Like with all Disney movies, the franchise's fandom has been desperately trying to connect Moana to other films under the Disney name. Unfortunately, beyond the normal Easter Eggs, like Sven from Frozen making an appearance and Tamatoa referencing Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, there have seemingly been no true connections to other movies hidden within Moana. This was until CruellasFurCoat found a connection to Moana in Lilo & Stitch, which also takes place in the Polynesian Island (or Hawaii, as we now know it)!
Surprisingly, it all ties in with one particular scene from Lilo & Stitch that may reference the existence of one of Moana's protagonists.
Pudge is Lilo's "imaginary" fish friend that she brings sandwiches to every week. When asked why she continues to feed him, she responds with one simple explanation:
"Pudge controls the weather."
The theory proposes that Pudge is actually Maui, who has taken the form of a fish – which is actually quite possible, seeing as Maui is an immortal demigod. He existed a thousand years before the events of Moana, and thus is likely to still be alive during the events of Lilo & Stitch (which takes place thousands of years after Moana).
With Maui being a shape-shifter, it's also totally possible for him to appear weekly as a fish!
The question we ask now is, why would Maui return weekly to see Lilo? There are two current explanations of this, each of which are equally plausible:
Lilo descended from Moana.
Considering that Lilo lives in the same region as Moana once did, it is quite possible that Lilo descended from the ancient hero. If this theory is true, as many people have already claimed, then it would make sense for Maui to take the form of a fish to visit Lilo regularly. Moana changed Maui's life, and in return, the demigod is likely repaying her by watching over her children, her children's children, and so on. And if one of Moana's descendants keeps bringing Maui a sandwich, why wouldn't he keep coming back? Or perhaps there's another, more surprising reason as to why he keeps returning to Lilo.
Maui killed Lilo's parents.
This theory is a bit darker than the previous theory, but sadly, its roots are much deeper, and thus has more facts to back it up. In Lilo & Stitch, Lilo lives with her sister, who raises and takes care of her. This is because their parents died in a car crash during a rainstorm sometime before the events of Lilo & Stitch.
The theory states that the demigod Maui decided to create a brutal rainstorm, which accidently killed Lilo's parents. Lilo eventually finds Maui, who takes the form of Pudge the fish, and realizes that Pudge is responsible for the death of her parents, seeing as he "controls the weather." While this doesn't completely fit the Maui we knew at the end of Moana, this does seem like something he would've done when we first met the character at the beginning of the film. Perhaps, at some point during the thousands of years after Moana, Maui reverted back to his old, trickster ways by causing chaos across the Polynesian islands on occasion just for the fun of it.
Whether it was to protect Lilo, or if he was being paid tribute after murdering Lilo's parents, the theory that Maui is Pudge the fish has become one of my favorite Disney theories. While it is unlikely that we will ever get confirmation of this theory, I will personally consider it to be "headcanon," as it really does make a lot of sense, and could forever change the way we look at Lilo & Stitch.