I think my love nostalgia is somewhat apparent by now. Maybe it clouds my judgment of some movies I’m watching, but honestly I don’t care. If they were truly horrendous I wouldn’t watch them again and again. There are some old films that I remember watching that I have seen again and have gone, “What the fuck was on I?” Most of the time the movies hold up or the nostalgia aspect is strong enough to make up for any of the films faults. I’m also a huge kid still so maybe that’s just it. As I’m writing this I’m actually listening to Disney songs.
I remember loving Balto when I was younger. One of a number of films I saw at a young age and I’m still able to remember. Maybe it’s because of the dog aspect. There aren’t any large musical bits, so obviously it was something that drew me in. I can’t remember what exactly it is even now that I’ve just seen it again.
I noticed the animation style right off the bat. It’s defiantly not Disney, particularly with the overwhelming number of angular shapes. It just doesn’t look like Disney and there is nothing wrong with that.
I actually kind of love the fact that there aren’t any musical numbers in the movie. I love them in Disney, but it’s nice seeing that a family/kids animated film can succeed without them. It’s a testament to how good the story really is here, because even as an adult it’s engaging. With a few tweaks could easily turn it into something along the lines of a Jack London story.
The gags aren’t quite as over the top. There were a few (the two sled dogs repeating constantly and hitting each other) that were overused right of the bat, but for the most part the gags were smaller and spread out.
It does get kind of dark as well. Little children possibly dying is really grounds the film, especially the image of the little coffins.
It’s not really surprising how good it is considering it is a product of Amblination (Steven Spielberg). He’s done well with working with animation and DreamWorks clearly became a contended for Disney.
One of the things that I loved and was a bit miffed about was the voice work. For the most part I thought they were pretty good. Bob Hoskins as Boris was amazing and Jim Cummings is an extremely talented man. I’d advise just going through some of his work and just watching the films he’s done voice work in. Kevin Bacon though. He’s a great actor, but he didn’t work for me here. I don’t know why, but his voice didn’t really mesh with Balto’s for some reason. It was just one of those things that really stood out. Maybe it’s just me though.
I still loved the movie and it’s actually getting moved up on my list of favorite movies (I don’t have an actually list).