A Pointless Exercise in Disney-ism

Yesterday I took an “ebb day,” a day to relax and do nothing but self-care. I slept in until noon. When I woke up, I poked around on the computer a little bit. As I was playing on Pinterest, I saw a list of 51 Disney Baby Names for Girls. For some reason, as I looked at some of the names, I became incensed…I mean sure, you expect Elsa, Ariel, and Aurora…but Maleficent, really? Silvermist? Vanellope? And while most of them were from animated feature films, two were from Enchanted (which was mostly live action) and one was from a Disney Jr. show (Sofia the First). I don’t know why this hodge-podge bothered me so much, but it did. So for some reason, I spent the rest of the day compiling my own list.

I kept it to three classic Disney characters, and the rest were from animated feature films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios or Pixar. Some were popular names in obscure films (like Olivia from the Great Mouse Detective or Amelia from Treasure Planet) and some are obscure names from the most treasured movies (like Dory in Finding Nemo and Ursula in The Little Mermaid). There are old-fashioned names (Edna, The Incredibles) and blatantly modern ones (Riley, In and Out).

They’re all (in my unimaginative opinion) real names. I found  along the way that I’m not the only one that has a traditional view of names. In 2016, of all girls born in the U.S., 67% shared names from the list of the 1000 most popular that year. So only 23% had one of the tens of thousands of other names chosen that year. Of course I really shouldn’t make any judgements on that count. Hey, my kids are named Elizabeth, #9 from her birth year (2000) and James, #17 in 2004.

I did take a more creative approach when it came to who belonged to the name, besides people and animals, I’ve included a tree, a car, and a couple of robots.

I’ve always been fascinated by names. As a kid, I would read baby name books for fun and make lists. I’m still not completely sure why I’m sharing this list of 53 baby names (or grown-up names for that matter), but here it is in chronological order…

Starting with Disney’s classic stock characters:

Minnie, Daisy, and Clarabelle

Minnie Mouse (first appeared in Steamboat Willie in 1928), Daisy Duck (first appeared in Mr. Duck Steps Out in 1940) , and Clarabelle Cow (first appeared in Steamboat Willie in 1928)

Then 50 characters from animated feature films:

Anastasia

Anastasia Tremain (Cinderella, 1950)

Alice

Alice (Alice in Wonderland,1951)

Wendy

Wendy Darling (Peter Pan,1953)

Aurora and Flora

Princess Aurora and Flora (Sleeping Beauty,1959)

Marie

Marie (The Aristocats,1970)

Marian

Maid Marian (Robin Hood,1973)

Bianca

Miss Bianca (The Rescuers,1977)

Penny

Penny (The Rescuers, 1977), Penny (Bolt, 2008)

Olivia

Olivia Flaversham (The Great Mouse Detective, 1986)

Rita

Rita (Oliver and Company, 1988)

Ariel and Ursula

Ariel and Ursula the Sea Witch (The LIttle Mermaid, 1989)

Belle

Belle (Beauty and the Beast, 1991)

Jasmine

Princess Jasmine (Aladdin, 1992)

Nala

Nala (The Lion King, 1994)

Willow

Grandmother Willow (Pocahontas, 1995)

Esmeralda

Esmeralda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1996)

Meg

Meg/Megara (Hercules, 1997)

Jane and Kala

Jand and Kala (Tarzan, 1999)

Jessie

Jessie (Toy Story 2, 1999 and Toy Story 3, 2010)

Audrey

Audrey Rocio Ramirez (Atlantis: The Lost Empire, 2001)

Celia and Roz

Celia Mae and Roz (Monsters, Inc., 2001)

Amelia

Captain Amelia (Treasure Planet, 2002)

Lilo

Lilo (Lilo & Stitch, 2002)

Dory

Dory (Finding Nemo, 2003 and Finding Dory, 2016)

Maggie

Maggie (Home on the Range, 2004)

Edna, Helen, and Violet

Edna E. Mode, Helen Parr/Elastigirl, Violet Parr (The Incredibles, 2004)

Sally

Sally Carrera (Cars, 2006, Cars 2, 2001 and Cars 3, 2007)

Doris

Doris (Meet the Robinsons, 2007)

Colette

Colette (Ratatouille, 2007)

Eve

E.V.E (WALL-E, 2008)

Tiana and Charlotte

Tiana and Charlotte La Bouff (The Princess and the Frog, 2009)

Ellie

Ellie (Up, 2009)

Bonnie

Bonnie (Toy Story 3, 2010)

Merida and Elinor

Merida and Elinor (Brave, 2012)

Anna  and Elsa

Anna and Elsa (Frozen, 2013)

Honey

Honey Lemon (Big Hero 6, 2014)

Joy and Riley

Joy and Riley (Inside Out, 2015)

Judy

Judy Hopps (Zootopia, 2016)

Destiny

Destiny (Finding Dory, 2016)

Moana

Moana (Moana, 2016)

 

And just to prove that yes,  I’m just that much of a name geek, here is the list in order by popularity for girls born in the U.S. in 2016:

Olivia (#2) Charlotte (#7) Amelia (#11) Riley (#22) Audrey (#39) Ellie (#43) Violet (#47) Anna (#51) Aurora (#66) Alice (#76) Willow (#96) Jasmine (#122) Ariel (#140) Daisy (#190) Anastasia (#193) Destiny (#203) Maggie (#242) Jane (#280) Joy (#351) Bianca (#386) Helen (#408) Eve (#456) Colette (#469) Marie (#583) Elsa (#623) Tiana (#628)  Jessie (#643) Penny (#693) Nala (#783) Celia (#838) Wendy (#854) Bonnie (#896) Belle (#934) Sally (#1178) Rita (#1184) Marian (#1215) Flora (#1261) Elinor (#1370) Judy (#1537) Doris (#1762) Merida (#1966) Edna (#2335) Minnie (#2662) Moana (#2973) Honey (#3234) Clarabelle (#4265) Ursula (#4764) Kala (#4888) Lilo (#4888) Esmeralda (#5495) Roz (#6009) Meg (#6486) Dory (# 15,174)

While there weren’t too many surprises for me right at the top, I was surprised at how high Jane came in. And while they weren’t the most popular, I didn’t expect other old-fashioned names like Doris and Edna too do so well. Even though it’s a nickname, I would have guessed that Meg would rank higher than Clarabelle  and Moana. Even so, it was still listed ahead of Dory at the bottom of the list.

And OMG! Maleficent came in at 15, 499 in 2015 (couldn’t find any stats from 2016), just behind Fauna (another character from Sleeping Beauty) at 15, 354. Vanellope was at #3282 (that came in ahead of Ursula and Esmerelda – names I had actually heard of) in 2016. Sorry, no Silvermist

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