Comparing the ratio of the Balto DVDs released
The most noticeable change between the DVDs is the picture ratio. The American DVD has a 4/3 (fullscreen) ratio, while the other has a 16/9 (widescreen) one. So if you had to choose which DVD to get, the answer is clear. The non-US DVD is better because it's much closer to the original ratio of the film in theaters.
American Balto DVD Other regions Balto DVD
Although, less known is the fact that the non-US DVD is not perfect either and also cut a little of the screen. See these pictures of the exact same frame:
American Balto DVD
European / Other Balto DVD
If we stick the pictures together, we get this :
See? The U.S. version is clearly bad as it cuts most of the picture, but the non-US version is also cutting a little of the bottom.
Other differences between the DVDs include different menus, a little game on the U.S. DVD (I think), and a documentary on the non-U.S. DVD.
Is there a perfect version of the film available on home video? Yes, the laserdisc version. That one has the perfect picture. Although, good luck for finding one...along with the player. Well...maybe one day Universal will release a special edition widescreen DVD or a Bluray. One can only dream, right?
But for most people living in the US, and if you can't wait to get a better version, you should consider getting the non-US DVD. Try to go to online European stores or sites like Ebay, you should be able to find some that accept overseas deliveries. Although you'll have to use a computer (with VLC for example) or a region-free DVD player to read it. (most DVD home players will refuse to read other region DVDs, due to silly marketing reasons)
Or try getting the Brazilian version : this one has the advantage of being region-free (meaning you can use your DVD in any player)
Fore more info, see this article : http://www.animationsource.org/balto/en/articles/Get_the_Widescreen_version_of_Balto/84818.html&id_film=10