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Parent reviews for Balto

Common Sense says

Brave dog saves kids in fun but tense fact-based film.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 18 reviews
Adult Written byRed_Wolf April 9, 2008

Balto - Turely a magical film!

Based on a true American legend, the story takes place in 1925 in a small, snow-covered town of Nome, Alaska. There lives an animal by the name of Balto. He is part wolf, part dog. He lives as a tramp and a loner. One day, the community started to break out with a certain sickness. Quick action had be taken now in order to obtain the special medicine needed to cure it - but the nearest provider was over 650 miles away. The only way to retrieve the medicine across the frozen, harsh terrain was to set out on a dog-sled team. This would be no easy task. They need to find the best dogs for the mission. Even if they do, they have to face the most severe threats of the Alaskan plains. Time is of esence. Determinded to get the medication, Balto, along with is friends, set out on a dangerous adventure that would be mean the difference between life or death. Moral content: The story comes together as one big quest, won over with courage, perseverance, and love. I believe the main character, Balto, is an ideal figure on how a hero should be. He is humble in his ways and strives to do what is good, dispite his downcast (and somewhat hated) reputation by the town. His friends, though few, are loyal to him and stay by his side. Violence: Very brief; Balto is grabbed and thrown at a jagged wall of rocks, which leaves him passed out momentarily. Steel falls off a steep cliff and is banged along rocks and debris on his way down. Sexaul content: None. Though, it's a little intimate when Jenna lays herself over Balto to warm him up.Language: Mild threats; Steel tells Balto that he'll turn him into a "cat toy" and that he'll "tear him apart". Summary: This has to be one of the best animated films I've ever seen. Unforgetable characters, lessons of bravery, humility, and endurance, a beautiful musical soundtrack, and the quest to save others. It didn't score high at the box office, but it has scored high with many Christian and morally oriented families, and it will continue live and pass down as a beloved, classic Universal Studios films. Balto gets my two paws... eh, two thumbs up!
Adult Written bydpsg January 9, 2010
It's a feel good movie in the end. I got it based on the write-up here that did not mention how much tension there is. There are some scary parts (for even my sensitive 6 year old boy)...some frightening scenes with a mean bully antagonist dog (Steele), a very scary grizzly bear encounter and the general sad and suspenseful theme that the children are about to die if the dogs don't bring back the needed anti-toxin. It was a happy, feel good ending and a sweet story - obviously embellished from reality to make it into an exciting kid movie...but could spark an interest in learning more about the real Balto and the Iditarod. I felt that there was a fair amount of focus on romance and the girl dogs trying to win Steele's attention and Steele and Balto kind of vying for another dog's love...but it wasn't a huge deal. Only mildly stereotypical at times. I just don't see the need for it personally. My 3 year old who is sensitive and hasn't seen many movies loved it in the end and just covered her eyes a few times so I think it's fine for 3 and up but probably best for 4 or 5 and up if your kids are really sensitive to scary stuff.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Positive Messages
Parent of a 6 and 6 year old Written byjagness April 9, 2008

More to life than ABC's

Lots of "edutainment" videos teach letters, numbers, colors, etc.; but for complex social issues there are not many sources. If you want your children to grasp honor, duty, self-sacrifice, humility, dedication (I could go on. . .) Balto is one of the best sources out there. Balto is based on a true story, so the example he sets is tangible and teachable. I plan to take my soon-to-be 5 year old twin boys to the Cleveland Museum where Balto's history is kept alive. Hopefully this will spark an early interest in doing "research"! Best of all, adults can watch Balto without being bored so it truly is a family film.
Parent of a 5 and 9 year old Written bykaloren June 12, 2011

Great family adventure

This is a great movie about helping others and courage. Yet, it can get really scary with dogs figting and coffins that are kid sized. Be sure your kids are ready for the intenses scenes first.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008

Great Hero Movie

A movie for the whole family.
Parent of a 12 year old Written bystaton casinos February 26, 2011

rebekahs review

i love it so

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Positive role models
Parent Written by[email protected] December 19, 2017


The real story of Balto is very interesting and would make a good movie. I don't know why they told this story instead. My daughter liked it and it was fun, but they didn't pay any attention to the facts. Yes, it was about a long sled adventure to get medication for people suffering with diphtheria, but the similarities end there.
Parent of a 1 year old Written byHolly R. March 3, 2019

The real Balto wasn't part wolf...

I loved this movie as a child and it's hero was a wolf-dog hybrid facing canine racism and saving the day. I learned to have respect for minority groups except I now feel lied to as an adult after learning that Balto was a pure bred husky and NOT a wolf mix like the movie teaches. I knew that parts were going to be fictionalized since dogs don't talk or have geese as surrogate parents but the fact that the real Balto was just a normal pure breed and not a wolf hybrid makes the story less powerful and also makes me feel like I was emotionally manipulated to sympathize with minorities by a bold face lie. Don't get me wrong as it's still a good movie but the lessons I originally took away from the anti racism message that is deeply ingrained in it's "based on a true story" plot and the real Balto wasn't even a simple mix breed. Also sends the wrong messages about wolf hybrids and animal safety since Balto is falsely shown to be a dangerous mix with a sweet personality but he was NEVER a wolf mix. And yes I was expecting it to deviate from the truth for the sake of animation but the fact that he wasn't the type of animal the movie makers scripted him to be. It would be like instead of Disney staying somewhat accurate by keeping Pocahontas a Native American, that they decided to turn her blue and make her an alien life form and teaching it as historical fact. Or instead of Mulan being Chinese they decided to make her Egyptian or some other inaccurate race. It's a good movie with a powerful message that relies heavy on the canine race card that never existed. I still like the movie but I feel like there's a line between having inaccuracies because of censorship for the young audience and straight up lying about what the hero was to make a platform for an anti racism message that is simply NOT true. The real Balto never had to go through the stigma of being part wolf or being an unlikely hero because of his heritage because he was a pure bred Husky. So conflicted with this one and so saddened by the manipulation of the falsified unlikely hero trope. It loses it's "true story" inspiration message and simply becomes a movie that is nothing more than a preachy lie.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent of a 4 and 7 year old Written bymadame pierre January 26, 2019

Good message, interesting story

We were all engaged watching this movie about a half wolf, half dog save a town by running through a snowstorm to get vaccines. There were intense moments, but they were brief. No gross humor. Good messages. Good voices (Kevin Bacon, Bridget Fonda, Bob Hoskins, etc).

This title contains:

Positive Messages