Balto II: Wolf Quest
May 8, 2019
(The Channel Awesome logo and the title sequence play)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. We all remember the true story of Balto– (abruptly looks away, snickering and trying not to laugh) I'm sorry, I said "true story" and "Balto" in the same sentence! But to be fair, it is about as authentic as the true story of Bohemian Rhapsody– (looks away, snickering some more)
(Footage of Balto is shown)
NC (vo): While Balto was not a box office darling in the least, lasting only three weekends and making back only a third of its budget, it did find a decent life on television and VHS/DVD. So, it only figured to make a sequel.
(A picture of Balto appears next to NC, moving its mouth and eyes. The character is voiced by Doug)
Balto: A cinematic sequel?
NC: Whoa, whoa, whoa! This is the early 2000s, ("Balto'"s smile goes down) and you know what they do with hand-drawn animated sequels in the early 2000s.
Balto: Straight to DVD?...
NC: Correct! And you know how good those always are, right? ("Balto" starts leaving NC slowly) Right?! (A gunshot is heard, to NC's astonishment) Wow, I've never seen a dog put himself down before.
(The title for Balto II: Wolf Quest is shown, followed by its clips)
NC (vo): Balto II: Wolf Quest...
NC: Again, (nods, smiling) totally a true story...
NC (vo): ...is the follow-up to Balto made a mere seven years later, released once again by Universal. As as usual, with straight-to-DVD releases, the animation isn't as good as the original, but where Balto II lacks in its visual elements, it... really lacks in its storytelling elements. Which, okay, is kinda to be expected of these DVD releases, but does it in any way hold a candle to its imperfect, yet still entertaining predecessor?
NC: (as a poster for Balto III: Wings of Change appears) Well, they made a third one, so... (throws arms out, grinning) Who cares?! Money! (To a cash register sound effect, the Photoshopped dollar bills start falling down) This is Balto II.
(The title "Wolf Quest" is shown in a cloudy sky, made with ice)
NC (vo): From the font, I'm already expecting to see (The end shot of the intro for Wolf's Rain is shown) four canines to chase after a flower...
NC: ...That concept's surprisingly more interesting that it sounds.
(The film opens with the main character, Balto, chasing a crow on a thin ice that is breaking as he runs. Balto encounters a pack of wolves with glowing eyes)
NC (vo): We see Balto literally on thin ice, as he follows a bird to a giant ice wall. The ice breaks, though, as he sees other wolves in the distance.
(During this scene, the background score by Adam Berry is the inuit chanting followed by a crow's cawing. This is repeated again)
NC: What is this, the score by Al Pacino from Scent of a Woman?
(The scene is replayed, but the crow's cawing is replaced by clips of Frank Slade (Pacino) from 1992's Scent of a Woman saying "Hoo-ah!". It is revealed that this was a dream Balto was seeing, and he's awakened by Boris splashing water on him)
Boris: You were having dream again.
NC (vo): It turns out it's just a dream, as Boris played this time by Charles Fleischer instead of Bob Hoskins...
NC (vo): ...wakes up Balto, played this time by Maurice LaMarche instead of Kevin Bacon. (scoffs) Yeah. Like he's known for doing impressions at all.
Balto: It's just a dream.
Boris: (gets closer to Balto) I'm telling you, boychik, if you keep having same dream again and again, it means something!
NC: (as Boris) For instance, I have dream Aflac duck will kill me! (points to his right eye) I still sleep with one eye open every night! (He suddenly hears a voice whispering "Aflac..." and looks above nervously)
(It is shown that Balto is living in an abandoned ship)
NC (vo): Apparently, being a hero dog isn't as rewarding as one would think, as they spend the night in a shipwrecked boat. Yeah, everything went to shit (The Photoshopped box image for Wheaties is shown with the husky Togo on it) after Togo protested he should be on the Wheaty box.
(Wandering around, Balto and Boris see a totem pole with several animal faces carved on it)
Boris: Look! A totem pole!
NC (vo): They come across a totem pole that apparently has the same animals Balto saw in his dream.
Balto: They're just wood carvings, Boris.
Boris: Humans use them to tell stories. But of what, I don't know.
NC: (as Balto) Ah, what animated direct-to-DVD movies were back then.
(In the outskirts of Nome, a small terrier is shown running to the camera (actually, to Balto and Boris), barking wildly)
NC: (as Balto) I've only just met you, and you convinced me. Dog genocide is a good idea.
(Balto enter a building and sees with surprise that Jenna, with whom he got closer before, has given birth to a six puppies, one of them having the hair similar to Balto while the others have Jenna's color)
NC (vo): Jack-Two-Point-Blow tells him that Jenna has just given birth. She's played this time by Jodi Benson instead of Bridget Fonda.
Balto: Oh, Jenna. They're so beautiful. Just like you.
NC: (as Balto) I mean...beautiful enough to be here when they're born, but understand, I had a nap!
(The terrier bursts into the bulding, still barking wildly, but Boris kicks him away)
NC: (hand on cheek) You can tell an animator really liked drawing that.
(The scene is replayed. After eight weeks pass, we're shown Balto having nightmares again, and them to him at morning seeing his puppies playing with Jenna)
NC (vo): The pups get older, as Balto continues to be, apparently, a real deadbeat dad!
Jenna: Good morning, sleepyhead. Did you forget about watching the pups today while my girl and I go on a picnic?
NC: (as Balto) I don't think you understand just how important these naps are. They prepare me for my daily slumber.