The Bimbettes (otherwise known as Claudia, Laura and Paula) are excessively boy-crazy identical blonde triplets who fawn over Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. They wear red, amber and green dresses respectively, and wear differing hairstyles that vary 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. Ironically, despite Belle being said to be the most beautiful one of all, they are better looking than Belle. They have more curves and are more buxom.
Like Gaston, they primarily like someone largely because of how they look, although it is unclear if they are obsessed with their own looks like Gaston is. However, they can see beyond physical appearances to a limited degree, as evidenced by their flirting with Lumiere in Disney Princesses: Royal Weddings. Although they are not book-smart, they have had moments of cleverness, at least in the Marvel Comics, 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. Another instance of their cleverness was demonstrated when Claudia, Laura, and Paula managed to successfully trick a bear into temporarily breaking out of hibernation by starting a fire to supply warmth, a leafy branch to indicate blossoming plants, and Laura tweeting like a bird to indicate birds had come out for spring. They also were at least observant enough to recognize that Belle refused Gaston, and that Gaston marrying Belle meant they didn't have a shot at marrying him.
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 ending just below the waist, 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 mary-jane shoes (although the latter was depicted as slippers in the comics). Their dresses are slightly similar to Belle's ballgown, only slightly less elaborate, serving as tavern dresses. In addition, their dresses, or at least Claudia's, possessed a ribbon on the posterior. Their physical beauty was high enough for LeFou to briefly react with some infatuation for them, prior to their accidentally squirting LeFou with water. In the issues of Beauty and the Beast set during the winter, they are seen wearing shawls over their dresses, colored in a similar manner to their dresses.
When they appeared as children in one of the comics, they had long winter dresses with a ribbon tied at the back. Although they still 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 in Disney Princess: Royal Weddings, 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; if they did, they wouldn't like him as much. 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, as well as their having presumably accepted the invitation to Belle and Adam's wedding despite the latter technically being involved in Gaston's death. In the Marvel Comics, they are shown to be somewhat jealous of Belle and are constantly coming up with plans to ensure Gaston returned their love and stop obsessing with Belle.
It was implied in both the film and the Wedding Wishes coloring book that despite their differences, especially their differing views of Gaston, the Bimbettes viewed Belle as a friend, as they were seen attending both the failed wedding between Gaston and Belle and the wedding between Belle and Adam (the latter of which only in the coloring book). The former instance also showed them personally helping in setting up the wedding, and was especially telling as it was implied that they were unaware of Gaston's status as the groom until after he showed up. Whether Belle felt the same way about them in the beginning is ambiguous, as she was seen glaring at them in disgust when they swooned over Gaston, and she also indicated when conversing with her father shortly thereafter that she didn't have any friends to interact with. However, Wedding Wishes does imply that Belle at least considered them friends during her wedding with Adam.
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 (outside of general acknowledgement that they love him in the case of the comics) 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 in shock and anger 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 until they saw Gaston arrive, which, after reacting with some shock and with Laura whispering something into Claudia's ear and Paula briefly eavesdropping, they became visibly shocked and devastated (implying they were unaware of who Belle was marrying until that point). They are briefly seen crying and sobbing vigorously shortly thereafter when he is announcing that he will propose to Belle as well as thanking for the attendance to the wedding. 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. They also observed Gaston consuming eggs. After the song, Paula is seen holding a platter and leaving to prepare orders while the rest of the tavern are cheering Gaston on, while Claudia and Laura are absent (presumably preparing other orders in the back). They later return in the reprise immediately after Gaston whispered his plan into LeFou's ear. Although at first glance they seemed to support Gaston's blackmail plot, their only appearing after Gaston whispered the plot to LeFou suggests they had been unaware of Maurice even arriving at (and subsequently being thrown out of) the Tavern, much less that Gaston planned to do something bad to him to force Belle into marrying him. In addition, they were shown not looking at Gaston around the time Gaston and LeFou sang "Takes cheap shots like Gaston//Plans to Persecute Harmless Crackpots like Gaston!" as well as not actually singing along in the final chorus, implying that they may not have supported the little details they could glean from Gaston's plan. This was further supported by their not being 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 the reprise, nor do we see their reaction to Gaston's death, but they most likely cried up a storm.
However, the "Wedding Wishes" 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 by that time.
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.
The Bimbettes also had a role in some of the Marvel comics released between 1994 and 1995, three to four years after the first film. In these, the Bimbettes generally tried to find a way to get Gaston to focus on them in the Village sidestories. They appeared in Issues 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 directly, and in issues 5 and 8 in flashback form.
In the first issue, the Bimbettes came up with an idea to use a "love potion" (implied to be perfume) that was powerful enough for even Gaston to fall for them instead of for Belle. It worked temporarily, but a skunk ended up forcing them to separate and flee. Later, they tried a different approach: placing a net trap to ensnare Gaston while he was on a hunting trip outside the village, but LeFou ended up setting off the trap instead.
In the second issue, the Bimbettes ended up reacting to Gaston's display of his features while the latter came up with a plot to announce a wife auction. In it, while he was mentioning his features, the Bimbettes reacted in a similar manner to the opening song, eventually fainting and being knocked out as he left. While out, they dreamed Gaston proposed to them [depicted as Paula].
In the third issue, one of the Bimbettes (Laura) managed to realistically disguise herself as Belle to get to Gaston during the ensuing 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. To complete her disguise, she grabs a book, but hides it from Gaston because he hates the idea of women reading. 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. Afterwards, they are seen sitting on a bench in the tavern, once again swooning over Gaston.
In the fourth issue, they are swooning over Gaston balancing books, although he makes no secret that Belle is his object in a conversation with LeFou, causing them to become determined that Gaston be theirs or no one else's. They then followed him to a snowy hill, and attempted to stop him, apparently because it would have guaranteed that Belle would fall for Gaston. However, the snow forced them to lose their grip and fall on LeFou, causing him to mention that it was "snowing girls." They later found Gaston with a sleeping bear (who had tied it up), and decided to wake it in an attempt to stop Gaston. Following a plan created by Laura, Claudia proceeded to start a fire in the cave, and Paula proceeded to brush its nose with a branch while Laura herself started mimicking a bird in an attempt to imply that it was springtime. They then fled as the bear woke up, with Gaston being forced out of the cave while attempting to take on the bear by himself.
The Bimbettes themselves do not actually appear in the fifth issue itself, although they do appear in a flashback Belle experienced, referencing the opening of the movie, where they were swooning Gaston. Their reaction to Gaston focusing on Belle is slightly different, wondering why Belle should be the object of Gaston's attention when he could go with one of them, especially when she doesn't even go to dances, instead of in the film where they were shocked and angered that she refused Gaston's advances.
They reappear in Issue 7, where they hope Gaston marries one of them when LeFou advised Gaston to give it up as he tried everything. However, Gaston decided to use the bookkeeper instead to lure Belle, causing Laura to scream after Claudia mentioned Belle, admitting they are getting tired of their jealousy of Belle, deciding to give Gaston a "taste of his own medicine" by making him jealous of LeFou. They managed to get Gaston angry enough to attack LeFou at the bookstore by flirting with him, although not in the way they hoped, as he was more incensed that LeFou had shirked off his duty regarding being on lookout for Belle than the fact that he was interacting with the Bimbettes, causing them to run out of the bookstore screaming. This is ultimately their final appearance in the main line of comics, not counting the flashback in the next issue.
Like in the fifth issue, they don't actually appear in the eighth issue, although they do appear in Belle's flashback to an instance regarding a past event where Belle went to the fair with her father. Although initially relieved that Belle was leaving the village, they realized that it meant she would come back like before, so they resolved to switch the sign leading to the fair to the other direction to ensure they can't come back. Ultimately, their plan was undone, with Belle returning.
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.
Although not a separate novelization per-se, they also appeared in two pages of a French book adaptation of the Disney film. The first was when Gaston was introduced, swooning him, and the second was their attendance at Gaston and Belle's failed wedding. Interestingly, the French version showed them singing along joyfully despite the original film crying up a storm as well as being implied to have been kept in the dark about Gaston being the groom. This was fixed in the English version of the book.
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. 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.
Like in the movie, their first scene is in Belle, fawning over Gaston, although their scene is also expanded to having them socializing with other villagers and gossiping about Belle's "odd" nature. However, here they are not present when Gaston stops Belle. They make their second appearance outside Belle's cottage, accompanying Gaston. They are crying over the fact that he's going to propose to Belle. They light up a bit when he promises to keep up with their little rendezvouses, but exit sobbing as he once again express his wish of proposing to Belle and sends them off. They appear after Gaston's unsuccessful proposal, asking how it went. Each gets new hopes of getting him for herself, and they squabble over it while they exit.
They make their third and final appearance in the song Gaston, comforting Gaston by stroking his ego and flirting. In the Broadway production, they sit in his lap and feel his biceps, also partaking into an intricate coreography with mugs. Unlike the movie, they are present as Maurice storms in, alerting about the Beast who has made Belle a prisoner. However, they are not present as the hunter and Lefou schemes in Gaston (reprise). Instead, they walk away with the other patrons, laughing after Maurice leaves.
They do not appear in Act II. However, in non-Broadway productions, they can appear during The Mob Song if a director chooses so. They may also not be triplets, having different hair colors (wearing different wigs) and 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 even got autograph pads from the stand -- 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. Although mostly the same, the Bimbettes hairstyles are significantly shorter, only ending at the bottom of the shoulder blades, instead of down to below the waist. Some instances of the play have the Bimbettes wearing ragged blue cloaks with interior lining possessing the same color as the aprons of their dresses underneath as well as hoods up and carrying oil lanterns, implying that this segment took place during the Mob Song. Besides the obvious green, amber, and red dresses, they also sometimes wore lavender, pink, and blue dresses, with their aprons similarly being variable. 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.
Disney on Ice
They also appeared during the Disney on Ice segment. Because of the nature of the segment, their dresses stop at the knee rather than reaching their feet. Like in the stage show versions, however, their hair is significantly shorter than in the film, and has a hint of orange to it.
- 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).
- In House of Mouse, they are all voiced by Kath Soucie due to Mary Kay Bergman's death by that point.
- In the final version of the film, they were the closest counterparts to Belle's spoiled sisters from the original fairy tale, though not as malicious and were implied in the film to be on friendly and sweet terms with Belle.
- 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'.
- Ironically, 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, though no one acknowledges this.
- Similarly, at one point in the comics, Laura disguised herself as Belle flawlessly enough to fool Gaston initially, which conflicted with the claim that Belle's looks had no parallel.
- 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 "The Tavern Girls", "The Village Girls", "The 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.
- Despite technically being allies of Gaston, the Bimbettes are not bad, as they are shown to have moments of sweetness and it is mostly naïvete that causes them to "love" Gaston for his looks and initially fail to see his true colors.
- 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. 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 "Trois Blondes Biere" (French for "Three Blondes Beer"') on it. Trois Blondes 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 appearances 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