For many of us, Disney films shaped our childhood imaginations. With animated classics like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and more Disney movies gave us some amazing characters that we wished were real. Now that we’re adults, we can inject some Disney magic back into our lives by choosing a baby name that is inspired by some of our childhood fantasies. We’re doing a bit of deep dive into Disney movies to find some of the more obscure names we love from characters you might not even remember. Don’t expect to see Ariel, Eric, or Ursula on this list. After all, there are over 200 original films produced and made by Disney. That’s a lot of movies and even more characters for us to draw inspiration from. Here are 30 Disney inspired baby names that will set your baby up for a life of enchantment.
The Disney classic Pinocchio was first released in 1940. There are many fabulous characters in the film like Jiminy Cricket and Geppetto, but a character many people forget about is Geppetto’s fish, Cleo. Cleo is a Greek name that is a shortened form of Cleopatra the prefix of the name, Cleo means “pride.”
Sleeping Beauty premiered in 1959 and a notable character from the film, King Stefan has a fantastic name. Stefan is an alternative to Stephen and sounds far more interesting. The name has roots in Greek and Latin and the Greek, Stephanos means “crown.”
For many of us, Peter Pan captured our hearts and imaginations after its release in 1953. Tiger Lily was a valuable ally for Peter and Wendy and an incredibly endearing character. We love the name Lily and the flower from which the name comes from. The name Lily means “pure.”
King Arthur’s guide and sorcerer, Merlin made a big impression in The Sword in the Stone which made its debut in 1963. The name is extremely old and comes from primitive Celtic origins “mer” and “dunom” which together mean “sea hill.” Merlin might seem like a far-out name, but be bold! Merlin is a handsome name and it deserves some love.
The animated imagining of The Jungle Book was a huge success for Disney in 1967. The film is full of intriguing character names. Our favorite is the wolf, Akela who is the leader of a wolfpack. It’s a gender-neutral name that’s appropriate for both girls and boys. The name Akela was made popular in Hawaii and is a derivative of the German name, Adela. It means “graceful” or “noble.”
Petit Jean or Little John served as Robin Hood’s second-hand man and lieutenant of the Merry Men. Robin Hood was released in 1973 and is still beloved today. The name Jean is the French form of John. Both John and Jean come from “Yochanan” which is a Hebrew name that means “God is gracious.”
Inspired by Robin Hood or Christopher Robin from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the name Robin is great for both girls and boys. However, the name has been trending for baby girls over the past few decades. The name Robin means “fame-bright.”
The Rescuers was released in 1977 and mesmerized audiences around the country. Penny’s elderly cat from the film has a particularly good name, Rufus. The name Rufus has origins in Latin and means “red-headed.”
While not an animated character, actor Eva Gabor voiced many of the cartoon characters you love from classic Disney films. She gave her talents to The Aristocats and The Rescuers. The name Eva comes from the same root as Eve and is Hebrew for “life.”
Hardcore fans of 1981’s The Fox and Hound are not going to be fans of this name, but we love it. Amos Slade is the name of the main antagonist and hunter of the film. The origins of the name Amos are contested and many attribute the name to Hebrew because of the 8th-century prophet Amos whose acts were recorded in The Book of Amos. Amos most likely comes from Hebrew and means “to carry.”
In 1986, Disney released The Great Mouse Detective and had a sleeper hit on their hands. The young heroine of the film, Olivia Flaversham has a very attractive name. Olivia is a popular name for girls and means “olive tree.”
By all accounts, The Black Cauldron released in 1985 was a huge flop. It’s one of the weirdest Disney movies we’ve ever seen. The main character, Taran, who dreams of becoming a knight has a very unique name. The name Taran is prominent in Gaelic mythology and means “thunder.”
You probably do not remember the character Lena Hyena from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. If you love the name Lena, do not refresh your memory and google Lena Hyena. The name Lena appears in many languages and cultures and means “sunlight,” “moonlight,” “generous,” and “she that lures.”
In 1988, Disney premiered Oliver & Company that was an updated version of the Oliver Twist story but with dogs and cats. Winston was the name of the Foxworth family’s butler and driver. The name Winston is English and means “from Wine’s town.”
One of the biggest animated hits of all time, The Little Mermaid was released in 1989. The protagonist, Ariel has many sisters and the one with the best name is Alana. It’s a German name that means “precious child.”
We can’t talk about The Little Mermaid without mentioning our favorite cartoon crustacean, Sebastian. The handsome name is Latin in origin and means “revered.”
Everyone’s favorite operatic chicken, Clara Cluck first debuted in Orphan’s Benefits in 1934 and later made more noise in The Reluctant Dragon. The name Clara comes from Latin and means “clear.”
While often used as a nickname for Charles, we think the name Chip holds its own as a proper name. Chip, of course, is Mrs. Pott’s little one in Beauty and the Beast. The name Chip comes from the Old English word “coerl” and means “man.”
Your favorite talking tree, Grandmother Willow, from Pocahontas offers wisdom and guidance to the film’s protagonist. The name Willow is simply beautiful and means “graceful.”
Goofy’s adolescent son, Max is in a continuous state of embarrassment due to his father’s klutziness in A Goofy Movie which premiered in 1995. Max is a derivative of Maximus or Maximilian and is a very common name in Germany. It means “greatest.” While Max is often a name given to boys, we think it would be completely acceptable for little girls as well.
Mother to the lion cub, Nala in The Lion King, Sarafina has a gorgeous name. The name Sarafina is Italian and means “angel.” While the name Sarafina might seem like a mouthful, you can always call her Sara for short.
While he might not be the most memorable character from One Hundred and One Dalmations, Cruella’s henchman, Jasper has a fantastic name. The name Jasper is Persian in origin and means “treasurer.”
The very best of the Muses from Hercules, Thalia is the Muse of Comedy and although she doesn’t have a huge part in the film, she’s one of its best characters. The name Thalia is Greek, of course, and means “to blossom.”
While there’s not a character specifically named Duke in Disney films, there are a few notable Dukes that make appearances. The Grand Duke from Cinderella and Duke of Weselton from Frozen are just two examples. If you remember, Disney made a whole bunch of dog movies in the 1990s following the success of Air Bud. One of them was actually named The Duke and was quietly released in 1999. The name Duke is English and means “leader.”
One of the supporting cast members of Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, Pearl is a cute little flapjack octopus. The English word and name Peral comes from the Latin word “perla.” It means “precious.”
Another excellent name that starts with “P,” Pascal is a handsome name for a boy. The name and its variations are popular across Europe and the name is commonly associated with Easter. It means “one born on Easter.” Pascal is the name of Rapunzel’s chameleon friend in Tangled.
The main character of Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out, Riley is a wonderful name for a girl. The name Riley comes from Old English and means “wood clearing.”
There are a bunch of Princes in Disney movies from Prince Charming to Prince Eric there are about a dozen or more. The name Prince connotes royalty and the word comes from Latin. If you love too many Disney princes and can’t settle on one, consider naming your boy this stately name.
We know we said we were on the lookout for some under-the-radar names, but we couldn’t do a Disney name list without the beautiful name Jasmine. The Disney princess from Aladdin has one of the best names of any Disney character. The name Jasmine is Persian and means “gift from God” and also is the name of a flower.
Miguel Rivera from Disney/Pixar’s Coco, who stumbles into an alternate reality on Día de los Muertos, is one of the most endearing animated characters of all time. Miguel is the Spanish cognate of the English name Michael. The name means “who is like God.” We adore the name and think it would be handsome for any boy lucky enough to get it.
Disney has inspired us for decades and so too have the names of its characters. We hope these thirty names encourage you to think outside the box when coming up with a name for your child. Even if your passions include animated films, you can still look to them for baby name ideas. Disney has thrived because it has based so many of its stories on classic fairytales and timeless stories. Many of the names found in Disney films are also timeless and would be excellent for your baby.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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