It’s undeniable that Pixar has a certain grasp of the magic and wonder of childhood. Theirs are films to grow up with, to watch as a family, to share with the ones you love. They’ve become part of the cultural landscape.
Who out there hasn’t reminded themselves to “just keep swimming” or shed at least a tear or two watching Andy grow up and head out to college? It’s no wonder, then, that they characters who are far more real than pictures on a screen leave a lasting impression on viewers. Kids want to be fast like Lightning McQueen, or brave like Nemo. And if there was going to be a monster under the bed, wouldn’t you hope for Mike or Sully?
These films take us around the world, and beyond. Into the future with Wall-E, under our feet with A Bug’s Life, and into a world where superheroes are real with The Incredibles. We’re even able to see inside, with Riley and her emotions in Inside Out. Maybe this is why the movies have so important to so many.
With a plethora of beloved characters in their films, we collected some of our favorites that offer inspiration for your real-life wonders. (And no, we don’t suggest naming your baby Big Baby!)
First up? A little journey to France with …
Anton (Ratatouille) A food critic who seeks out the very best. Meaning “worthy of praise”, this is similar to Anthony but with a unique twist.
Dash (The Incredibles) A little boy with some serious speed. This playful choice means “a charming man.”
Hudson (as in Doc) (Cars) This falls into the last-as-first trend quite nicely. It has a mature sound that still would work for an adorable little one.
Elinor (Brave) While Merida and her mother didn’t always see eye to eye, there’s no denying that they are both examples of strong and caring women. This name, which means shining light, is a unique and flexible option, with plenty of nicknames and a less traditional spelling.
Bonnie (Toy Story 3) The imaginative and playful little girl who gives Andy’s toys new life. Meaning “attractive or beautiful.”
Finn (Cars 2) Smooth and sophisticated, the spy sports a name that exudes a special charm.
Hannah (Toy Story) Poor little Hannah has had to adapt to brother Sid’s sadistic ways with toys. No wonder her name means “grace.”
Auguste (Rataouille) Meaning “great or venerable”, this sophisticated name of the restaurant owner and chef can also be shortened to the adorable “Gus.”
Trixie (Toy Story 3) Meaning “bringer of joy,” this one certainly has a feel as happy as Rex when he found a video-gaming partner in Trixie.
Francis (A Bug’s Life) The ladybug who isn’t a lady in A Bug’s Life. This traditionally male name has a sound-alike match in Frances.
Celia (Monsters, Inc.) The no nonsense love interest of Mike Wasowski. This name means heavenly.
Eve (Wall-E) The robot tasked with finding signs of life is only able to find herself when she meets Wall-E. This sweet and simple choice has a long history behind it.
Remy (Ratatouille) A gifted chef who had to battle against perception – who wants a rat cooking their meal? – Remy takes the oars and finds a way to succeed, just as his name meaning “rower” suggests.
Molly (Toy Story) Andy’s little sister sports a head of curls and this adorable name.
Bruce (Finding Nemo) “Fish are friends!” Bruce is a tough guy, but lovable and friendly.
Henry (as in Waternoose) (Monsters, Inc.) With a name meaning “rules the home,” he plays the big boss at Monsters, Inc.
Coral (Finding Nemo) The mother who was willing to risk it all to save little Nemo. The name derives from the beautiful, living structures of the sea.
Ellie (Up) The adorable adventurer is only in the first few minutes of the film, but leaves a lasting impression.
Lucius (Frozone) (The Incredibles) The funny friend of Mr. Incredible has special powers of his own. His smooth moves are reflected in his smooth name, which means “light”.
Joy (Inside Out) It’s hard not to adore the sweet and aptly named Joy of Inside Out. This would make an equally sweet and happy name for a little girl.
Randall (Monsters, Inc.) I know, I know – he’s a bad guy. But he wasn’t always! And his name, meaning “wolf shield” is worth consideration.
Collette (Ratatouille) One of the talented chefs behind the dishes. The name means “necklace” and “people of victory.
Sullivan (as in James P.) (Monsters, Inc.) Using the popular nickname, Sully, he managed to befriend little Boo and charm the viewers. The full name is obviously a last-as-first use that sounds polished.
Dolly (Toy Story 3) This name has a sweet, retro feel. While it might be an impersonal name for the doll character in the movie, it’s a charming fit for a little girl.
Russell (Up) Who can resist the sweet charm of Russell in his uniform, hiding out on the porch? The name means “red-haired,” but that shouldn’t limit the use.
Miles (Cars 2) While the Miles of movie fame here is a villain, the name remains a winner.
Nigel (Finding Nemo) Meaning “champion.” It’s hard not to like the seagull that has such an interest in dentistry and his name.
Riley (Inside Out) Meaning “valiant,” we certainly see Riley’s bravery as she faces the changes thrust upon her in Inside Out. This name is one of those few that works equally well for girls or boys.
Violet (The Incredibles) Violet finds a way to make her habit of feeling invisible into a positive as she embraces her superpowers. The name is much like her – feminine and strong at the same time.
Gill (Finding Nemo) A tough fish with a soft heart, Gill and Nemo are able to learn from one another. Despite his gruff exterior, the name means “joy or happiness.”