Symbolism behind the White Wolf
We all know the famous 'White Wolf' scene in Balto, where a mysterious white wolf appears to give Balto strength and to remind him of his roots.
But the scene can be taken apart further to show more symbols in Balto's life. When I examined the scene, I found three that stood out.
The Color White
White, traditionally, symbolizes purity. This can be seen as irony, as Balto doesn't see himself as pure due to his heritage.
Some believe the color white symbolizes freedom; which is appropriate for this wolf. After meeting the wolf, Balto is 'free' of his self-loathing.
This came from Wikipedia, but can also be applied.
'A white flag is an international sign of either surrender, or truce, that is, it is a sign of peaceful intent, typically at time of war.'
In this scene, Balto's body language and face have shown he has given up.
The white wolf has been cast by some as a spirit. This makes sense. A white wolf would be more "angelic" in appearance than a black wolf, which can be viewed as a harbinger of death or despair.
Snow and Wind
The snow and wind can be considered a singular entity. Both of them work together to isolate Balto and the wolf, a concept not new to Balto since he has been isolated his entire life up to the serum run. The blizzard treats Balto with the same coldness as the dogs of Nome.
The Initial Introduction
What do I mean by this? Look at the perspective in this shot.
Look at how small Balto is in this shot. Judging by his face, Balto has many emotions going on. Fear, wonder, but more importantly, inferiority.
Let's recap from earlier, Balto is treated by Steele and his cronies as someone below them since they are pure dog. Now there is a huge pure wolf before Balto and that same feeling comes back. As a halfbreed, Balto feels inferior.
So that's what I fished out of it. Did you get anything else out of it? Comment and say so!
(Two screenshots under "White" from Balto Source. Shot from "The Initial Introduction" is from my personal collection.)