What was real, and what was made up?
As everyone knows, Balto is a true story and the movie was changed a bit by many things (making Balto half wolf, fighting with Steele and that, Jenna and the characters, the end that happened to Balto, he was an outcast ect.) NOTE: i am not saying that Balto was too 'dramatic' or 'over-reacted', i love the movie how it is. I thought i should research and explore in the real and not real storys and find out what is the true and not true parts of the movie. But anyway, the question for this article is:
what were the real points in the movie?
The Story: Well, the real story is that Nome caught the deadly diesease called Diptheria and the needed Serum. The only place that they could get Serum was the Alaskan capital, Anchorage. The only way to get the Serum to Nome was by train, and the rail line only went to the small town of Nenana. The fastest way to get the Serum back was by dogsled, and Balto lead the team back to Nome.
Now, the movie is the same story, but changed slightly when it comes to what Balto did. In the movie, they made Balto more, i guess you could say, 'heroic' by traveling to find Steele when he was lost. That, of course, never happened in the movie. the real Balto was actully the last dog that lead the serum from the last relay into Nome. But, the rest is true, and of course the moive is based around this. So, really a lot in the story between real and movie are quite true.
The Character (Balto): The real Balto was born in Nome in 1923 and for two years of his life, before the Diptheria scare, he was used to carry food to minors (when there was the great gold rush in Nome, Alaska). He was found to be a slow dog that was pretty useless. The people of Nome found him as 'not very important'. He was a black husky with white patchs.
Balto in the movie was changed quite a lot. Balto was made a wolf dog in the movie. Why? Well, im not to sure but i guess it was too make his character more interesting and make the story have a good point, A dog cannot make this journey alone... but maybe, a wolf can (besides, if Balto wasn't half wolf, we wouldn't have the wonderful white wolf scene would we?). I think (like i have mentioned in another article) their personalities are similar, but many disagree. But, i think they are, so i guess i could count that as a similarity between real and movie, but it depends on what you think. In the movie, Balto was an outcast with his only friends being Jenna, Boris, Muk and Luk. The real Balto wasn't really an outcast, but maybe the movie stretched the fact of Balto being a 'scrounge' dog and quite useless. Maybe, instead of Balto just being a dog that was poorly known and not very good as a sled dog (of course they were proved wrong weren't they!), they stretched that fact, and made it fit with the 'part wolf' Balto so he was changed to an outcast.
Balto's Journey: As i already metioned, Balto was the last (lead dog to lead a team) of the relay to take the serum back. But what he is most remembered as a hero, because he saved the children by taking it back safly after Gunner Kassen had lost hope of finding his way back to Nome. Gunner Kassen had lost the trail back and gave up hope, but Balto knew the way back and lead the team back to Nome safely.
The movie Balto's journey was a little different. Balto went looking for Steele in a blizzard so he could lead them home. He marked the trail by scratching the trees (of course). When he got there, he had to fight with Steele and then, once he had won, lead the team back to Nome. Now, the movie changed the story and of course there was no dog like Steele that fought Balto and all that. But there are some truths i found hidden. Well, there is of course the obvious one, that there really was a bad blizzard. Here are some of the truths i think may relate to the real story:
1. Balto marked the trail to find his way back, but Steele marked it again wrong so Balto couldn't find his way home. But, Balto managed to find the way back. How? Well, i am not to sure, but he must have remembered the way back after he nearly lost hope and all that. It must have come back to him and even with the trail ruined. He still got back to Nome like the real Balto. Do you see the similarity? When Gunner Kassen gave up, Balto still knew the way back to Nome, like when Steele ruined the trail, Balto still found his way back. I can see a shimmer of truth in that and i don't know if i have just noticed that now after everyone else has, or if it's just a coincidence. But i think, it may be from the true story.
2. Well, i am not to sure about this, but you never know. When Balto had fallen down the cliff (before he met the white wolf), he lost hope of saving the children. I'm not sure, but this may have represented Gunner Kassen, losing hope in the true story. Then Balto saw the white wolf and remebered what Boris has said too him. The theory is a bit thin, sorry. I find it a bit compilcated and i may just be imagining things but you never know really. Then it goes back to Balto, the wolf dog who could make it and save the children of Nome! We don't know what Balto was like when Gunner Kassen lost hope, but maybe he was like that!
And i guess the rest are pretty obvious. There was an avalanch, the bear, ice cave, ice bringe ect. Maybe the ice stuff represents the crossing over the ice into Nome, but i dought it. I guess those things were just to make the movie more interesting. And it did! It made Balto's journey a great adventure! But there are still some questions un-answered that i would like to know.
What happened to Togo? Maybe he was changed into one of the movie Balto's characters such as Kaltag or Star but changed. But i guess if that was the case, they would have kept the name. And also, Gunner Kassen. There was a man in the movie (of course) who was on the sled who we didn't hear the name, i never really thought about it before, but was he Gunner Kassen?
Or was he just a man?
So, there you have it. My points of truth in Balto. I find that they made the movie more exciting and that, but still kept to the real story of Balto. Which made Balto a very enjoyable movie to watch!