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  • Full Frame
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Interactive game
Balto 2 - Wolf Quest
Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 72 mins . G . PAL


Balto 2 – Wolf Quest is the follow up animated feature to the very successful Balto. The difference this time is that the story is purely fictional. Balto and Jenna have just had a litter of six puppies. After eight weeks, all are ready for adoption by humans, but one is not wanted. While five of the pups are like their mother both in looks and attitude, Aleu is different, she looks and acts like her father - like a wolf. After a near tragic incident, Balto is forced to tell Aleu the truth, why humans won’t trust her. Being hotheaded, she runs away to try and find her true place in the world. Balto goes looking for her, himself having recurring dreams, and they both end up on a voyage of discovery.

As was the case with the first Balto, there are several moral issues covered in this film. They are portrayed in such a way as to not be preaching to kids, something that is often done far too easily. The only down side to this feature is that it seems to get lost a bit in the mystical aspect of the story. Some children may find certain sections a little hard to follow, but should enjoy the story regardless. There are other small things that could have been done better. For instance, there is a new character that appears right at the start of the film, in the form of a bouncing Scottish Terrier. This character is very amusing, but disappears after the first section, never to be seen again. Another thing missing is the original voices, although the majority of characters appear again. The replacement cast does a very good job though, with the only names of note being Mark Hamill and David Carradine.


Presented in full frame and not 16x9 enhanced, the transfer is very nice, although not as good as the first. The picture is very sharp, with great attention to detail. Colours are vibrant and used to a greater extent than in the first Balto. Being summer this time, there are more greens and blues which all look wonderful. There are no signs of any artefacts or pixelisation.

Audio provided this time around is again Dolby Digital 5.1. The majority of the sound is across the front, with the rear speakers used to great effect for directional effects and also for the music score. Separation is not used excessively, but is used well when needed. There are a few songs, which are well placed and not too sappy, as is sometimes the case in animated features. Subtitles are in English and are true to the original dialogue.

There are two extras available. The first is the ET Theatrical Trailer, running for 1:30 and presented in a 1.78:1 ratio with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. Secondly, there is an interactive DVD-ROM game called, funnily enough, Balto - Wolf Quest. The game is very similar to the old Frogger arcade game, only this time it's Balto that has to cross the stream by jumping onto floating blocks of ice. A simple, fun game that the kids should enjoy.

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  •   And I quote...
    "Not quite up to the standard of the original, but well worth a look anyway."
    - Adrian Turvey
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