Movie Summaries: "Balto"

by Robert Godard

"Balto" is an animated film released in 1995 by Universal Pictures. It stars Kevin Bacon, Bob Hoskins and Bridget Fonda, and was directed by Simon Wells. The film is based on the true story of a dog named Balto, and what he and his master did to deliver medicine to children who desperately needed it.

Characters

The film's protagonist is Balto, a talking dog. Balto is a wolf-dog hybrid and is shunned by both dogs and humans except for Boris the goose, and Muk and Luk the polar bears. The film's main antagonist is Steele, the prize winning dog and pride of the town of Nome, where Balto resides. Steele tries to sabotage Balto at every turn and resents him for being half wolf.

Plot

Balto is never allowed to race, despite the fact that he is one of the best snow runners in town. The children in Nome begin to get sick, but sea and air routes cannot get through the snow, and the closest railroad line stops one town over. The town decides to send a team of sled dogs to get the medicine, and a race is held to determine the best dogs for the job. Balto manages to win, even though the rest of the dogs try to sabotage his race. At the end, Steele tricks Balto into baring his teeth to the trainer, who deems him too dangerous and says he cannot go on the mission to retrieve the medicine and bring it back to Nome.

Delivering Medicine

Steele is selected to retrieve the medicine and leads the pack. News soon reaches Nome that Steele and his crew have become trapped. Balto decides to go on a rescue mission to find the medicine, and Jenna, his love interest, gives him a scarf for good luck. After going on a dangerous journey with Boris, Muk and Luk, Balto eventually finds Steele and the trapped medicine. Steele tries to fight Balto, but accidentally falls of a cliff and Balto is made team leader.

Revenge

Steele recovers and tries to sabotage Balto as he makes his way back to Nome with the medicine. At one point, Steele leads Balto off a cliff and into an abyss with the medicine. Balto awakens to see a white wolf, and he turns embarrassed about his heritage. He sees the crate of medicine and begins to drag it. He realizes that the part of him that is wolf gives him extra strength and is nothing to be ashamed of. He returns home to save the children and win the affection of Jenna.

About the Author

Robert Godard began writing in 2007 for various creative blogs and academic publications. He has been featured on multiple film blogs and has worked in the film industry. He attended Baltimore College, earning his B.A. in history.

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