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Characters that appear in the Balto film franchise.

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Characters of Balto

Voiced by: Kevin Bacon (Original), Maurice LaMarche (Sequels)

Balto is a wolf-dog who got separated from his mother when he was young and was found and raised by Boris, the Russian snow goose.

  • Angst: Could give Shadow the Hedgehog a run for his money in terms of self reflection and burdens about his own identity and past.
  • The Ace: One of, if not the, fastest runners in all of Nome, with a rock-sturdy body that's built for endurance and survival. In the end, he proves himself a far more competent sled dog than Steele could ever hope to be.
  • Action Dad: Balto becomes a father to six kids in the sequels (Kodi and Aleu in particular), but is still just as willing to put himself in harm's way for a good cause, whether it's helping his kids or saving a pilot lost in the wilderness.
  • Adaptational Badass: The real life Balto was quite strong willed and determined, but not to the extremes of the one in these films.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In reality, Balto was mostly black with some white patches, rather than brownish-gray as he's depicted in the movie.
  • Adaptation Species Change: The real Balto was a purebred Husky; the movie version is a combination of a domestic husky and a wolf.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In the second movie. He didn't think his recurring dreams meant anything and that they were just dreams. Boy, was he wrong. He thankfully grows out of it at the end.
  • Babies Ever After: Has six kids with Jenna by the sequel.
  • Be Yourself: His greatest asset in getting the team home. Rather than reject his wolf side, Balto learns to embrace it.
    Boris: "Let me tell you something, Balto. A dog cannot make this journey alone; but maybe, a wolf can."
  • Character Development: Initially, he hates his wolf ancestry, seeing as how the whole town of Nome shuns him for it. Balto learns to accept and be proud of his wolf ancestry, using it to help to save the town.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: This trope is especially emphasized in the first and third films. Despite all the reasons he has to be wary of humans and other dogs, Balto is a kind and noble wolf at heart, and if someone's life is seriously in danger, he will always step up to try to help them, regardless of the risk to himself.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His father (a purebred husky) apparently wasn't around for whatever reason, and Balto somehow got separated from his mom when he was just a puppy—thankfully, he was found and raised by Boris. Unfortunately, because he was half-wolf, he was mistrusted by humans and teased by most of the dogs.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He has darker, duller coat colors than Steele, and has a big heart.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Occasionally. Balto at his aloof and laidback can have a rather sarcastic, mischievous personality. You can thank Boris for that.
  • Death Glare: In the third film, during the crucial race against Duke's plane, Ralph starts complaining that he wants to slow down. One piercing gaze from Balto shuts him up immediately.
  • Determinator: Stubbornness is his greatest attribute. No matter the odds, Balto simply won't quit.
  • Disappeared Dad: Downplayed. Balto was an attentive father to his six pups and was reluctant in letting them be adopted, but did so because it was best for them. And he still keeps in contact with them even when they're adults.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: He started the movie as a ridiculed and lonely wolf, with the movie's Jerkass Big Bad trying to ruin his life, and being unable to accept himself as a dog or a wolf. He has to go on an epic adventure through a blizzard, facing horrible danger at every single turn. But in the end, he saves the entire town and is honored as a hero. On top of that, he finally accepts what he is and manages to get the love of his life. Sure, the next film shows that there are those who still make fun of him (this time for his other half), but he now lives a much happier existence than before.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Underneath a snarky, cocky, and mischievous exterior, Balto is initially shown to be full of self-doubt and self-loathing, as a result of growing up as a wolf-dog hybrid in a town full of dogs and humans who fear and hate wolves, being shunned by almost everyone over the years. Balto overcomes this problem so he can do what he needs to do to save Nome in the climax of the first film, but traces of it still remain in the sequel, causing him to become an Overprotective Dad to Aleu.
    • Balto also tends to crack under pressure. In the first film, Balto realizing that Steele has sabotaged the trail and that he doesn't know how to get the team back to Nome anymore, with time running out, causes him to have a panic attack that almost kills him when he takes a fall off a cliff. In the third film, Kodi turns to Balto for help to save his job. Balto is fully aware that Kodi has a hero worship of him, and his fear that he will let Kodi down and break his son's trust in him because he can't measure up to a steel machine cause the wolf-dog to panic and run off to be alone for the night, ultimately needing a pep talk from Jenna to regain his confidence.
  • Foil: To his rival, Steele. The two dogs prove to be the complete antithesis of each other in almost every way. Steele is a bulky, purebred sled dog, while Balto is a lanky mixed-species hybrid. Steele is initially loved by all, while Balto is initially feared and shunned as an outcast. Steele is arrogant, selfish and heartless, while Balto suffers from painfully low self-esteem but is consistently shown to be one of the kindest characters in the trilogy. Steele is ultimately, at his core, a coward, while Balto can dig deep and pull off incredible feats of bravery for the sake of other people.
  • Friend to All Children: There is no limit to the lengths he goes to in order to get the medicine to the dying children.
    (Balto enters the hospital and smiles as he sees the children beginning to recover from their fevers, carries Rosy's hat to her)
    Rosy: Balto! (embracing him as Balto snuggles close to her) I would have been lost without you.
  • Guttural Growler: He has, no pun intended, a pretty husky voice.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Balto is ridiculed by the other dogs in Nome for being part wolf.
  • Happily Adopted: Balto was raised by Boris the goose, and is just fine with that.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Jenna is red-furred, and is Balto's Love Interest.
  • Heroic BSoD: He gets one when he realizes Steele has marked every tree in the forest to prevent the dog team from getting home, and he doesn't know the way.
  • Heroic Dog: The Hero of the entire franchise.
  • Heroic Resolve: He gets this when he realizes that he should be proud of his wolf half and it allows him to pull the medicine all the way up the cliff he fell down to safety.
  • Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: Gender inverted, for a given value of "human." His father was a purebred husky dog, and his mother was a pureblood wolf.
  • Hybrid Power: Boris encourages him to go on by telling him that a dog can't make the journey alone, but maybe a wolf can. He's right.
  • I Am What I Am: It's only when he learns to embrace his wolf heritage does he realize there is nothing he can't do.
  • Internalized Categorism: At first, Balto hates his wolf heritage as much as the rest of the town due to being ridiculed and laughed at for it, to the point that he actively suppresses his lupine abilities when out in the wild. It isn't until he's able to embrace his wild half that he's able to save the town.
  • Interspecies Adoption: As a pup, Balto was adopted by Boris, a goose.
  • Made of Iron: Balto goes through hell just to successfully bring home the medicine, enduring the likes of a grizzly bear and a half-insane dog's savage attacks — all the while braving the harsh Alaskan climate's unforgiving hazards. When all is said and done, he basically just shrugs off his wounds, plowing forwards like there's no stopping him.
  • Mixed Ancestry: His father was a purebred husky while his mother was a wolf—and he looks more like a wolf than a regular dog.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Wolf-Dogs are unpredictable and unintentionally destructive at the best of times, and can be pretty vicious with minimal provocation. Balto is none of those things (apart from some growling when Steele bullies him early on), but it's not like the townspeople know that.
  • Nice Guy: He's an all-around noble, sincere and warm-hearted pooch, if a bit snarky and standoffish in the first movie due to being the town outcast.
  • Noble Wolf: Humans and dogs alike avoid him for years because they expect him to be another case of Savage Wolves, when he's actually quite nice. Upon Character Development, he makes peace with his wolf heritage and uses it as a source of strength to keep his team alive and bring back the medicine to Nome. Throughout the trilogy, Balto is a rare example of a wolf character in an animated film who isn't an antagonist but an outright hero.
  • Official Couple: With Jenna.
  • Overprotective Dad: He is this to Aleu in the second film.
  • Papa Wolf: Literally and figuratively. Balto is fiercely protective of his children.
  • Protagonist Title: Balto, natch.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Once he catches the target's scent, nothing seems to evade him. Even more so after he fully becomes in sync with the wolf-half of his ancestry.
  • Street Smart: Balto is shown to be this in the first film, knowing the insides and outs of Nome from years of living as a stray with a lot of time on his paws, as well as possessing some survival skills when it comes to venturing through the wilderness.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Inverted in the first film. He's relatively talkative for the first two-thirds of the movie, but after falling down a cliff and meeting the mysterious white wolf, he never speaks again apart from a few grunts and two utterances of Jenna's name.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Part of his Character Development involves this. While he was implied to have some useful survivalist skills beforehand, Balto held himself back a lot in the first film out of shame of his lupine genetics. Ultimately, he learns to accept the fact that he's part wolf instead of trying to reject it, which allows him to successfully lead a team of sled dogs through a blizzard, on a trek spanning hundreds of miles for several days.
  • Willfully Weak: Throughout the first film, Balto keeps his lupine characteristics in check out of fear that "letting go" would further ostracize him from society. Not only does this (greatly) limit his innate strengths, but also dulls his basic survival instincts. It's only when he finally comes to embrace the wolf within that he unlocks his true potential.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: He's certainly more resourceful and cunning than most of the other sled dogs.

Voiced by: Bridget Fonda (Original), Jodi Benson (Sequels)

Jenna is a husky and is Balto's mate and mother of Aleu, Kodi, Dingo, Saba and two other pups.

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: She wears a red bandana around her neck in place of a collar. This bandana becomes a plot point in the first movie when she gives it to Balto to keep him warm in the frozen Alaskan wilderness. In the fight with Steele, Steele grabs the bandana and it falls with him off of the cliff. When Steele presents it to Jenna, she whiffs the scents on it, telling her that Steele's story is false.
  • Action Girl: In the first movie, she fights a bear to save Balto.
  • Babies Ever After: Has six kids with Balto by the sequel.
  • Big Damn Heroes: She attacks the bear about to kill Balto and saves his life in the nick of time in the first movie.
  • Cassandra Truth: None of the other dogs believe her when she calls Steele out on his Blatant Lies.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Towards Steele. Jenna rebuffs his attempts at wooing her by subtly mocking his bravado.
  • Demoted to Extra: Her role in the sequels are noticeably smaller than in the first movie as she's never a direct help during the films. Granted, there are occasions where she shows willingness to be helpful.
  • Dude Magnet: She is the love interest of both Balto and Steele, also in a scene where she are walking with her friends, can see a dog trying to get to her.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: She's a red husky, and the object of Balto's affections.
  • Mama Bear: Jenna is very protective not only of her pups, but also of her owner, Rosy.
  • Missing Mom: Downplayed. Jenna was present in the early lives of her and Balto's pups but did give them away to human owners when they were old enough, knowing it was their time.
  • Nice Girl: Very kind and compassionate, though not without her limits. It's mostly evidenced in the beginning when she's the only dog in town who is friendly to Balto.
  • Official Couple: With Balto.
  • Only Friend: Initially Balto's only friend in Nome, and initially the only one to appreciate him for who he is well before he earned the title of "town hero".
  • Pep-Talk Song: In the third movie, she serenades Balto (now her husband) with a lovely, gentle piece titled "You Don't Have To Be a Hero," comforting and reassuring him that he doesn't need to stay "perfect" in their son's eyes.
  • Red Is Heroic: She has red fur and saves Balto's life from an angry bear.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Jenna makes it very clear from the start that she detests Steele because of his pushy nature, arrogance and bullying of the titular hero. She's more interested in Balto due to his selflessness and honesty.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Or rather, wouldn't say. She seemingly almost falls for Steele's Blatant Lies concerning the fate of the sled team, but as soon as he claims that Balto died and that his last request was that Steele (who had been bullying Balto for some time) take care of her, she sees right through it.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • She is highly loyal to her owner, Rosy, as evidenced when she stays by her side, doing her best to keep watch over the ailing girl throughout her ordeal.
    • To Balto, as well. Her first instinct upon finding out that he'd left Nome is to follow him straight into the wilderness, risking her own life in the process. What truly seals it is the fact that she never once loses faith in him, even when things look dire.
  • Uptown Girl: Jenna is purebreed husky and a loving house-dog, while Balto is a half-wolf stray, which he feels very self-conscious about initially, believing she would never go for a guy like him, though it soon becomes clear that she fully reciprocates his feelings. Interestingly, the uptown girl / downtown guy dynamic remains in the sequels, even after they've had puppies together, since Balto is shown to still live in his trawler.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Part of her Undying Loyalty towards Balto, as either with words or actions, she will defend him at all costs.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Chews her son over refusing to save Duke.

    Boris Goosinov
Voiced by: Bob Hoskins (Original), Charles Fleischer (Sequels)

"Let me tell you someting, Balto. A dog cannot make this journey alone, but maybe, a wolf can."

Boris Goosinov is a Russian snow goose who raised Balto from a pup.

  • Acrophobic Bird: He's rarely seen actually flying, even when it would be useful to do so. This becomes a plot point in the third movie, where he is actively afraid of heights, even though the end of the first movie has him launch from a high vantage point.
  • Anger Born of Worry: He's often cranky and scolds Balto every few seconds, but it's only because he worries about his safety and well-being.
  • Butt-Monkey: As much as the other characters like him, he still ends up on the receiving end of a lot of pain.
  • The Chew Toy: Comes in second after Star with the most beatings in the movie.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Where else do you think Balto got it from?
    Balto: (to Steele) The name's Balto!
    Boris: (to himself) But you can call him "idiot"...
  • Feather Fingers: He even uses them to pick up food and eat.
  • Grumpy Old Man: The most cynical of the group, though he secretly is quite the ham when things start to go well.
  • Interspecies Adoption: He (a goose) adopted and became a surrogate father figure to Balto (a wolf-dog).
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may snark and give Balto and his bear "nephews" an earful, but he always supports Balto's decisions in the end and showed genuine fear when the bears dove in to save Balto.
  • Large Ham: He has his moments, especially during Balto's races.
  • Meaningful Name: His first name literally means wolf.
  • Mentor Archetype: A very atypical one. You see his quote above? Those words of wisdom just might have been what saved Balto's life, and by extension the whole town.
  • Oh, Crap!: He gets a major one upon seeing, you guessed it, the bear.
  • Only Sane Man: Considering the crowd he's in, he seems the most rational and responsible.
  • Parental Substitute: Boris rescued Balto after he got separated from his mom as a puppy and raised as his own—Balto even outright describes Boris as "the father I never knew".
  • Pun: "Who else are you going to get for a wild goose chase but a goose?"
  • Punny Name: Based off Russian Tsar Boris Godunov.
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: A Russian accent, coupled with his status as the Butt-Monkey.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: To Balto. He snarks and scolds him often, but, by his own admission, he'll never stop looking after him.
  • Shipper on Deck: He is very supportive of Balto and Jenna being together. In fact, he makes a comment while Jenna is keeping Balto warm after falling into the frozen lake from the bear attack.
    Boris: I'm seeing a few things too, and it's making the ice melt.
  • Tempting Fate: After getting fed up with Muk and Luk's snowballs, he decides that it's "time for goose to kick a little bear butt." Guess what shows up seconds later?
  • That Russian Squat Dance: Performs one for Balto (complete with accompanying yells of "HEY!") in an attempt to cheer him up. It doesn't work.
  • Toothy Bird: In the first movie. Less so in the sequels due to different animation companies producing them.
  • Tsundere: Male example; best summed up with this quote after seeing Rosy in the hospital:
    Boris: Spending days in bitter cold, facing wild animals, risking death from exposure...(laughs a bit) is like holiday in old country!
  • With Friends Like These...: Says something along the lines of bears and dogs being so unintelligent that he might as well start "talking" to humans. Then he sees a dying Rosy in pain.

    Muk & Luk
Luk (left) and Muk (right)
Voiced by: Phil Collins (Original), Kevin Schon (Sequels)

Muk and Luk are two polar bears who usually like to play pranks on Boris. They are presumably brothers. Most about Muk and Luk's origin is unknown. Muk and Luk live in the forests of Alaska. They are often seen visiting Boris and Balto.

  • Beary Funny: They're the comedy relief in every film they appear in.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Surprisingly, yes! Their epic rescue of Balto from the freezing water was awesome.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Luk is noticeably bigger than Muk.
  • Cowardly Lion: Cowardly bears, actually. They fear the water and are terrified of the grizzly, but don't hesitate to leap into action when Balto is in danger of drowning.
  • Face Your Fears: When saving Balto from drowning, despite being afraid of water.
  • Ironic Fear:
    • They're afraid of water, and they're polar bears.
    • They're utterly terrified of Grizzlies, members of their own species, despite the fact that polar bears grow to be even larger and more aggressive than grizzlies. Somewhat justified since they're still cubs and the only other bear in the first movie is a monstrous behemoth. Fridge Brilliance kicks in if you consider that they may have been why the grizzly attacked the group in the first place; it thought another (non-existent) dangerous adult polar bear was invading its territory. (It does go for Muk & Luk first, ignoring the wolf dog ahead.)
  • Nice Guy: Both are fun loving and carefree. The only thing in their lives they seem to take seriously is the well-being of their friends and family.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: These two boychicks are all about relieving some of the tension.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: They're absent for most of the final act.
  • Stop Drowning and Stand Up: Told this by Balto. They do, which leads to Muk making a speech about the "shame of the polar bear that fears the water".
  • Those Two Guys: They're never seen without each other, and are generally there to provide comedic antics (particularly around Boris).
  • Tag Along Kids: Whenever Balto and/or Boris are about to go on some sort of adventure, they're usually not far behind.
  • The Unintelligible: Luk "speaks" only in mumbles, which his brother somehow understands.

Voiced by: Jim Cummings

Steele is a handsome male Alaskan Malamute and the Big Bad in Balto.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: It says a lot about what Jenna thinks of him when, upon his return to Nome later in the film, the look she gives Steele essentially translates to "Ugh, you're still alive?".
  • Ax-Crazy: Usually he can keep a cool attitude. Not for long though, since he has the tendency to get angry quite easily revealing his true self beneath his mask: violent and brutal. When he attacks Balto in the middle of a breakdown, you can see he's totally gone raving mad.
  • Beauty Is Bad: He's played up as a good-looking malamute, but he's completely rotten to the core.
  • Beware of Vicious Dog: While most dogs in the film invert this trope, Steele is a frighteningly straight example.
  • Big Bad: Of the first movie.
  • Broken Pedestal: He returns to Nome without the medicine or the dog sled, making up a lie about how he tried to be a hero. When his true colors are exposed, every dog in town is furious, and Steele is reduced to an outcast.
  • The Bully: He enjoys picking on Balto like the rest of the dogs in town. But as the rest of these tropes will tell you, he's far more than a mere bully.
  • Can't Take Criticism: When one of the mushers remarks that Steele might be losing his edge, the malamute scowls, visibly grated.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: He doesn't take it well when he picks up on Jenna having feelings for Balto.
  • Disney Villain Death: Subverted. When he plunges from a cliff side after removing Jenna's scarf from Balto during a scuffle, Steele falls a very long way down and survives without too much injury. This is likely owed to the fact that Steele hit several surfaces on the way down as opposed to a sheer drop.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Within thirty seconds of appearing, he bites a rival sled dog on his thigh and causes the whole sled to crash.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Balto, obviously. Balto has a genuine desire to help people because it's the right thing to do, whereas Steele does it just to feed his ego. Balto is hated by the entire community save for Jenna for being a wolf-dog but cares for the people around him, while Steele is highly loved but sees everyone around him as expendable, and is despised by Jenna. Finally, where Balto suffers from low self-esteem yet hides a truly talented sled dog; Steele, for all his bluster, proves to be nothing more than an impotent coward.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Particularly when flipping out or "recalling" his "heroic survival". Unlike other examples of chewing the scenery with anger, however, his only makes him come across as more menacing.
  • Evil Is Petty: Where to begin with this guy? He antagonizes Balto incessantly, always trying to put him down whenever the latter gets one over on him or he has to share the spotlight. Then he sabotages Balto's attempt to get the medicine through, all because he's an insecure, glory hogging douchebag.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Comes with the territory when you share a voice with Dr. Robotnik and the Master.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: He supposedly excels at his job, given all the praise he gets. But all Steele ever amounts to on-screen is being an overrated blowhard and dirty cheater. When the going gets tough, he can't back up any of his talk. Even his musher clues in early that Steele may not really be all he's cracked up to be. (Although his phrasing implies that he's simply starting to lose his edge, as opposed to his talents being overblown)
  • Fatal Flaw: Greed, Wrath, and Pride all rolled into one.
  • Freudian Excuse: A bit lame compared to most examples, but Steele's arrogance stems from being incredibly insecure about the fact that he's not all that talented as a race-dog, all but confirmed when his musher speculates that he might be losing his edge.
  • Glory Hound: Trope Namer, and a literal example. He'd rather get all the glory than succeed in his mission. Or even, let someone else succeed where he failed. Jenna even called him one word for word.
  • Hate Sink: Steele is a Bad Boss, a literal Glory Hound, and an all-around arrogant Jerkass. He's as repulsive on the outside as he is on the inside. He even gets Balto and the rest of the sled team hopelessly lost, which is not only an attempt to get them killed, but deny the sick kids the medicine they need. All because Steele himself wouldn't get the credit.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His deplorable actions throughout the film practically guarantee that every dog in Nome will hate him for life. The jury is out for the human population.
  • Hopeless Suitor: He's interested in Jenna, even though she makes no secret of preferring Balto over him.
  • I Can Explain: Tried this after Balto returns from the run. He gets a door slammed on him in response.
  • If I Can't Have You...: A variant. If Steele can't have all the glory for saving the town, he'd rather doom the town than let Balto have any of it.
  • Irony: Steele was a Jerkass of the highest order in the film but in real life, Alaskan Malamutes are actually pretty nice and friendly dogs in general. The irony doubles, considering that his enemy is a Nice Guy Wolf-Dog, whose kind aren't known for such things.
  • It's All About Me: Has no real love for anyone but himself and his own interests and callously disregards the needs of others.
  • Jerkass: To an ungodly degree. Not only does he delight in tormenting Balto in the most cruel ways imaginable, he even tries to flat-out MURDER him when he starts stealing his thunder. At one point in the movie gets the sled team lost after Balto takes it over, for no other reason than his own inability to accept the fact that Balto is destined to outshine him in every way. He also exploited Balto's half-dog, half-wolf mixed breed to keep him out of the team in the first place.
  • Jerk Jock: Starts off as a typical example of this, then gradually devolves into something even worse.
  • Lack of Empathy: You're looking at a guy who'd sink so low as to condemn numerous lives out of petty spite (including his teammates) and not shed any guilt, whatsoever.
  • Light Is Not Good: Has a coat that's half white, and even the black patches are more vibrant than what's on Balto's coat, but he's a remorseless narcissist.
  • Made of Iron: He falls down a cliff and hits multiple rocks on the way down, yet as soon as he reaches the bottom, he's back on his feet in seconds and runs off, none worse for wear. He's named Steele for a reason.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Once he gets back to town, he tries to convince Jenna that Balto is dead. Jenna doesn't buy it.
  • Narcissist: Jenna sums it up best.
    Jenna: I'm afraid the only way Steele notices anyone is if they're wearing a mirror.
  • Nightmare Face: A single glance at his image says it all.
  • No Hero to His Valet: While the other dogs on his sled team seem to sing his praises like the rest of the dogs and people in town, they secretly hate his guts and aren't afraid to admit it whenever he gets out of earshot.
  • Obviously Evil: Just look at the creep!
    The Nostalgia Critic: Good Lord, it's like his face has ten different personalities, and they all eat children!
  • Orcus on His Throne: A rare example where he starts out as a fairly active villain, but after sabotaging Balto's trail markings, he returns to Nome and rests on his laurels until he's outed and ultimately shunned by his fans in the finale. The film's last act has functionally No Antagonist simply because Steele assumes he did all he needed to.
  • Psychotic Smirk: He sports a very smug one after he costs Balto his chance to run with the sled dogs.
  • Slasher Smile: Sports several when savagely attacking Balto during their confrontation near the downed sled.
  • Slouch of Villainy: When he returns to Nome, he adopts this posture as he gloats of his successes to the other dogs. At least until Balto shows up again.
  • Smug Snake: In case you haven't noticed all of the overconfidence-related tropes already listed.
  • The Sociopath: Remorseless, selfish, aggressive, narcissistic, dishonest, and completely devoid of any redeeming qualities. How else would you describe someone who's willing to condemn his teammates and innocent children to death all because of his pride without any concern for the lives lost?
  • Stupid Evil: When Balto arrives with a surefire means of leading the sled team back to Nome, you'd think he wouldn't look a gift-dog in the mouth. He could have just followed Balto back to Nome and use his Manipulative Bastard cred to downplay his involvement and still get a sizable chunk of the glory and his reputation otherwise untarnished. Unfortunately, his pride demands he either get home with the medicine himself or it doesn't get there at all. When he picks a fight with Balto and gets separated from the rest of the team, he sabotages Balto's trail markings to get the group lost and then made up a story about how they all died. It doesn't occur to him that even if the sled team did perish because of his actions, failing to get some really important medicine would have been a huge black mark on his reputation. To say nothing of what actually happens.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Balto finally finds his sled team, he slips into this. Though in the final moments of their fight, he becomes much more explosive in his rage.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Balto saves his life, and takes over the team so Steele and crew can go home. How does Steele thank him? Get the team lost and claim that they all died.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He's basically the canine version of Gaston; arrogant and conceited yet loved by the townsfolk as well as his female fans, considering him their hero. Averted with his teammates, however. They only put on the "adoring act" when in his presence, and as soon as he leaves, are revealed to actually hate the bastard's guts.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When Balto attempts to ask Steele to help with returning the medicine, his jealousy immediately prompts him to turn hostile, threatening Balto with death, and even attacking him physically, not long before he's separated from the rest of the team for good. Then, he does his utmost to sabotage Balto's return home, driven by nothing but spite. This doesn't help him in the long run, either, as Balto manages to return the medicine safely, and he is ditched by every dog in Nome because of his lies.
  • Villainous Crush: He's clearly interested in Jenna and makes several unsuccessful attempts at flirting with her, all of which are rebuffed.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Or rather, "Well-Done, Dog-Thing." The two times Steele is shown on-screen with his musher, he looks eager to receive praise and approval, and both times he quickly becomes disappointed to hear criticism from said owner (see Freudian Excuse), or to be passed over so his owner can admire Balto instead.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Not directly, but halfway through the movie, he sabotages Balto's trail markings so they won't get back, knowing full well he's dooming the children of Nome to death by diphtheria.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: After losing to Balto, he returns to Nome and lies that Balto got greedy and tried to take the medicine only to go over a cliff. At first, everyone buys it (except Jenna), but then Balto gets back and everyone turns their backs on Steele.

    Nikki, Kaltag & Star
Nikki (left), Star (middle), and Kaltag (right)
Voiced by: Jack Angel (Nikki), Danny Mann (Kaltag) and Robbie Rist (Star)

Nikki, Kaltag, and Star aided Balto in the run for the serum. Nikki is the oldest of the three and Star is the youngest of the three (but older than Kirby). The three were made very famous by their constant rags about Steele and other characters behind their backs (mainly between Nikki and Kaltag).

  • Anti-Sneeze Finger: Nikki does this to Star to prevent triggering a cave-in. Unlike most other examples, it stops the sneeze permanently instead of resulting in a giant sneeze when the finger is removed. Not that it matters since the cave-in is soon afterward triggered by another sound.
  • Berserk Button: Kaltag hates being interrupted in the middle of a speech, as Star keeps finding out the hard way.
  • Butt-Monkey: Star. Every time he interrupts Kaltag, he will often get hit in some way.
  • The Chew Toy: Star again.
  • Comic Trio: Anytime Kaltag starts his long-winded praises, followed by Star's reaction.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Downplayed, but for all his clumsiness, Star must be pretty durable to be on the dog sled team.
  • Ear Notch: Kaltag and Star both have one.
  • Easily Forgiven: Balto doesn't seem to hold much, if any, of a grudge against them despite their participation in bullying him alongside Steele in the beginning. Possibly justified by the fact that Balto knows getting the medicine home is more important than anything else, and he has to work with them to bring it.
  • Everyone Has Standards: They might've enjoyed harassing Balto like other small-town bullies, but even these guys are shocked when Steele starts attacking him for real. (Unprovoked, no less) During the scuffle, their looks instantly switch from mild amusement to genuine concern the moment Balto receives a nasty bite wound. They also object to Steele knocking over the medicine.
  • Gang of Bullies: As Steele's teammates, they help him to make Balto's life miserable in the first half of the film, though not to the same obsessive extent as their lead dog.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Once Steele proves himself to be a self-centered dirtbag who'd sooner condemn the rest of them to death over taming his own pathetic ego, they abandon him and follow Balto instead. Not that Steele ever really was high in their eyes to start with.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Steele's trio of professional butt-kissers, key word being "professional". They play the trope for all it's worth just to appease him, otherwise having nothing but resentment for the guy. In an ironic twist, they end up idolizing Balto, this time with 100% sincerity.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nowhere near Steele's level in terms of being a jerk, though. In fact, they actually express nothing but disgust for him behind his back. And when Balto saves the medicine, they idolize him with 100% sincerity, and even suggest that they should build a statue for Balto.
  • Mook–Face Turn: They pull one as Balto gains their respect while Steele simultaneously condemns them all to death over his ego, accepting Balto as not only their new lead dog but the better dog in general.
  • Peer-Pressured Bully: They join Steele in bullying Balto and praise him for it. However, when Steele is out of earshot, the three other dogs express their disgust for his despicable behavior. It's clear from this that they only kiss up to Steele because he's the most popular dog in Nome and they don't want to be on his bad side.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: They cause quite a bit of trouble for Balto early in the film, but otherwise they're harmless.
  • Reformed Bully: Their opinion of Balto steadily shifts over the course of the film, gaining respect for him after he saves their lives in a blizzard and works to save the lives of everyone in Nome. By the latter half of the film, they've accepted him as their new lead dog with pride, and seem to have reformed from their former bullying ways.
  • Running Gag: Star finishing Kaltag's sentences and getting punched for it. At one point he sees what's coming and punches himself before Kaltag gets to it. Defied at the end where he finishes Kaltag's admiration speech of Balto by adding "We should make a statue of him!" Cue Kaltag looking like he's about to punch him as usual, making Star cower, but then he smiles and says " said it!"
  • Skewed Priorities: When Balto turns up to help the team back to Nome, Nikki and Kaltag are initially happy to watch Balto and Steele fight it out, despite the fact that they're lost and need all the help they can get. Though they do change their tune when Steele becomes increasingly more unstable.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Star does this near the end of the film while Balto is the lead dog, resulting in an avalanche.
  • Terrible Trio: Although they're more pathetic than anything.

    Dixie & Sylvie
Dixie (small) and Sylvie (tall)
Voiced by: Sandra Dickinson

Dixie and Sylvie are a pair of female dog gossipers in Balto. Dixie is a Pomeranian and Sylvie is an Afghan Hound. Both appear to be good friends of Jenna and both also having a crush on Steele.

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Downplayed. Both of them (especially Dixie) have a crush on Steele because they think he's actually a great guy, but when his true colors were exposed, they promptly turn their backs on them.
  • All There in the Manual: Sylvie is only named in the ending credits.
  • Beauty Mark: Dixie has one on her left cheek.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sylvie, mostly directed towards Dixie and her rather embarrassing behavior.
  • Everyone Has Standards: When Steele's lies are brought to light, Dixie is so appalled that she's the only one who voices it outright and even slaps him on the muzzle afterwards.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Dixie is the flirtatious and presumptuous Dark Feminine and Jenna the kind and sensible Light Feminine. Sylvie is a rare case, since it's in the middle of both.
  • Rich Bitch: Implied during a throwaway line by Dixie while unsuccessfully flirting with Steele; she mentions her kid is away at boarding school, implying a certain amount of wealth. In terms of behavior it's an inversion since Dixie is quite friendly with Jenna and never talks down to anyone.
  • Shipper on Deck: Not directly stated, but Sylvie's tone and smirking gives the hint that she isn't at all against the idea of Jenna hooking up with Balto when confronting her on the matter, despite most of the town treating him as an outcast. She's utterly speechless when Jenna doesn't deny it.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Based on her reaction from Steele just grazing her body while in passing, you'd think that Dixie had just come back from having sex with him. She (thankfully) drops this behavior after she realizes what a lying bastard he is and slaps him hard in the face when Balto returns.

Voiced by: Juliette Brewer (child)
Portrayed by: Miriam Margolyes (adult)

Rosy is an elderly woman and the previous owner of Jenna (when she was a little girl).

  • ...And That Little Girl Was Me: She provides the Framing Device in the beginning by being the grandmother telling her granddaughter the story of Balto while searching for his statue in Central Park. It's not until the end that she says to it, "Thank you, Balto. I would've been lost without you," revealing that she was the same "Rosy" from the story.
  • Cassandra Truth: Her father ignores her when she protests his discrimination against Balto.
  • Demoted to Extra: In Balto II: Wolf Quest, Rosy is mentioned several times, but remains off-screen. In Balto III: Wings of Change, she only has a cameo during the opening credits.
  • Genki Girl: When she's not deathly ill, she's shown to be a very energetic and enthusiastic girl.
  • Ill Girl: She's one of the children who falls ill from the epidemic in Nome, and acts as a catalyst for Balto to strive to get the medicine.
  • Narrator All Along: Shows up in the beginning as an old woman with her granddaughter, but it isn't until the end that she reveals herself to be the same person as the little Ill Girl whom Balto saves by bringing the medicine.
  • Nice Girl: Rosy is consistently nice and sweet. She's the only inhabitant of Nome besides Jenna who trusts Balto from the start, even going as far as to chide her father for hurting Balto's feelings when he warns her to stay away from him.
  • Shipper on Deck: Openly (and enthusiastically) cheers on Balto to get together with Jenna.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Her name is spelled "Rosy" in the credits, but often misspelled as "Rosie".
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Downplayed. She wears her hair in a ponytail, but she's introduced gushing over a sled her parents got her (rather than the dollhouse her father wanted to get her), and being beside herself to get a real musher's hat, and the chance to play musher with her dog Jenna.
  • The Tragic Rose: She's the Ill Girl who gives Balto his motivation to bring the medicine to Nome. Not only does she live to tell the tale, however, but she's the Narrator All Along.

Voiced by: Monnae Michaell

A wolf spirit that helps Balto.

  • Luke, I Am Your Father: She is merely a spirit guide in the first film, but is retconned into being Balto's mother in the sequel.
  • Named by the Adaptation: We don't learn her name until the first sequel either.
  • Noble Wolf: Aniu is the visual representation of a noble wolf: proud, majestic, and at the same time mysterious. Balto can only recall faint memories of her, but nonetheless describes them as "warm and comforting."
  • Samus Is a Girl: There was no indication what her gender was until the sequel. Downplayed, since of course Balto would recognize her.
  • Shapeshifter: Being a spirit allows her to turn into any form she wishes, but prefers to manifest in front of her son as how he remembers her.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: She has barely a minute of screentime in the first movie, but without even a single word, triggers Balto's Heroic Second Wind.
  • Spirit Advisor: Appears before Balto in his darkest hour of need, silently encouraging him to rise back on his feet and embrace who he truly is.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Her only vocalizations in the first movie are a series of howls. It isn't until the sequel that she gets a few lines.


Characters of Balto II: Wolf Quest

Voiced by: Lacey Chabert

Aleu is a wolf-dog hybrid and the daughter of Balto and Jenna.

  • Action Girl: She took after her dad, alright.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Downplayed. Aleu has a close relationship with her family, but she wasn't adopted into a family because she looked like a wolf.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: At the beginning, she repeatedly complains of always being watched by her father. She grows out of it later on.
  • Catchphrase: "That's Anywhere."
  • Character Development: Like her father in the first movie, she learns to accept her wolf blood.
  • The Chosen One: Of Nava's wolf pack.
  • Glowing Eyes: Her Psychic Powers cause her eyes to glow yellow when they activate.
  • Grammar Nazi: Downplayed. A running gag is her correcting other's double negatives.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: As seen earlier, only her siblings got adopted but not her because unlike them she resembled a wolf the most.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Despite both her parents having brown eyes.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Her mother is a copper Siberian Husky and her father is a wolfdog.
  • Psychic Powers: She can read minds and see the future, though she has no idea how to actively use them.
  • Raised by Dudes: Downplayed. Aleu had both of her parents in her life, but had to stay with her father at the trawley because her wolf appearance would've gotten her hurt by humans. And living at Balto's trawley meant she was also cared for by Boris, Muk, and Luk. Even so, she still remained in contact with Jenna.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Deconstructed. Aleu takes more after her father in appearance, meaning that while she and her siblings all have wolf ancestry through their father, she's the one who looks the most like a wolf instead of a regular dog. Due to this, she never got adopted and was almost shot by a hunter.

Voiced by: Peter MacNicol

A mouse that Aleu befriends.

  • Nice Mice: Helpful as can be, but there's more to him than meets the eye.
  • Spirit Advisor: He actually serves as Aleu's. He encourages her to continue her quest by searching for who she is, rather than what she is.

Voiced by: David Carradine

Nava is an elderly wolf who was the wise leader of the wolf pack and was encountered by Balto and Aleu in Wolf Quest.

  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Large and arching ones.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's wise and reasonable, as befitting of an elder.
  • Green Thumb: Nava has a mysterious, supernatural gift that allows him to fuse with the elements. Where and how he acquired this ability is left unexplained.
  • The Leader: Of his wolf pack, before passing the role to Aleu.
  • Noble Wolf: One of the noblest figures Balto has ever met and befriended, enough to call him "brother" by the time they go their separate ways.

Voiced by: Mark Hamill

Niju was a young and vicious wolf and the Big Bad in Balto II: Wolf Quest.

  • Big Bad: Of the sequel.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Niju is a homage to Steele, except that he hates Balto for being half-dog rather than half-wolf by calling him a "mutt". He's also motivated less by ego and more by genuine concern for his pack.
  • The Coup: Attempts to wrestle control over the pack from Nava, nearly succeeding if not for his own cowardice ultimately foiling his plans.
  • Evil Counterpart: He basically represents everything that Balto fears about his wolf part.
  • Ironic Hell: His ultimate fate at the end. Not only does his coup fail (which was motivated by a desire to avoid losing his home), but he and one other wolf gets separated from the rest of the pack, who leave for greener pastures in a way that prevents him from following. So he keeps his home, but he's all alone...except for the other wolf in question, Nava, who he had spent the whole movie butting heads with. Nava plans to mend bridges with him, but there's no indication one way or another whether Niju will ever be that desperate.
  • Savage Wolf: Militant and cruel, he represents everything Balto fears about his lupine half.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: At the end of the day, all Niju wants is to secure his and his pack's home. Alas, he's too short-sighted to see the consequences of his actions.

    Nuk, Yak & Sumac
Sumac (left), Nuk (middle), and Yak (right)
Voiced by: Joe Alaskey (Nuk), Jeff Bennett (Yak), and Rob Paulsen (Sumac)

Nuk, Yak and Sumac were three wolves who served as the replacement for the original trio and Niju's followers in Balto II: Wolf Quest.

  • Dumb Muscle: Nuk. He flat out admits that he'd much rather eat than use his brain for anything.
  • Expy: Of Nikki, Kaltag, and Star from the first film.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After coming to their senses, they end up joining Aleu's new pack.
  • The Hyena: Sumac's prone to manic fits of laughter.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: They're more comical than serious threats.
  • Savage Wolves: Not to the same extent as Niju, however.
  • Terrible Trio: Being Niju's lackeys, these three are quite the nuisance. Like their domestic canine counterparts, they eventually grow out of it.

Characters of Balto III: Wings of Change

Voiced by: Sean Astin

Kodiak (more commonly called "Kodi") is the son of Balto and Jenna, and plays a major part in Balto III: Wings of Change, where he has a job as a local mail-dog.

  • Anti-Villain: From a certain point of view, he and his friends are the closest the third movie has to an antagonist. While it's understandable that he's upset that Duke could ruin his career, Kodi starts to go down a dark path when his anger gets the better of him at some point. He rallies resentment against Duke, then almost leaves the man to die purely out of spite (albeit not without guilt), and thus drives a wedge between him and his father. Thankfully, he later snaps out of it and redeems himself in the end.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: To Aleu, as both are the children of Balto and Jenna, who become deuteragonists in their respective movies. Aleu took more after their father physically, was never adopted by humans, had a strained relationship with Balto but helped him out during their quests, and stayed as a leader for Nava's wolf pack; Kodi takes more after their mother, was adopted by human and became a local mail-dog, idolized Balto but initially refused to help him rescue Duke, and wants to become lead dog of his team.
  • Freudian Excuse: Flashback of Kodi's childhood reveals him to be something of a weakling among his siblings. This makes his anxiety over the idea of losing his job (and his self-worth) easier to understand.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Of his dad, which is reflected through Kodi's lifestyle of choice. He all but outright states the desire to live up to Balto's legacy by emulating him however he can. On a different note, the likelihood of a Broken Pedestal forms one of his father's major dilemmas in the third film.
  • In-Series Nickname: His full first name is actually "Kodiak".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may be opinionated and resentful, but his heart is very much in the right place.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Kodi has appeared to display a similar personality to Balto.
  • Mellow Fellow: Kodi is laid-back and cool-headed.
  • Mixed Ancestry: His mother is a copper Siberian Husky and his father is a wolfdog.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Kodi takes more after his mother in looks, looking more like a regular dog instead of a wolf.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The recipient of this by his own mother, due to initially refusing to save a possibly dying Duke.

Voiced by: Keith Carradine

Duke was an air pilot who appeared in Balto III: Wings of Change.

  • Ace Pilot: Skilled enough to give the U.S. Mail a run for their money (figuratively and literally speaking).
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Steele and Niju were both outright villainous to one degree or another, and both hated Balto's guts, mainly due to Fantastic Racism. Duke, on the other hand, is a genuinely good person who has nothing but respect for Balto, and has a genuine desire to make life a little easier for the people of the Alaskan frontier. It's not like he understands how seriously our heroes take their professional pride.
  • Hero Antagonist: He sincerely just wants to help, albeit (understandably) ruffling a few feathers with the local mail service.
  • Hunk: A very good-looking young man with blonde hair and a muscular build.
  • Nice Guy: Next to Rosy, Duke is perhaps the only other human to ever treat Balto with kindness and respect upon first meeting, without any form of prejudice or fear. By the end of the third film, he also develops a close bond with the wolf-dog, something no other grownup Nome resident's shown to have.

    Dusty, Kirby, & Ralph
Dusty (left), Kirby (middle), and Ralph (right)
Voiced by: Charity James (Dusty), Carl Weathers (Kirby), Bill Fagerbakke (Ralph)

Three huskies who reside in the Alaskan town of Nome and serve as the traditional threesome that was evident in the two previous installments. All three dogs play a backup role in Balto III: Wings of Change as friends and fellow mail team members to Balto and Jenna's son Kodiak.

  • Anti-Villain: Same reasons as Kodi above, albeit even more callous about potentially leaving Duke to die. They too snap out of it.
  • Big Fun: Ralph. He's noticeably fatter (and tires more easily) than the rest of his teammates, with a bright, goofy attitude to match.
  • Comic Trio: Primarily exist to provide some of the lighter moments, especially the guys.
  • Expy: Dusty physically looks a lot like Aleu.
  • Official Couple: Ralph and Dusty were intended to be this, but the writers didn't have time to put more scenes exploring it in.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Dusty is the only member of the team that is female.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: They're practically inseparable, although Dusty can sometimes be seen hanging around with Kodi sans the other two.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Kirby and Ralph. Rarely a moment goes by without at least one of them hurling an insult towards the other.
  • Women Are Wiser: Good not so much because of mentioned above, but when Kodi talks to his teammates about going to help Duke and leaves Dusty is surprised and follows him to the door, looking shocked when he left, so it can be assumed that she was the first of the three to repent and face about.

Voiced by: Jean Smart

An attractive female snow goose who takes a liking to Boris and becomes his girlfriend in Wings of Change.

Alternative Title(s): Balto II Wolf Quest, Balto III Wings Of Change


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