Aniu first appeared in "Balto", serving to remind him of his wolf heritage after he had fallen down a cliff and given up all hope. She remained totally unidentified until "", and there remains some dispute as to whether the great white wolf in the first movie was indeed Aniu, although animators have confirmed that she is indeed the White Wolf in the first movie. However, it still remains a controversy among fans.
Aniu appears to be a spirit. She has a tendency to appear and vanish in the blink of an eye, usually with the appearance that she is vanishing into the wind or the fog. She also possesses the ability to shapeshift, having been seen to take the form of a raven a vixen. Since Balto was separated from her at an early age, he has few memories of her, save that she "was white as snow" and had a warm voice that always made him feel safe. In addition to being Balto's mother, Aniu is apparently a guide to Nava, the elderly leader of the wolf pack Balto and Aleu meet in the movie.
=Role in "Balto"=
Throughout the entire movie, the white wolf goes unnamed, but
Phil Weinsteinin an interview declared that Aniu is the white wolf in Balto 1. [ [http://baltosource.timduru.org/en/b1articles/Phil_Weinstein_interview/389.html Phil Weinstein interview! - Balto 1 articles - Balto Source ] ] There are some physical differences between the her and her version in the sequel. Nevertheless, she played a much less significant role in the first movie, only appearing twice.
Role in ""
Aniu is known to have taken two forms along the way to help both Balto and Aleu:
Wolf, her true self, the teacher.
Raven, the dark bird that appeared in Balto's dreams.
It has also been suggested (although not confirmed) that she took various other forms, namely:
These animals matched up to those on a totem pole Balto occasionally passed by, and in a dream vision of Balto's, she explained the meaning of each to him. This was the not the first time she appeared (if one counts the white wolf in the first movie as Aniu), but the first time she was given a name. The pack of wolves that Aleu and Balto meet refer to Aniu as as a legendary figure. At the very end, Aniu is revealed to be Balto's mother and spirit guide.
Aniu has proven to be a very popular figure in Balto fan fiction, with her fan-given attributes far outnumbering those she displayed in the movie. Various writers have depicted her as everything from a mortal wolf to a ghost (and even occasionally something in between, akin to
Danny Phantom), with some stories casting her as an angelor even a goddess.
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