Balto

Film
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(5 user reviews)
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The true story of a 1925 sled team's 'serum run' across Alaska, and its husky hero Balto. Whereas Disney would have pillaged the facts for its own exacting purposes, the makers of this half-hearted animated feature let the story ramble on with a minimum of second-hand plotting and characterisation. Balto being the archetypal dog-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks, when diphtheria strikes Nome, his services aren't required for the team that must fetch the life-saving anti-toxin. Injustice is compounded by the team being led by the pure-breed Steele, vain, scheming, town favourite and Balto's rival for the beautiful Jenna. The one notable spin on the story is that Balto's half-wolf. As you'd expect, we start with the old boy having internalised prejudices about his lack of pedigree; only when he's stuck down a canyon does he realise the advantages of his make-up. Mismatched TV-standard animation styles (plus some one-dimensional live action inserts); a Hoskins-voiced Russian émigré goose (fun); and a pair of comic-relief polar bears (Collins-voiced, and not fun). Probably insufficient for any but the least demanding kids.

Release details

Duration: 77 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Simon Wells
Screenwriter: David Steven Cohen, Roger SH Schulman
Cast: Miriam Margolyes
Bob Hoskins
Bridget Fonda
Phil Collins
Jim Cummings
Donald Sinden

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
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  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|5
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Tara P
Tastemaker

Balto is my childhood. A fantastic cinematic quest based on true events, it follows a half-wolf, half-dog as he races across Alaska to bring much needed medicine to Nome's sick children. Lacking in cheesiness, but big in heart, Balto is one of the great animated films - mixing beautiful hand-drawn scenes with interesting characters and a truly emotional plot (I cry every time!). If you're ever unsure of yourself, feel out of place or think you have nothing to bring to the table, watch Balto. Your courage and self esteem will be jolted back to life!

Hyena

This little known film is a real winner in the world of animated films. No cheesy songs, no retarded jokes and no immaturity, Ignore the critics and watch it. I like it more than some so-called 'Disney Classics.'

Hyena

This little known film is a real winner in the world of animated films. No cheesy songs, no retarded jokes and no immaturity, Ignore the critics and watch it. I like it more than some so-called 'Disney Classics.'