Yes, I'm aware that this article has been writen many times before but you know, couldn't resist.
Hello, I said I'd be back and here I am! This article is going to be about (le gasp!) how Balto, Aniu, and Nava could be related.
Now let me explain first- I originally thought that Balto and Aniu were not related to Nava whatsoever. To me, Nava was an elderly wolf leader/shaman type character with random, but important, powers. Although, after I read articles on this subject and looked at some pictures, I've changed my mind. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense.
I already know the cons of the subject. Nava and Balto never state that they are related, they may look the same but this is because of the artists' lack of in-depth character design, and finally, what's the point? Well, after spending a few hours researching I feel that I made a good enough argument to contradict these statements.
Everyone's been saying that maybe Aniu was Nava's sister or something but I think that Nava is Balto's grandfather. He's definetly old enough to be, and he does look quite similar to him (we'll get to that later though). As I said before, Nava wields random, but nonetheless important, powers.
So does Aniu.
Aniu, has somewhat of an excuse to have these abilities though, she is, after all, a spirit. But what of Nava? How did he aquire these magical powers? Could it be that he was gifted with these powers by other spirits? Or was he born with them? He did, after all, say that "It's nothing that can be taught, one just knows it." So it is very much possible that Aniu was born with them too, maybe even inheriting them from a parent. Lets compare the two shall we?
Nava can talk to spirits through his dreams. Aniu is a spirit who can talk to others by manipulating their dreams.
Nava can transform himself into a tree. Aniu can transform herself into other animals.
Both can appear and disappear in an instant.
See how similar they are? Now we have their appearances. Yes, it's obvious that they used different animators in different films, so all of the wolves do look similar in their own way. The way I see it, Balto looks like a younger version of Nava.
The difference between these pictures are the eyes and fur color (the fur, however, could've faded with age).
Now compare Nava (above) with Aniu from Balto 1 and WQ.
Same squinty eyes as Nava. Balto probably got his eyes from his father.
So now, you may ask, is "what's the point?" Why would they be related when it does nothing for the story???
But does it?
Aniu seems to be the cheif spirit. The Top Dog (if you pardon the pun), she could've chosen any wolf pack for Balto and Alue to go to, yet she chose Nava's. Why would she even choose to communicate with Nava? Alaska is a big place, it's be pretty silly to think that Nava's pack is the only one out there, in fact, we even see another wolf pack in the first movie. Yet the only clan to cross over the ice bridge was Nava's. It came and went pretty quickly, so it'd be impossible to have every wolf pack cross over it in time, Aniu might've thought that if worse came to worse, it'd have to narrow down to one. If Nava really was Aniu's father, she'll definitly ensure his well being (even though he, himself, didn't end up crossing the bridge!).
Lastly, to conclude this article, we have to famous "but Nava and Balto never say in the movie that they were related" line, plus towards the end, Nava calls Balto "My brother". "My brother" is a term used by the Native Americans in a figurative matter, it's the same how a leader calls his people "my children". Finally, Balto states that he was separated from his mother at a young age and he makes it apparant that he grew up in that boat of his instead of an actual pack. If you watched WQ recently, you'll most likely remember that Niju called Balto in a disgusted tone: "some mutt", a possible reference to prejudice among the wolves. When Aniu fell in love with a husky, her pack would've shunned her, having nowhere else to live, she settled down in the abandoned boat and died before getting a chance to inform her father of her pregnancy, and Balto of who his grandfather was.
That's pretty much it. Hoped you enjoyed!!!