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Disney Baby Names

14/10/2014 16:18 | Updated 20 May 2015

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Baby names inspired by Disney movies might not always work (we're going to go ahead and nix Dumbo right now), but there are some real gems among the Disney heroes and heroines. The news that Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes have chosen to name their first child Esmeralda, apparently after the heroine of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, has sparked a renewed interest in the potential of Disney names.

Some choices - Pocahontas or Mulan - for example, are probably not a great idea, unless you want your child to develop a very thick skin in the playground. But here are our top picks for names inspired by Disney characters:

Aurora - modelled after the delicate features of Audrey Hepburn, Sleeping Beauty's Aurora remains the quintessential Disney princess. The name itself means 'dawn'.

Ariel - she's one of the best known and most beloved of the Disney princesses, so why not make the name Ariel 'part of your world'. Sorry...

Belle - the perfect name choice if you want to give a subtle nod to Disney while sticking with a mainstream choice that won't make your daughter stand out too much. Plus, she's an adorable bookworm who knows that beauty is only skin deep - what's not to love? Holly Willoughby called her daughter Belle.

Jasmine - we're not the only ones with fond memories of Aladdin's princess. After the release of the 1992 film, the previously-rare name shot up into 51st place and hasn't fallen below 55th since.

Merida - fiery, fierce and not afraid to speak her mind, Merida became an icon to thousands of girls thanks to the rollicking success of Brave.

Tiana - a non-traditional name for a non-traditional heroine from The Princess and the Frog. A plucky waitress with big dreams rather than a princess waiting for her knight in shining armour, Tiana would be a spunky role model for her namesake.

Ursula - go on, come over to the dark side! Ursula may be an evil sea witch who tricks The Little Mermaid into surrendering her voice, but she's far sassier than daft brush Ariel.

Let's be honest, most classic Disney films are all about the girls. Can you even remember what Prince Charming's real name was? Of course not (it's Henry, FYI). That said, there are a few names worth considering if you're expecting a boy.

Philip - no-one can deny that the hero of Sleeping Beauty is dashing, but if you choose this name be prepared to spend a lot of time explaining the backstory: "No, not that Prince Philip..."

Eric - yes, he is so dense that he apparently didn't find it strange that Ariel never spoke. But he's definitely one of the most charming and memorable Disney princes.

Naveen - one of the newest Disney princes, Tiana's beau in The Princess and the Frog spends most of the film transformed into a frog, but we still love the name. And it means 'new beginning', which couldn't be more appropriate for a baby!

Hercules - why not take the plunge? After all, Disney's Herc is sweet, brave and waaaay more emotionally adjusted than in the original Greek myth.

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