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Balto WQ faces behind the characters

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Balto WQ faces behind the characters

Post by Firefoxwolffie on Sun May 11, 2008 7:38 am

BALTO 2: WOLF QUEST
The least-well received by Balto cartoon fans...mostly due to the poor animation and art quality, but perhaps also because of the odd storyline, which departs from the dogsledding foundations of the first movie, and because a lot of younger Balto cartoon fans don't care for Aleu's personality (which I rather thought was quite appropriate for the character's age and gender, frankly. lol). There are still some memorable characters (and great voices) which come from this first sequel to the Balto cartoon "franchise", even if it was produced by a different department at Universal Pictures, and without the involvement of either Steven Spielberg's Amblimation (now Amblin Entertainment), or of essentially ALL of the original actors and voice talent artists. Clearly, the writers wanted to explore Balto's wolf origins a bit more with this movie. However, they may have overdone it a bit with the resulting storyline, and the reliance upon Native American mysticism and throwing it haphazardly into the midst of a wolf pack as if that were natural and expected.

This was also the point where Universal decided to do what other production companies do with their sequels...go direct-to-video rather than televised or theatrical release, which saved lots of money in production costs, but also shows through in quality - as direct-to-video productions are NEVER budgeted as much money as theatrical ones. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0281634)

To wit:

1. Balto
From this point forward, Balto was recast with veteran voice talent artist Maurice LaMarche, who has had a long and noteworthy career in cartoon work, and played some pretty big characters and in some pretty big cartoons! Personally, I feel that he did a much more emotive and dramatic job of portraying Balto than Kevin Bacon did in the first movie. And it only improved by the next sequel. However, this is somewhat understandable...Maurice LaMarche's whole career is built around voice work. Kevin Bacon's done very little...and being an actor, he's got to think not only about his voice, but also his facial expressions and physical acting. Yet, while most Balto fans seem to think that LaMarche's voice is a lot different than Bacon's (he does portray Balto with a bit of an older, grittier sound), if you listen to the two voices immediately one after the other, you'll find a remarkable similarity in timbre and tonal quality. LaMarche, in fact, was working to sound like an older (and more emotive) Kevin Bacon. That's how I see (and hear) it. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_LaMarche)





2. Jenna
For both sequels, Jenna was recast with veteran voice talent artist Jodi Benson, who has done A LOT of great work, but is most known for giving voice to Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid (and its sequels), and Lady from Disney's Lady And The Tramp 2: Scamp's Adventure. I think she did a good job in the two sequels. However, her voice is not as soft and smooth as Bridget Fonda's Jenna...that's for sure. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jodi_Benson)





3. Aleu
The scrappy, emotionally-conflicted, rebellious "teenaged" Aleu is played quite well by actress Lacey Chabert, who's been in a long string of B-movies (and a few noteworthy ones, like Daddy Day Care and Not Another Teen Movie), and also done some voice talent work. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacey_Chabert)





4. Boris
The companion and "father" of Balto is recast, for the sequels, with veteran voice talent artist and occasional actor Charles Fleischer, a veteran of some FAMOUS cartoon work! He's most noted for his portrayal of Roger Rabbit and Bennie the Cab in the Disney movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit, though he has a LONG list of credits to his work. Personally, I thought he didn't portray Boris as well as Bob Hoskins...he came off as a bit too, well, stereotypical Jewish mother rather than feisty, irascible Russian (no offense intended towards anyone). Still, Fleischer's talent should never be underestimated! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Fleischer)





5. Aniu
Balto's mysterious mother, a "spirit guide" in this movie, is given voice by television actress Monnae Michaell, who's appeared in many television series primarily in guest roles. Her beautiful voice lends an other-worldly, ethereal quality to Balto's mother, and makes her one of the most memorable characters of the entire movie (if perhaps one of the least-seldom seen). This character is, of course, the one which the sequels producer, Phil Weinstein, confirmed is the same as the unnamed, mysterious white wolf which appears to Balto in the first movie, though that fact was not established IN that movie in any way. (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0910563)





6. Nava
The other rather mysterious character in this movie, Nava is portrayed as a sort of "wolf shaman", so to speak. He is the leader of the clan (pack) of wolves in the movie, and has some "magical" powers (which of course is where things really get weird). Still, he is a good, wise old character, and likeable as well. And to bring him "to life", they couldn't have chosen a better talent than veteran actor David Carradine, who has appeared in a great many movies and television shows, but most noteably the Kung Fu TV series. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Carradine)





7. Niju
The "bad" wolf bully of Nava's pack, who seems to get a lot of bad reactions from young Balto cartoon fans (mainly because they show whiskers on him...which, my dear friends, ALL dogs and other canines have...even if they rarely appear in animation), he is still not a poor character, even if some of you seem to want to compare him to a weak version of Steele also. He is portrayed by another veteran actor, Mark Hamill (known best of all for his recurring role of Luke Skywalker in the first three Star Wars movies to be released theatrically, episodes 4-6). He has also done a LOT of voice talent work in cartoons, and has appeared as the character The Joker in the Warner Brothers animated series Batman, Superman and Justice League...which demonstrates his incredible flexibility of talent. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Hamill)





8. Muru
Another "spirit guide" in the movie, Muru is the wise little singing mouse who appears to Aleu. And he is played by actor Peter MacNicol, who has appeared in many popular and noteworthy movies over the years (usually playing a spineless, snivelling fall guy for other characters), and amassed a great deal of credit for them. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_MacNicol)





9. Dingo
The only case of a male character being voiced by an actress (in the Balto cartoons), the puppy Dingo is voiced by young Nicolette Little, who appeared in a series of B-movies and some television episodes, but is quite a talented little girl! (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0514639)





10. Saba
One of only four puppies of Balto and Jenna named in this movie (the others are, of course, Aleu, Dingo and Kodi. Two were mysteriously left unnamed). Saba was voiced by young Melanie Spore, who did some minor voice talent work in a few cartoon movies, but nothing more. And there is no picture for her at all anywhere on the internet. (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0819434)





11. Sumac (and the terrier and "wolverine #2")
Voice talent artist Rob Paulsen was given three roles to play in this movie (as were a few other voice talent artists), playing not only the annoying terrier who announces the birth of Balto & Jenna's pups, and one of the wolverine spirit guides who appear to Balto, but also Sumac, the whiny, snivelly, tan, flea-bitten wolf who is one of Niju's underlings. This is a funny character, and Paulsen does a great job with him. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Paulsen)





12. Nuk (and the hunter)
Veteran voice talent artist Joe Alaskey (catchy name, huh? lol) gives voice not only to the Inuit hunter who tries to shoot Aleu, but also to the big brown wolf who is another of Niju's underlings - the one who's always hungry. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Alaskey)





13. Yak
The last of Niju's underlings, the lazy, whiney gray wolf is portrayed very well by veteran voice talent artist Jeff Bennett. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Bennett)





14. Muk & Luk (and "wolverine #1")
The comic relief characters of Muk & Luk were recast, for the Balto sequels, with voice talent artist Kevin Schon, who is in semi-retirement, though he has often done voice over work for other cartoons (and often replaces actor Nathan Lane for characters he's done). Schon is no apparent relation to Journey band member Neil Schon. He also portrays one of the wolverine "spirit guides" who appear to Balto in this movie. Apparently, though, he's not well-known enough for a head shot or photo anywhere on the internet. lol (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0774735)





15. Fox (and "wolverine #3")
Veteran voice talent artist Mary Kay Bergman gives voice to two "spirit guides" in this movie: Fox, "the cunning trickster", and the third "wolverine". She's done some great voice over work in her time! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Kay_Bergman)

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Re: Balto WQ faces behind the characters

Post by Saske italian wolfeer on Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:06 am

that's very cool Very Happy I didn't know some voice of WQ's characters!!
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Re: Balto WQ faces behind the characters

Post by Firefoxwolffie on Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:12 pm

yea It is cool to see all of them I would have pics but takes up alot of room Smile

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