Balto-Lion King character comparisons

Balto-Lion King character comparisons


A written comparison of the similarities between the characters of the Balto cartoons, and the Lion King cartoons!


Article written by: BaltoSeppala

Balto


Here's something I posted a while back in my MySpace Balto RPG blog, which received a LOT of positive feedback from fans and role-players of both the Balto cartoons and the Lion King cartoons:

Balto - Lion King Character Comparisons
Alright...since there has been so much interaction between role-players of characters from the Balto movies, and the Lion King movies (most of it good and innocent enough...though a little of it is rather weird and highly implausible), I thought I'd throw this together for everyone's enjoyment.

In reality, there are several similarities between certain Lion King and Balto characters. Some of those similarities (based on how I've lined them up) might be considered tenuous, at best, but they are similar nevertheless. Keep in mind that I did not match these up simply to GIVE characters a match...but rather to try and match them up based upon how they were conceived, written and acted in their respective movies.

There may not, however, be some primary or secondary characters in one series which even remotely match with a character in the other series...so be prepared. See what you think:

(in the list below, I've listed the Balto characters first, and then the Lion King characters they most closely match - in my view - right after them...)

-- Balto - Simba
(Our two heroes. Very endearing, very kind, very smart, very charming, very brave, and both were very good and loving fathers. And both, when they were younger, were somewhat unsure of themselves...lacking a little self confidence. Which, of course, resolved itself quite nicely in each case, I think you'd agree!)

-- Jenna - Nala/Sarabi
(Jenna had the same motherly style and finesse, as well as endearing qualities, that the adult Nala - and also Sarabi - had.)

-- Aleu - Kiara
(Both of these girls had something to prove, and something to teach to others [including their own fathers!]...and were natural leaders! And neither was sure, at first, who she really wanted to be...)

-- Kodi - Kovu
(I know what you're gonna say: 'Huh?' Yeah, this is the most tenuous connection of all of these. But, like Kovu, Kodi was struggling in Balto III with being accepted by Kirby's mail team, and also came into conflict, however briefly, with Balto and Jenna [about whether or not Duke, the bush pilot, was worth rescuing when his plane crashed, and whether or not he was an 'enemy' to the mail dogs]...and then struggled with himself over wanting to make his father and mother proud of him...which is sort of similar to Kovu's early conflicts with Simba...and then his conflict with himself over whether or not to kill Simba, as Zira wanted, or to try and gain his acceptance. Yes...a weak connection, but a connection still. *Whew!* And I was worried these two might not have characters to connect with! I had to think long about this one!)

-- Steele - Scar
(These two were just baaaaaaaaaaad to the core. And don't you just love it? LOL! They're sympathetic evil characters...you love to hate them, but there's something about them that you can't help but sympathize with and enjoy! And each had a bit of very dark comedy about them, too...on occasion. And, I think, to bring a little relief against their dark, evil natures.)

-- Aniu AND Nava - Mufasa
(Mufasa served as a guide to Simba just as Aniu did for Balto and Aleu. And Nava served as a teacher for Balto and Aleu just as Mufasa did for Simba.)

-- Boris AND Nava - Rafiki
(Rafiki was, at once, comical and very wise. Boris was very funny, and had the capacity to occasionally be wise. Nava, of course, was very wise, though not a comedic character at all.)

-- Muk, Star and Boris - Timon
(Each of the Balto characters here had qualities evident in Timon...bravado [well, alright...Muk had no bravado to him - LOL], slight cowardice, paranoia, a loveable cluelessness, and each were VERY funny! Plus, like Boris, Timon was VERY stubborn!)

-- Luk - Pumbaa
(here's another tricky one. While Luk couldn't talk, he had an endearing, if simple, wisdom which often made him appear more perceptive than either Muk OR Boris...just as Pumbaa...who obviously COULD talk...was - in fact - wiser, more perceptive and more 'connected' than Timon.)

-- Niju - Zira
(Both characters were fiercely determined to make a point, and to stand by their beliefs even to their own deaths, and the deaths of those around them, if necessary.)

-- Nuk, Sumac and Yak as well as Nikki, Kaltag and Star - Vitani and the unnamed outlanders
(Nuk, Sumac and Yak started out very loyal to Niju, and as bad guys. But, when Balto, Aleu and Nava showed them that there was continued life in following the caribou herds across the water, they followed them instead. Nikki, Kaltag and Star were on Steele's sled team, and his 'yes dogs' as it were. But when Balto proved his courage, and Steele his selfishness and treachery, the three became loyal to Balto. Likewise, Vitani and the unnamed outsiders started out VERY loyal to Zira, and then - when they were shown a better way - changed their loyalties and followed the path that led to hope and a better life.)

-- Dipsy - Timon's Mom
(both came off as loveable, slightly comedic, diner-waitress kind of characters, who provided comfort to their foils...Timon for his mom, and Mel for Dipsy. But that is really the only connection I can see.)

-- Mel - Uncle Max and Zazu
(both Mel and Uncle Max were very comedic, very neurotic, very paranoid, very endearing characters. That is how they are similar. Zazu was also endearing and comedic, but his connection with Mel is that both loved to spread news, and keep an eye on the goings-on and an ear to the gossip...)

I really have no connections for Shenzi, Banzai and Ed (the three hyenas) - because they really don't connect with either Nuk, Sumac and Yak NOR especially with Nikki, Kaltag and Star (because Shenzi, Banzai and Ed simply STAY bad in all three Lion King movies...the two trios from Balto and Balto II end up changing sides and being good). Nor do I have one for Nuka...Zira and Scar's conniving, sniveling son in Lion King II. I also don't really see any connections, in the Lion King movies, for the following Balto characters (from Balto III): Dusty, Kirby, Ralph, or Stella...much less the human characters from any of the Balto films. Nor for Balto and Jenna's other pups (Kiona, Dingo, Dakota, and Saba...and the other two pups, which were never officially named, though they were given names by fans, are listed in the credits of the 2nd film). Perhaps - if a fourth Lion King movie is made - there'll be some chances there! Of course, we all know there's scuttlebutt among the Balto fans that a fourth film MIGHT be under consideration. But there is no hard evidence to support that it is under development.

I would LOVE to see a fourth for each series. The characters and story lines in each - I think - made them worthy of it. I didn't care for the production efforts in Balto II (drawing and animation was the worst of the three), and the script writing could have been better and less mystical. But I also thought that Balto III had an excellent and very historically-plausible story line, and was well-written and well-produced (while there are other hardcore fans of the first Balto movie who hate this one and think it's boring...and also hate the second one. I think they're missing the points made in each movie, and instead are SIMPLY looking at production quality and scripting. Admittedly, the scripting in Balto II was, in places, weak. But the story of Aleu wanting and needing to find herself and her destiny is, in of itself, very good). Similarly, I LOVED the first Lion King, and Lion King 1-1/2. But I thought the story line in Lion King II was not fully developed, and appeared rushed. And I really believe that some of the characters (most especially Nala, Timon and Pumbaa) were not utilized to their full capabilities. But hey - that's me! You may well feel differently, and that's totally cool!






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June 29, 2010
Usa Is not currently on the site
i think steele should be scar because both of thm are the main ''bad guys''

November 08, 2009
Usa Is not currently on the site
you guys, NIJU should be scar... not steele. Niju looks like a lion more than a wolf, and he had a wolf pack, like a hyena pack, and plus there wild. Steele should NOT be scar... °x°

July 02, 2009
Usa Is not currently on the site
Nice job there! Man, people must have really good paying attention skills if they can spot stuff like you just did! :cool:

February 15, 2009
Usa Is not currently on the site
The MCR-my!
Wow! You must have worked for like hours on this! Awesome job by the way!!!

April 13, 2008
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
nice article! it was very long and took me forever to read. it was
awesome!! i enjoyed it very much. ciao.

March 30, 2007
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
these are really good comparisions. Good job

February 28, 2007
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
It's interesting to find that many similarities because, as
we all know, Balto was made by Universal and Lion King was
made by Disney. Methinks one was inspired by the other.

November 26, 2006
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
Great ARTICLE! I was surprised that you knew all that, but i
was impressed! I learned about Balto not too long ago! so i
have known Lion king longer so i dont know many Balto
carectors bsides the ones in balto 1 and 2, so you cant
blame me!

Guest
Guest
October 17, 2006
Is not currently on the site
Thanks noyana. I suspected that you'd like it. Heh heh...

October 08, 2006
Argentina Female Is not currently on the site
uauuuu!!!i agree!!the only thing i dont agree is that in tlk
2 the scripts werent good...i think the were really nice i
like the idea of the last part when muffy talks to simba at
the end and i also like when simba moves his paw on the
ground and shows kovu the grass that was growing after the
big fire...great article!!!!

Guest
Guest
September 18, 2006
Is not currently on the site
Gracias! Heh heh...

balto y simba
Balto y
simba
September 16, 2006
Is not currently on the site
hola se paresen mucho ellas dos peliculas
bkan























xauuuuuuuuuuzzzzzzzz

Guest
Guest
September 12, 2006
Is not currently on the site
An interesting thought, Aniu Blade! Quite logical! I
was thinking more in terms of a living character to
counterpart against his nature through most of LK2. But
thanks for your comment!

September 09, 2006
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
Inactive Member/Retired Mod and Sourcecaster
Very insightful and well-thought out! But I disagree with
you on Nuka's connection. I think he would have been with
Vitani and the other outlanders, if he had been given the
same chance at the end of the movie instead of dying,
craving his mother's attention. Ever since he was little
and Kovu had been born, the younger cub had stolen the
spotlight and his mother's love from him, so you couldn't
blame him for his jealousy and his wish to please his
mother. But in his dying scene, his very last sentence was
cut out by Disney (probably because they didn't think it
appropriate for kids to hear). I can't remember what it was
word for word, but he basically says that he was sorry he
was never good enough in a spiteful way to Zira. So I think
it's safe to say that if he had not died and had continued
to the very end with Vitani, that he may have indeed seen
the light and followed Kovu and the others, even if nothing
more than to spite Zira for all the years she ignored him
and starved him of attention. But all in all, very nice
article Baltoseppala!

September 05, 2006
Is not currently on the site
I dunno, now that you can't seem to find a charecter to
match Nuka, I'm gonna try my best to find out! I still think
the strongest connections were Simba and Balto, as well as
Kiara and Aleu. It seems to me that Zira and Steele were
more alike then Scar and Steele. But that's just me.

September 01, 2006
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
lol

Guest
Guest
August 23, 2006
Is not currently on the site
Aleu&Lightning and LadyOfTheCanyon, thanks a bunch! ;) And Aleu...easy on that send button. :cool:

August 23, 2006
Is not currently on the site
Wonderful article! This is one of the best I have seen in a long time! This was put together nicely and was not as confusing as some others! Sorry Cat, I have to agree with Baltoseppala!:( Again.... GREAT ARTICLE!:P

August 21, 2006
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
loving it, loving it! a+++

August 21, 2006
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
loving it, loving it! a+++

Guest
Guest
August 19, 2006
Is not currently on the site
Thanks, Whitewolf! :P

August 17, 2006
Uk Female Is not currently on the site
Rock of Ages
Cool article Seppala, very interesting.

Guest
Guest
August 17, 2006
Is not currently on the site
Interesting counterpoint, Cat. It's okay to disagree. ;) But I have to disagree with your...disagreement, at one point! Heh heh. Niju was definitely motivated, if perhaps not obsessed, with becoming a leader! It seems to me that Zira was actually not obsessed with that at all...at least not directly. She seemed to me to be obsessed with bringing down Simba (as a tool for revenge) for the death of Scar, and also with placing Kovu in as the new leader of the Pride Rock...pride (LOL - the words today!). Was Niju a strong antagonist? No. But then, I did point out, in my opening statement of this article, that some of the comparisons might be seen as tenuous. So it's all good. Heh heh...

BEAST
BEAST
August 17, 2006
Is not currently on the site
Interesting article.

August 17, 2006
Is not currently on the site
*raises hand* If I may differentiate, I do not think Niju and Zira were that alike. They may have both stood by their beliefs, but they are definately more different than they are alike and here's why. Niju was not a very strong antagonist (he DID run away after all) Whereas Zira was a very strong antagonist, both mentally and physically and she NEVER gave up, even when she died. Niju was not scary. I look at Zira now and I wonder why I was not afraid of her when I was little, she scares me presently. Niju was not obsessed with becoming a leader, he was obsessed (tho I think obsessed is too strong a word, even) with not leaving his territory. Zira was obsessed with Scar and having Kovu become leader and to overrule Simba no matter what. That was all she ever thought about. Niju didn't have any children (that we know of) and Zira did have children, and seeing by how much her children were afraid of her, showed that she may have been pretty abusive. But to top it all off, Niju was not mentally unstable. Zira was, you look at her today and you can see how messed up in the head she was. Ok, I'll admit, just to show that I'm paying attention to "the other side" they both were "stuck in the past" in their own ways, but they still had more differences than similarities in my eyes. Just thought that I'd point out how screwed up Zira was (and no im not saying she was a dislikable character)

August 16, 2006
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
wow! great article;)

August 16, 2006
Is not currently on the site
I didn't know Jim cummings did Ed! Weird...

Guest
Guest
August 16, 2006
Is not currently on the site
Heh heh heh... ;) :p

August 16, 2006
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
Well I wonder where I seen this before.;)

Guest
Guest
August 16, 2006
Is not currently on the site
I guess you COULD say that, early in Balto 1, Nikki, Kaltag and Star each had some similarities to Shenzi, Banzai and Ed. Shenzi, the leader, is rather acerbic and out-spoken, like Kaltag. Banzai is known for his quips and witicisms, like Nikki. And Ed is, well, "Ed". Like Star is, well, "Star". LOL. They're both goofballs. So, in that limited sense, they are similar too (and, like Nikki, Kaltag and Star, who grumble about Steele behind his back early in Balto 1, so do Shenzi, Banzai and Ed grumble about Scar behind HIS back!). That is, until the point where they diverge...when Nikki, Kaltag and Star see how honorably and bravely Balto acted, and how selfishly, treacherously and brutally Steele acted. Heh... ;)

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