Claudia, Laura and Paula, or better known as The Bimbettes, are excessively boy-crazy blonde identical triplets who fawn over Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. They wear red, amber and green dresses respectively, and wear differing hairstyles that switch constantly throughout their appearances in the movie and House of Mouse.
The Bimbettes, whose real names are Claudia (with the red dress), Laura (with the amber dress) and Paula (with the green dress), are triplet sisters working as waitresses at a local tavern in the unnamed French village that is the home of Belle. Like most of the young women of the village (according to the 1994 Marvel comics as well as implied in the original film), they are infatuated with Gaston, showing neither awareness or concern over his truly boorish and chauvinistic nature, but he has no interest in marrying any of them because he wants the most beautiful girl in town as his wife.
Like Gaston, they primarily like someone largely because of how they look. Although they are not book-smart, they have had moments of cleverness, a notable instance being when one of the Bimbettes (Laura) realistically disguised herself as Belle, anticipating that Gaston would want to choose Belle at a wife auction, not letting up the disguise until after she won Gaston during the auction, and even then, only because her sisters interfered.
The girls may have been fairly wealthy, as evidenced with the aforementioned incident of Laura using a wig and dress that she had presumably purchased in an attempt to disguise herself as Belle, which during the time period of the franchise wigs were reserved for wealthy people.
The Bimbettes are three identical triplets, with long blonde hair, in a ponytail and green eyes. They possess voluptuous bodies. Aside from varying hairstyles that switch at random, the only discernible difference between them are the color of their dresses and hairbows: red for Claudia, amber for Laura, and green for Paula. They also wear bloomers and matching black shoes. Their dresses are slightly similar to Belle's ballgown, only slightly less elaborate, serving as tavern dresses. Their physical beauty was high enough for LeFou to briefly react with some infatuation for them, prior to their accidentally squirting LeFou with water.
When they appeared as children in one of the comics, they had long winter dresses with a ribbon tied at the back. Although they had ponytails, they seemed to be strapped with a regular cord instead of a hairbow. In addition, they also wore slippers. Because of the blue coloring of their appearance, it is difficult to discern the colors of the dresses, although Claudia's may have been red due to it having a darker shade than her sisters.
When Adam and Lumiere were getting supplies for Adam and Belle's wedding, Paula was seen wearing a dress with sleeves covering her shoulders as well as a hat, all colored green, while Claudia was seen wearing a red dress similar to her regular dress, only with a red sash covering her cleavage.
In regards to personality, from what we see of them in both the film and musical play, collectively the Bimbettes act like the fan-girls of any cute, attractive Hollywood celebrity, or schoolgirls that are infatuated with the cute boy in class. They think Belle is crazy for not admiring Gaston as much as they do, but they just didn't know that Gaston was a male chauvinist. They also get upset very easily too. Additionally, like most of the women in the village, they are also exceedingly boy-crazy, which is what sets them and said women apart from a woman like Belle, who spends most of her time reading and studying rather than looking pretty for men. This is one of the girls' positive qualities as well, as it has endeared them to quite the huge fan-base in recent years. They were also shown to be very forgiving in spite of themselves, as evidenced by their giving comfort to Gaston despite the latter keeping them in the dark about marrying Belle, and their devastation when they found out he was the groom at the failed wedding.
Although they were in love with Gaston, as noted in various sections below, their actual relationship with Gaston varied: in the original film as well as the comics, it is strongly implied that Gaston completely ignored them in favor of Belle since childhood, with the latter source having Gaston ending up outraged when he discovered one of them posing as Belle; while in the musical, they were mentioned to have some sort of romantic relationship prior to Gaston pursuing Belle, with the sad and unfortunate implication that he intended to continue the relationship even after marrying Belle. In one of the comics, they were shown trying to attract Gaston's attention while sledding, thus implying that they were attracted to Gaston since childhood, and thus their love for Gaston was not merely the shallow kind.
My Disney Experience Official Description
Unfortunately, the Bimbettes do not have an official park description just yet because they are not yet available for meet-and-greet opportunities.
They first appear in the introduction song of the film, where they are remarking on how Gaston's dreamy, cute and a strong brute, eventually fainting. They are so busy singing about how much they love Gaston that they accidentally squirt water on LeFou (as they are getting water---presumably for making beer in the tavern---and don't realize that LeFou was nearby). Afterwards, Claudia and Laura, while witnessing Belle rejecting Gaston's advances, state how Belle is crazy because of the way she deals with Gaston, while Paula (followed by her sisters shortly thereafter) begin swooning Gaston again. They are later seen during the preparations of what would have been Gaston and Belle's wedding, setting up what was apparently a wine table. They seemed somewhat content with setting up with Laura whispering something into Claudia's ear, until they saw Gaston arrive, which they became visibly shocked and devastated (implying they were unaware of who Belle was marrying until that point). They are seen crying and sobbing vigorously shortly thereafter when he is announcing that he will propose to Belle as well as his briefly cracking a joke. They later comforted him at the Tavern after his plan to marry her backfired with him falling into mud, although they briefly hesitated in actually giving comfort for a few seconds until LeFou finished singing "and it's not very hard to see why."
During "Gaston", the three Bimbettes are sitting on a bench singing how Gaston was the burliest and brawniest of all, and Gaston picks the Bench with them up and shows off his muscles to the Bimbettes and then throws their bench back down onto LeFou. After the song, Paula is seen holding a platter and leaving to prepare orders while they are cheering Gaston on, while Claudia and Laura are absent (presumably preparing other orders in the back) Despite their earlier devastation that Gaston chose Belle over them, they were apparently also in support of Gaston's plan to blackmail Belle into marrying him (although their only appearing after Gaston whispered the full details of his plan to LeFou implies they may not have even known about Maurice's earlier arrival/forced departure or even fully aware that Gaston came up with a plan to ensure Belle's marriage. In addition, they weren't actually shown singing the final verses.). Despite their possible support, however, they were not present at the Lynch Mob that congregated at Belle's house to evict Maurice to the Asylum. The Bimbettes aren't seen throughout the rest of the film after this, nor do we see their reaction to Gaston's death.
However, the coloring book reveals that they were invited to Belle and Adam's wedding, where they compete to catch Belle's bouquet, suggesting that they have let go of Gaston.
Also, in the children's book Disney Princesses: Royal Weddings Claudia and Paula are seen flirting with human Lumiere when he comes into town to buy things for the wedding between Belle and Prince Adam; again suggesting that they have let go of Gaston.
In a comic (specifically, Issue 3) released by Marvel in 1994, three years after the release of the movie, one of the Bimbettes (Laura) managed to realistically disguise herself as Belle to get to Gaston during a wife auction (Gaston naturally wanting Belle). The disguise was Belle's white and blue village outfit and a wig that resembled Belles hair color and style.
It works for a few moments, but the other two Bimbettes, desperate to get at Gaston, accidentally ripped her disguise away (apparently believing she was Belle), causing Gaston to become angry at the deception, and retaliate at LeFou for mistaking her for Belle. To complete her disguise, she grabs a book, but hides it from Gaston because he hates the idea of women reading. Afterwards, they are seen sitting on a bench in the tavern, once again swooning over Gaston.
Aside from the main Marvel Comics series, one of the comics (issue 5, more specifically) from Disney Comic Hits! (also released by Marvel) also depicted the Bimbettes, alongside Gaston and Belle, as children on a snowy day. They proceeded to watch Gaston and get him to look at them (who likewise was trying to impress Belle) while teasing Belle for using a box as a sled, only for them and Gaston to hit a tree while Belle goes by. This suggests that Belle and her family have lived in the village for a very long time. In addition, the narration during this bit had Maurice, when giving Belle the sled, mention sledding "with all of your friends," suggesting that the Bimbettes and Gaston were at that time on friendly terms with Belle.
In the novelization Weddings, set after the first film, Belle and Adam paid a visit to the village as a sort of vacation. While there, the Bimbettes swooned for Adam the same way they swooned over Gaston. Like their coloring book appearance, and in one of the illustrations for Disney Princesses: Royal Weddings this suggests that they have let go of him.
In the Musical, their roles are the same, although they are given more dialogue, Gaston pays more attention to them, and their role is expanded slightly. It is also implied that Gaston might still see them after he marries Belle when they are upset that he's marrying Belle. They are referred to as the Silly Girls in the musical, and there can be more than three of them if a director chooses to cast more girls.
However, in the original Broadway musical, similar to in the original film, they do not appear during "The Mob Song", but can appear if a director chooses to expand their role further, though they do not join Gaston during his fight with the Beast and witness Gaston's death. Additionally, some school productions of the musical have Silly Girls of different races.
Despite the fact that they only appear a few times in the movie, the Bimbettes appear several times in the show as cameo characters, all voiced by Kath Soucie due to Mary Kay Bergman's suicide at that point. In the episode "Big Bad Wolf Daddy", Gaston seems to be annoyed with them singing a song with Zeke Wolf, even if he seemed to ignore them in the movie. They also acted as groupies for Donald Duck in the episode "Three Caballeros", when the duck became The Duck Formerly Known as Donald--they called Donald "super-duper duck-a-riffic"-- and later they, alongside Tilda from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, stormed the stage for Jose Carioca and Panchito Pistoles as all three of them performed. This clearly shows that, at least in this continuity, they fawn over any male that they come in contact with, whether human, extraterrestrial, or anthropomorphic.
Just like in the movie, the girls retain their habit of hairdo-switching.
The Bimbettes also make an appearance at the parks (with identical hairstyles rather than different ones), but they currently only appear in the stage show (during the opening scenes only) and unfortunately are not meetable characters yet, in spite of Gaston recently appearing at Walt Disney World in Florida. This is likely due to them not being the most important characters in the movie, even though they have a pretty good fan-base of both male and female fans. Occasionally in some performances of the stage show, one of the Bimbettes is dark-skinned (pictured at right). This is likely an "understudy Bimbette" in case one of the actresses playing them can't be on stage. Despite the fact that they work as waitresses at the tavern in the movie, they aren't present at the theme park equivalent doing the same job. The girls, however, were meetable at Disneyland Paris from 2002 to 2007, but were then dropped from the character roster for a currently-unexplained reason. Unlike in the film, the Bimbettes wore a more modest outfit with white fur collars and cuffs (due to the show occurring during the Christmas season), and were wearing the same colored dress (magenta), leaving only their hairstyles and fabric belts as their differentiating factor. There is an effort to get them to become meetable in Walt Disney World in the future, however, now that the Belle's Village section of New Fantasyland has been opened. A wallpaper for the Fantasyland expansion also indicated that they will most likely make an appearance in the future. In it, they once again are swooning over Gaston, but they are in their stage show incarnations rather than the outfits presented in the movie. Additionally, recent Vinylmation figures of the girls are now being sold in Walt Disney World. In addition, they will also be supplied with a New Fantasyland pin that depicts them in the tavern.
Their role in the stage show is the same as in the movie, but with a difference—at one point, during the Gaston number, they faint on the floor with a thud, something they only did in Belle.
- At one point in the movie Claudia has Belle's/Vanessa's hairstyle, Laura has Jasmine's, and Paula has Ariel's. However, at the end of the reprise to Gaston, all three girls have Jasmine's hairstyle, likely as the result of an animation error that could not be fixed in time for the movie's release. During the song and pretty much the whole time they're shown in the movie, their hairstyles continually switch around. They basically all wear the hairstyle of three of the Disney Princesses.
- The girls also share Ariel's facial structure.
- Claudia and Laura were voiced by the late Mary Kay Bergman and Paula was voiced by Kath Soucie (Who coincidentally voices The Enchantress in The Enchanted Christmas, who bears some resemblance to her).
- Coincidentally, Mary Kay Bergman also voiced Fifi in the first film, who had a slightly similar personality to them.
- In House of Mouse, they are all voiced by Kath Soucie due to Mary Kay Bergman's death by that point.
- They were the closest counterparts to Belle's spoiled sisters from the original fairy tale, though not as malicious.
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Flop Starz", the Ferbettes (Who were Isabella Garcia-Shapiro, Milly, Gretchen and Adyson Sweetwater) parodied the name, and are known for singing the song "Gitchee Gitchee Goo".
- A few characters with a similar design and personality also appeared in Aladdin.
- The name "Bimbette" more than likely comes from the American word, "bimbo", which means 'a physically attractive woman who lacks intelligence, and also uses her body to get what she wants'.
- Even though Disney doesn't acknowledge the girls very much (currently refraining them from making meet-and-greets in the parks, for example) and that they are on the side of good ultimately, it is their swooning over Gaston that ultimately feeds his ego and causes him to devolve psychologically into a true monster. However, the fact that he was considered a "hero" of the village implies that he did initially have some good in him.
- Even though the girls are called the "Bimbettes" in the film and "Silly Girls" in the musical, they're unofficially known by many other monikers, such as the "Tavern Girls", "Village Girls", "Babettes" (which is close in spelling to "Babette", a name shared with Fifi the Featherduster, who is renamed Babette in the play although with a different pronunciation), "Triplets" and even "Barmaids", "Gaston's Entourage" and "Tavern Wenches". Even their actual given names were never revealed until the Platinum and Diamond Edition DVDs were released.
- "Babettes", one of the sisters' collective names by fans, is pronounced "babe-ettes"; while the name "Babette" is pronounced "bab-et".
- Despite their "minor character" and "set piece" status in the movie, there has been a recent influx of fan art of the girls on the Internet by fans who love them, and are trying to revive them for newer generations on DeviantArt and FanFiction.net, among other Internet locales; they are thus three of the most popular characters from the movie, similar to how Nakoma was deemed popular in her movie.
- Although Belle is referred to as the most beautiful woman in the village (at least to Gaston and the bald woman who claims that "her looks have got no parallel") in the film, the Bimbettes technically outrank her in terms of physical beauty, as they have larger breasts, thinner waists and overall more impressive figures than Belle has. This makes the girls similar to their counterparts in Aladdin, who also have the same "minor character" and "set piece" status.
- Ironically, despite Belle being referred to as having unparalleled physical beauty, one of the Bimbettes, Laura managed to effortlessly pose as her in one of the Marvel comics.
- Not counting song lyrics, sighing dreamily and crying (wailing like infants in most adaptations in the musical), in the movie they only have one line of dialogue each: Specifically, their expressing shock that Belle wouldn't like Gaston while swooning him. They are given more dialogue in the Broadway musical, however, and their role in the story is expanded a bit.
- The end of "Gaston" confirms that the girls are indeed waitresses as Paula (with Laura's hairstyle) is seen holding a silver tray while Gaston's buddies are cheering for him. Although non-canon, the girls were also seen holding order pads usually used by waiters/waitresses for restaurants in one of the episodes of House of Mouse, suggesting that they actually work at the nightclub rather than just being its patrons. Sadly, they are not yet presently doing this job at Walt Disney World's New Fantasyland equivalent, but this makes the girls very similar to Tiana as she is also working as a waitress.
- Claudia and her sisters share many similarities to Rapunzel.
- All four have long blonde hair and green eyes. Unlike Rapunzel, however, the Bimbettes were natural blondes (as Rapunzel's blonde hair was actually a side-effect of the healing herb that her mom ingested while she was developing in the womb, with Rapunzel herself actually being naturally dark haired).
- All four have perky and sweet personalities.
- All four were unknowing of something important (Rapunzel was unknowing of her family and identity as a royal; Claudia and her sisters were unknowing of Gaston's true sexist and boorish nature).
- In the Belle's Village area of New Fantasyland, in the ordering area of Gaston's Tavern, there is a beer barrel on the wall that says "Les Trois Blondes" (French for "The Three Blondes"') on it. This is the girls' collective name in French.
- Claudia and her sisters have at least one similarity to Anna. Both called the villain gorgeous. In addition, similar to Rapunzel, all four were unknowing of something important (in Anna's case, that Hans' true nature was a backstabbing power-hungry sociopath).
- The Bimbettes can arguably be considered to be the sexiest female Disney characters along with Jessica Rabbit.
- The Bimbettes are similar to Alice as they have blonde hair and wear bloomers, as well as black mary-jane shoes but no stockings.
- The Bimbettes are also similar to Hello Nurse from the cartoon series Animaniacs as they have blonde hair, can be considered "dumb-blondes" and have sexy looking appearances.
- The Bimbettes especially Claudia are also similar to Nancy from Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist as they all wear similar dresses, but Claudia like Nancy wears a red dress. The girls are in love with a villain, in Nancy's case Bill Sykes, while the Bimbettes are in love with Gaston, though unlike Nancy the Bimbettes don't get any attention from who they love. Also like Nancy they work in a tavern.
- The figurine and the comics reveal that the Bimbettes have blue eyes, but they have green eyes in the movie. In addition, their appearance in Disney Princess Weddings depicts them with brown eyes.
- In the Family Guy episode "Airport '07," there were three scantily-clad blonde women who accompanied Hugh Hefner that bore some resemblance to Claudia and her sisters.
- While singing their verses in the Gaston song, Paula's hand while motioning (immediately prior to Gaston lifting their bench) is using the handsign that means "A-Okay" in the heavy metal subculture.
- For unknown reasons, the Bimbettes were not among the villagers who went to Adam's castle for the Christmas party in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.
Notes and references