- This article is about the Feather Duster, who was known as Fifi in Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World, as Marie in The New Adventures of Beauty and the Beast, and as Babette in the Broadway musical/House of Mouse.
Fifi is Lumière's girlfriend in Beauty and the Beast. She is one of the castle's maids (at least nine in total, based on "Be Our Guest"), who was turned into a feather duster during the spell alongside the other maids.
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 goosefeathers 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, a white apron with frills, black shoes, and a brown skirt.
The only thing in common between the two forms were a set of full lips and blue eyes.
The Feather Duster 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 at 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.
The Featherduster 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 Featherduster 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 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 during the song, eventually fleeing when the Wardrobe proceeds to jump in the pool near the end of the song. She may have appeared with five other maids fixing up Belle's room in the same 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 pull out her feathers, while laughing sadistically. Luckily, Lumiere comes to her rescue and burns the Villager's bottom, scaring the man away and scooping up his grateful lover in his arms.
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, the Maid is seen holding Lumiere's hand, presuming that they will continue their relationship together.
The Feather Duster (or a look-alike, since all the feather duster maids looked the same while under the spell) only appears in the midquel during the song "As Long As There's Christmas". She 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 then 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 5th 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 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. In 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 Lumière and the other servants. In "Goofy's Valentine Date", she and Lumière attempted to help Goofy practice confessing his love to a woman. However, he failed.
Referred to as Marie in this comic, she played a role in the comic series. In one of the issue storylines, Marie alongside Lumiere attempt to help the Beast into confessing 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 featherduster'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 featherduster 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).
Disney Princess storybook anthology
The Feather Duster makes an appearance in the Disney Princess storybook anthology, where she is seen meeting Belle in person alongside Mrs. Potts, Chip, and Cogsworth. It is to be noted that this was a change from the original film, as Fifi was not present at all during the meeting in question, and in fact does not even appear until after Belle snuck out of her bedroom where she and Lumiere were flirting and getting physical behind a curtain.
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 Lumière 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 each others' past lovers (Babette's are named Pierre and Jacques). The mention of one in particular, Veronique, causes Lumière 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 Lumière, 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 tango with Lumière. 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 Lumière burns his behind. When Belle finally confess her love for the Beast and the spell is broken, Babette turns back into her former voluptuous self and has a banter with Lumière 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.
- The Feather Duster's human form bears a slight resemblance to Vanessa. Coincidentally, both had alternate forms with non-standard legs (in Ursula's case, tentacles, and in Fifi's case, feathers acting as legs) and a mole near their lower jaw, the only difference being their true forms (Vanessa was a disguise for Ursula, while Fifi actually was human originally).
- Ironically, the Feather Duster in Belle's Magical World ended up becoming heartbroken when Lumiere seemingly decided to go for Belle instead of her, while Vanessa tried to crush Ariel's heart by brainwashing Eric into marrying her.
- Despite the movie being set in France, the Feather Duster is one of only two characters in the film who possessed an actual French accent (the only other being her sometimes-lover, Lumiere), and one of only three who possessed a French accent in the franchise overall (the third being Angelique from The Enchanted Christmas).
- Because of the implication in Part One of the Dove Tales arc in the Marvel Comics arc that Lumiere has had liaisons with at least two of the maids, it's likely that the Feather Duster may have actually been multiple characters, which might explain the differing names between mediums.
- The concept artwork depicted the Feather Duster's human form slightly differently, 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 featherduster form than the final version for her human form.