Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by Laura Teso
Why a post dedicated to Disney characters in Italian? Many many years ago I was shocked when someone told me that Disney’s 7 dwarfs had different names in English. I was a kid and obviously that thought had never touched my young and innocent mind. Probably I thought that the film was Italian.
In more recent times, translators have stopped changing names: Ariel is Ariel, Merida is Merida, Rapunzel is Rapunzel (but it is also the movie title, instead of Tangled). In the Italian fairy tale she is called Raperònzolo, though. But it sounds too funny in Italian. You can read it, but you wouldn’t hear it without laughing and finding it weird.
So, I was saying that now this method has (more or less) come to an end. The original names remain. But once they were translated in order for the people to understand them or… pronounce them. It would be impossible for my mother to pronounce Scrooge McDuck, for example. She isn’t gifted at foreign languages. Think that she isn’t able even to say sms. She says “smash”. True story.
Disney characters in Italian
These are the main characters (I skipped the secondary ones or those with a name too similar to the original):
Mickey Mouse Topolino (little mouse)
Minnie Topolina (little female mouse), but nowadays the maority of people call her Minnie
Daisy Duck Paperina (little female duck)Mickey Mouse Topolino (little mouse)
Donald Duck Paperino (little male duck). Yes, it would be Paolino Paperino, but no one ever calls him other than just Paperino.
Daisy Duck Paperina (little female duck)
Goofy Pippo (Mystery. Pippo is simply the diminutive of Giuseppe or Filippo).
Chip ‘n Dale Cip e Ciop
Scrooge McDuck Zio Paperone (Uncle Big Duck)
Huey, Dewey and Louie Qui Quo e Qua (Qua qua is the duck call in Italian)
Pete (Peg Leg Pete) Gambadilegno (Leg of wood)
Grandma Duck Nonna Papera
Hear the audiofile:
Alice in Wonderland is Alice nel Paese delle Meraviglie (in the land of wonders)
In Italian the cat Dinah became male, Oreste, because at some point it had to rhyme with té (tea).
The Cheshire cat is lo Stregatto (word pun: strega means witch, stregato bewitched and gatto is cat)
Lady and the Tramp is Lilli e il Vagabondo
Peter Pan same
Captain Hook is Capitan Uncino (hook in Italian)
Tinker Bell/Trilli is Campanellino (little bell)
Mr Smee is Spugna (sponge)
Jiminy Cricket Grillo Parlante (The talking cricket)
Gideon and Honest John Il Gatto e la Volpe (The cat and the fox)
Stromboli Mangiafuoco (Fire eater)
Thomas O’Malley the alley cat is Romeo il gatto del Colosseo (meaning Romeo the Colosseum cat, so totally different. Also the song was completely changed to be better suited to Italian viewers)
Abigail and Amelia are Adelina e Guendalina Bla Bla (so funny those two)
Uncle Waldo is Zio Reginaldo
Toulouse is Matisse
Marie is Minù
Berlioz is Bizet
The mouse Roquefort in Italian has the name of another cheese: Groviera (gruyere)
One Hundred and One Dalmatians is La carica dei 101 (The charge of the 101)
The Sword in the Stone is La spada nella roccia
Archimedes is Anacleto
Madam Mim is Maga Magó (the sorceress Magò), Merlin is Mago Merlino (mago means wizard)
Arthur in Italian would be Arturo, but in this case, referring to King Arthur, we call it Re Artù. In the movie everybody call him Semola (that is semolina) instead of Wart.
Hear the audiofile of the previous Disney characters in Italian:
Sleeping Beauty La Bella Addormentata nel Bosco (the beauty asleep in the wood)
The Little Mermaid is La Sirenetta
Prince Charming in Italian is not il Principe Affascinante but il Principe Azzurro (light blue prince). It seems it derives form an ancient tale referring to the blue blood of the prince.
Anastasia and Drizella are Anastasia e Genoveffa
Snow White is inverted: Biancaneve
And here are the dwarfs:
Doc Dotto (learned)
Grumpy Brontolo (grumbling)
Sleepy Pisolo (snoozing)
Bashful Mammolo (it recalls mamma)
Happy Gongolo (gloating)
Sneezy Eolo (referring to the wind Aeolus)
Dopey Cucciolo (cub, puppy)
Hear the audiofile:
Non animated films
As for the non animated films I quote only two:
The Love Bug is Il Maggiolino tutto matto (the bug totally crazy)
The Parent Trap. I love this film, I think I watched 100 times.
I thought that the girls were actual twins. Only as a teen I found out that the actress was just one, lovely Hayley Mills! Well, in Italian it has the oddest title ever. It would have been too simple name it Trappola per Genitori, but no! It is: Il cowboy col velo da sposa, which is The cowboy with the bride veil. Isn’t it horrible? 😀
Hear the audiofile:
That’s it for the Disney characters in Italian! If you have other titles or characters in mind, feel free to ask!