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Balto II: Wolf Quest- Review/Summary written by Silver Huskey

Introduction:
After seven years Balto finally gets a sequel of it's own. Balto II: Wolf Quest is the continuation of Balto's story that many fans have been waiting for. Even though it wasn't a theatrical release, it was still highly anticipated by fans. And Despite it's minor flaws, many view this film as worthy sequel, myself included. Sure a few things could have been different, toned down, or worked on, but overall the delightfulness of the film far outweighs it's flaws. With a whole new storyline, new characters, and a new purpose in life (not to mention some stunning new animation effects) Balto is back and looking better than ever.

Summary:
Wolf Quest starts out with Balto having a nightmare about going on a journey, following a raven in his dreams. All of his dreams start with him following a raven through a field of ice, and running into a wolf pack. As we find out later Balto never really addressed the issue of his wolf heritage completely in the first movie. After being rudely awakened by Boris, Balto and the goose go into to town to visit Jenna, and walk by a Totem Pole. Boris tells Balto it has something do with his dreams, but he shrugs it off. When they arrive in town they soon find out that Jenna has just had puppies! All of them pretty much look like her, except for one gray-coated girl, who looks much more like Balto. Time passes and soon all of the puppies are adopted, except for the gray-coated one, Aleu.

With a heavy heart Balto tells Jenna that no human will adopt her because she looks so much like a wolf. (In my opinion she still looks like a dog though, but has more wolf tendencies than her father has.) Soon the 8-week-old Aleu is now 1 year old, and no one has adopted her. Balto still holds out hope, however. Until one day a human hunter mistakes her for a wolf, and she narrowly escapes death thanks to Balto, Boris, and Muk and Luk. Balto is forced to tell Aleu the truth, and she is horrified that she is part wolf. At this point we find out that Balto's mother is indeed a wolf (a white wolf no less!), while his father was a husky, something only hinted in the original movie. Aleu runs off to find herself, while Balto chases her (not literally hot on her heels) in the hopes of bringing her home. Jenna, Boris, Muk and Luk stay out of this adventure, as Boris realizes that this is one of those father/daughter moments.

Aleu quests to find herself, while Balto faces his fears; soon the two meet up again, but only after Aleu meets a mystic mouse named Muru who tells her she must look all over to find herself. When Balto and Aleu get together again, they have to fend off a bear to keep themselves alive, another strange twist occurs in this story, Aleu gains an insight (Inner Knowing) of sorts, and can see things from the past and present clearly! So she tells her father they must jump off the steep cliff in order to save themselves. Balto is more than recluatant, so Aleu pushes him off, and jumps off. Instead of falling to their deaths, they land on a ledge, part of Aleu's new insight. She new the ledge was there without seeing it. Balto tells his daughter that it's time to go home, however she refuses to go until she finds herself. Balto then decides to accompany her, and they soon find themselves at a rocky shore.

Unfortunately the touching father daughter moment doesn't last long as four wolves attack them. Three are henchmen of sorts, while one is leading them on. Aleu and Balto decide to take on the three subordinate wolves, however the fight breaks up quickly with the coming of the tide, and everyone runs away to avoid being drowned. (During the fight, fun is poked at the movie "All Dogs Go To Heaven", quite amusing...) Except for Niju (the leader of the three, who reminds me of Steele.) who orders them to keep attacking. Suddenly the whole wolf pack appears on the shore, and the true leader, a wise old wolf named Nava, orders Niju to stand aside. Niju finally does let Balto and Aleu pass, and the two find out that Nava has been waiting for them.

It here that the plot of the story takes an interesting turn. Nava tells the pack that caribou (a deer like creature, that mainly lives in Alaska) will not be returning for the winter, nor any other winter, and they must cross the sea to island to follow the caribou or die from starvation, and Balto must lead them! Balto is reluctant to accept, and Niju takes the opportunity sway the pack away from Nava. Aleu steps up and directly challenges Niju by calling him a coward, and Niju tells everyone it is impossible to swim across the sea to the island. Everyone who believes Niju follows him, while Balto tells Aleu that they're going home in the morning. During the night Aleu has a dream about caribou crossing patches of ice...

In the morning the wolf pack, lead by Niju prepare to strike other wolf packs and steal food from then, but he is cut off by Balto, who has changed his mind. Just when Niju and the pack are about to attack Balto, Nava notices that ice breaks in the sea are lining up to form a bridge, one that extents all the way to the island. Aleu tells everyone she had a similar dream, while Balto confesses he also dreamed of the caribou. Nava warns that Aniu, a white wolf that visits him in his dreams warned that when the time to cross the sea comes, they would have to take it immediately.

Everyone pushes Niju asides, who is bent on staying, and they all prepare to cross the ice blocks. Balto lead them across, while Aleu and Nava bring up the rear. Unfortunately the ice block that Nava is standing on breaks in two and he drifts away from everyone else. Aleu joins him and offers to help, while she tells her father to keep going, and he wishes her luck. However Niju is still furious, and tries to kill Nava. Even though Aleu comes to his rescue, she isn't strong enough to stop Niju. Just when he is about to put a serious hurting on Aleu, Balto steps in again. Niju is shocked that Balto was able to swim so far, so fast, and he backs off. However the wolves on the ice block are left without a leader, and are clueless as what to do. Balto offers to help Nava swim over to the wolves and lead, but he refuses, knowing that the swim would be fatal to him. Balto then gives Niju the chance to lead the pack, but the rouge wolf is overwhelmed by the responsibility, and by leaving home, so runs off, back to the shore.

Balto tells Aleu to watch over Nava, while he leads the pack, but Aleu tells him that he doesn't belong in the wild, while she does. Nava agrees, and admits the one he was waiting for wasn't Balto, but Aleu, and he made a mistake. So father and daughter said their goodbyes, and before leaving Aleu tells Balto to Jenna not to worry, because she has a home now. So with one finally nuzzle, Aleu swims off to lead the pack. Once she reaches the large ice patch, she is pulled onboard, and pack accepts her as their new leader. She howls goodbye to Balto, while the rest of the pack join in as they float away. As she goes Balto remembers Aleu when she was a puppy.

Nava assures Balto that Aleu will make a great leader, and then runs off to find Niju. Balto goes prepares to go home, until he turns around and is greeted by the white wolf, Aniu. She tells him his place is at home with Jenna, and he figures out that Aniu is his mother. After a goodbye howl Aniu takes her leave, and disappears as mysteriously as she came. Balto says goodbye to his mother and begins his journey back to Nome.


"And go to heaven... yeah all doggies go to heaven!" -Sumac