheepish to successfully reveal the truth, but Tiana still finds his fumbling to be cute. Just then, the riverboat begins passing the old building Tiana plans on using for her restaurant. Tiana takes the time to tell Naveen about her dreams to open the restaurant. Knowing he can't afford to pay for the restaurant without marrying Charlotte and inheriting her fortune, Naveen decides not to tell her how he truly feels, for the sake of her dream. The riverboat then prepares to dock, and Naveen heads off to find Louis and Ray. Once he's gone, Tiana sadly speaks to Evangeline about her dilemma, revealing that she, too, is actually in love with Naveen, despite the fact that he must marry Charlotte for the money he promised for her restaurant. Meanwhile, right before docking, Naveen is kidnapped by the shadow demons.
Tiana, Louis, and Ray are oblivious to Naveen's capture, and after getting off the riverboat, Tiana asks Ray if he's seen Naveen. Instead, Ray accidentally tells Tiana that Naveen actually loves her and plans on getting a job to pay for her restaurant. Overjoyed, Tiana and Ray head off to the Mardi Gras parade to find him and return the feelings. Sadly, Tiana, instead, finds Naveen, as a human, atop a parade float about to marry Charlotte. Heartbroken, Tiana runs off. Ray follows and tries to convince Tiana that they should go back to look more into what they say, but Tiana discards the idea, losing her faith in wishing and dreams once more. Determined to show Tiana the truth, Ray flies back to the parade, where he learns that the Naveen they saw about to marry Charlotte is actually Naveen's former valet, Lawrence in disguise. It turns out Lawrence was under the disguise as part of Facilier's plot, who plans on having Lawrence (in disguise) marry Charlotte and steal the La Bouff fortune by doing so, making Facilier the richest man in New Orleans. The real Naveen, still as a frog, was in captivity until Ray rescues him.
Tiana vs. Facilier
Naveen then grabs a talisman on Lawrence's neck. The talisman gives Lawrence the ability to morph into Naveen and without it, Facilier's plans to gain the La Bouff fortune would be foiled. Naveen passes the talisman over to Ray, who rushes back to the cemetery to foil Facilier and show Tiana the truth. Once the talisman was handed over, Ray instructs Tiana to keep it away from Facilier at all costs, prompting the girl to run in fear as the shadow demons were in hot pursuit. Tiana tries to escape, but the evil Dr. Facilier meets up with her, changes her back to human, and conjures up a vision of the fancy restaurant she dreamt of all her life. Facilier tries to use all of this to entice and manipulate Tiana into striking a simple deal with him: Hand over the talisman for her lifelong dream to finally be a reality. Though Tiana was against the deal, Facilier decided to bring up people's doubts of her before settling on the subject of her deceased father, telling her that his dream never came true, but by accepting the offer, she could make it happen. The discussion of James actually backfires on the evil doctor, and Tiana realizes that while her father never got what he wanted, he had true love, which was much more important than what he wanted.
Tiana attempts to destroy the talisman, but Facilier's living shadow grabs it and hands it back to the doctor. Tiana is changed back to a frog and held down by the evil doctor. Facilier taunts the heroine, telling her she'd always be a frog for "foolishly" denying his deal. Fortunately, with quick thinking and a flick of her tongue, Tiana gets hold of the talisman and shatters it to pieces. After its destruction, Tiana watches in fear as Facilier is dragged away to the underworld by voodoo spirits and demons as punishment for his failure in taking over the city. While Facilier was confronted by his "friends", he mentioned still having Naveen, making a shocked Tiana realize that Ray was telling the truth after all. After the coast is clear, Tiana heads back to the concluded Mardi Gras parade, where she witnesses Lawrence being arrested - learning that he was the "Naveen" she witnessed on the parade float. Not too far away, Tiana finds Naveen, who was in the process of making a deal with Charlotte. If she turns him human through a kiss, he'd marry her, so long as she pays for Tiana's restaurant. Before the kiss, Tiana arrives and reveals her love, telling Naveen her dream would be incomplete without him in it. Seeing the beautiful sight, Charlotte agrees to kiss Naveen, but only for Tiana's dream to come true. But the clock strikes twelve, and Charlotte is no longer a princess, as Mardi Gras was officially over. Nevertheless, Tiana and Naveen were happy being frogs so long as they could stay together.
Losing a Friend
Right after their moment, darkness clouds Tiana as Ray was revealed to have been fatally injured by Facilier during the battle moments ago and passes away. Tiana attends his funeral, but rejoices after Ray becomes a star right beside Evangeline.
Tiana and Naveen marry in the bayou, with Mama Odie taking charge of the ceremony. As they kiss, they turn back into humans, as they love each other, and Tiana is now a princess by marrying Naveen. After having a royal wedding as humans in New Orleans, Tiana and Naveen use the money that she saved to open the restaurant (with a little intimidation help from Louis, who frightens the snooty bidders into accepting what Tiana had). The restaurant, as hoped, is a big success with people from all around attending, just as Tiana dreamed. She renames it "Tiana's Palace", and enjoys a dance with Naveen to Louis and his band's music as Ray and Evangeline watch over them on what was a truly magical evening