|Referred:|| Some Dog|
(by the Telegrapher) Glory Hound (By Jenna)
The Dog (by Boris),
|Occupation:|| Sled Dog (Lead Dog)(formerly)|
|Design By:|| Carlos Grangel|
|Voiced By:||Jim Cummings|
|“|| I'll get us back. I'm the lead dog! I'm in charge!
Steele is the main antagonist of Balto, the first film of the trilogy. He is a selfish and aggressive Alaskan Malamute and the lead dog of the fastest dogsled team in Nome. Steele often bullies Balto over his wolf heritage.
The most famous dog in Nome, Steele takes pride in his popularity amongst both the village humans and the dogs, often showing off in front of his admirers. He is incredibly arrogant, selfish and egocentric, often swaggering up to females in the hopes of impressing them with nothing but his looks and reputation.
His occupation is highly motivated by fame among both human and animals around Nome.
He also likes Jenna, but she sees through his lies and loves Balto the pure-hearted instead, which further strengthens Steele's hatred and jealousy of Balto. He is also dishonest, claiming that Balto and the rest of the team had died, but at the end of the film, when everyone finds out, all of his lies cause him to be shunned and disliked by those who used to respect him. He is mean and sarcastic when he gets on Balto's nerves. He is sneaky, treacherous, envious, extroverted, loathsome, eccentric, temperamental, empathetic, egotistical, very talkative, somewhat of a pervert and energetic as well. He is also heartless, as he prevents Balto and the sled team from returning with the medicine, not caring that the children will die if the medicine isn't delivered.
Steele is a large, muscular, Alaskan Malamute. He has eyes are ice blue and his nose is black. Among other dogs, females, in particular, he is considered enviable and desirable.
Steele was in the middle of a race but in a desperate attempt to win, he tries to bite the dog on the opposite side and this cause them to bump to each other. Steele laughs at the musher as he seems to know the action he caused to lose. When he was about to reach the finish line, he first encountered Balto (in the movie, Steele's behavior towards Balto is an obvious indication that they have met on prior occasions) after being outrun by the latter in a race while rescuing Rosy's hat. His musher was rethinking about Steele being the fastest but the other guy replies that Steele can be outrun, Steele was angered after that comment once he heard Balto's name he glared at him and later he saw Rosy's dad makes Balto go away, Steele starts asking Jenna out to celebrate his win with her but she'll reject it then Steele makes an insult that maybe he has feeling for Balto, Jenna was presumably going to deny it but her owners tell her to that they're going back home. When Balto was alone in a dark alley, he comes in and insults him and calls him "Bingo", as he saw Boris with him, he insults him if he's part anything. After that, Balto tries to make him go away but Steele turns back and smacks him with his tail then tells him he has a message for his mother (he presumes that Balto's mom is a wolf, however, he doesn't know anything about Balto). Steele catches Balto growling and showing his teeth but he orders his lackeys to bark at him. He insults Balto again and tells him to go to his pack and spits at him. While Boris and Balto are walking away, he throws snow at them and he throws a rock on Balto's head.
Steele later steals sausages and catches Jenna talking with Balto in the boiler room and marches in, carrying a stolen strand of sausages. He openly flirts with Jenna, offering her the meat he has stolen and got her away from Balto, but she refuses it and tricks him into walking against the hot metal boiler. Her and Balto run out, Steele was in pursuit and burst through a door that Balto shut and knocks all of them on their feet. Steele tries to get rid of the sausages and throws the sausages while pointing to where it was going and they get tangled around Balto's legs, making him fall and getting framed. Jenna escapes, but Rosy's father and the butcher find Balto with the sausages and believe he has stolen them. Steele is praised by Rosy's dad for catching the "thief".
Out of jealousy, Steele felt Balto was a threat so he bullied Balto. When the town became sick, there was a relay race for the fastest dog and to choose who would be on the sled dog team that would relay the medicine. Despite being deliberately kicked off the course by a competitor, Balto was the rightful winner of the race (by taking a special & longer route to catch up), but right after the race ended, Steele would be shocked and would tell Balto that he'll never be a sled dog which Jenna scolds Steele for being a glory-hound. When his musher was gonna check Balto, Steele stomps on Balto's paw as a musher reaches to pet him, forcing Balto to growl in pain and bare his teeth, making the humans believe that the wolf-dog is aggressive and dangerous. This causes Balto to be disqualified from the race, despite being the victor. Steele became the leader of the sled team that would return the medicine to Nome, managing to lead the team successfully to Nenana and halfway back to Nome before becoming lost.
When Steele was in a middle of heavy snow falling, Star tells him if he knows where he's going and he tells him where's he is going but later they would go to the same place he was before and Star tells him he's going in circle and this would anger him, he rushes to find a different direction and he'll lead the team to a slippery cliff and would knock out his musher. Steele was stranded there for a while.
Balto discovers Steele and his team at the edge of a large ravine. Despite Balto's pleas for Steele to let him help take the medicine back to Nome (knowing that the children will die if the medicine does not get there in time), Steele tries to tell him to get back or he'll "tear" him apart but when Balto tries to get it back, he attacks him, making obvious that he thinks Balto as a threat to his position. Balto refuses to fight back but still manages to escape Steele. Steele than tries to pull him off the cliff but the red bandana that Jenna gave Balto unties and causes him to fall down the ravine, surviving. Having demonstrated his good nature and noble intention to bring the serum back to Nome at all costs, Balto gains the unconditional support of the other dogs on the team. They pick up the trail and head back without Steele. Despite his fall, Steele manages to follow Balto's trail back to Nome, marking all of the trees around the ones Balto already marked to confuse him. He returns to Nome and meets up with the dogs there. He lies and tells them through fake tears that the rest of the sled dogs had frozen to death and that Balto had destroyed the medicine. He fibs that before Balto died, he told him to take care of Jenna. Jenna realizes that Balto would have never told Steele to do such a thing and tells all the other dogs who believe Steele's story that he's lying. But no one believes her due to her love for Balto.
Steele's strategy of marking the trees initially manages to catch Balto off his guard, resulting in him becoming lost. Balto realizes what Steele has done and finds his way back to Nome by scent. Balto's return results in him being accepted as a beloved hero and the undoing of Steele's lies. The dogs of Nome realize Jenna was right all along about the truly despicable liar Steele truly is, so they turn against him. This is a complete reversal of their roles at the beginning of the movie where Steele was the town's most popular dog and Balto was the hated outcast. It is unknown what became of Steele after the events in Balto, as he was never seen or mentioned in the sequels.
- Steele is mistakenly thought to be a mix between a malamute and a husky (due to his blue eyes and malamutes have brown). This is not true. According to the filmmakers, Steele is a purebred malamute who has pale blue eyes to reflect his evil and deceptive nature.
- He is considered by many to be the evilest villain in the Balto trilogy.
- Niju, the main antagonist of Balto II: Wolf Quest, is based on Steele.
- Phil Weinstein explained that in the original script for Balto III: Wings of Change, Steele was one of the volunteers who would help Balto on his search for Duke.
- Steele was originally going to die in Balto but was scrapped due to how dark it was.
- Brendan Fraser was originally supposed to voice Steele but was discarded.