Most of us have grown up watching at least one of the many Disney animated movies, from Snow White and Bambi to the more recent Frozen movie.
They’ve made us laugh, cry, and gasp throughout the ages, but have also taught us several valuable life lessons.
Disney princesses were comparable to Barbie dolls in popularity and we’ve all had a favorite we’ve always wanted to be, to get our own prince charming Prince Charming, the works.
Heck, some of us even wanted to change our names to Belle or Aurora, (Jasmine was my personal favorite at the time, but modern times have changed that), but are Disney princess names the right thing to consider when naming your baby?
Let’s not forget the debacle of naming your child Daenerys or Khaleesi caused once Game of Thrones showed her in her true colors.
I’m certain that a lot of mothers regretted a lot of decisions that day, so le’s make sure we don’t repeat their mistakes.
Luckily, most of the lore behind Disney princesses has already been established.
Though, nothing can save them from any future sequels, so do it at your own risk, I guess, even though the sequels these days show them in a more active and empowering role.
With all of that out of the way, let us begin with the main Disney princess line-up then.
The 12 main Disney Princesses
While there have been a massive amount of princesses portrayed in Walt Disney movies, not all are considered official Disney princesses.
It mostly has to do with fan reception and how well a new princess does at the box office, but that is irrelevant to our story now.
Surprisingly, only 12 of them are in the official line-up that are considered for toys for the Disney princess franchise, so here they are in no particular order:
1. Snow White
The first Disney princess to enter the list all the way from 1937 from a movie with a similar name, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.
She isn’t exactly the most established character on this list.
This is mainly because she’s based off an old German fairy tale that was adapted more for the big screen and made a bit more appropriate (Though, being hunted down and poisoned with an apple is questionable at best).
Now, she is your typical damsel in distress type of character since she comes from older times.
One who ran away from her evil stepmother who was jealous of her beauty, ordering a huntsman to kill her so she could become “the fairest of them all”.
After a bit of exposition, she comes across the house of the seven dwarves and eventually starts living with them as a housewife.
She deals with the chores while they do the mining. Simple stuff.
We all know how the song and dance goes, but the important thing that Snow White teaches us is how jealousy and vanity can be a very volatile thing, one that might end up having disastrous results.
Sadly, a true love’s kiss can’t save a person in the real world.
Not only that, but naming your child after her won’t exactly work all that well unless you maybe do a little play on words or translate it into a different language (perhaps Miyuki in Japanese) and, despite all of the efforts to find something good about her as a role model for little girls, I would put her low on the list of “Disney princess names to name your kids after”.
Another questionable name for your kids, but at least this one is a bit easier to work around.
The term Cinderella story should be familiar; it’s a different way to call someone an underdog.
Someone you would never expect to win eventually winning and it’s dubbed as such for good reason.
It follows the story of a girl with the same name, mostly an ironic name given to her by her stepmother (don’t worry, stepmoms, you’re not evil, I think!) who is treated rather poorly by the stepmom and her stepsisters.
Through a lot of fairytale magic she ends up going to the ball organized by… Prince Charming (names weren’t really a thing for the princes in the early days) in order to enjoy herself and eventually ends up falling in love with him.
But magic is fickle and she has to leave, leaving the young prince with an unintentional clue.
The prince goes on a quest to find her and takes quite a while to do so, though eventually they reach their fateful reunion and live happily ever after.
It’s a story that shows very little lesson from the princess herself, not really making her out to be the best of role models.
I guess you can say the story teaches you that good things come to those who wait, but that’s a stretch.
Though the lessons learned from the greed and attempted deception of the step-siblings help it out in that aspect.
With the usual, lying catches up to you and… Well, that’s pretty much it as far as I can remember.
I would say don’t treat your siblings poorly, but that didn’t really show much payoff or punishment.
Anyway, as I said earlier, Cinderella is a hard name to give to a child, but something shorter like Ella, Cinder or Ash (Cinderella means little ash in French) may fit them beautifully.
Boy, these early versions of the princesses made by Walt Disney leave a lot to be desired in the role model aspect, but at least they still make for some good names.
Now you might not recognize Princess Aurora by her actual name.
She is the main protagonist of The Sleeping Beauty, a story about how a princess suffers for the mistakes her parents make (not calling that one witch who tends to wear black to the princess’ birthday maaaay backfire).
This causes the princess to end growing up sheltered and seeking to find true love.
She does end up finding it in Prince Phillip, at least in the cartoon movie (the stories from where these three come from are much much darker; please don’t show those versions to your kids).
She ends up trapped in a magical sleep and isn’t really seen much for the entirety of the movie though, making her a non-character.
It is through the prince’s perseverance that she ends up waking up and the happily ever after happens.
The lessons this one teaches us is to, again, not trust strangers and that through overcoming adversity and persevering, we will end up being rewarded.
The last one is what the prince mostly teaches us though.
As far as the name goes, Aurora might be a bit odd of a name, but it’s still rather pretty and kind of unique.
If you’re really looking for some Disney princess names, there are others on this list that are both wonderful and come from a great role model.
The Little Mermaid, the name of a story written by Hans Christian Andersen and adapted by Disney for the big screen.
Now here is where the Disney princesses start taking on more active roles in their own stories.
It is a story where the young mermaid, daughter to king of Atlantis, Triton, falls in love with the young Prince Eric, a human whom she saves but he doesn’t remember.
Wishing to be with him and going against her father’s wishes, Ariel goes to a witch named Ursula as an alternative way to become human, but as always, there is a catch where her voice is taken from her and she must convince her true love to kiss her in order to remain human without the use of words.
Now there’s a lot of trickery involved here by Ursula and Ariel fails in her deal despite managing to get Eric to notice her after breaking the enchantment off of him.
Her father sacrifices the rule of Atlantis in order to save her. It all ends up good in the end as Ariel steps up with the support of Prince Eric and they manage to defeat Ursula.
The power is back in King Triton’s hands and he makes the Little Mermaid a human permanently so she could live happily ever after with her husband.
It is a very nice story that teaches us that there aren’t really many shortcuts in life and that one has to earn what one wants to get.
That there won’t always be a knight in shining armor to solve all of our problems.
It also shows the lengths to which a parent is willing to go to save their child and help fix any mistakes they make.
And the name is quite lovely too. Some people add an extra -le at the end for flair, but the Little Mermaid is definitely a role model to consider for a child’s name.
The main protagonist from Beauty and the Beast, Belle, is a Disney character who is depicted as one of the earlier symbols of healthy feminism and female empowerment.
A woman who is not a born princess, who stands on her own two feet and refuses to stick to the norms that the time wants to force on her.
Whether it was Gaston’s arrogance or the Beast’s controlling and possessive attitude, Belle always managed to find her own way throughout the movie’s whole runtime, fighting for what she believed in and even changing Beast for the better.
So much, in fact, that she managed to help him break the curse that affected him due to his previous ways, turning him back into Prince Adam and providing her with the happily ever after that she deserved.
Not only does her very name mean “Beautiful” in French, her entire character is portrayed in a very natural way, as natural as it gets in fairytales, and is arguably one of the best role models to consider on this list.
A princess whose name your child can be proud of carrying. She is also the first one on this list that didn’t need magic to reach her happy ending (not really anyway).
Halfway there. Princess Jasmine was my personal idol and Aladdin was my favorite cartoon at the time.
The whimsical life off in an exotic land with a dashing young rogue? A dream.
Despite the nuances I didn’t pay attention to when I was younger, which showed how rules and laws tend to oppress a person in their amount of options – especially the need for arranged marriages – it’s still an enjoyable experience seeing how wicked men get punished for their arrogance and how lying is not really the best way of going about things.
While yes, Jasmine goes back slightly into the damsel in distress spectrum, she still holds her own in later movies.
Her name comes from a flower and is quite common, so it wouldn’t be a weird choice for a baby name.
Seventh on our list of Disney princesses is Pocahontas, the first Native-American princess who, with her love interest John Smith, manages to find peace between her tribe and the English that came to her land with John Smith.
It’s a story filled with a lot of tension between the different races – mainly between her father Powhatan and Ratcliffe (John’s scheming underling who is the true villain), as well as Kocoum (who was to be her arranged betrothed much like Jasmine was meant to have).
Through the duo’s show of bravery and tolerance, they manage to calm the two sides and expose Ratcliffe for the scum that he is.
Pocahontas is also the first princess who doesn’t stay with her “prince” and instead chooses to remain with her tribe.
Just… don’t read the real-life story that she was based off of; it’s quite grim in all aspects.
It’s a wonderful story of a self-made woman and one who deals with many strong dilemmas, but Pocahontas’ name isn’t the most ideal to give to a child, due to it being too long and whatnot, but I’m not here to judge.
A princess featured in the film carrying the same name and based off an old Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, the princess movie follows the young Mulan as she secretly sets off to the army in place of her sickly father to help in the war against the Huns.
Despite initially failing at the task miserably, she quickly adapts to the harsh training methods and succeeds just as well as the rest of her comrades, eventually managing to help stop a roaming Hun army through clever ingenuity.
During this encounter, she does lose her cover and is expelled from the army sadly, but she manages to regain her “honor” by saving the emperor himself with the aid of her army friends and Li Shang, her former army general and the man who becomes infatuated with her due to her skill and not just her looks.
Mulan was and still is a symbol of power for women everywhere because of the way she was written and depicted in the movie.
A princess who isn’t really a princess and a prince who isn’t really a prince – just two people who find themselves with organic feelings.
A well-grounded story and one of the most relatable here.
She makes for a beautiful role model and a name like that carries strength, but whether it’s for your child or not is up to you entirely.
The name does mean “Wood Orchid” in Chinese, so a name like Orchid wouldn’t be too far off while still carrying a similar meaning as her own.
A rather odd little story based on the Frog Prince, The Princess and the Frog shows us how a hard working African-American woman named Tiana slowly works up to her dream of owning a restaurant, something she shared with her late father.
Things take a turn for the worse when she accepts to kiss a frog during a ball she was catering, a frog who was actually a prince swindled into a curse by the villain of the story which copies over to her, turning her into a frog as well.
The two initially dislike each other, but she and Prince Naveen end up growing feelings for each other as they adventure through the bayou.
Once the villain is defeated and the curse still persists despite the victory, they realize that their looks don’t matter as long as their feelings are still there.
As luck would have it though, once they marry as frogs, they turn back to their human forms and Tiana can finally realize her restaurant dream.
Again, a story depicting how someone from common birth can do so much good without the need to become a princess or resort to shortcuts.
Despite not being a princess, her name translates to “Princess” in Greek, and it’s quite a catchy name in my opinion.
A girl might appreciate it, especially if she turns into a bit of a tomboy when she grows up.
Almost everyone knows the story of the long-haired beauty trapped in a tower by an evil witch after being taken from her parents. Rapunzel is an adaptation of that Brothers Grimm story and expanded even further in the Disney movie Tangled.
A free-spirit caged in a tall stone prison doomed to provide entry to it through her very lengthy golden locks alone.
That is, until Eugene Fitzherbert comes along and helps save her and take her to the adventure she always wanted, as well as helps defeat the evil witch that kept her prisoner.
As always, the two end up falling for each other, but they don’t step on each others’ toes later down the line and only end up marrying way later.
This one was something that Disney decided to invest heavily into as they expanded this into a whole cartoon series, showing us the whole world of Corona and Rapunzel, along with a lovely cast of memorable characters that only helped cement her as the free-spirit that she was.
One who spearheaded peace over violence in any situation. A true princess.
Her name, however, is not the easiest to roll off the tongue and probably not the best Disney princess name suited for a child. (Especially since it actually means lettuce!)
My current favorite, Merida, the first princess character who did not attain a romantic interest in her appearance in the joint Disney/Pixar movie Brave, is one that teaches about humility and how pride often tends to lead to one’s downfall.
It’s one where the titular character refuses to marry a son of the neighboring clans because she values herself too much to just be part of tradition, and thus seeks magical assistance in changing her fate as such.
That, of course leads to several issues, one where she gets turned into a bear alongside her mother, and has to learn how to overcome the pride she holds so high and reconcile with her father, which she does in the end.
Her father ends up allowing her to marry whoever she wants later, despite her agreeing to come to terms with his decision.
A truly wonderful story and very beautifully animated, but back on topic. The name translates into “Pearl” in the Celtic language, though the name again might not be common unless you’re Irish.
Mind you, a shortened version like Mera might work if you’re adamant about it.
The latest addition to the roster of the main lineup, Moana stars in the movie carrying the same name that is not based on anything old, but is fully original in its origin.
She is the daughter of a Motunui village chief tasked with restoring the heart of an ancient goddess – a daunting task that she manages to accomplish once she gets past the archaic laws that always seem to be present in these movies, as well as getting to experience the ocean.
A modern princess who shows initiative and depicts a new culture to younger audiences, Moana is sure to be a role model for many young girls.
Plus, the name is actually quite nice and wouldn’t be too off-putting to have on a child.
While I won’t go too far into detail about the other princesses (as there are so many), I will briefly touch on the ones most prominent in my mind (and most name-worthy).
Anna and Elsa come to mind first as they come from one of the most popular and well received animated movies in modern time, Frozen.
One that explores the sisterly bond and shows it triumph above all else.
Anna as a name was and still continues to be very common, but Elsa is growing in popularity mostly due to the movie.
That said, it is not a bad name for a child as it is tied to a strong female figure.
Nala the lion from The Lion King is an odd pick, but she, along with Simba, manage to overthrow Scar from ruling Pride Rock.
Probably the first and only animal princess. The name itself is rather lovely too.
Giselle from the animated-turned-live-action movie Enchanted.
A film that is like a mash-up of all Disney films prior to it, a sort of parody, but the name the main character carries is beautiful and should definitely be considered when naming your child.
Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, while not really a princess and being tied to a movie with such grim tones, still has a gorgeous name that translates into Emerald.
Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire, a different version of a princess at the time as she was more akin to Xena than most dress-wearing princesses of the time.
A stoic warrior with a soft spot is sure to be a decent idol with girls and is a lovely name to give to a child if you’re looking for something more unique.
There are some others that don’t quite fit the bill like Tinker Bell from Peter Pan, despite being thought of as a princess by the audience, and some downright obscure ones like Princess Eilonwy from The Black Cauldron, but those do not make for good names.
Disney has made a number of princesses during its lifetime and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon with its sing-along-filled movies and animal-friend-filled tropes, but that’s good because newer generations get to experience the wonders of princesses – ones that are relevant in more modern times as we saw here with some cases.
And, as you can see, some Disney princess names are appropriate, some less so, but I am not here to judge your tastes.
Do keep your child’s comfort in mind since this is something that will stick with them for their whole life (unless they decide to change it, of course).
Also, try giving these names to girls only, given the place of their origin.
I doubt any boy will appreciate it later, but I know you can be creative, mamas!
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