I grew up watching cartoons on the Disney Channel, and one of the most popular shows at the time was Lilo and Stitch, and although the show was centred around Lilo and her adventures with her aliens friends, her elder sister Nani was an integral part of the show.
Nani was on her way to becoming a professional surfer and chose to give it all up to become Lilo’s full-time guardian. Nani became Lilo’s mother, father, and sister, all at the age of eighteen. She accepted Lilo’s eccentric habits and gave her space to grow.
Nani’s character design is also something worth noting. In an era of Disney princesses with tiny waists, Nani had a normal waist and her stomach formed natural rolls when she sat, although she was a surfer. Most of the human characters on the show had native features as well. This way the show promoted body positivity and loving one‘s own inherited features and culture.
A special mention for David, Nani’s boyfriend, who went out of his way to help Nani. He was her support, he bought her a phone so that she could stay in touch with Lilo while at work, and he made Nani’s priorities his own priorities.
The show teaches young children of the importance of family and found family. Did you watch Lilo and Stitch as a child and what do you think about Nani’s character?