animated cartoon Balto II: Wolf Quest © Universal

Reviews for Balto II: Wolf Quest

2.68 stars / 17 ratings
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Juuchan17's avatar
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Reviews: 157

Juuchan17's Review

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posted: Aug 06, 2013
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[NOTE: This is a re-vamped review, as my opinions over time have changed since the previous review that was posted nearly 10 years ago. Be warned, this will get lengthy.

Also, POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD! Just a quick heads-up if you haven't seen it yet... but you should have seen it by now.]

When I first learned of a sequel to one of my favorite movies back in 2001, I will admit that I was feeling pretty excited. I loved "Balto" and the history it was based on, so being an avid fangirl of the series, I honestly wanted more. Once 2002 came around and the DVD came out, I finally got a chance to see it... and I hate to admit that I had some strong disliking to it, mostly of the plot and the animation. However, the more I watched it since then, the more my opinions have changed... surprisingly for the better!

And now I'd like to explain to you why... but first, the plot!

The plot is typical-sequel mush: Balto and Jenna welcome a litter of six puppies, but one of these pups is obviously not like the others. The different pup, Aleu, ends up without a human family, and after a near-death experience with a hunter, she runs away from home after learning about how she looks wild like a wolf... and like her father's maternal side. Thus begins a journey of her finding her place in the world, away from the ever watchful eyes of her overprotective father.

Oh, and Balto's been having nightmares about running on ice, seeing eye-glowing wolves in a pack and having a raven chasing after him.

Does this little tidbit have anything to do with his daughter's plot of self-discovery?

Spoiler answer: YES. Most definitely yes.
Non-Spoiler answer: Eh, sorta...? But not until after Aleu runs away.

Being a sequel, the animation is sub-par and obviously outsourced. The backgrounds and many of the imagery used in later songs are actually the best visual stuff in the movie. There are goofs and flaws aplenty, though. Marking mistakes, coloring mistakes, just awkward-looking movements and walks... the list goes on. It's not going to be first-movie good animation-wise, but is it the worst animation I've seen for a DTV sequel? Oh, heck no! There's even some obvious CGI usage [mainly for a totem pole and some other images], and it's not bad... but it could have been rendered better to that it didn't stick out like a sore thumb. Still, it's passable to me.

The character designs are actually nice, especially for Aleu. I think her markings were supposed to be a shout-out to Balto's original design in the first movie [check out Balto Source or Google "balto storyboards" to see what I mean], because really... she looks like Balto was supposed to look! I just have to gush about that since that would be a good thing to know if it was proven to be true! I can't say the same for her siblings though, because half of them are nothing more than Jenna-clones, one is a red, less-scruffy version of her [Aleu], and the last is the most unique... and we learn nothing about any of them [except for names of two of the pups in the end credits and one in the next movie; what about the other two?]. It's a shame, really... but at least one of them gets some exploration in the next movie [not as much as Aleu does in this movie, but...]! Also, Balto's eyes are white [which, if you watched the first movie, should be yellow]. Just one major flaw that I am willing to gripe about.

The story is very standard for a sequel too - spawn of main coupling from the first movie [in this case, Aleu - not her siblings... well, not until one of the Jenna-clones gets a co-starring role in the third film... but I'm getting ahead of myself] runs away from home to a life that their parents are keeping from them, and in the end, the spawn returns home, learning an important lesson that changes them and accepting their old life and what they learned on their discovery-journey. "Wolf Quest" follows this formula to a point... but then twists it. If you don't believe me, watch the film again, and you'll understand... especially the last 15 mins. I swear I have to give the writer props for surprising me with how the movie ended; I expected one ending... but got something else that I ended up satisfied with after multiple viewings. Props, you guys. Total props. Also, there's the box the puppies were in during a early scene and an awkward line that Balto says to a group of wolves near the end - thank you for those little shout-outs, movie! I knew that the writer still watched the first movie somehow!

FYI: This movie was written by Dev Ross, a writer for Disney's first DTV sequel ["The Return of Jafar", which is actually good, if you think about who it's really about] and the first three Land Before Time sequels [which I also consider as... better than the later ones]. Just letting you know who wrote this.

Character-wise, the old characters from the first movie are quite... dull. Given that it's not from the original writers, it's bound to be quite off. Just watch the Land Before Time sequels or most other Disney sequels to see what I mean [given who we have as the writer... *ahem*] or wait until the third Balto movie... but again, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Balto is somehow still living like an outcast, despite being called a hero by the end of his namesake film and this taking place a little time after the ending. He's also still teased for being part-wolf [ahem... you mean, HALF-wolf, right? Honestly, the movie keeps the 'part-wolf' thing all throughout. What gives?], and he's ashamed of revealing his wild heritage to Aleu until after she's nearly killed. Some 'Father of the Year' you are, Balto. He's very boring here, at least until he actually chooses to go out and find her after realizing he waited too long to tell her [naw, really?]. I will say that I like the choice of Maurice LaMarche for his voice. He's no Kevin Bacon, but he adds a gruff feel to the half-wild hero. It took me some time to like it, but it works to make him sound more like he has aged and matured since the last film [though I'd probably blame becoming a dad and lacking good night's sleep for the aging part].

Jenna, voiced by Ariel herself [Jodi Benson], is downgraded to 'typical sequel spouse, left to wait at home'. She does nothing... and even when she offers to join Balto in his search for THEIR child, she is stopped. TWICE. Why, movie, why? This would have been a perfect opportunity for a family adventure, but they probably left her in Nome because she's not wolf enough or some stupid plot-purposed reason like that. Still... that was a major blow, especially after the first movie where she actually did something that HELPED Balto in the end. Again, I'm getting ahead of myself; I'll save the rest for my revamped "Balto" review. At least she sounds good, I'll give her that much... but she really should have done more story-wise than just giving Balto some heirs.

Boris, now voiced by Roger Rabbit [Charles Fleischer], is a bit more of a knowledgeable goose than before when it comes to Balto's dreams and with raising Aleu, though he is downgraded to 'puppy-sitter' and 'Aleu's chew toy'. The polar bears, Muk and Luk [now voiced by Timon... from the Timon/Pumbaa TV series, Kevin Schon] are simply pointless balls of fluff for Aleu to playfully pounce on. Again, they do a little bit and are soon gone from the plot about 30 minutes in. Again, they don't sound bad here.

However, this is Aleu's movie [despite Balto's name in the title from the get-go] and the film focuses on her, developing her character as time goes on. She starts out cute and adorable, then turns whiny, stupidly-naive and stubborn [Like father, like daughter? Oh yes on the stubborn part.], and suddenly just matures as the plot nears the climax. Her voice gets annoying at times, and that's a given when it's Eliza Thornberry at her squeakiest. Yes, Lacey Chabert is our female lead. I will admit that it grows on you by the end, and she doesn't completely suck as Aleu. She makes her curious and very child-like, though you can hear the seriousness in her tone once she gets into the subplot at the end---

Wait, I didn't explain the subplot? Huh.

Well, this subplot gets into the actual 'Wolf Quest' of "Wolf Quest". I won't go into deep detail, but it actually has wolves and a couple of interesting new characters that Aleu and Balto encounter. If you listen [and in some places, look] carefully during the two other songs ["Who You Really Are" and "The Grand Design"], it helps explain the subplot well enough that you might figure out the ending. I didn't catch it until much later, but I think the subtle addition of these little hints just works if you notice them.

Speaking of the songs, they are actually really good here. The first song - and perhaps the theme to our main character, Aleu, and the movie itself - "Taking You Home", is just a simple, soft song that we first hear at the pivotal scene when Balto and Jenna watch their puppies receive new owners and a new family. It's a touching scene, one that I'll admit I shed a tear to, especially at the end when puppy!Aleu is waving goodbye to the last Jenna-clone puppy that was chosen, not realizing what we all know: that she'll never be chosen herself. That is seriously deep... and quite sad, if you think about it. The song's melody comes up again at another pivotal moment at the end [I cried then too], and the song is repeated during the end credits, easily making this a major theme overall.

The second song, "Who You Really Are", is sung by Muru [voiced by Peter MacNicol, sung by Rob Paulsen, who sings amazingly high here. I am just... amazed, seriously.] to a confused and lost Aleu. It's a beautiful chant-like tune, one that has colorful images to boot and a driving force to kick Aleu's quest into high gear.

The final song, "The Grand Design", is one that two wolves 'sing' [though they are more talking than singing; a chorus does actually sing in the song, but this is more focused on the two lead voices]. One wolf, Nava [voiced by the late David Carradine], sings basically that things change naturally and 'we' [the royal 'we', mind you] are all a part of a bigger purpose, a grand design; the other wolf, Niju [voiced by Mark Hamill], is the closest thing to an antagonist and rebels against change, saying that 'we are the masters of our own design', the masters of our own destinies and future by the choices we make. For a short song-speak near the movie's climatic finale, this is actually a deep message for a kid's movie, and for a sequel at that! It really is a great set-up for concluding the plot and the subplot as well.

The music is wonderful too, using Inuit themes and instruments to set the tone for mysticism and adventure. It's nice to hear something different that really fits the story and the atmosphere, as this story is very much like a mystic journey for our main wolf-dogs - a vision quest... or as the subtitle says, a 'wolf quest'. It's not trying to be a new-age sort of thing, though it feels like it is, but... it just works with the wild scenery, all the Inuit and lupine symbolism and the characters themselves, as well as the basic journeys that the story focuses on.

Overall, this looks like a crappy follow-up to a theatrical release film... but if you look beyond the animation flaws and character development failures throughout, you'll find a tale of learning one's heritage and the self-discovery journey between a father and his daughter that really is something good for the whole family to enjoy.

I would be biased as a Balto fan if I said this was my favorite movie in the Balto trilogy, but it actually is the truth: "Balto II: Wolf Quest" is by far the best movie in the series. I once disliked it for the flaws but loved the main heroine, but now, I love it all, flaws and everything. I can't give it the full 4 stars though, as it does still have noticeable flaws that hurt the relationship and the characters, but it's not terrible enough for a three, not like my original review.

So, the score gets an extra half-star for being more than what I expected it to be. Howl on, "Wolf Quest".


Live killers Radio's avatar
Reviews: 4

Live killers Radio's Review

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posted: Jun 06, 2010
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(P.S. Spoils ahead)

Balto 2 : Wolf Quest, has a distinct honor when it comes to any animated film that has been made. The reason is…for being controversial, not in the same way that you think of when the word controversial comes to mind, in this case Wolf Quest is a splitting debate when it comes to Balto Fans. Some point out the good points that films has and others will say that it was a weak achievement to the film it was trying to following.

As a fan myself, I will say that the film did have a few strong points to it and it could have been a very welcome addition to the Balto name. But a Marjory of things in the movie where not thought-up fully, making a lot of elements pointless, out of place, or just coming out of no where.

Making a sequel to the first Balto film, would have been like making a sequel to Gone With The Wind. Everything in the first film from the music, the characters, the story, everything was made with so much quietly to detail creatively and by taking the time to make every scene just as important as the next one, it give Balto such a neo & mature type of style, that it took the old cliché that is use in animated films and redefined it from that point on.

So I would at lest give some crated to the people that where working on Wolf Quest, even if a majority of straight-to-video sequels don’t mach the same level that the original did, but I would think that out of a handful of animated films, Balto would be one of that we would have like to see a sequel to just out of curiosity. But with the final film that we have it could have been better, there’s more that works against it then helps it, even with the few good ideas that film has, as a whole it’s a very empty cluster together type of experience, even if you see this as a Balto fan or not. Before I go more into detail, the story must be explain first.

In the world of Balto time has gone by, Balto & Jenna have pups and every pup looks more like Jenna except for one and that is Aleu who looks for like Balto. When the pups are given away, every pup finds a person but Aleu, since she looks and acts more like her wolf side then her husky side. Balto & Jenna worry about this, but believe that one day she will fine a place to be. Time goes by once again, Alue now a young-adult still has found no place with a human and spends her days in the wild. When she comes face to face with a hunter, she thinks that the hunter wants her like a friend, but Balto comes in and saves Aleu from the hunter. It’s here where Balto tell Alue that’s she’s part wolf and most likely be look at as a wolf forever. So Alue decides to not waist time and goes off into the wild to find a place where she belongs. Balto must then go after Alue and find her, but along the way they will both find out what it means to be a wolf….or so we thought.

I’ll start off by saying that, the good ideas for the story where very strong ideas, if they where more well thought out, then it would have made the film better to understand and to make the Wolf Quest idea reach it’s goals.

The idea to have both Balto & Aleu go on this journey through-out the Alaskan wilderness while finding out what it means to be a wolf and to find some meaning for being one for both of them is a grand idea to come up with. In fact, in terms of a Balto story-line this would be the most logical step to do right after the first film. Now I will say that there motivations for going off into the wild is weak, but it gives the opportunity to show more of the place they live in and not shown from a sled-dog point of view.

By going through the vast country of Alaska, we can understand that the elements of the wild will bring out actions & ideas of a wolf, going through situations that only a wolf could do, what are the good & bad sides and what you learn from them, and in the end, to show others why it is important to be a wolf and to have them on this earth. Having the magical elements to bring this out was both a good & bad thing, more on the bad side later. It was trying to stay conceited with the wildlife world that surrounded it & what makes it come to life and how animals have there important parts to play as well, and since native elements are present in Alaska, it’s under stainable where the writer wanted to take the story, out of the white cold snow and into the colorful spirited power wild-country.

After thinking about this idea, this brought up a idea with-in the main story idea. The story of both Balto and Aleu trying to find out something about themselves, shows us two faces of the same coin, but with different means. Aleu is the young wolf, who knows that she didn’t have a great past to talk about, and like all young people at one time in there life say, what is my future going to turn out to be ? So she goes out looking for answers to her questions. When it comes to Balto, at this point he is living in his future that has made him a hero, made him have a family, and has nothing else to prove to himself. But yet, he has no idea what his past was like and it was a good idea to search for those missing pieces, but not too much information, because one of the things that makes Balto interesting, is his unknown past. This was a great way for both characters to intertwined and for both to come full-circle. This would prove to be most effected at the end of the film, it would make Balto & Alue closer as a family and show that won’t so different from each other from the start. If this idea was spoken about on screen much detail as possible, then it would have made a great way to close the film.

I like how Maurice LaMarche presented Balto in this. Since it is years later Balto would sound much older and LaMaurice hit it right on the spot. You can also tell that he did is homework since he keeps the rough-like loner tone of Balto in mind, which was one Vidal element that Kevin Bacon did give to Balto.

I will also say that the back-grounds are well made and really stand out from the average DTV setting that we always see.

With all that said, now comes the bad part of the film, which happens to be the rest of the film. Without spending a lot of time on this, I’ll point out the major problem that hurt Wolf Quest.

First the characters….

Now one of bigest mistakes that the film did, was to have the other main characters from the first film in this film and do nothing. Now we all know that every person in the first film had a part to play no matter who they where, but the film takes the four most important characters next to Balto, and make them stand there and say lines. We only see them for the first time at the beginning of the film, but once Balto goes off to look for Alue, no one gets the idea to help out Balto in any way. Now its understandable on one hand not to have the other characters in the main story, because it’s played as Balto & Alue’s story, fair enough. But to have the very same characters that where shown ¾ of the time in first film and play big roles to Balto and have them just sit there with nothing to do, then why have them there in the first place?

Balto’s actions at times makes me question how he deals with them. A few times in the film, Balto has these dreams that happens to be the work of the magician elements to bring up the past in Balto’s mind. Balto knows that this something important, but at no time did he go off to find any type of answers to this, this just makes Balto look uncaring & lazy. In fact, when any important happens, Balto doesn’t want to be a part of it at all, just sit there and let time fly by. I know he’s old, but not that old.

If there’s any big flaw with Alue I would have to point to Lacey Chabert who plays Alue. Alue is a young-adult and we can tell because of her reasons for leaving, but Chabert makes Alue sound like a 11 year old and that takes away any believe that Alue shows any type of mature changing in any way. I don’t understand why at the end, the movie makes Alue look like she became the strong-will leader, since she really didn’t do anything that brought out this trade in the movie and it’s hard to believe that she just finds out what it means because her situation calls for it.

Story elements/pacing….

Like I’ve been saying, there are magical elements that come in the forms of animals, they are there to be the keys that unlock both the past & wolf sides to Balto and Alue. But when the sprites show themselves they don’t really do anything. All they do is say or do something that has nothing to do with the stuff that Balto & Alue are asking questions to. We see things like ravens, wolfs with glowing eyes, and others that don’t give a clear expiation for being there, other then to be just masteries, but once they come there gone just like that, (case & point the fight with the bear).

When Balto & Alue meet the wolf pack, it feels like they just walked on to a another movie set and add on more characters that happen to just pop out of no where. This whole idea of the wolf pack is not the best idea to have for Balto and Alue’s quest of self-discovery. It feels like the two happen to walk into there area, said there Hi’s and Hellos, and said to themselves “ask no questions, just roll with it”.

Even if the wolfs are there to be some help for there quest and to understand more about what it means to be a wolf, is meaning less since the wolfs act just like the sprites, standing there and give no real information to help us understand.

Then comes the films Achilles' heel, the ending.

When the wolf pack is in trouble and have no one to lead them to the new land, Alue then realities that she must be the leader and knows it’s for the best. Now here is my question…how dose Alue know she is fit and ready to be a leader, she goes on and on in this movie not knowing anything about her self, and just out of no where she feels to take on the role of leadership. This is where you that the movie is trying to end as soon as it can and forgets what Alue was doing this whole time. In fact, if this is the case with Alue then where does Balto fit into this ? If Alue found this out right on the spot, then what was the reason for Balto looking for Alue? Having Balto in here then is kind of pointless.

But the thing that seals the films fate is right after when Alue leaves. Balto sees a raven that has been with him all this time and then right there, it shows itself to be Balto’s mother in sprite. Now I don’t submit to this idea of it being his mom, but she says nothing that Balto doesn’t already know and then Balto walks off screen and we look at the sky…and we end here.

Now some might note a theme going on there and I’ve already point out a few times. The ultimate problem with Wolf Quest is that it a story that sets up interesting questions & ideas…but never are these answered in any way. It like if the writer just said to himself “you know what, they don’t need to found out anything, lets make them come all the way there for nothing”. Some might say that this is not a bad thing, it just makes things more mysteries then they where before. Well then look at it like this, say this is a mystery story and we have to find out who the killer is and from the very start and thought out the story we are told “found out who the killer is”.

Once we come to the end and think we found the guy, we found nothing at all and the killer is still lose. When I saw Wolf Quest for the first time I know it would be my last, and seeing that no one or nothing at all got resolved, the ending to Wolf Quest had the words rip-off written all over it.

If anything Wolf Quest is good example of a good idea gone to waist and no matter what you put into it, with the story idea, it proves that the film will still fail no matter what. But something good did happen out of Wolf Quest and that was Wings of Change, which it went back to the style of the first film and who’s ideas where handle with more care and attention.

Wolf Quest may had look good on paper, but in the end it missed the point.

romanticdraco's avatar
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Reviews: 10

romanticdraco's Review

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posted: Apr 16, 2008
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My Personal Likes:

1. This film refers to native American spirituality and "shamanistic" mystical things in a consistent and adds spice and specialty into this film. I like the idea of having the totem, the ravern, the wolverines, Nava and Aniu the White Wolf (Balto's mom).

2. This film has 2 really great song: "Who Are You" and "The Grand Design", I like the idea that the dogs are finally singing.

3. It tastes completely different from the original, which is good in a way; and it still links to the original (though in a frail way).

4. The background is great, splendid and colourful. The totem is quite 3D.

My Personal Dislikes:
1. The characters aren't animated and drawn beautifully. Steele looks better than Niju, and Jenna looks much better than Aleu. Trickster and Muru both look HORRIBLE!!! The fight against the bear isn't fantastic at all...

2. Most songs are not remarkable, and they simply did not stick in my head. Well, then, music is not its forte.

3. The water looks somewhat strange. And I wonder where the orca came from when Nava was using his powers on Niju.

4. There are many sidekicks in this movie. Boris, Muk and Luk have simply little or no role here. They were just fillers.

5. The sizes of the wolves do not make sense. Why is a strong, pure-bred wolf (Niju) shorter and smaller than Steele, which is an Alaskan Malamute (some people argued that it was just a tall husky). Wolves have shrunken. Wolves are normally larger and taller than huskies and malamutes alike...

KloKei07's avatar
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Reviews: 42

KloKei07's Review

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posted: Nov 08, 2007
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It's not a surprise that the Balto sequels have been the source of the increasing debate amongst the Balto fans. Either you hate it or you love it, Wolf's Quest represent the hardest and most riskiest part of the trilogy, having a lot of differences with the original, but at the same time answering a lot of questions regarding the original characters.

For starters we have the immense amount of problems of the movie. The concept feels wasted and unimaginative, starting from a journey of Aleu and ending in spiritual visions and conflicts with some of the most unoriginal villains in animation. Add to this the strange inconsistencies with the original characters, including a boring version of Jenna and a Balto that again has issues with his wolf breed and the humans in the town.

Still, the movie does have his value as a worthy successor of the original Balto. By the half of the movie, everything fits together amazingly, the characters gel and finally Aleu evolves into an emphatic heroine.

Completely apart is the animation. And while the characters animation and CGI effects are your average DTV-sequel, the backgrounds and colors are truly surprising at times.

Honestly, I can say if I hate or love Wolf’s Quest. For me it's the same, and more importantly my concern it's bigger, regarding the studios who decide to make pointless sequels of classic movies (if Disney wasn't enough). And although Wolf's Quest is a masterpiece compared to the NIMH 2 or the American Tale sequels, I keep saying to myself that it keeps going on the wrong way. *POSSIBLE SPOILER: For example, the fact of making an explanation to the white wolf that appears in the original Balto, it felt almost insulting, being one of the most interesting symbols of the movie (and that should be left like that, a symbol). *END OF SPOILERS.

If I can give a recommendation, that’s simply to watch this movie. If it’s a worthy successor or not, that's something left for the viewer to decide, and as everything, will be more of a personal conclusion than anything else.

Dogstar's avatar
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Reviews: 34

Dogstar's Review

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posted: May 06, 2007
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I thought the last thing anyone needs, is another review of “Wolfquest”, but nonetheless I find myself reviewing it. Somewhere in “Wolfquest” there is a good movie dying to get out, perhaps even a great one, but it just has so many darn flaws.

Plot: Balto's daughter Aleu is the most wolf-like out of her siblings, and is left behind, as all her siblings are adopted. Balto and Jenna decide not to tell Aleu of her wolf heritage. As Aleu grows older, she is deeply puzzled of why no human wants her. After finding out the reason why, she runs away. Balto, who has been having mysterious dreams, runs after her.

The plot is a little thin, but it is still a good coming of age story. I thought the mysticism was a nice touch, but also contained too much filler. Much of the movie is spent having Balto battling spirits, be it by wits or claw. I think “Wolfquest” would be greatly improved if more time were spent on thought-provoking sequences, rather then action ones. Not to say too much, but the ending is very emotional, and “Wolfquest’s” strongest point.

Continuity: The absolute worst thing about this movie is that it does not align with the original film. Honestly, it seems if the serum run never happened. You'd think people would be diving on top of one another to get their hands on the famous Balto's pups, wolf or no.

Characters: Except for Balto, all the old characters have been ruined. Jenna is now a mild mannered dog, who would never dream of attacking a bear. Boris, a character I liked in the original, irritated me, and the polar bears managed to be more annoying then they were in “Balto.”

As for the new characters, Aleu is a great protagonist. She is fairly complex, and her struggle is easy to relate to. Nava is your classic wise elder, but he is still likeable and adds to the story. The best thing about this movie is the villain, Niju. At first Niju comes off as your classic power-hungry antagonist, but we learn his true motives, Niju fears change. Niju is big improvement over "Balto's" Steele. Lastly we have the trio of wolves, who are absolutely obnoxious, and are a carbon copy of Nikki, Kaltag, and Star.

Animation: I do not like the character animation in this movie. It seems as if the character are stickers in the gorgeous background animation.

Music: The musical aspect of “Wolfquest” is a shocking leap from Balto, but oddly enough it works. The songs are well written and sung, my favorite of the songs being "The grand design". I also liked the score, which at times was beautiful and very emotional.

Wolfquest is defiantly one of those movies where I think to myself "If only they had done this, then it would have been so good…" But nonetheless, it is only a DTV, and a darn good one at that.

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Reviews: 15

Goblincleaver's Review

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posted: Apr 26, 2007
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When I heard that Balto was going to have a DTV sequel, I cringed a little. I first saw this movie on Cartoon Network at my grandma's house, and I have to say that despite some of the negative feedback I've heard from fellow Balto fans, I actually liked this film.

I'll admit Balto and Jenna didn't look the same nor had the same voices, but the storyline was a nice descend from the real-life part of the setting. It was more of a supernatural side that reflected the Inuit folklore of the land.

I'm probably one of the few fans who actually liked Aleu; my only flaw is that I found her voice to be a little too kiddy. I liked her design, and although she did whine a few too many times, you have to realize that she's a teenager AND a dog.

The movie has its technical flaws and a few sappy songs, but if you're one of those hardcore Balto fans like myself, then you'll like this and probably want to own it to complete the Balto trilogy.

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RedowlKate's Review

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posted: Feb 02, 2007
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After enjoying Balto so much, I was excited when I found out there was a sequel being released. However, as the closing credits rolled for Balto II: Wolf Quest, I was more than a little disappointed.

First of all, there was the story. Aleu, the fiesty daughter of Balto and Jenna happens to look too much like a wolf, therefore she is never bought/adopted by a human. As a young adult, she learns the truth about why she was never given a home like her other siblings were, and runs away. Here's where my issues start, Balto was a hero in the first movie, right? So wouldn't all of his heroically inclined progeny be in high demand? Apparently the people of Nome are either very forgetful or lack any kind of gratitude. Then to add to this, Aleu running away on impulse was just stupid. Even as a young adult I still didn't "feel" for her, she ran away into the Alaskan wilderness, that's not teenage angst, that's just being a moron. Then to add to the ridiculousness Balto chases after her, and on the way the two of them experience a sort of spiritual awakening. Yes, that was a cool element in the story, I'm all for spiritual awakenings, but not if it involves singing mice (if you've seen the movie, you know exactly what I mean). Not to give anymore of the story away, Balto and Aleu face many challenges that cause Aleu's maturity to grow in leaps and bounds. By the end of the movie I was very pleased with how her character had developed, but it all happened in the last five minutes of the movie. The biggest flaws in the story were the rush at the end, the unsatisfying climax, and some scenes that were supposed to be serious but were just too silly for their own good.

Characters... Balto is extremely boring all of a sudden. The dignified outcast with a heart of gold is now a stuffy father figure with a disturbing lack of personality. Jenna is nowhere to be found, and doesn't seem all that connected to the story, she just acts kind of spaced out or indifferent. Muk and Luk are back, and still mildly annoying. Boris is back as well, but not with the same presence he had in the original, which was disappointing. Now for the newcomers, Aleu, as I mentioned before, garnered little sympathy from me as far as characters go. She was impulsive, self-centered, and disobedient until the last five to ten minutes of the film. The characters were just so flat, even Nava, the wolf shaman was flat. And they made the scene where he disappears just laughable, just pitifully weak as far as what was supposed to be a mystical moment. Overall, just really hollow characters.

The voice acting didn't help the hollow effect either. I hated the mouse that was Aleu's spirit guide, the voice just bothered me to no end. Aleu's voice was off for some reason too, I couldn't put my finger on it, but it just didn't seem to fit her character at all. Many of the other new and original characters were given voices that seemed to fit them well or do a decent job replacing the original voices. But it was just decent, just average voice acting. Again, very 'blah', very shallow.

The animation was okay, but it couldn't even get within a mile of the quality of the original. Standard DTV quality animation abound. While none of the characters were butt-ugly, none of them were very sleek or pretty to look at either.

The music was alright, but there was singing! Blast that confounded singing! That's the ONE thing that I really liked about the original Balto's music, that there were no singing dogs, or polar bears, or geese, or even humans. But here, there was singing... That alone made me chop off a whole star, it just detracted from what could've been a very dignified movie with a lot of charm.

Overall, this film just embarrassed me. They tried to do a spiritual angle, but it was just so wonky and clunky with all the immaturity that oozed from the characters that it was half-hearted. I liked how wolves and everything wolfish played a role in this film, but none of the wolf characters are that strong and that aspect too fizzles out by the end of the movie. Instead of ending with a great climax, I thought this film just sputtered out of energy and wound down before anything actually happened. I think I'm being more than generous by giving this two stars instead of one and a half, because the movie doesn't even seem finished. It just seems like everyone who was making this film got bored and decided to drop it right then and there and slap the credits on and call it a day. I would only recommend watching this film if you can do so free of charge or at minimal cost to yourself.

SqueakCurly's avatar
Reviews: 4

SqueakCurly's Review

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posted: Jul 23, 2005
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*cough* Um, well, I actually think this is a very good movie. I watched it, I think two weeks ago, and I loved it. Still not as good as the first movie, I'd say, and not as good as good as the third, but generally a pretty good movie. All the main chars are back, which is good, because in some movies the main characters completely disappear....

Aleu is a wonderful well developed character, with a sticking-in-your-head-for-the-rest-of-your-life very appealing voice. There's not really much more I can say for it other then the backgrounds are good and some of the songs are great.

fatalframer122's avatar
Reviews: 3

fatalframer122's Review

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posted: Feb 16, 2005
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Although not as great as the first, I still infer that this is a good movie. The plot has taken a different change and the quality of the movie has been as well.
The orchestral music is great too, but there isn't as much dramatic moments as the first either. There are some 'blant' spots or areas that are more uninteresting, but fortunately there aren't many.
All-in-all, I think this still is a great family movie, and should not be ignored.

de_whitewolf's avatar
Reviews: 4

de_whitewolf's Review

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posted: Jan 13, 2005
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Hmmm,a sequel to a great movie, Balto. I'm giving this 2 and a half due to some things which bothers me, for one, the animation. CGI has been used too many times and it kinda sticks out. The voice casting is okay, Balto still sounds nearly the same in Balto 1, but for Jenna, I still prefer Bridget Fonda to do it. And I noticed that Muk and Luk have a Australian accent, unlike the original Muk Luk which doesn't. The drawing is what really bothers me. Balto's eyes aren't yellow and Jenna looks way too weird, her paws are big and her face really needs a make over. Too bad the ending scene is way too brief, I wish it spent moer time with Aniu, after all, she really is Balto's mum. Ah well, at least the third is better. :)

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