The white wolf

Date : July 20, 2015

Category : Film questions

Question :


Hello Simon Wells!

I was curious about knowing if you had a precise idea about who the white wolf was for Balto: his mother? father? brother? Or just a random wolf with a mystical appearance?

And depending on your answer, are you happy with what it has become on Balto 2?


Best answer :


(Note: I excluded the question on Balto 2 since Simon has not seen the sequels.)

Here is Simon's reply:

"Whether the White Wolf is Balto's father or some kind of ephemeral Spirit of the Wolf is deliberately unstated. The White Wolf Sequence is still my favorite part of the movie, and James Horner's extraordinary score that accompanies it still raises the hairs on the back of my neck.

We wanted to keep it mystical and vague - is this a real event or is it some kind of hallucination that Balto is experiencing? All of these were reasons to not have the White Wolf speak or in any way explain himself. Perhaps the Wolf is a manifestation of Balto's inner voice, telling him to take ownership and use that part of him that he has always been ashamed of - certainly that is the message Balto takes from the encounter, real or not.

(And by the way, if it was really his dad why didn't the old man help him drag the antitoxin up the cliff?)"

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August 09, 2015
Site Builder (Content), Site Builder (Gr... Usa Female Is not currently on the site
Path of the Demon
"Good argument. Well, about wolf pack. Maybe it sounds strange, but wolves are much friendly than dogs in this movie (and I love wolves). The big wolf (the leader) with dark fur can be female too, because two another (censored) woves (with light grey fur) have the same size. So, it can be female wolf with 3 cubs (2 adults and 1 little wolf-puppy). Unfortunately, relationships of Balto and wolves haven't so many time in the movie."

When wolves from another pack are close to the boarder of another pack's territory, howling is a way to mark their territory. But in Balto's case, I believe that scene was meant to show how Balto doesn't want to accept that he's part wolf.

"The only thing I could not understand why Balto so wants to be a dog (dogs and humans despised, offended and abused him), but he's so much ashamed by kinship with wolves (however, wolves are quite friendly to Balto)."

Balto was never "abused" in the film... He's frowned upon because he's a wolf hybrid. People back then were fearful of wolves, so the reactions the human characters had weren't unrealistic. As for Balto himself "wanting to be a dog", the answer is obvious...

August 09, 2015
Is not currently on the site
Good argument. Well, about wolf pack. Maybe it sounds strange, but wolves are much friendly than dogs in this movie (and I love wolves). The big wolf (the leader) with dark fur can be female too, because two another (censored) woves (with light grey fur) have the same size. So, it can be female wolf with 3 cubs (2 adults and 1 little wolf-puppy). Unfortunately, relationships of Balto and wolves haven't so many time in the movie.


The only thing I could not understand why Balto so wants to be a dog (dogs and humans despised, offended and abused him), but he's so much ashamed by kinship with wolves (however, wolves are quite friendly to Balto).

August 08, 2015
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
Demon Among Angels
In regards to the 'the real wolf would immediately kill balto' comment. Shall I remind you of the wolves from the beginning of the film? If I interpreted the scene correctly, it appeared to me as though the wolves wanted to acknowledge Balto, the leader even appeared to invite Balto to join them but he refused because he felt he didn't belong. It's more than likely they at least one of these wolves were male, and while I agree there would likely be conflict if it were a real wolf and dog, this is a cartoon movie and reality can be bent a little in it.

As for the canon thing, I think that both of the sequels are to be regarded as canon regardless of this question and answer. They were released by Universal as the official sequels to the first film and so to me they are still canon. However, it is up to the fans whether or not they want to acknowledge them as such. Me personally, I shall consider the sequels as canon, but that's just me. Now, this isn't to say that the creators of the sequels done so without the permission of the first film's team, but we should still acknowledge that Universal did approve these as canon to the film's timeline, as such I'd say they are canon.

On a completely different note, I thank Simon for taking the time out of his no doubt busy schedule to answer these questions for us. ^^

August 08, 2015
Is not currently on the site
Acanis, I totally agree with you. I prefer to believe the author of the original. However, I still think that the white wolf was only an illusion (agree, wolves, especially males, are very aggressive to other males - I want to say that the real wolf (Simon said it was not Balto's dad) immediately would kill Balto). To be honest (I say straight, I've never seen WQ), as a child, I named this character "She-Wolf," I do not know why.

In general, I am very satisfied (thank you, Simon) with the answer of Simon Wells to my question, "Who was a wolf in Balto's family". He said that Balto's mother was a dog (she's a working sled dog), and his father was a wolf. And I was the first and last, who really believed in this (and I was right). Unfortunately (well, it's my fault), I forgot to ask Simon about names and appearance of Balto's parents (maybe later I'll feel lucky)...

Hmm, I see you know about "Balto: The Junior Novelization". I want to ask you. Were in this book some mention about Balto's parents?

And I hate it when other people do sequels without the permission of the authors of the original film (they did not even bother to learn anything about the original). It's just animated fanfic.

And I guess the same question : Is Balto 2 still canon? I think... NO.

August 07, 2015
Site Builder (Content), Site Builder (Co... Poland Female Is not currently on the site
Big Bad Mod
This anwer is really confusing then xD I like Simon's explanation but too bad he didn't answer the second pat about what he feels of making the white wolf Balto's mother by sequel creators

August 07, 2015
Uk Is not currently on the site
I am so surprised that this has not caused more to comment. I mean this is the biggest, most important development for fans since the movie was released. For 20 years we have discussed this to death and finally we have closure!

I've been saying for years that "Aniu" was meant to be the mysterious white wolf BUT the white wolf was never supposed to be Aniu.... The junior novelisation references the wolf as "he" and now Simon confirms it too. A random male wolf or a concussion induced hallucination either way representing Balto's inner strength and determination to survive all that Alaska can throw at him.

I guess the big question now is.... Is Balto 2 still canon? I say no.

August 05, 2015
Is not currently on the site
YES! Thank you, Simon! I always felt that the White Wolf was Balto's personal illusion!

August 05, 2015
Uk Is not currently on the site
A wonderful answer, thank you Simon, very similar to something I posted a while back. Love it.

August 05, 2015
Site Builder (Content), Site Builder (Gr... Newzealand Male Is not currently on the site
Slack Pack
(Note: I excluded the question on Balto 2 since Simon has not seen the sequels.)

Here is Simon's reply:

"Whether the White Wolf is Balto's father or some kind of ephemeral Spirit of the Wolf is deliberately unstated. The White Wolf Sequence is still my favorite part of the movie, and James Horner's extraordinary score that accompanies it still raises the hairs on the back of my neck.

We wanted to keep it mystical and vague - is this a real event or is it some kind of hallucination that Balto is experiencing? All of these were reasons to not have the White Wolf speak or in any way explain himself. Perhaps the Wolf is a manifestation of Balto's inner voice, telling him to take ownership and use that part of him that he has always been ashamed of - certainly that is the message Balto takes from the encounter, real or not.

(And by the way, if it was really his dad why didn't the old man help him drag the antitoxin up the cliff?)"




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