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LeFou

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Villain Overview
Wow, you didn't miss a shot, Gaston! You're the greatest hunter in the whole wide world.
~ LeFou commenting Gaston for his perfect shooting aim.

LeFou is the secondary antagonist of Disney's 30th full-length animated feature film, Beauty and the Beast, and its 2017 live action adaptation. He is Gaston Legume's former sidekick and right-hand man.

He was voiced by the Venezuelan actor, Jesse Corti, in the original 1991 film, and was portrayed by Josh Gad (in his first villain portrayal) in the 2017 live action adaptation.

Personality

LeFou may be the incompetent henchman that a villain could ask for, but is much smarter than he looks. Like most of the other villagers (including Gaston); LeFou is content to look at the world through a hopelessly narrow-minded point of view, and regards thinking as a dangerous pastime. However, LeFou can be quite trustworthy, reasonable, and judicious, as he is aware that Belle would have no interest in having a relationship with Gaston; he even pointed out that the other women in the village are quite fond of Gaston, though this doesn't change Gaston's mind as he still wants Belle as his wife by any means necessary.

LeFou does play a significant role when he starts off the famous Gaston song, as he did this which not only cheered Gaston up, but also inspired him to develop a plan to force Belle to marry him. However, despite his loyalty to Gaston, LeFou finds it very frustrating to be on the end of Gastron's wrath, as he strongly disapproves watching on guard outside Belle's empty house during the winter under Gaston's orders. He even finds Gaston's egotistical behavior to be quite irritating and disagreeable after being dumped into a mud pit by the latter after the failed wedding proposal.

Beauty and the Beast (1991 original)

LeFou is first seen in the film's opening musical number, where he caught a water fowl that Gaston managed to shoot down (or rather, attempted to, as the bird ended up falling a few inches away from him, causing him to sheepishly put it in the bag), having presumably accompanied Gaston on a hunting trip. He then told Gaston that he didn't miss a shot and was very likely to be the greatest hunter in the world, and was also the most wanted man among the women in the village. However, LeFou was shocked when Gaston revealed his desire to marry Belle out of all the girls. LeFou tried to warn Gaston that Belle isn't his type and won't likely reciprocate his desires, but was ignored. He then briefly flirted with the Bimbettes, but ended up squirted by them as they were distracted while admiring Gaston. Afterwards, upon rendezvousing with Gaston as Belle was about to leave to tend to her father Maurice, LeFou briefly mocked Maurice as a "crazy old loon," earning him a rebuke from both Belle and Gaston (the latter only did it mostly to impress Belle), although they proceeded to laugh while Belle rushed back to her cottage when an explosion occurred at the cottage, most likely from one of Maurice's experiments backfiring.

As Gaston arranges an unwanted wedding proposal for Belle, LeFou becomes the conductor of an improvised musical band, conducting the band in an impossibly-fast version of the Bridal Chorus, although he ended up getting a trumpet slammed into his head by Gaston after prematurely playing the band. After Belle's rejection of Gaston, LeFou asks him how his proposal went, prompting Gaston to throw LeFou into the mud in his frustration, to which he sarcastically replies "Touchy!" Later, LeFou and the other villagers cheer up Gaston at the local tavern by singing a song about how great he is. LeFou was also the only one of the villagers to directly learn from Gaston the specific details of his plan involving locking Maurice in the asylum to force Belle into marrying him.

When Gaston enacts his plan to blackmail Belle into marriage with help from Monsieur D'Arque (the owner of the local asylum), LeFou is tasked with standing guard in Belle's home until Belle and Maurice return. LeFou attempted to protest his given task to a departing Gaston, only to be ignored again. This annoys LeFou to an extent that he smashes his arm against part of the house, burying him even deeper in the snow from a minor avalanche of snow. By the time they do return, LeFou had poorly disguised himself as a snowman (being covered in a light layer of snow, and his actual arms are exposed still gripping onto the tree branches that were supposed to act as his "arms."), and upon witnessing their return, LeFou rushes off to tell Gaston and D'Arque. They soon appear with a lynch mob, and LeFou successfully convinces the congregated mob that Maurice is insane by having Maurice describe the Beast again, but the plan falls apart when Belle uses the Magic Mirror to prove Maurice's claims, making everyone (including LeFou) realize that Maurice was telling the truth the whole time.

After learning that Belle has feelings for the Beast, Gaston (in a fit of envy and pride) rallies the crowd to attack the Beast's castle and kill him, and LeFou walks by his side with the rest of the rioters. Once inside the castle, LeFou picks up Lumiere to light his way, and Lumiere's signal begins the battle. During the battle, LeFou attempts to get his revenge on Lumiere by waving a torch perilously close to Lumiere's head, melting him slightly. However, Cogsworth intervenes by poking LeFou in the rear end with a pair of scissors. LeFou was later seen pursuing Sultan to the kitchen with several other villagers, but they all end up fleeing the castle in defeat after the chef frightens them with his huge flames. It is left undisclosed if LeFou and the villagers ever found out that Gaston died after his battle against the Beast, but it is likely that Gaston's absence from then on would give them that exact message.

Beauty and the Beast (2017 remake)

LeFou appears as the (former) secondary antagonist of the 2017 live action adaptation of the film, played by Josh Gad. Considerably more intelligent and down-to-earth than his animated counterpart, LeFou was expanded in this version, the most notable example being LeFou's feelings toward Gaston developing from simple admiration to romantic infatuation until the climax.

Just like his animated counterpart, LeFou tends to aid Gaston in running the local tavern and being under his thumb. He even once sang about Gaston's greatness to the village in order to cheer him up after the latter's failed attempts to woo and marry Belle, and finds Maurice's ravings about the Beast to be ridiculous.

However, as the plot unravels, LeFou starts to become uneasy over Gaston's true nature, as he objects over Gaston's intent to leave Maurice to die in the woods. Even when Maurice returns after being rescued by the local begger woman Agathe and accuses Gaston for attempted murder, Gaston secretly silences LeFou from testifying against him before convincing the villagers that Maurice must be locked away in the local asylum for his 'delusions', much to LeFou's guilt.

Eventually, Belle returns and proved her father's sanity by revealing the Beast's existence with a magic mirror, which made LeFou and the villagers realize that Maurice was telling the truth. Despite this turn of events, Gaston turns the table by stealing the magic mirror and convincing the villagers to help him take down the Beast. After Gaston locks up Belle and Maurice in the asylum carriage, LeFou starts to develop second thoughts, but is forced into compliance when Gaston threatens to have him locked up as well. As Gaston leads the villagers to the castle, LeFou feels uncomfortable in raiding the Beast's castle, feeling that Gaston is becoming more deranged than usual.

As the villagers break into the castle, LeFou inadvertently instigates a battle after seeing Chip, the teacup that Maurice mentioned could talk and after wrongfully identifying Mrs. Potts as Chip's grandmother, which left Mrs. Potts insulted as she signals the servants' ambush against the villagers. During the battle, Gaston uses LeFou as a human shield against the coat rack, Chapeau; who brawled LeFou several times before the latter ends up being accidentally smacked by an harpsichord named Maestro Cadenza. LeFou begs for help, but Gaston just left him for dead as he went to the West Wing to kill the Beast himself, much to LeFou's shock (even Cadenza himself is horrified by this act of betrayal). Finally having enough, LeFou defected to the servants' side, even saving Mrs. Potts from being fallen before the villagers flee away in humiliation and defeat.

Following Gaston's death, LeFou returns back to the castle with the villagers (who have all regained their memories after Belle breaks the curse, which transformed the Beast and his servants back to normal). In the end, LeFou dances with the crowd at the final ceremony, particularly with Stanley (this has caused much controversy surrounding the fact that LeFou is implied to be gay).

Other Appearances

Beauty and the Beast (musical)

In the musical, LeFou's role is very much the same as it is in the film, as he supports Gaston's plan to have Belle as his wife. He, Gaston, and Monsieur D'Arque even sang about Gaston's plot in the song called "Maison Des Lunes".

House of Mouse

LeFou often appeared alongside Gaston as one of the guests in House of Mouse, and he can be seen alongside other villains in Mickey's House of Villains. In the episode, "Everybody Loves Mickey" LeFou notably appears alongside some of the villagers to sing "Let's Slay the Beast". Lefou is also seen during the head count of all the Disney character guests in "Ask Von Drake". In "Pete's House of Villains", Lefou and Gaston joined the other guests as they rooted for Mickey's return when Pete's show was a flop.

Trivia

  • His name is French for "The Madman", and also a phonetic pun on "The Fool".
  • LeFou is similar to Master Little from The King and I; they are short, overweight, and constantly abused by their masters, but remain loyal to them in spite of that.
  • While King Stefan, the Grand Duke and King Louie were all heroes portrayed as villains in their respective live-action films, LeFou is the first original Disney villain to be redeemed in the live-action adaptation as he had more heroic qualities than his animated counterpart, such as turning on Gaston for his constant mistreatment towards him, something the original LeFou would never do.
  • In the live action 2017 film, it is implied that Lefou has romantic feelings for Gaston, making him one of the only homosexuals in Disney history. After losing interest in Gaston, he is shown dancing with a different man at the end of the film, giving him a happy ending.


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