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Balto
Balto character.jpg
Balto.
First appearance Balto (film)
Information
Nickname(s) "Balto, the trouble dog"
Species Wolf/Canine (Canis lupus familiaris)
Gender Male
Age late 30s - early 40s
Family Jenna (mate), Boris (adoptive father), Aniu (deceased mother), unnamed father, Aleu (daughter), Kodi (son), Dingo (son), various other puppies, unknown in-laws

"You must be the famous Balto, the trouble dog." - Stella, Balto III: Wings of Change

Balto is the main protagonist and titular character of the "Balto film series". He is based on the real dog of the same name.

Contents

Personality

"Not a dog. Not a wolf. All he knows is what he's not. If only he could see what he is." - Boris, Balto: The Movie

Despite his heritage and appearance, Balto always desired to be more like a dog than a wolf. He is deeply in love with Jenna. Balto has a lot of wisdom, patience, and perseverance that usually helps him save the day. He also cares a lot for others, and is willing to risk his own life to save someone else. Balto is also very humble (not letting fame go to his head). He appears to not have any interest in hunting, nor does he know how to do so. Balto was very insecure about being half-wolf (a trait Aleu later developed) but after the events the first movie learned pride for his species (although he still says being half-wolf can be painful, and that some of the other dogs still make fun of him, and he was ashamed when he admitted to Aleu that he was half-wolf). By the 3rd film, all teasing stops and he is officially considered the hero of Nome. Balto also loves sled-dog racing, and would become very excited when watching a race.

He also developed a fascination about flying in the 3rd film. This dream came true when Duke took Balto for a ride in his new plane, which he named the Balto Flyer in his honor and out of gratitude for having saved his life. Balto often acts as a peacemaker breaking up fights and trying to prevent them by saying "we don't want any trouble", though this usually doesn't work. He often avoids using force as much as possible, using his intellect to get out of tight spots, though when Steele insults his mother he would have most likely fought him and his cronies (Nikki, Kaltag and Star) if Boris hadn't intervened. So he does possess some outbursts of rage if prodded in the right manner. Despite this he refused to fight back against Steele in their showdown over the crate of serum in the first film out of fear of destroying the anti-toxin but manages to defeat Steele using his endurance, intelligence, and Steele's anger against him. This resulted in Steele falling off a cliff and Balto winning the fight without ever attacking once. He rarely get caught off guard, although whenever he is caught off guard, he recovers quickly.

Balto also has a soft spot for puppies, and was highly overprotective of Aleu, eventually having to let her go. Balto, despite his traumatic childhood, and being teased for several years, has a sense of humor. In the 1st film, Balto would often smile when around Boris, and would enjoy seeing Muk and Luk annoy Boris. In the 2nd film however, Balto has a more cynical personality. By the 3rd film, Balto starts to laugh more often, as well as starting to use sarcasm. When in search-and-rescue mode however, Balto's personality becomes dead serious, and uses a technique that he calls "marking the trail," in which he scratches various trees to set his path. He is also known to not deal well with extreme pressure panicking at the thought of letting Kodi down, and accidentally running off a cliff in the first film.

Balto is a fairly honest dog, continually recommending that Boris tell the truth to Stella throughout the 3rd film. But lied about Aleu's heritage in the 2nd film, to protect her feelings and hide his shame, which she found out the truth shortly after and ran away.

Biography

"Being different can be painful, no one knows that better than me.", Balto to Boris, Balto II: Wolf Quest

Born to a wild Arctic wolf mother and a domestic Siberian Husky father, Balto was separated from his mother at an early age, and never found his father, wandering around for days, until he was adopted by Boris, a snow goose. Part of his family is Siberian Husky and part wolf, which means their both American and Russian.[1].

Balto was then an outcast, a creature that every one hated. The majority of dogs and humans of Nome reject him because of his wolf heritage, and he rejects the wolves because he himself also despised his wolf heritage, as he showed no interest in being a predator. Thus, he eventually ended up living a life that was somewhere between wild and domestic, although he always desired to eventually become fully domestic. Balto then developed a crush on Jenna, a local purebred female husky. However, the town was being under siege from an outbreak of Diphtheria, and Balto's rival Stelle was chosen to lead the sled dogs with the medicine. Stelle soon got them lost and stuck in a blizzard. Balto later went to rescue the team of sled dogs from a blizzard by "marking the trail," in which he scratches various trees to form a route, and got the medicine to the village in time to save the town. Balto became famous and became Jenna's mate. Although some dogs still had their doubts [2].

A few years later, Jenna gave birth to a litter of pups who were all adopted except for one named Aleu. When Aleu discovers that she's half wolf she runs away. When Balto goes to find her he rescues her from a bear and they discover that Aleu's destiny is to lead a pack of wolves across the sea to where they can find food. Aleu later left with the wolf pack while Balto stayed behind with Jenna.

Another few years later, Balto is officially retired from sledding, but later helps his son Kodi keep his job as mail-dog. Balto later rescued a pilot and Boris from a bad plane accident and was rewarded with a trip in an airplane.

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Age

Even though Balto's age in human or dog years is never mentioned, it was implied that in the 1st film, Balto is a young adult. In the most recent film, 3 years have passed (21 in dogs years), making Balto middle-aged (some-what from late 30s to early 40s).

Physical Appearance

"Uh... big paws kinda run in my family. At least one side of my family." - Balto to Jenna, Balto: The Movie

Balto has unusually big paws, due to being half-wolf, that he says runs in one side of his family. He also has a long bushy tail. Balto has light and dark brown fur. Balto's eyes are yellow and red. Even though Balto is half wolf and half dog, he bears greater resemblance to a wolf, being teased about it for most of his life by other dogs and humans, particularly about his large, sharp teeth, as wolves have larger and sharper teeth (as well as stronger jaws) than dogs.

Abnormalties

At night, Balto's brown fur appears gray. In "Balto: The Junior Novelization", Balto's fur was described as gray.[3] In Balto II: Wolf Quest, Balto's eyes were a very light shade of yellow, but in Balto III: Wings of Change, his eyes are a darker shade of yellow.

Physical Traits

"We need the fastest dog in Nome...My dad", The mail team (referring to Balto), Balto III: Wings of Change

As a wolf-dog hybrid, Balto possesses strength, speed and agility greater than that of a regular domestic dog. Balto has a highly developed sense of smell. He was also capable of hearing the bush plane when no other dog could, suggesting he has a heightened sense of hearing. Balto is highly intelligent, often coming up with plans and tactics to help aid others. In the 2nd installment, he had recurring dreams that were a visions of things to come, hinting that Balto may have the gift of prophecy.

While he does not possess predatory instincts, nor a strong prey drive (the desire for hunting), Balto is capable of holding his own against other dogs and wolves; but when he faces other creatures of the forest (bears, moose, etc.), he usually has to outsmart them, or flee from them due to their greater size. He also outsmarted Steele to defeat him without fighting back. He also has a great deal of durability, shown when he got up from the beating he received from the bear in the first film without much harm and later on in the film continuing on despite receiving a number of heavy hits from Steele, including being brutally thrown head first into a rock.

Relationships

"Don't talk to me, Jenna. I might turn on you." Balto to Jenna, Balto: The Movie

  • Aniu - Aniu was Balto's mother who died when Balto was a pup. Aniu's spirit later returned to guide Balto several times. At the end of the second film Balto realizes that Aniu has been with him the whole time, as the raven.
  • Boris Goosinov - After Balto was separated from his mother, he was adopted by Boris Goosinov, a goose from Russia. Boris raised Balto from a pup, and stayed with him as an adult claiming "I'm sticking here until I'm sure that you can stand on all four feet".
  • Jenna - During the events of the first film (and possibly before that), Balto had a crush on local husky Jenna, which was returned. They first met after Balto saved Rosy's hat from being trampled. After the events of the first film, they became mates for life.
  • Aleu - Balto's only pup who resembles him. Their relationship is explored further in Balto: Wolf Quest, where the two journey to the ocean to find Aleu's destiny. Their relationship is initially rocky, due to Balto not telling Aleu about her wolf appearance and heritage until she was almost killed by a hunter, and Aleu's inability to accept that she is one quarter wolf. However, by the end of Wolf Quest, the two have genuinely gained respect and love for each other. Their relationship ends on a good note, with Aleu howling goodbye to Balto as she and the pack drift away on an ice floe.
  • Rosy - Jenna's owner. She is possibly the only human in Nome (in the beginning of the first film) to like Balto for who he is; even her own parents feared Balto because of his wolf heritage.
  • Kodiak - Balto's pup. Their relationship is explored in Balto III: Wings of Change.

Quotes

  • Aw, come on. What's the worst that can happen?
  • [Muk is calling for Boris]' (Balto)' How sweet. "Uncle Boris."
  • Hi. Look, uh—just a shot in the dark, but I was wondering if, uh, I don't know, maybe you'd like to go chase a few sticks by moonlight, heh, heh… [Sighs]
  • I have the keys to the city. [Disables door hinge's with his paws and pushes open door]
  • Uh... big paws kinda run in my family. At least one side of my family.
  • Boris, did you ever think, maybe you're the reason the other geese fly south?
  • Since when do you need a pedigree to help someone?
  • Let me tell you something Balto. A dog can not make this journey alone, but maybe a wolf can.

See also

References

  1. ^ Balto mentioned these events in Balto II: Wolf Quest
  2. ^ Balto mentions in Wolf Quest that despite being famous, some dogs still tease him for being half wolf.
  3. ^ Balto: The Junior Novelization by Cindy Chang, page 2.

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