25 Disney-Inspired Baby Girl Names
From the very beginning, Disney animated movies have provided baby-naming inspiration to parents of baby girls. The real winners have been princess names — Ariel, Jasmine, Belle, Aurora — but there have been many other female characters, in both leading roles and supporting parts, with notable names. Here are 25 of the best for today’s baby girl.
Alice is the curious and imaginative protagonist of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the star of Disney’s 1951 animated film Alice in Wonderland. It is the shortened form of the French name Adelais and is particularly popular in Sweden, where it ranked as the country’s most popular female name in 2009. The name is both feminine and classic, a perfect choice for someone nice and sweet.
Amelia Gabble, along with her sister Abigail, is one of the many animal characters in The Aristocats -- a goose with a comical British accent. Amelia is one of the leading coming-out-of-the-attic, old-fashioned girls’ names. It is now in the Top 50, and is even more popular than it was in Great-Great-Grandma’s day, also inspired by the daring aviatrix Amelia Earhart.
Ariel is a popular male name in Modern Hebrew, but it made a big splash as a female name after its debut in The Little Mermaid with Princess Ariel. An alternate English and French spelling of the name is Arielle. Shakespeare used the name for the airy spirit in The Tempest, and it is also the title of Sylvia Plath’s second and most famous poetry book.
The spunky tomboy character’s persona in the two Atlantis movies is in stark contrast to the chic, serene, and radiant image of the name invoked by the memory of Audrey Hepburn. Audrey is a celeb favorite, used by Greg Kinnear, Steve Zahn, and Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and has been climbing steadily up the popularity lists, in and around the Top 50 for the past four years.
Princess Aurora is the romantic heroine of Sleeping Beauty, and her name projects that same romantic aura. In ancient myth, Aurora was the lovely goddess of the dawn, whose tears turned into the morning dew. Aurora, which can have the peppy nickname Rory, is now the most popular it has ever been, standing just outside the Top 200 on the Social Security list.
Belle, meaning beautiful, is the perfect name for the lovely, dreamy but independent heroine of Beauty and the Beast. Although Belle has been overshadowed by the Twilight-inspired Bella, and longer names ending in ‘belle (Isabelle, Anabelle), Belle has its own old-fashioned Southern charm, and could make a sweet and stylish middle name -- something several celebrities, starting with Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, have done.
Miss Bianca was an elegant mouse (voiced by Eva Gabor) in 1977’s The Rescuers. The Italian version of Blanche, this still somewhat exotic name was brought to prominence by the first Mrs. Mick Jagger, and features in two Shakespeare plays, The Taming of the Shrew and Othello. Actress Tia Carrere chose it for her daughter.
Celia Mae is a sweet snake-haired monster in Monsters, Inc. Her name -- sleek, delicate and energetic all at the same time -- was said to have been invented by Shakespeare for his As You Like It character, and it was to a Celia that the immortal lines “Drink to me only with thine eyes” were dedicated. Both Celia and its cousin Cecilia are being revived.
Though Cleo may have been a mere goldfish in Pinocchio, her name is the short form of the name of one of the most powerful women in history: Cleopatra, Egypt’s last and greatest queen. A nickname that can definitely stand on its own, it was recently picked by Friends’ David Schwimmer for his baby daughter. Cleos are frequently seen on TV, in shows like ER, Bones and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Colette is the tough-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside female chef in Ratatouille. Unlike many French names with pronunciation problems in the US, Colette is familiar and accessible; Dylan McDermott has a daughter named Colette. The iconic French novelist Colette actually wrote under her last name -- her first was the equally attractive Sidonie. Another possibility is the name’s long form Nicolette.
Daisy appears in Toy Story 3 as the one-time owner of some of the toys -- as well as Donald Duck’s girlfriend. The name has a real fresh-as-a-daisy feel, and is one of the flower names that first became popular at the turn of the last century and is now back in bloom. Originally a nickname for Margaret, Daisy was the heroine of Henry James’s Daisy Miller and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and now ranks #151 on the nation’s popularity list.
In Sleeping Beauty, Flora is the good fairy who gives Princess Aurora the gift of beauty. The Roman goddess of flowers, gardens and spring, Flora is making a surprising comeback, along with the related Florence. The soft and fragrant Flora was the name of a saint, and has long been a favorite in Scotland, being a heroic figure in Scottish history. More currently, Flora is a character in the video game series Harvest Moon.
In Enchanted, Giselle is the pure-hearted and naïve princess of Andalsia who must live out her fairy tale ideals in New York City. Most people prefer the French pronunciation “jiz-ELLE” over the German pronunciation “GEE-zah-lah” because of its more graceful, gazelle-like feel. Giselle is also the name of a famous 19th century French ballet as well as the world’s highest-paid model, Gisele Bündchen.
In the Disney film, Jane is much more adventurous and spirited than she was in any of the old live-action Tarzan movies. Her name has gotten a bad rap as Plain Jane -- we don’t think Jane is plain at all (think of all those great role models like Jane Austen and Jane Addams and Jane Goodall). Unlike her more dated sounding cousins Jean and Joan, Jane could find new life as a modern middle name.
As the beautiful Persian princess of Disney’s 1992 film Aladdin, Jasmine captured audiences with her striking good looks and exotic floral name. The name soared to popularity after the movie’s release and currently ranks #62 on the charts for girl names in the U.S. To “jazz” things up even more, it can be spelled in many unique and personalized ways — Jasmin, Jasmyn or Jazzmine, to name a few. Celebrity photographer Nigel Barker has a daughter named Jasmine.
Jessie is the sprightly and adventurous cowgirl from Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. As Woody’s buddy and Buzz Lightyear’s girlfriend, she’s definitely comfortable hanging with the boys. A spunkier version of Jessica, which holds the place as the most popular female name from the 1980s and 90s, Jessie is cute and playful without being too girly. Current celebrities who go by this fun, short variation are pop singer Jessie J. and Harry Potter actress Jessie Cave.
Lilo Pelekai is the spunky young Hawaiian girl protagonist of Lilo & Stitch. This is an energetic name found in the Hawaiian, German and Hebrew cultures, and also has the dubious distinction of being the nickname of Lindsay Lohan (who in younger days was featured in several Disney movies). Lilo is one of the few girls’ names with the lively o-ending more often found in boys’ names.
Marie is the kind yet somewhat spoiled kitten in The Aristocats. A variant of Mary, it means “star of the sea” in Latin. The name was extremely popular in the 1900s, ranking #8 on a list of top girl names. Marie Osmond and French queen Marie Antoinette also put the name in the spotlight. Marie is frequently selected as a middle name, as Alyson Hannigan and Jessica Alba have chosen to do for their respective daughters, Satyana Marie Denisof and Honor Marie Warren.
Nala is the young lioness in The Lion King who evolves from Simba’s playmate to his actual mate. Although Nala is a male character in Hindu mythology, it has a delicate, feminine quality. Keenen Ivory Wayans has a daughter named Nala, and Halle Berry added an ‘h’ to her daughter Nahla’s. Kiara, the name of Nala and Simba's daughter in The Lion King II, also appealed to many parents, spiking its popularity.
Olivia Flaversham is a young Scottish mouse in the The Great Mouse Detective; her name is Number 4 on the girls’ list, with almost 17,000 little Olivias born last year. And no wonder -- it’s a lovely Shakespearean name that is both strong and delicate, with a meaning related to the ancient Greece symbol of peace and fertility. Among the most recent of many Olivia star-babies are the daughters of James Van Der Beek and Colin Hanks.
Penny is the animal-loving 12-year-old voiced by Miley Cyrus in Disney’s animated movie Bolt. Having peaked in popularity in the 60s, Penny has a retro feel to it but it has since gotten a modern makeover with the help of actress Penelope Cruz and Kaley Cuoco’s lovable Penny character on The Big Bang Theory.
Rosie is the motherly black widow spider in A Bug’s Life, and her nickname name does indeed have a rosy-cheeked, cheerful, friendly feel that's perfect for being utilized in many children’s books. The two most prominent Rosies -- O’Donnell and Perez -- were christened Roseann and Rosa Maria, respectively. During World War II, Rosie the Riveter was a symbol of female strength and patriotism.
Tiana is the name of the first African-American Disney princess in the 2009 Princess and the Frog -- a character who was originally going to be called Maddy. On the popularity list since 2000, it now ranks as Number 357, appreciated for its delicacy and strength -- and possibly its relation to the word ‘tiara’. Probably not by coincidence, Tiana is actually the Turkish word for Princess.
Violet Parr is the shy, stubborn, sarcastic daughter in The Incredibles who has the power to become invisible. This soft Victorian flower name got a big boost when it was chosen by Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck in 2005 for their first daughter. It’s a favorite in children’s books, from The Box Car Children to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Lemony Snicket.
In Pocahontas, the character Grandmother Willow is in fact an actual weeping willow tree, who serves as a wise advisor to the heroine. The name Willow has lost its old hippie aura to move into the realm of re-appreciated nature names, helped along by the high profile of celebrity daughter Willow Smith. The singer Pink recently named her daughter the nature-friendly Willow Sage.
And be sure to check out 25 Disney-Inspired baby Boy Names