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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)

The Hero, 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.
  • 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.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Due to his wolf-dog heritage, the Nome residents initially assume Balto's a Savage Wolf and the other dogs mock him for his heritage to his face, with Rosy and Jenna as the noteworthy exceptions. In the end, he wins their respect when he brings home the medicine and saves the children.
  • 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 the town of Nome is fearful of wolves. 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.
  • Expy: Though possibly unintentional, Balto's half-wolf ancestry mixed with his bad reputation in town is very similar to the titular character of Jack London's "Batârd", which also takes place in roughly the same time period and setting.
  • 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 overprotective towards 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: The real life Balto was quite strong willed and determined, but not to the extremes of the one in these films. The most obvious deviation is that the real Balto only ran the last leg of the race, while this Balto led his team the entire way home.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: While the real Balto certainly was important to the Nome medicine run, the movie's version plays a far more crucial role in its success.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Nose Knows: Being part dog, he's got a keen sense of smell. Being part wolf, it is much more potent than your average canine. It becomes his most invaluable tool after Steele sabotages his tree markers, forcing Balto to rely on scent in finding the right path back to Nome.
  • Official Couple: With Jenna.
  • 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.
  • Super Swimming Skills: Present but downplayed. Each film has at least one instance where he has to avoid or escape drowning. He's a decent swimmer, but he only stays underwater for a few seconds most of the time. The longest he was submerged was in the first film when he was trapped under ice, and he would have drowned if Muk and Luk hadn't saved him. On the whole, he's about average for a canine when it comes to swimming and holding his breath.
  • 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)

A husky, Balto's Love Interest and the mother of his 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.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She's always gentle and polite, but she's not someone to be pushed. She takes on a bear at least twice her size to protect Balto and, unlike the other town dogs, isn't afraid to tell off Steele.
  • Big Damn Heroes: She attacks the bear about to kill Balto and saves his life in the nick of time in the first movie.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Towards Steele. Jenna rebuffs his attempts at wooing her by subtly mocking his bravado.
  • Death Glare: Gives one to Steele when he makes up a story about Balto's death. Sorry Steele, you'll have to try harder if you want Jenna to believe your lies.
  • Demoted to Extra: She's the female lead of the first movie, but her role in the sequels is much smaller because she stays in town during the main action of the plots.
  • Dude Magnet: Balto, Steele, and a random dog pulling on his leash in the background of one scene are all attracted to her.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: The only reason she doesn't accompany Balto in his journey to find Steele's team is because her leg is sprained from the fight with the bear (and the reason Balto goes alone is because he has Boris, Muk, and Luk take her back home).
  • 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.
  • Redheads Are Ravishing: A canine example. She has vivid red fur, and is designed to be the most beautiful out of the female dogs shown in Nome.
  • Red Is Heroic: She has red fur and saves Balto's life from an angry bear.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: She's normally quite placid, but is also willing to throw herself into danger to save someone she cares about and regularly stands up to Steele.
  • 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 purebred 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?: She sharply admonishes Steele for being such a Glory Hound and letting his ego get in the way of gathering the best team to get the medicine for Nome, though it's subverted because Steele isn't actually the hero he presents himself to be. In the third movie, she chews out 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."

A Russian snow goose, Balto's parental figure and the closest thing he has to a mentor.

  • 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)

Two polar bear cubs who usually like to play pranks on Boris and consider him their uncle, much to his annoyance.

  • 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".
  • Super Swimming Skills. Played with. As polar bears, they should be naturally good at swimming, but they are scared to do it, much to the other characters' confusion. But when they go under the ice to save Balto, they seem to do just fine, and don't even realize it until after the fact.
    • They seem to have trouble swimming again in the third film, but to be fair, they were in a rapidly flowing river at the time.
  • 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

An arrogant male Alaskan Malamute and the initial leader of the team tasked with delivering the diphtheria medicine, who eventually becomes 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?".
  • Artistic License – Biology: He’s an Alaskan Malamute with blue eyes but in real life, this should make him a hybrid since purebred Malamutes only have brown eyes.
  • 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.
  • Bad Liar: Jenna's silent stare shows that she was smart enough not to fall for his pathetic story
  • Beauty Is Bad: He's played up as a good-looking malamute, but he's rotten to the core.
  • Beware of Vicious Dog: While most dogs in the film invert this trope, Steele is a frighteningly straight example: he's condescending to everyone, and extremely hostile and rude if he doesn't have his way.
  • 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.
  • Chick Magnet: He's indicated to be popular with most female dogs in Nome; three are shown swooning over him when he and his team return to town from the race at the beginning, and both Dixie and Sylvie initially fawn over him. Unfortunately for him, the only one he actually wants (Jenna) is also the only one who has no interest in him.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: He doesn't take it well when he picks up on Jenna having feelings for Balto.
  • 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: A coarse voice comes with the territory when you share a voice actor 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 the musher's phrasing implies that Steele is simply starting to lose his edge, as opposed to his talents being overblown.)
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. He's too arrogant to ever even consider his own failings and bases his entire sense of self-worth on being the top dog of his team and looking down on others he believes are inherently inferior, namely Balto. Because of this, he's too proud to accept Balto's help when he arrives to rescue the sled team and outright attacks him for trying to take the medicine, causing his teammates to turn against him. Rather than swallow his pride and apologize or at least put aside his hatred of Balto to work with him for the town's sake, he instead sabotages his own team to ensure they can't get home because he'd rather let the children die of diphtheria than let Balto get the glory for saving them. Because of this, the other dogs all shun him for lying about the team's failure and he ends up a hated outcast.
  • 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.
  • Hated by All: In the end, the other dogs shun him after his lie about the team's deaths is exposed and cast him out, rendering him a town outcast for his actions.
  • 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.
  • Hypocrite: Steele hates Balto for being half-wolf, but is an Alaskan malamute, a dog that is a very close relative of the wolf.
  • I Can Explain: Tried this after Balto returns from the run. He gets a door slammed on him in response.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: He has pale blue eyes to reflect his arrogance and heartlessness.
  • If I Can't Have You…: A non-romantic 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, the Alaskan Malamute is known for being one of the nicest and most family-friendly dog breeds. The irony doubles, considering that his enemy is a Nice Guy wolf-dog, whose kind aren't known for such things. There's also some irony in the fact that Alaskan Malamutes are famously quiet dogs that seldom bark, while Steele never shuts up about himself.
  • It's All About Me: Has no real love for anyone but himself and his own interests and callously disregards the needs of others. Notably, he was willing to sacrifice the lives of his sled team and the children of Nome's, because he couldn't stand Balto being the savior over him.
  • Jerk Jock: He starts off as a typical example of this before gradually devolving into a monster. Not only does he delight in tormenting and being cruel to Balto, he even tries to murder him when his insecurity starts to get out of hand. Near the movie's climax, he gets the sled team lost after Balto takes over, for no other reason than his 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.
  • 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.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Makes up extravagant tales of courage and survival that he supposedly endured during the serum run before prematurely returning to Nome. This, of course, is all a big lie.
  • 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 page 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.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: The big source of conflict is the epidemic making Nome's children ill and the need to bring them medicine, but because an illness can't be personified, Steele fulfills the role of villain by being a Hate Sink bully who goes out of his way to make Balto miserable and causes an obstacle for the team by sabotaging their route. Once he's done that, he's effectively out of the film because Balto's real struggle is in guiding the team safely, and his comeuppance at the end is almost an afterthought.
  • Psychotic Smirk: A particularly condescending variant of this is his default facial expression.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: He never shows up in the sequels, and there's no mention whatsoever of where he went after becoming the town pariah. There were originally plans for him to appear and get a Heel–Face Turn in the third film, but they were cut from the final version.
  • Skewed Priorities: A dark and non-comedic example. When Balto arrives to help the sled team get back to Nome and promises that he left a trail to lead them back, Steele refuses to let him help and actually attacks him when he tries to take charge, not caring if the medicine gets destroyed in the crossfire. When Steele falls off a cliff and Balto starts leading the team back to Nome, Steele decides to sabotage the trail to keep them from returning, proving that he doesn’t care if the children die so long as he can deny Balto the glory he thinks should be his solely.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: He starts the movie off as your typical Jerk Jock until the climax of the movie where he became the Big Bad.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • What You Are in the Dark: When Steele’s pride costs him leadership of the sled team as Balto takes command and starts leading the team back to Nome, Steele decides to sabotage the trail to keep Balto and the sled team from returning home with the medicine, proving that he would rather let the children die from diphtheria than let Balto claim any glory he believes should be his.
  • 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)

Steele's cronies on his sled team. Nikki is the oldest of the three and Star is the youngest of the three (but older than Kirby). Though they initially back up Steele in bullying Balto, they despise him behind his back and later leave him to join Balto in bringing home the medicine.

  • 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 while he's in the middle of a speech, as Star keeps finding out the hard way. Every time Star tries to interject or finish any of Kaltag's sentences, Kaltag always responds by clobbering Star (though he lets the last one slide).
  • Butt-Monkey: Star. Every time he interrupts Kaltag, he will often get hit in some way.
  • The Chew Toy: Star tends to suffer from slapstick abuse, either because of his own clumsiness or because he annoyed Kaltag (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.
  • No Indoor Voice: Star is often very loud when he talks.
  • 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!"
  • Sequel Non-Entity: They're prominent supporting characters in the original film, but for some reason, they never appear in the sequels.
  • 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

Jenna's friends, a pair of gossipy female dogs who have crushes on Steele. Dixie is a Pomeranian and Sylvie is an Afghan Hound.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Both of them pine after Steele, who hardly gives them so much as a second glance.
  • 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.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Sylvie is much lankier and taller than the tiny Dixie.
  • Bitch Slap: No pun intended. Dixie smacks Steele hard across his jaw once his lies are exposed.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sylvie, mostly directed towards Dixie and her rather embarrassing behavior.
  • Everyone Has Standards: When Steele's lies are brought to light, they’re both disgusted by Steele’s true nature, especially Dixie, who’s so appalled that she's the only one who voices it outright and even slaps him on the muzzle afterwards.
    Dixie: Steele, you are positively dis-POSABLE!! (Cue tight slap to knock the bone Steele was gnawing on out of his mouth, leaving Steele in stunned shock before seeing the Death Glare he's getting from Sylvie and the other dogs, all growling in Tranquil Fury, cueing his Oh, Crap! with having destroyed his rep with his Blatant Lies)
  • 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.
  • Mama Bear: Once Steele is exposed for lying and nearly getting the town’s children killed, Dixie gives him a rightfully earned Bitch Slap. She did mention earlier that her own kid is away at boarding school, but if not for that, her kid might have gotten sick and/or succumbed to diphtheria. Dixie wasn't just mad at her crush for lying to her, she was pissed that Steele could have left children to die, hers included.
  • 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.

Live-action form 
Voiced by: Juliette Brewer (child)
Portrayed by: Miriam Margolyes (adult)

An elderly woman and, when she was a little girl, the owner of Jenna.

  • …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.
  • The Cassandra: Early on in the film, Rosy's belief that Balto is actually a trustworthy dog is initially dismissed by her parents, but turns out to be true.
  • Delicate and Sickly: 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.
  • 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.
  • Narrator All Along: She 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 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, to the point where she chides her parents for their Half-Breed Discrimination.
  • 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.

    Grizzly Bear
Voiced by: Frank Welker
A gargantuan and bloodthirsty grizzly that attacks Balto and friends during their search for Steele’s sled team.
  • Artistic License – Biology: He’s sauntering around in the middle of winter, when he should be hibernating.
  • Bears Are Bad News: And how. He’s a gigantic monster of a bear that tries to slice Boris and Muk and Luk to ribbons and nearly kills Balto.
  • Danger — Thin Ice: How he meets his demise, with his massive weight causing the ice covering the lake to crack, and it nearly kills Balto too.
  • David vs. Goliath: He utterly dwarfs Balto and Jenna, nearly crushing the former by pinning him down with just one paw. Justified, as Alaskan brown bears are among the largest in the world.
  • Furry Confusion: While Muk and Luk are fully sentient, the grizzly comes across as a mindless beast that attacks on sight.
    • Interestingly, this carries over into the first sequel, where the grizzly bear (really a spirit guide) that Balto and Aleu face off against is also depicted as a feral beast, while the fox and the wolverine trio (also spirit guides) are anthropomorphic like the other animals and talk with Balto.
  • The Juggernaut: Balto and Jenna can barely do anything to even stun him, though the former does trip the grizzly once by biting one of his legs. The bear’s only taken out once Balto accidentally lures him onto a frozen lake and his massive bulk causes him to fall through the ice.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Easily the scariest antagonist Balto ever faced, largely due to being a completely feral and nigh-invincible behemoth with a very terrifying design.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Unlike the other, Disney-esque animal characters in the first movie and its sequels, the grizzly is basically just a black silhouette with yellow and blue highlights and yellow, pupilless eyes, making him look outright demonic.

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.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: She has piercing golden eyes that enhance her mystifying presence.
  • White Wolves Are Special: She is a spiritual wolf with fur as white as snow.

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.
  • Boomerang Bigot: When Muru touches on Aleu's insecurities, she snarls back defensively that her mother is a purebred husky, as if ancestry counts for anything.
    • This attitude is also hinted at earlier at the conversation, where she mentions that she tries to restrain her urge to howl, even though she finds it really enjoyable. Poor kid.
  • Character Development: Like her father in the first movie, she learns to accept her wolf blood.
  • The Chosen One: Of Nava's wolf pack.
  • Foil: She and Niju share a lot in common. They are both exasperated by an elder generation (for Aleu, her father Balto and for Niju, his pack leader Nava) and rebel against them and they both have the wolf pack's best interests at heart. Where they differ is how they execute their issues; Aleu shows more respect and admiration for her father and leads the pack of wolves while Niju seldom lets go of his resentment and is left behind.
  • 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.
  • Informed Attribute: Not only does she not look more like a wolf than Balto, she looks more like a husky than Jenna. Notably, she has bright blue eyes, which wolves don't even carry the gene for.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Despite both her parents having brown eyes.
  • 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.
  • Super Swimming Skills: She demonstrates this when she dives underwater to avoid colliding ice and swims through an underwater cave back up to the surface. In Real Life, while many canines can swim, relatively few dive underwater on a regular basis (this can vary based on individuals and breeds), and they can't hold their breath for very long. Aleu shows no problems with either swimming or holding her breath, though she does have a tense moment when she has to squeeze through a crevice.
  • 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.
  • Jumped at the Call: It doesn't take much time for her to decide she wants to leave everything she's ever known and loved to trek through the Alaskan wilderness. (Some wolves are nomadic.)

Voiced by: Peter MacNicol

A mouse that Aleu befriends.

  • Good Is Not Soft: He is never anything but calm and soft-spoken, yet Aleu feels intimidated by him because he has the self-love she herself lacks.
  • Humble Hero: He is perfectly content with admitting that his parents are "simple field mice", because he's transcended the urge to care about what classist people think of him.
  • 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.

  • Action Survivor: Due to his advanced age, he can no longer contribute in direct combat. He still can use his tricks to escape a tight spot, and still does his best to try to help Aleu when they are attacked by Niju.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Large and arching ones.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's wise and reasonable, as befitting of an elder.
  • Feeling Their Age: As an extremely elderly wolf, Nava is unable to properly fight and quickly falls behind during the pack’s exodus.
  • Graceful Loser: He isn't distressed about losing control of the pack, convinced that Aniu's prophecy will come true and deliver them to a better land; and he knows he is no longer fit to lead anyway. He also isn't worried about having to remain in the clan's current home, confident he and Niju can still eke out a living (which to be fair, the land no longer has to provide for a whole clan of wolves).
  • 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.
  • Passing the Torch: He is intent on passing leadership on to someone else per Aniu’s instructions, and by the end it goes to Aleu.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Subverted. In "The Grand Design", Niju says "we are wolves, we take what we need", with Niju responding "to stay alive and free". While Niju believes wolves are this trope and have the right to take whatever they want, Nava only agrees that wolves are a proud people who have a right to take only what they actually need, not mindless conquest like what Niju wants.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: While he concedes that he must soon step down and is no longer fit to lead, he says he will only step down when someone actually qualified to lead steps forward. The slight doesn’t go unnoticed by Niju who quickly attacks him.
  • Thicker Than Water: Despite Niju’s treachery and attacks, when they are left as the last two wolves in the area at the end of the film, Nava declares his intention to find him and survive together.

Voiced by: Mark Hamill

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

  • Alas, Poor Villain: While still responsible for trying to kill Nava, Aleu, and Balto and trying to lead the clan in an assuredly self-destructive war, one can feel pity for Niju as he watches his people move on without him, while he cowers unwilling to leave his home.
  • Ambition is Evil: While he does have legitimate concerns regarding the safety of the pack, quite a bit of Niju's bluster comes from being power-hungry and wishing to wage war on other animal clans, which is where one can lose sympathy for him.
  • And Then What?: At the end of the film, Balto outright orders him to take command of the pack as they migrate to the new land. This gives Niju everything he wants - power, promise of food in a new home that can sustain them, and assuredly the respect of the pack once he takes command and leads them into the new era. However, once faced with the very real prospect of leaving home, Niju falters and refuses.
  • 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.
  • Dirty Coward: Explicitly shot down by Nava. As he explains, Niju is a perfectly brave and loyal member of the pack, but he's too afraid to strike out into the unknown and leave his ancestral home.
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite Niju making a credible attempt on Nava's life and being a general pain in his ass, Nava doesn't hold it against him and at the end of the film sets out to find him and make amends since they will need each other to survive.
  • Evil Counterpart: He basically represents everything that Balto fears about his wolf part.
  • The Heavy: He's only the main villain of the film's third act, but remains the most prominent antagonist of the film.
  • 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.
  • Last-Second Chance: Balto outright orders him to go take command of the pack as they float away, finally seemingly giving him both what he wants and the ability to do the right thing. However, Niju cowers at the idea of leaving his ancestral home and refuses.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Well, in appearance, actually. Niju is the only wolf in the film who has visible whiskers, which sometimes disappear in any scene he's in.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Believes in the might of wolves and that they have the right to take whatever they want.
  • Savage Wolves: Militant and cruel, he represents everything Balto fears about his lupine half.
  • The Starscream: Makes it clear from the get-go he wants to take command of the pack from Nava, but largely because he thinks Nava is an old fool and ineffectual leader. He constantly tries to undercut Nava's authority, strongarms control of the pack during their meeting, and then outright tries to kill Nava during the crossing.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He is The Starscream to Nava, who is about the only wolf who treats him with genuine respect. Compare this to the clan who mostly follow whatever a main character says or Nuk, Yak, and Sumac who only listen to Niju out of fear and desperation.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • Niju is right that the clan must do something or they will starve to death, and Nava's vague teachings aren’t doing much for them in the moment when they desperately need food. Without knowing Nava's grand design, Niju is left to angst about the pack having nothing to eat and losing the ability to hold their territory. This is reflected in "The Grand Design" when Niju says "we're wolves, we take what we need", and is followed by Nava's "to stay alive and free", proving that Nava perfectly understands where Niju is coming from.
    • Nava also concedes that Niju is correct that as a wolf in his advanced age, he's on borrowed time when it comes to leading a wild pack of wolves (though he is still of sound mind and spirit). Nava merges with a tree rather than accept Niju's challenge for a fight, and later is too weak to make the journey with the rest of the pack.
  • 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.

  • Big Eater: Nuk's much larger frame suggests he eats far more than his cohorts and as such has taken the famine particularly poorly.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Nuk, Yak, and Sumac fill this in that order. Nuk is large and clearly eats more than the others, Yak is much thinner than the others, and Sumac is the smallest of the trio.
  • 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.
  • Hungry Menace: Not by their own choice. The lack of food has driven the pack to the brink of starvation, and Niju uses this to convince them to continue to attack Balto and Aleu despite the incoming tide.
  • The Hyena: Sumac's prone to manic fits of laughter.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: They're only antagonistic to Balto and Aleu out of desperation for food and Niju's vocal lashings. Once Nava calls for an end to the skirmish, and after it's proven that he does know the way to their salvation, they properly reform and become loyal members of the pack.
  • 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.
  • Ascended Extra: As the previous film focused on Aleu, Kodi was one of the puppies who did get adopted by a human in that film, and went on to become the focus character of the third film.
  • 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 a 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.
  • 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.
  • Only Sane Woman: 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.
  • 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.

Voiced by: Jean Smart

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

Voiced by: Maurice Lamarche
A short-tempered and territorial bull moose that attacks Balto and friends during their journey in Wings of Change.
  • Bit Part Bad Guys: Much like the grizzly from the first film, the bull moose only shows up for one action scene before the climax.
  • Herbivores Are Friendly: Averted, as he’s depicted as a short-tempered brute who attacks Balto and co seemingly just for wandering into his territory. Truth in Television, as bull moose are indeed quite aggressive, especially during rutting season, and the heroes only escape him because a rival moose shows up and the two lock antlers.
  • Moose Are Idiots: A darker take on the trope. He doesn’t come across as all that bright but he’s still a hulking moose and very territorial, and his response to everything is to charge at it.
  • Speaks in Shout-Outs: He speaks entirely in Robert De Niro quotes from Taxi Driver (“You talkin’ to me?”). He finally says something else when he trash-talks the rival moose.
  • Xenophobic Herbivore: Possibly, when you factor in that Balto’s a wolf (half-wolf anyway) and Muk and Luk are bears, the two main predators of moose in real life. Given the moose’s personality, hearing a wolf asking to pass through his territory likely just pissed him off even more.

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