Category: Disney names
As the mother of a five year-old girl, Frozen was required viewing over the recent school holidays. Somewhere between the first appearance of talking snowman Olaf and the happy ending, I found myself musing about the popularity of Disney-princess names.
I’ve long thought that any Disney princess name was destined for success – a meteoric rise up the popularity charts, a future written on the backpack of a generation of little girls.
But is that true? To date, there are eleven official members of the Disney princess pantheon, plus one television royal and the Frozen sisters.
Let’s take a look at more than 80 years worth of Disney princesses. Do their names live happily ever after?
With gloomy and depressing headlines hitting the news every day about international trouble spots and the tanking economy, what’s a forward-looking, optimistic baby namer, who wants to project a warm, welcoming, positive sense of the world to her innocent little newbie, to do?
Here are a few strategy suggestions.
First there was Bambi. Then came Ariel and Jasmine and the rest of the Disney princesses. I’ve yet to meet a baby Nemo, but Sebastian? I know three. The average animated Disney character has a pretty decent chance of making an encore appearance on birth certificates as well as a lunchboxes.
But what about all of those other Disney names? The Disney Channel debuted in 1983. The appellations from their original series and movies are no less inventive. The latest Disney flick is Prom, opening nationwide at the end of April.
Not every name is novel. Hannah had been in the US Top Ten for more than a decade before Hannah Montana arrived on the scene. Cody, from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, was fading fast when the show premiered in 2005, but is a reasonable choice for a character born in the early 1990s.
Other choices border on the outrageous, like High School Musical’s Sharpay or The Cheetah Girls’ Aquanette.
With millions of tweens and teens tuning in to watch the Disney Channel, chances are that some of these names will inspire future parents.
CeCe – A nickname for Cecelia on new show Shake It Up.
In early Disney cartoons, characters had silly, alliterative names like Horace Horsefeather, and Clarabelle Cow. The first character name to actually catch on with parents was Bambi–a male deer that became a popular namesake for girls. More recently, the real winners have been Princess names: The Little Mermaid’s Ariel reached #66 on the popularity lists two years after the movie’s release and Jasmine from Aladdin has gotten as high as #23. Other Disney heroine names, like Belle (Beauty and the Beast) have also been boosted by their Disney connections.
Adelaide—The dramatic Madame Adelaide Bonfamille is one of the few human characters in The Aristocats. When actress Rachel Griffiths picked the name for her daughter, she said she’d been inspired by the Australian city, Miss Adelaide in Guys & Dolls and, yes, the Disney character.
Aurora – Aurora was the name of the princess in the 1959 Sleeping Beauty, but is only now rising in popularity. In ancient mythology, Aurora was the lovely Roman goddess of the dawn, whose tears turned into the morning dew. In the Disney film, her alternate name was Briar Rose, a combination sometimes adopted by modern parents.
Bianca –Miss Bianca was an elegant mouse (voiced by Eva Gabor) in the 1977 The Rescuer. 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. Actress Tia Carrere chose it for her daughter.
Eudora – This name of Tiana’s mother in Princess and the Frog, who was voiced by Oprah Winfrey, is one Old Lady Name that hasn’t yet been revived, but certainly could, along with others like others like Amelia and Adeline. It was long associated with Southern writer Eudora Welty.
Flynn Rider is the dashing bandit who eventually marries Rapunzel in Tangled. At one point it is revealed that his real name Eugene—not the coolest of names. But Flynn (think Errol) is a charming Irish surname name with a lot of the appeal of the popular Finn.
Gideon—Though Gideon may be a crafty villain in Pinocchio, his name has quite the opposite image. In the Old Testament Gideon was both a judge and military leader of the Israelites, and his name is one of those rising on the Biblical popularity list.