Fifi is Lumiere's girlfriend and a supporting character in Disney's 1991 animated feature film, Beauty and the Beast. She is one of the castle's maids who was turned into a feather duster during the Enchantress' spell, alongside the other maids.
- 1 Background
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Live-action appearances
- 4 Printed media
- 5 Musical
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Trivia
Fifi is a very flirtatious character in Beauty and the Beast and often likes to tease and play with Lumiere during the movie. In Belle's Magical World, and to some degree the musical, she is also shown to be somewhat jealous regarding Lumiere's womanizing character, which nearly resulted in disaster in the former. This jealousy can also affect her common sense, as she mistook Belle for being made one of Lumiere's new girlfriends, apparently not realizing that Lumiere doing that would ruin their chances of becoming human again as Belle was necessary for breaking the spell.
Despite this, at least in the musical, she tries herself to make him jealous. According to "Mrs.Potts' Personality Profile Game" in the special edition, Fifi's (as she is called there) personality is described as expecting someone else to do for her and believes in doing things for herself, other than for others. She is playful, alluring, and womanly.
Due to the curse at the castle, the maid(s) became feather dusters. The Feather Duster's appearance was that of a feather duster, including a wooden body alongside brown and white goose feathers done in a manner similar to a dress. However, she also possessed a white cap-like device at the top right below a handheld cord, and she also for some reason only has a mole on her right cheek in this form.
In her human form, she possessed brown hair, albeit in a very short cut with her locks on the side of her face reaching her chin as well as frontal bangs, as well as fair skin. In addition, she was also very busty and slender and wore a white cap on top of her head. Her dress had a black top with white shoulder straps (the straps being similar to that of the Bimbettes), a white apron with frills, black shoes, and a brown skirt. Although not seen in the original film, her human form's WDCC collectible figurine revealed that she wore black mary janes, as well as her white shoulder straps being extended to her back and connecting to each shoulder (unlike the Bimbettes' shoulder straps, which are shown on their WDCC figurine to only be present for their respective shoulders).
The only thing in common between the two forms was a set of full lips and blue eyes.
Both forms were redesigned significantly in the 2017 live action remake. In this version of the story, her name is now Plumette and in feather duster form, she is now stylized to resemble a white peacock. The only other colors are her red eyes and a golden flourish where her handle meets the plume. Her handle includes a pair of wings, which she uses to fly around the castle. Her feathers now are about as long as she handle and much more narrow, almost lining up with her body, continuing on the bird motif.
As a human, Plumette is a slender black woman in her late twenties or early thirties. Like her animated counterpart, she also has a small beauty mark on her right cheek that is not present in her other form. She wears a shoulder-length white wig and a white dress with lacy frills and an apron.
The Feather Duster is one of the housemaids of the Beast's castle. When the castle was put under a spell she, alongside the other maids, was turned into a feather duster. She first appears in the kitchen, telling Mrs. Potts and Chip that she saw a girl in the castle (thus confirming Chip's claim to Mrs. Potts beforehand).
The Feather Duster next appears behind a curtain, flirting with Lumiere where she tells her lover that she's been burnt by him before. Lumiere then takes her into his arms but accidentally drops her when he sees that Belle has escaped from her room. She then appears along with eight other feather duster ladies during the song "Be Our Guest", where they proceeded to dance around while Cogsworth, to no avail, attempted to tell everyone to keep it down, with their dancing eventually forcing him to flee when they came closer to him.
Later on, when Belle returns to the castle with Beast, who rescued her from the wolves, the Feather Duster watches as Belle tends to the Beast's wounds. When her Master's temper kicks in, she cowers back with the other objects but shows some surprise and hope when Belle and the Beast cordially exchange thanks. Later on (presumably a few days later), she watches as the Beast gives Belle a library and is excited to see that the young woman liked the gift. In "Something There", she watches their relationship blossoming.
In the Special Edition DVD during "Human Again", Fifi interacts with Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts and the other maids during the song; she is seen with the former three right when the song begins (though she's the only one who doesn't sing) cleaning the bedroom in the middle of the song, and at the end of the number, and she flees when the Wardrobe proceeds to jump in the pool near the end of the song.
After Belle and the Beast dance in the ballroom, the Feather Duster is shocked and left hopeless when Cogsworth informs her that Belle has left. When the castle is under attack by Gaston and the villagers, she joins the group of objects in defending the castle from the villagers. When their plan to block the door from the villagers fails, the Feather Duster tells Lumiere that they must do something to which gives Lumiere an idea, which is to attack the villagers when they enter the castle, which they do. One of the villagers grabs her and begins to pluck out her white feathers while laughing sadistically. Luckily, Lumiere comes to her rescue and burns the villager's rump, scaring the man away and scooping up his grateful lover in his arms, surrounded by some of the Feather Duster's plucked feathers.
Later on, when the spell is broken, the Feather Duster is turned back into a beautiful maid, and when she walks by Lumiere, she flirtatiously dusts his face with her feather duster, and he chases after her but is stopped by Cogsworth, who wants to make amends for all their arguments before. In the end before the credits, Fifi is seen holding Lumiere's hand, presuming that they will continue their relationship together and she is also seen in the ending stained glass window.
The Feather Duster (or a look-alike, since all the feather duster maids looked the same while under the spell) makes a cameo appearance in the midquel during the song "As Long As There's Christmas", but doesn't appear throughout the rest of the film.
In Belle's Magical World, the Feather Duster is named Fifi and has not only a bigger focus than in her previous movie appearances, but also has a prominent storyline. In the segment, "Fifi's Folly", Fifi misunderstands Belle as Lumiere's new girlfriend when Belle helps him rehearse for his fifth Anniversary date with Fifi. Heartbroken and jealous of Belle, Fifi shows a very dark and scheming side of her when she takes serious actions to sabotage Belle and Lumiere's "relationship."
After discovering Lumiere was really preparing for a night with her and not Belle, she is overjoyed and forgets about what she had done in an attempt to get back at her. Fifi's previous actions catch up to her and almost cost her and Lumiere their lives when they end up sliding off a steep ledge and hanging over a deep gorge. Belle, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts round up some of the other household objects, and together, they formulate a plan to save Lumiere and Fifi. At the end of the segment, Lumiere tells Fifi he loves her and they share a kiss. Fifi learns not to jump to conclusions.
Here called Babette (how she was already named in the stage musical adaptation) made a few cameos in the series often seen with Lumiere and the other servants. In "Goofy's Valentine Date", she and Lumiere attempted to help Goofy practice confessing his love to a woman. However, he failed.
In the 2017 live-action remake of the film, the feather duster is known as Plumette and is voiced and portrayed by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Her personality is also quite different, as instead of merely flirting with Lumière and trying to make each other jealous, they are devoted to one another. Furthermore, her appearance as a feather-duster is stylized to resemble a peacock, enabling her to levitate and giving her the figure of a swan.
Plumette is one of the residents of the castle who lived with the prince who was selfish and unkind. Later as the prince is transformed into a hideous beast as punishment, Plumette and all the other residents of the castle are transformed into objects as the Enchantress has casted a spell all around the castle.
Plumette appears in the form of an anthropomorphic feather duster just as she helps clean the room for Belle and during a relationship with Lumiere, she explains that she has been burnt once by him. Plumette and the other objects tell the Beast to talk to Belle kindly to which Belle refuses to accept the Beast's offer because he locked her in the tower just as the Beast angrily leaves and uses the Enchanted Mirror to show him Belle. Later, Plumette and the other feather dusters later participate during the musical number "Be Our Guest", satisfying Belle.
Plumette and the other objects participate during the musical number "Days in the Sun" and after the sequence, it is found out that after the last petal falls, the Prince will remain a Beast forever and all the castle servants will become inanimate objects. Plumette and the other objects sing during later participates "Something There" centering on the relationship between Belle and the Beast.
Back at the Beast's Castle, Plumette and the other castle servants prepare a formal suit for the Beast just as the Beast and Belle start a romantic relationship. As Belle leaves the castle to find her father, Plumette, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts are worried about Belle planning to find her father just as they all leave sadly, as the Beast sings the musical number "Evermore".
As Gaston sends an angry mob to kill the Beast, Plumette joins the battle and fights against Gaston and his villagers. After the battle stops, the last petal falls and Plumette is transformed into her inanimate form as the castle residents become inanimate objects.
When Agathe uses her magic to restore the Enchanted Rose, Plumette is transformed back into her human form along with the other castle servants. Plumette and the other castle servants dance together in the ballroom during the reprise of the musical number "Beauty and the Beast".
Referred to as Marie in this comic, she played a role in the comic series. In one of the issue storylines, Marie alongside Lumiere attempts to help the Beast to confess his love to a woman, although it ended in failure. Although she doesn't appear in the second issue, she was mentioned by Mrs. Potts, where she orders her to awaken the garden tools and was presumably responsible for getting the Wheelbarrow over for a rescue mission for both Chip and the Beast.
Marvel Comic's Beauty and the Beast
The Feather Duster also appeared in a few issues, mostly to flirt with Lumiere. However, Issue 7 featured Lumiere fondling with two feather dusters when Chip attempted to ask Lumiere whether he was willing to play with him outside in the snow, making it unclear whether her appearances before and after that issue were actually all the same Feather Duster as the one from the first film or if each appearance was of one of the other maids. Lumiere briefly dreams about his being human again and flirting with the feather duster's human form before Cogsworth awakened him with a creaking sound in Issue 11 (due to Cogsworth needing oil for his joints). In this brief appearance, the feather duster maid's physical appearance was toned down slightly by giving her a smaller bust.
The Feather Duster made a non-speaking appearance in the story "Sittin' Pretty!", where she alongside Chip, Lumiere, and Cogsworth tried to give Beast a makeover to improve his appearance, only for it to backfire horribly (and have Belle ironically mention him being adorable).
In As Old as Time (A Twisted Tale), the feather duster- who is never explicitly named- reveals a degree of prejudice against the magical beings during a conversation, despite Lumiere noting that technically they are all magical creatures in their current state. After the servants are restored to human form at the cost of the Beast remaining in his monstrous state, Belle notes that the relationship between Lumiere and the former duster has notably cooled due to her expressed prejudices.
In the stage musical adaptation, she is called Babette and is depicted as slowly turning into a feather duster rather than completely changing into one the night the spell was cast, so she keeps her human-size over the storyline. She is introduced when Maurice comes into the Beast's Castle. In an attempt to make Lumiere jealous, she flirts with Belle's father and gives him a blanket, stating loudly that she "just love[s] old men". She has an argument with her lover where they point to each others' past lovers (Babette's are named Pierre and Jacques). The mention of one, in particular, Veronique, causes Lumiere to literally light up.
When Belle comes searching for her father, Babette tells Mrs. Potts about the news of a girl in the castle. She feels snubbed when Chip states that the newcomer is beautiful. Later on, after the Beast unsuccessfully tries to "convince" Belle to dine with him, (leading to him losing his temper), Babette flirts with Lumiere and is horrified when he sneezes at her hands, which have been newly turned into feathers. She is afraid that he doesn't love her anymore, but the candelabra comforts her and chases her off after she says her famous quote, "I've been burnt by you before!"
She joins the other Enchanted Objects into singing "Be Our Guest" and even dances the tango with Lumiere. In Act II, she sings about her hopes of being turned back into a full woman in Human Again along with other Enchanted Objects. When the villagers invade the Castle, she distracts one of them by flirting while Lumiere burns his behind. When Belle finally confesses her love for the Beast and the spell is broken, Babette turns back into her former voluptuous self and has banter with Lumiere over him lying to her about liking her better as a feather duster. The maid admits she likes her lover better now as well, and he chases her off. In her final appearance (excluding the Curtain Call), Babette sings a triumphant reprise of "Beauty and the Beast" as she watches Belle and the Prince dance in the ballroom.
- Despite the movie being set in France, Fifi is one of only two characters in the film who spoke with a French accent (the only other being Lumiere), and one of only three with a French accent in the franchise overall (the third being Angelique from The Enchanted Christmas).
- The Feather Duster's name is never mentioned in the original film. According to the original screenwriter Linda Woolverton, her name is Babette ― the name used in the stage musical, her WDCC figurine, and House of Mouse ― but in Belle's Magical World and much of the merchandise, she is called Fifi. In the series of comics based on the film published by Disney Comics, she is called Marie, and in the live-action remake and the merchandise pertaining to that, she answers to Plumette.
- Perhaps to remedy this, it is implied in the "Dove Tales" arc in the Marvel Comics series that Lumiere has had liaisons with at least two of the maids. Considering that multiple women were changed into feather dusters by the spell, it is possible that the Feather Duster may actually be multiple characters, which might explain the different names between mediums, or that the other names Babette and Marie are two other maids.
- The concept artwork depicted the Feather Duster's human form differs slightly, wearing a more conservative maid's outfit, as well as having long curled and somewhat disheveled hair resembling her duster's feathers. She is also depicted as more skinny than busty. The concept art, particularly in the face, had a closer resemblance to her feather duster form than the final version for her human form.
- In her sole lyric in the song "As Long As There's Christmas", she alludes to Lumiere having supplied her a tiara from Montmartre in the past.
- Oddly, even though she had a brown skirt in the original film, her WDCC figurine depicted her with a black skirt.