Thoughts on Balto

After watching Balto and having our discussion in class the other day, I have a few lingering thoughts. One topic that we did not discuss was gender roles and sexuality. Like in many other movies we have seen, the females are usually in lighter colors and do not have main roles, but rather side roles as seducers and such. Jen uses her sexuality to trick Steel and it works quite well. Steel is also one stereotype of males. He is strong, a leader, independent, and loved by everyone—especially the ladies. Balto also represents another stereotype of males, which is that he is the hero. When Jen comes to find Balto to help him on his journey, she gets wounded and has to turn back. This symbolizes that men are only cut out to be sled dogs and heroes and that women are not fit enough to help in these situations. But while Balto is out being the hero and saving the village, Jen is at home caring for Rosie and it shows the maternal instincts in females and their roles as caretakers. It is interesting to think that this movie is made with children in mind as the audiences and writers and directors are subtly slipping in hints as to what the typical female or male should act like.

Another similarity in the movie that I noticed was that in every movie there seams to be a posse of some sort that follow and support the main character. There always seems to be a wise one like the goose in Balto or Rafiki in The Lion King. These characters support the main character because he is usually a bit of an outcast and they always form a group of misfits. As we watch more of these movies in class, I am starting to see more and more the similarities in the messages and characters in these kid movies.


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