A little girl divided between freedom and responsibility, between an adventurous and nomadic life and the warmth of a new family is the protagonist of this delicate story on the theme of adoption, set in Italy at the beginning of the magical sixties. Stellina is an 11-year-old orphan, born and raised with the Circus Panagulis.
She is surrounded by acrobats and clowns and her playmate is a black panther named Gala. Stellina is resourceful and a little rebellious, loved and protected by all.
Her dream is to become an acrobat like her mother, but when the institutions discover the irregularity of her position, they separate her from the Circus to send her to an orphanage. Refusing any imposition, Stellina escapes, chased in vain by the police. On her journey she will meet shady figures and heartless bureaucrats, but also unexpected friends and, above all, Anna, a young teacher who will take care of her. But when the past returns, the little girl will be faced with an excruciating choice…
Stellina is a complex series, with many centers: in addition to the core theme of the Circus, which runs through the whole series, the protagonist moves in many different environments, congenial or (sometimes) hostile to her, and the “on the road” structure of the series – as well as its “realistic” setting – allow us to take a look (obviously child-friendly) at the fascinating setting of Italy in the early 1960s. As the episodes unfold and the story moves towards a happy ending, Stellina finds herself making many choices, becoming more mature and responsible, in a word, growing, without completely denying her old life, but trying to merge what is good she has learned with the new needs that will arise. This aspect makes Stellina a real animated “coming-of-age novel” which, while offering adventure and fun, asks interesting questions about behaviors, choices and their consequences.