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Old 09-17-2009, 05:07 PM
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Balto (1995) Appreciation #1: "A dog cannot make this journey alone, but maybe a wolf can...,"

Balto (1995) Appreciation

Balto - Wikipedia.org
Balto: Universal Studios – Restored version of the original 1995 official Balto site.
Balto Source – An unofficial fan site dedicated to the Balto franchise, including the 1925 Serum Run.
Balto at the Internet Movie Database
Balto at Allmovie
Balto – Keyframe - the Animation Resource
Balto Source: Film Information – Information about Balto's feature film.
Balto's Treasure – A Balto fan site dedicated to the films and the 1925 Serum Run.
Balto Wiki – An unofficial Encyclopaedia about the serum run and the Balto movies.
BALTO'S TRUE STORY - Balto


Balto is a 1995 animated/live action film produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblimation animation studio, distributed by Universal Pictures, and originally released to movie theatres in 1995. Balto is based on a true story about the dog of the same name who helped save children from the diphtheria epidemic in the 1925 serum run to Nome. The live action portions of the film were shot in Central Park.

Balto is the final animated feature produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblimation animation studio, before Spielberg co-founded DreamWorks with David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg; most of the Amblimation staff was re-located to DreamWorks Animation. Universal Pictures would not release another feature-length animated film to theaters for over a decade, until Curious George in 2006. Similarly, it would be over a decade until Amblin Entertainment would produce another theatrically released animated film, which was 2006's Columbia Pictures computer-animated feature film Monster House.


Plot
Balto is a wolf-dog, shunned by both humans and dogs in the town of Nome. His only friends are Boris, a Russian goose, and Muk and Luk, two polar bears. Balto and Boris live on a grounded boat outside Nome, while Muk and Luk are occasional visitors. One day, a dogsled race is being held. At the head end of one of the teams is Steele, a proud and fierce competitor. Balto and Boris are in Nome to watch the finish. While waiting for the teams to arrive, Balto sees a young girl named Rosy and her female husky, Jenna. He is immediately smitten by Jenna, and when Rosy loses her hat to the wind, Balto outruns the sled team and retrieves the hat to show off. However, when he tries to get closer to Jenna, she and Rosy are pulled away by Rosy's parents. Balto and Boris dejectedly leave town, but not before being antagonized by Steele and his companions, Nikki, Kaltag, and Star.

The night after the race, Rosy and several other children fall ill. As Jenna worriedly watches through the hospital window, Balto approaches and attempts to flirt, but Jenna is too distressed to be receptive. Balto and Jenna enter the underfloor area of the hospital and watch the doctor give the diagnosis - Rosy (and the other children) has diphtheria, and the doctor has run out of antitoxin. An urgent request for medicine is transmitted, but sea and air routes fail and the closest rail line only goes to Nenana.

It is decided that a sled team will cover the last stretch. A race is held to determine the team members. Balto enters, and easily wins. However, he is disqualified when his heritage is revealed. That night, the team (led by Steele) sets out to Nenana and picks up the medicine; however they get lost on the way back and knock out the musher. The team now has no way home.

The news reaches Nome. Balto decides to set out on a rescue mission, accompanied by Boris, Muk, and Luk. On the way, they are attacked by a large grizzly bear, but (with Jenna's unexpected help) are able to escape. However, Jenna is injured, and Balto orders Boris and the bears to take her home. Balto eventually finds the team, but Steele does not want help, and a dogfight ensues which ends with Steele plunging down a cliff (he is apparently uninjured). Balto takes up the lead, but soon finds that Steele tampered with the trail markers Balto left on the way and becomes lost. Eventually the crate containing the medicine becomes untied and falls off a cliff. Balto catches it, but the ground gives way underneath him and both him and the crate drop into the abyss.

Balto wakes up at the bottom of the cliff, believing that he has failed. A large white wolf appears to him, and he turns away in shame. However, as the wolf walks away, Balto notices the intact crate nearby. He realizes that being part wolf is a strength, not a weakness, and manages to drag the crate back up the cliff to the waiting team. They are quickly on their way again, Balto using his sense of smell to figure out which marks are his and which are Steele's.

After overcoming several near-catastrophes, Balto makes it back to Nome. Steele - who had told the other dogs that Balto died - is revealed to be a liar and is deserted. Boris, Muk, Luk, and Jenna - all of whom thought Balto was lost - are overjoyed, and the town which once shunned Balto gives him a hero's welcome.

Cast & Characters
  • Balto, voiced by Kevin Bacon, is the main protagonist, a young adult male wolfdog (half husky,half wolf). At first he is despised by nearly everyone in Nome due to his heritage. However, after he brings the medicine, he is regarded as a hero.
  • Boris, voiced by Bob Hoskins, is a somewhat grumpy Russian snow goose who considers himself Balto's caretaker.
  • Jenna, voiced by Bridget Fonda, is a young, female Siberian husky. She is nice but she is a strong-female character. Balto likes her and she is the only dog in Nome who views Balto in a positive light, and as the film progresses Jenna begins to like Balto more.
  • Rosy, voiced by Juliette Brewer, is Jenna's owner. She is a kind, excitable girl, and when she falls ill, Balto does everything he can to save her and the other children. Her adult self tells the tale to her granddaughter and is portrayed by Miriam Margoyles in the live action segments.
  • Steele, voiced by Jim Cummings, is the main antagonist. He is an Alaskan Malaute - not Husky or Canadian Eskimo Dog. He likes Jenna but she does not like him back. He is popular among dogs and people alike, as the leader of Nome's championship sled dog team.He bullies Balto because he is half wolf and is jealous that Jenna likes him. H later fights with him because Balto found them and was taking the medican back to Nome and Steele would not be the hero. At the end of the film, however, he is exposed as a liar and the dogs like Balto more.
  • Muk and Luk, both voiced by Phil Collins, are a pair of polar bears. They are outcasts because they believe they are unable to swim, however under duress it is revealed that they can.
  • Nikki, voiced by Jack Angel, Kaltag, voiced by Danny Mann and Star, voiced by Robbie Rist, are a trio of dogs in Steele's team. They appear enamored of Steele, but secretly do not approve of his ways. Kaltag has a large vocabulary and uses many words to describe things. Star often says the right thing and is hit over the head by Kaltag.
  • Dixie, voiced by Sandra Dickinson, is a female dog and one of Jenna's friends. She is a show-off highly attracted to Steele, she loses interest in him after discovering his true character.
  • Sylvie, voiced by Sandra Dickinson, is a female Afghan Hound is also one of Jenna's friends. Like most dogs, she admires Steele until his true personality is revealed.

Crew
  • Directed by Simon Wells
  • Produced by Steve Hickner
  • Executive Producers Steven Spielberg and Bonne Radford
  • Screenplay by Cliff Ruby, Elana Lesser, David Cohen and Roger S.H. Schulman
  • Story by Cliff Ruby and Elana Lesser
  • Performed by Steve Winwood
  • Lyrics by Barry Mann
  • Music by James Horner

Historical Differences
  • The sled run to get the medicine was actually a relay, and Balto was only the leader of the last team to carry the medicine to Nome. The longest and most hazardous distance was traveled by the team led by Togo.
  • The serum was never driven by the dogs alone, and no musher was incapacitated.
  • Balto was never an outcast as shown by the film, but was instead born in a kennel owned by the famous musher Leonhard Seppala, where he grew up until he was deemed fit for pulling a sled. Seppala was also the owner of Togo, whom he personally used during the relay, Balto was instead used by one of his workers, Gunnar Kaasen.
  • Balto was not part wolf, he was a purebred Siberian Husky.

Soundtrack

Soundtrack Album Track Listing (In the original United States version, this CD had the following tracks):
  1. "Reach For The Light (Theme from Balto)" - performed by Steve Winwood (4:24)
  2. "Main Title/Balto's Story Unfolds" (4:40)
  3. "The Dogsled Race" (1:41)
  4. "Rosy Goes To The Doctor" (4:05)
  5. "Boris & Balto" (1:29)
  6. "The Journey Begins" (5:06)
  7. "Grizzly Bear" (5:23)
  8. "Jenna/Telegraphing The News" (2:22)
  9. "Steele's Treachery" (4:38)
  10. "The Epidemic's Toll" (3:29)
  11. "Heritage Of The Wolf" (5:54)
  12. "Balto Brings The Medicine!" (4:53)
  13. "Reach For The Light (Theme from Balto) (Long Version)" - performed by Steve Winwood (5:27)
Total length: 49:15 min

Reception
Balto holds a mixed rating of 45% by critics at Rotten Tomatoes, though only 11 reviews are counted. However, the users rating is at 72%, with 304 reviews (221 fresh, 83 rotten). The film's release was vastly overshadowed by the performance of Disney/Pixar's Toy Story, and, at best, did modest box office. Strong video sales lead to the release of two sequels: Balto II: Wolf Quest and Balto III: Wings of Change.

See also
Balto (character)
The Real Balto
1925 Nome Serum Run
List of Balto characters
Balto II: Wolf Quest
Balto III: Wings of Change



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Last edited by atwoodsmariano; 11-13-2021 at 02:39 AM
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:24 PM
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Add me, please! Love this movie!
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:10 PM
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Added!
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:48 PM
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I LOVE this movie! I wanted my own Balto SOOOO much.

Please add me.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:02 PM
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Between Balto and Two Socks (from Dances from Wolves) I'm not sure which "Wolf" I wanted more as a kid .
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:31 PM
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I like this movie.
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Old 07-21-2015, 12:42 PM
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please add me too this movie made me love wolves
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:20 PM
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Can I be added to the list?

I like Balto 2 also.
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Old 07-22-2015, 01:10 AM
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same
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Old 11-13-2021, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socialfirefighter (View Post)

I like Balto 2 also.
I’ve only seen Balto II before when I was a kid and I liked it but I never saw the original except for the ending so I’m watching it now

totally crushing on Balto rn

Kevin’s voice definitely helps
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