Naruto was born as the son of the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze and Kushina Uzumaki, Kurama's second jinchūriki. Naruto's parents named him after the main character of Jiraiya's first book, thus making the Sannin his godfather. Prior to Naruto's birth, his parents and the Third Hokage Hiruzen Sarutobi feared that his birth would break the seal which kept Kurama in Kushina. The plan to ensure it did not occur was for Kushina to be taken to a top-secret location outside the village with Biwako Sarutobi and Taji as her midwives, a few ANBU as security, and Minato to keep the seal in place. However, word of Kushina giving birth reached a masked ninja who intended to take the fox for his own evil ends. Killing the midwives and ANBU, the masked man took the newborn Naruto hostage to keep Minato away from Kushina so the seal can be shattered.
As stated by Jiraiya, Naruto bears a striking resemblance to his father, having Minato's blue eyes and blond, spiky hair. From his mother, Naruto inherited the shape of both her eyes and face. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Dan Katō initially mistakes him for Nawaki due to their stark resemblance as well. Naruto's most prominent physical characteristics, however, are the whisker marks on his face. Probably Naruto's most regularly mentioned trait before the second half of the series (which easily provoked him) was his short stature for his age. After the time skip, he had a noticeably significant growth spurt which made him taller than his team-mate, Sakura.
In Part I, Naruto's outfit consisted of an orange tracksuit with blue on the upper shoulders area as well as around the waist, a white swirl with a tassel on the left side, a red swirl on the back, a large white collar, orange pants, blue sandals, and a blue forehead protector that was given to him by Iruka after he graduated from the Academy. Naruto sometimes wore armour underneath his clothing.
Naruto is exuberant, brash, inattentive, and heedless to formality or social standings. He inherited his catch-phrase "Dattebayo!" (だってばよ!) from his mother, who would say "(da)ttebane" ((だ)ってばね) when excited or frustrated. Naruto has a number of childish traits, like keeping his money in a chubby, green-frog wallet he affectionately calls "Gama-chan", being a very picky eater (he almost exclusively eats ramen and is a frequent customer at the Ramen Ichiraku), and being afraid of ghosts. He is also somewhat perverted, something he tends to be reprimanded for by Sakura Haruno and Iruka, but has only become even more so after meeting his mentor Jiraiya, causing many to say that Jiraiya raised a perfect replica of himself. However, whenever someone dear to him is in trouble or the situation calls for it, Naruto can be very serious, and will instantly try to come to their aid.
According to Kakashi, Naruto learns through his body, as he is relatively naive, simple, and being slow to understand a principle or situation, which often requires an oversimplified analogy in order to grasp what is being explained to him. Overall, Naruto responds best to competition and has a great deal of self-confidence, loudly proclaiming that he will master whatever technique he is learning within a fraction of the usual time, though he doesn't hesitate to ask for help if he needs it. While as naive as he appears to be throughout most of the series, Naruto has proven to have a keen eye to certain things most people don't see, showing that he can be smarter than what most people, especially Sakura, are willing to give him credit for when he wants to be, something even Chōji comments on once in a while. This was shown when Naruto was the first to notice the differences in Sai's book, later helped to decipher Jiraiya's dying message left from Fukasaku on his back and managed to help solve the message through Kakashi's Icha Icha book. He is also quite observant in regards to other people's feelings (though he was oblivious of Hinata's love for him until she confessed her feelings to him) and is able to perceive the truth from people's intentions, such as when Sakura claimed she loved him and not Sasuke any more, Naruto immediately knew she was lying about how she felt, having witnessed her most extreme and inimitable signs of love for Sasuke. Naruto also saw through Iruka's lie about a new wild creature on the Island Turtle they were on by remembering Motoi stating that B had tamed all the animals on the island.