Creative Baby Names from Pixar Production Babies
By Abby Sandel
You know you’re a name nerd when half the fun of a new Disney Pixar film is the list of production babies.
I loved every second of the studio’s newest production, Inside Out.
As the credits rolled, I waited patiently. Accounting scrolled by, then Craft Services, until – finally! – the list of 87 children born to Pixar employees during the year Inside Out was finalized and released.
We could talk about Riley, of course, the name of the main character. Between this movie and Steph Curry’s scene-stealing daughter, Riley is having quite the summer. And Amy Poehler, the voice of Joy, is a great namer herself, the mother of Archie and Abel.
But production babies are a special category of names.
The lists are just names – no genders, no sibling names, middles only when more than one child has the same first name. But the names tend to be different, even daring. Exactly what you’d expect from a creative field and especially from such a famously innovative studio.
Let’s talk about some of my favorite names from 2015’s Inside Out, and then look at the full list.
Delphine – There’s a Delphine on sci fi series Orphan Black, and actress Majandra Delfino has a daughter named Cecilia Delphine. It comes from ancient place name Delphi, and may also relate to the word dolphin. The name peaked in the US in the 1920s and 30s. Today it’s seldom heard, but given our affection for Genevieve and Josephine, the French Delphine fits right in.
Ellis – Ellis is another great ‘s’ ending surname name for boys, quickly climbing the US popularity charts. But given the popularity of Ella, Ellie, and Ellison for girls, there’s no guarantee that baby Ellis is a boy.
Robert – At first glance, Robert is caught in style limbo – completely out of place with all of these creative, cool baby names. Except that Robert is the only one in the middle of multiple boys called Sam, Oliver, and Ryan. Are Robert’s parents strict traditionalists, unconcerned with trends? Or are they among the first to recognize upstanding, buttoned-down Roberts’ appeal, and spark a revival?
Tess – Once upon a time, Tess was almost always short for Theresa. Now Tessa is the most popular form of the name in the US. But it’s just Tess on the Inside Out production babies list. It’s a spare name, feminine but frills-free. Tess is also part of the trend to eschew formal names in favor of putting the nickname right on the birth certificate.
Gray – File Gray with Tess: short names that need no additional syllables to feel complete. As a color, Gray is soft and understated. But as a name, Gray has a bright, upbeat sound. Grayson ranked Number 63 in 2014, with plenty of other Gray names on the rise, too. The streamlined Gray might be the most stylish of them all.
Rosalind – Of course, not every family keeps it short when naming their children. The lovely Rosalind brings to mind Shakespeare’s As You Like It. It’s never been super popular in the US. Rosalind does seem like the kind of underused vintage gem that would make a creative parent’s shortlist.
Fisher – Is Fisher a family surname? A nod to a favorite hobby? I’d love to know, but all that I can say for sure is that Fisher is among the Inside Out production babies. It’s not the rarest name on this list, either. It’s ranked in the US Top 1000 for most of the last decade, and ranked Number 768 in 2014 – a new high.
Walker – Ends in ‘r’ names for boys are big, and Walker is one to watch. It brings to mind the political family – it’s the middle name of both former presidents Bush. There’s Walker: Texas Ranger, so famously mocked as the inspiration for the kids’ names in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. And, of course, it’s part of Luke Skywalker’s surname. Since Disney owns Pixar and Lucasfilm, the company that gave us Star Wars, it’s an easy connection to make.
Leia – Speaking of Star Wars, there’s a Leia in the list of production babies! It could be seen as a form of Leah, or boosted by the popularity of Layla. The Star Wars movies boosted the name, but it’s only in recent years that Leia has really caught on.
The rest of the list is as follows: Benjamin, Charley, Christopher (x2), Cleas, Colton (x2), Eden, Elaina, Elise, Elizabeth, Ella, Ellie, Emery, Eva, Evan, Evelyn, Finley, Gemma, Georgia, Greta, Hannah, Harper, Hayley, Hazel, Imogen, Isaac, Julian, Kaiya, Karter, Kyle, Laila, Lilly, Linda, Lucy, Luke, Madeline, Madison, Makena, Marcus, Matilda, Matthew, Maxime, Maya, Meara, Melodie , Merritt, Mia, Mina, Murray, Oliver (x4), Owen, Penelope, Riley, RJ, Rowan, Ryan (x2), Rylin, Sam (x2), Sanjay, Sashi, Seohu, Shaan, Shom, Siena, Timothy, Victor, Willa, William, Willow, Wyatt (x2), Zoey.
Check out this fun list created by shieldsc on more Pixar Production Baby Names.
What are your favorites? Do you watch for production babies, too?
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on July 19th, 2015 at 11:18 pm
Four Olivers? Huh. Well, I like a lot of these names.
on July 20th, 2015 at 12:03 am
I didn’t know this existed! I want to pull out all my movies. Lol. so cool
on July 20th, 2015 at 4:21 am
I was expecting some real ‘WOW’ names here but they’re all just quite meh. Delphine is the only name I’d think of being quite a ‘wow’ name. The only names I’d consider using myself are Matilda and Rosalind.
on July 20th, 2015 at 6:20 am
I like Robert a lot and if it didn’t conflict with my surname we’d have considered it. I know several young Roberts so I don’t see it as a surprise. For me it’s similar to Thomas – another great traditional name not currently in vogue but definitely in use.
From the list Luke and Lucy are my favorites. Tess (as a nickname for Theresa) has also been on my list in the past.
on July 20th, 2015 at 11:33 am
I always stay for production babies. I love Delphine, Tess, Rosalind (wow!), Fisher, Walker, Gemma, Georgia, Greta, Hazel, Julian, Lucy, Matilda, Maxime, Merritt, Murray (so out it’s in?), Penelope, Sashi, and the Wills: Willa, William, and Willow.
on July 20th, 2015 at 12:25 pm
OF COURSE I stay for production babies! I’m a credits-watcher anyway (all those names!), and Pixar’s production babies are more reason to stay. Thanks for the list! It went by so fast there was no way I could remember them all.
Linda really jumped out at me. A baby Linda a decade into the 2000’s? Wow. I wonder if it’s a family name, or if these parents just loved it.
on July 20th, 2015 at 12:47 pm
That is so cool! I didn’t realize they did that.
Rosalind, Delphine and Merritt are all favorites of mine.
on July 20th, 2015 at 2:15 pm
@LoveBugsMama, neither did I! Thanks for making this film even more enjoyable, Abby.
on July 21st, 2015 at 12:49 pm
Definitely a less popular list than the US Top 100, though there are still plenty of trendy names on there. I thought it was interesting that the only names used twice or more were boy (or maybe unisex). I didn’t really love any of the names–Julian and Gemma are probably my favorites if I had to pick.
Maybe Linda was after a grandmother? It peaked in the 50s/60s, so it would be about the right time.
on July 22nd, 2015 at 1:40 pm
Linda could be Hispanic/Latino – pronounced LEEN-da. I went to Nicaragua several years ago and met a couple of little girls named Linda, which means pretty in Spanish. When they say it, the name does sound really pretty 🙂
9 Creative Baby Names from Pixar Said
on July 25th, 2015 at 9:36 pm
[…] This post was originally published on Nameberry by Abby Sandel. […]
on December 3rd, 2015 at 11:22 am
Yup, we always watch for the production babies. One of the sweetest touches from an already sweet company.
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