Practically from birth, Disney has an incredibly pervasive way of shaping the childhood experience. It’s in Disney movies that you first learn about love, good morals such as kindness and being truthful, and of magic and dreams actually coming true. It’s nostalgic to share our favorite classics with your kids — and with a couple decades more life experience under your belts, you can enjoy them in a whole new way this time around. And now that you’ve grown up and had babies of your own, what better way to embrace the magic than with Disney-inspired baby names?
Pregnancy is a wild and wacky time: for odd cravings, pondering what your little one will look like, and to start brainstorming baby names. Of course, it’s obviously important to consider our kids’ feelings beyond early childhood, and therefore choosing names that aren’t too embarrassing or with negative connotations. In other words, maybe not Ursula (the mer-witch who steals Ariel’s voice in The Little Mermaid) or Maleficent (the evil sorceress in Sleeping Beauty). Fortunately, there are plenty of strong picks that will remind parents of their favorite Disney classics… without having to save up for future therapy bills. Here are some favorite Disney-inspired baby names to consider for your future fanatic.
Whether you want to raise a future bibliophile or a feminist who admires her independence and wit, you can’t go wrong with Beauty and the Beast’s book-loving heroine.French for “beauty,” Belle is a less common alternative to the recently popular Bella of Twilight fame. It’s also a shorter form of Isabelle, which just screams elegance and *ss-kickery. Phonetically pleasing, it brings a sophisticated, European air.
This classic Celtic boy’s name is full of impish charm, not to mention history. Legendary Irish warrior Finn Mac Cool was known for his mystical and supernatural capabilities. The Disney connection? Finn McMissile, the British spy car of Cars 2, voiced by veteran actor Michael Caine. Can be a nickname for Finnegan, Finley or Finnius. It means “fair” or “white.”
Cinderella may not be the most contemporary name, but that doesn’t mean it can’t inspire your future daughter’s moniker. Meaning fairy maiden, Ella is incredibly popular at the moment, making the top 20 girl’s names of 2014. It’s feminine, pleasing to the ear, and elegant at the same time. But be warned, her name may result in your fellow millennial moms chanting “Umbrella. Ella, Ella. Hey. Hey.”
Foodies and aspiring chefs will love this name, after the lovable rat hero of Ratatouille. Remy is French in origin, and means rower or oarsman. It’s also unisex, so it’s a unique, quirky and charming pick for your little guy or gal.
Aurora means “dawn” and is Latin in origin - the name of the Roman goddess of sunrise whose tears turned into the morning dew. Disney’s Princess Aurora of Sleeping Beauty is a traditional Disney heroine, sure to appeal to any mom who enjoys the classic fairy tales. It also has significance for science or astronomy loving moms: the radiance of the Aurora Borealis, the scientific term for the Northern Lights.
Millennials will fondly remember Ariel’s wise-cracking crustacean sidekick, but Sebastian is also a name prominently featured in literature — in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Twelfth Night, as well as Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Latin in origin, it means “venerable” or “revered,” and is masculine and handsome sounding, with an air of sophistication to it. Perfect for your handsome little prince.
A Persian flower name, Jasmine is a delicate and feminine, yet exotic pick for a baby girl. Fans of Aladdin and feminists alike will recall the feisty Arab princess of our childhood who bucked the Palace status quo by falling in love with “street rat” Aladdin, standing up to the her father’s evil advisor Jafar, and soaring through the skies of Agrabah on a magic carpet ride. Alternate forms include Yasmin, Jazmin, and Jessamine.
Quirky, yet traditional, Gus can work as a stand-alone name, or a nickname for Angus, Augustus or Gustav. It’s also the name of Cinderella’s portly mouse friend, who works tirelessly to ensure she goes to the ball. Definitely a unique pick, your son most likely will be the only Gus in his class.
This name definitely appeals to moms who loved the spunky mer-princess who longed to explore the world above the ocean surface. Also a Biblical name, it’s referenced there as the messenger of Ezra, and is also a symbolic name for the city of Jerusalem. Ariel is Hebrew in origin and means “lion of God.”
The Latin form of Hugh, the stylish name Hugo means “mind” or “intellect” and is full of historical appeal. It is also the name of one of the trio of gargoyles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. While extremely popular in Europe — especially in the UK, Spain and France — it is still very much unique in the United States. A handsome and unusual pick for your little man.
Oozing with French sophistication, the name Giselle evokes visions of graceful dancers - after all, it is the name of a classic, romantic ballet. It’s also the name of the upbeat, innocent heroine portrayed by Amy Adams in Disney’s Enchanted. The name is easy to spell and pronounce, yet elegant and pretty. A perfect pick for any Millennial mom who still believes in the magic of fairytales.
Additional reporting by Katie Fazio