Inspired By Disney: Baby Names

Parents-to-be are always looking to new sources of inspiration when it comes to baby names, with many borrowing names from their favourite characters in pop culture. 

And there are few bigger forces in pop culture than Disney, with live action remakes of the likes of Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King all set to be released in the next year.

Thousands of parents have chosen to name their children after characters from their favourite movies, whether it be classic characters like Mickey and Minnie, new favourites such as Elsa and Merida, or even just the name Disney itself!

We’ve looked at UK baby name records from 1996 onwards to find out which are the most popular Disney-inspired names, as well as how they’ve changed in popularity over the last twenty years or so.

Our research revealed:

  • Just over 17,000 children have been named after Disney characters in the UK since 1996.
  • Disney-inspired names have grown in popularity through the years, with 1,775 born in 2017 compared to just 188 in 1996.
  • Eight of the top ten most popular Disney names were given to girls.
  • Just three of the 35 names were those of villains.
  • A number of names peaked in popularity in the years after their film was released, such as Elsa (rose from 286 in 2013 to 537 in 2014), Tiana (peaked in 2010, two years after The Princess and the Frog was released), Giselle (peaked in 2008, the year after Enchanted was released).
  • Others peaked in popularity around the time when those who would have been children when the film came out will have been old enough to have their own children, such as Nala (started to gain popularity in 2011, 17 years after The Lion King was released) and Ariel (started to gain popularity in 2006, 17 years after The Little Mermaid was released).

Methodology:

We used the England & Wales Baby Names web app which displays baby name data from the Office for National Statistics from 1996 to 2017.

We omitted some popular character names which are common baby names regardless of Disney, such as Jasmine and Anna.

Names which were given to less than three babies in a year aren’t recorded by ONS.

You can view all the data here.