Disney nerds can be pretty intense when honoring their favorite characters. There is a whole legion of fans out there in the world naming either their pets or their children after the various princesses and princes they grew up watching, especially those born in the late 80's and early 90's.
I will fully admit that I used to wear out my VCR tape (yes, I’m old) recording The Hunchback of Notre Dame as a kid. When I finally adopted my first dog, I immediately wanted to name her Esmeralda after my favorite heroine. Sure, I wound up shortening it to “Esme” because training a dog to come back when called is difficult and it’s even more difficult when they have a long name, but that was my way of honoring my favorite character.
Other Disney geeks turn to the films when it comes to brainstorming names for their future child because most of the characters have pretty cool monikers. These are (usually) unique but aren’t out there like poor Nicholas Cage’s son Kal-El or Gwen Stefani’s child Zuma Nesta Rock.
For parents who are having a hard time coming up with baby names and who love Disney, the following list will help narrow down the perfect name for the future bundle of joy.
As a ‘90s kid who grew up watching Disney movies, The Little Mermaid was always one of my favorites and I’d sit and re-watch it for hours on end. I dressed up as Ariel even though I didn’t have red hair at the time.
Dreams do come true though, since I have used henna hair dye every Halloween for three years straight to score my favorite auburn locks.
For parents who are huge Disney nerds, Ariel is a good name for a baby because it’s synonymous with the spunky red-haired mermaid we all know and love -- the one who defied her father and saw the good in humans.
Elsa is probably one of the coolest (no pun intended) of the modern Disney characters: she’s got a great singing voice, is like a less villainous Killer Frost from DC Comics and she adores her sister Anna. Oh, and she’s a queen. What’s not to like about someone like that?
The name “Elsa” is a perfect nod to Frozen for parents that love the House of Mouse, but it’s also unique enough to stand out in a crowd. As someone who shared a name with several other classmates when I was growing up, I wish my parents had named me something extraordinary like Elsa.
In the Toy Story films, Andy has a heart of gold and treats his toys well. Unlike other teenagers who have zero qualms about tossing their old toys out in the trash because they are for “children,” Andy generously donates them to a young girl named Bonnie after Woody plants the idea in his head.
While Andy can certainly be used for a male child, parents can also use it for females by simply switching the spelling from a “-y” to an –“I;” i.e. “Andi”.
Disney-loving parents can either use the name Christopher (or Christina, for the female version) or Robin as a nice nod to Winnie the Pooh’s BFF. The good thing about using the name Christopher/Christina for a child is that there’s an endless amount of nicknames you can use from the regular ole’ “Chris” to “Tina” and even “Topher” if you really want.
Robin is also a nice unisex name and it’s also the codename for Batman’s sidekick from the DC Comics, which will definitely win you extra brownie points from fellow nerds. Another good thing about this name is that you spell it with a “Y” if you want to jazz it up for a female child.
Prince Eric is Princess Ariel’s human love interest for whom she swapped her fins for a pair of legs in The Little Mermaid. He’s a handsome young man that totally unphased by the fact his love interest is half-fish and brave enough to challenge a giant eight-legged sea witch at the height of the animated movie, despite the fact he’s a vulnerable mortal that could easily be done away with.
If naming your son after a courageous prince that went toe-to-toe isn’t enough of a reason to name your child after Ariel’s husband, the etymology of the name is pretty neat too. Behind The Name writes that it’s a common Norse name that means “ever ruler.”
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was hands-down my favorite princess because she was a nerdy, book-loving brunette.
I totally identified with her so hard when I was growing up to the point that I wish my parents had given me that name.
Belle is a simple yet elegant name for a female child that will instantly call to mind a gentle heroine with a heart of gold who managed to break a potent spell.
Who is more iconic amongst Disney geeks than Mickey Mouse himself? I’m also fond of the name “Mickey” because that was the name of my maternal great-uncle. In actuality, his real name was the very Italian moniker of “Placido,” but according to family lore, everyone just called him Mickey. No idea why but it’s certainly possible he was a big fan of the Mouse himself.
If you’re afraid that your kid is going to get teased by his peers with a name like Mickey, you can always use the name Michael and use Mickey as a nickname.
Behind The Name notes that the etymology of the name Elliot is derived from the medieval name Elias, the latter of which is a cognate of the Biblical name Elijah. According to lore, Elijah was a Hebrew prophet and a miracle worker that was carried to the afterlife by a chariot of fire.
It’s interesting to note the connection with fire since Disney used the name “Elliot” for the lovable dragon that appears in the 1977 live-action flick Pete’s Dragon. Elliot has a heart of gold, but if any of the children he’s guarding get into trouble, he’s ready to use his fiery breath to protect his BFFs.
The Princess and The Frog showed Disney fans that Tiana could do it all—cook, try to achieve her dreams and rescue a handsome prince from a malevolent spell that turned the poor dude into an amphibian.
Aside from the fact that Tiana’s skills at cooking could put Gordon Ramsay to shame, she’s also incredibly level-headed, which she remains even after getting turned into a frog.
Anyone that doesn’t freak out too much at being turned into a frog and goes up against an evil magic user is worthy of being named after, in my humble opinion.
Even though the Beast’s real name was never revealed during the original animated movie of Beauty and the Beast or the 2017 live-action remake starring Dan Steven and Emma Watson, Wikipedia notes that a few products licensed by Disney and even Paige O’Hara herself in a fan Q&A session claims that the cursed prince’s name was Adam.
Unlike some of the other popular Disney characters, naming your child Adam won’t raise any eyebrows. Since it’s a common enough name and your child’s peers won’t struggle to pronounce it. Plus, you have the privilege of knowing that you named your child after one of the most complex characters to ever grace a Disney film.
As someone with a super common name, having to share it with about 20 other Amanda's in my class when growing up used to drive me absolutely bonkers. I loathed having to identify as “Amanda F” to distinguish myself from the rest of my female classmates who shared my name.
There were times when I desperately wished my parents have chosen a more unique moniker for me.
If you don’t want to go with a boring and traditional name for a young girl, Faline is a great choice. Who wouldn’t want to be named after the spunky female deer from Bambi that managed to outwit a pack of hunting hounds and was forward enough to make the first move on her love interest?
Behind The Name points out that the name Flynn was originally an Irish surname known as “Ó Floinn” (the descendant of Flann). The name “Flann” comes from an Irish Gaelic word that means “red.”
Even though the character of Flynn Rider isn’t a redhead in the flick Rapunzel, he sports a fiery personality and is quick on his feet.
Despite his devil-may-care attitude he garnered through the years of life as a thief, he also has a tender heart deep down and did the right thing by helping Rapunzel.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is hands-down one of my all-time favorite Disney movies and I was devastated when I found out that the English-language version of the musical wasn’t going to be transferred to Broadway. I love the film so much that I even named my older dog Esmeralda after my favorite feisty heroine, although I shorten it to Esme for convenience.
Esmeralda is probably one of Disney’s best heroines ever. She’s not a pampered princess that has lived a privileged existence; she’s a Romani woman who has experienced many setbacks while living in a society that looks down upon her people as “Other” and therefore bad.
She’s quick on her feet, a great fighter for social justice, an awesome dancer and has a big heart. Plus, her pet goat Djali is a hilarious sidekick!
Whenever most Disney geeks hear the name “Nala,” we instantly think of Simba’s fierce but loving girlfriend turned. She was the one who wasn't afraid to defy the false king of the Pridelands and delve into the unknown or to voice her opinions about her significant other shirking his duties by not wanting to challenge Scar for the throne.
According to Behind The Name, Nala can be either a masculine or feminine name. In Sanskrit, the name “Nala” is a masculine moniker means “stem” but it can also be a feminine name that means “gift” in Swahili.
Sebastian may come off as a bit of a grump that always follows the rules laid down by Ariel’s father King Triton, but he truly loved the red-haired mermaid and always wanted what was best for her. Even if he didn’t like humans much, he took the time to keep an eye on her when she went to Ursula to gain legs and win the heart of Prince Eric--now that’s real friendship right there.
Sebastian would make a great name for a young boy because it’s not that common and you won’t have to worry about your kiddo sharing it with eight other children in his class.
Plus, you can always shorten it to “Bastian” if you really want to have a nickname for your child.
There are plenty of characters from Disney films that have unusual names that don’t always translate well into names for babies, but Peter from Peter Pan isn’t one of them.
It’s normal enough that it won’t cause any teasing from your son’s peers as he gets older, but it’s also not that common that he’ll have to share it with 20 other children when he starts going to school.
Aside from sharing the moniker with the titular hero of Peter Pan, the name Peter was also used for the nerdy and sassy Marvel Comics superhero Peter Parker, who got bit by a radioactive spider and became the crime-fighter known as Spider-Man.
Even for adults, watching Finding Nemo and hoping against hope that overprotective Marlin will finally be reunited with his son hit us right in the feels. It’s also the rare animated film that has plenty of material that children will enjoy but will also make the adults’ hearts clench.
Behind The Name points out that the name “Marlin” likely comes from the name “Merlin,” which is Welsh for “sea fortress” and is the name of King Arthur’s legendary wizard councilor.
There’s nothing cooler than being named after both a powerful magician AND a sweet-natured fish father!
As a life-long New Yorker and animal lover, Oliver And Company was one of my favorite Disney movies when I was growing up. My little sister and I would drive our parents up a wall by always having an impromptu karaoke session of the iconic song from the film Why Should I Worry whenever we were in the car driving somewhere.
For Disney geeks that have a significant other that might be uneasy about naming their future child after a naïve kitten from a Disney flick, you can point out that the name is also used in the classic tale Oliver Twist (the film’s a very loose adaption of it) as well as in DC Comics with the hero Oliver Queen/the Green Arrow.
Look, I’ll be honest—I was never a huge fan of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty when I was a kid because I felt that Aurora was a pretty bland character and she didn’t have any personality traits that made her stand out as a heroine.
Despite the lack of enthusiasm I had as a child towards this movie, Phillip is a nice name for a boy. It’s not anything that sounds weird and it’s easy to pronounce, so your child won’t be teased by their peers for having a unique name.
Plus, you can use “Phil” as a nickname if you want.
Jasmine is a beautiful name for a little girl because the princess that appeared in Disney’s Aladdin wasn’t a snob that lived to be waited on hand and foot by servants; she was cunning and adventurous. Jasmine was truly curious about life outside the palace walls and she didn’t bat an eye when she discovered that Aladdin was the poor boy she’d met when she sneaked out of the place to explore the marketplace.
Another good thing about naming your child after Princess Jasmine is you can use adorable nicknames such as “Jaz” or “Jazzy” for your little one.
While I was never a big fan of the movie Sleeping Beauty as a child because I thought it was too bland, the name of the heroine is absolutely beautiful and it would make a fantastic name for a little girl since it’s different, but not enough to make anyone roll their eyes at your choice.
According to Behind The Name, Aurora means “Dawn” in Latin. It was also the name of a Roman goddess of the dawn, so your child would be named after a princess and a deity!
Naming a child after Wendy Darling from Peter Pan would be awesome because once she’s old enough you could easily dress her up as the character for Halloween and snag some adorable photos to put in the photo album.
Behind The Name adds that J.M. Barrie, who wrote the original Peter Pan stage play, came up with the idea for the name Wendy from the nickname “fwendy,” which was a word made up by his friend William Henley’s young daughter Margaret.
In the original The Little Mermaid animated film and the subsequent television show, Arista is Ariel’s blonde-haired older sister.
The two often bicker, but Arista winds up admitting to her little sister that she wishes she could be more adventurous and admires Ariel’s courage.
Behind The Name adds that aside from being the name of Ariel’s older sister, Arista is also the name of a star in the constellation of Virgo and the etymology comes from the term “ear of corn” in Latin.
Crocodiles and alligators can be pretty dangerous to humans, but Louis from The Princess and the Frog is an absolute sweetheart and loves his two-legged friends. He’s also an excellent jazz player and wouldn’t dream of hurting a human since he eats our food with relish.
Another perk of naming your child after Louis the ‘gator from The Princess and the Frog is that they’ll also share the moniker with the famous jazz player Louis Armstrong. Disney Wikipedia points out that Armstrong’s referenced in the song When We’re Human and the character was most likely named for the musician.
Miss Bianca from The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under was a classy, elegant heroine who has a love for adventure and a kind heart. She was also voiced by Eva Gabor and the latter flick was actually the actress’s last movie role.
Behind The Name writes that aside from being the name of a Disney heroine, Shakespeare also used the name for characters in The Taming of The Shrew and Othello.
In Italian, the name Bianca is a cognate for the name “Blanche,” which means “white” or “fair.” This is perfect for Miss Bianca since she is a mouse that is covered in white fur.