Steele is the main antagonist of the animated film Balto.
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, often swaggering up to females in the hopes of impressing them with nothing but his looks and reputation.
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 a crafty liar, 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, smart, temperamental, empathetic, egotistical, loud-mouthed, somewhat of a pervert and energetic as well.
Steele is a large, muscular, Siberian Malamute. He has black fur, white socks, a white "mask", and a white underbelly. His eyes are ice blue and his nose is black. Among other dogs, females in particular, he is considered enviable and desirable.
Steele was the lead dog on the best dog racing team in Nome, 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 defeated by the latter in a race while rescuing Rosy's hat. After her dad makes Balto go away, Steele starts asking Jenna out 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.
Steele later 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, but she refuses it and tricks him into walking against the hot metal boiler. Her and Balto run out, Steele in pursuit. Steele drops the sausages and they get tangled around Balto's legs, making him fall. Jenna escapes, but Steele's musher and the butcher find Balto with the sausages and believe he has stolen them. Steele is praised by his musher for catching the "theif".
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 tells Balto that he'll never be a sled dog which Jenna scolds Steele for being a glory-hound.
Shortly after that, 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.
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 attacks Balto, 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 off the red bandana that Jenna gave Balto, but fails and 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 relizes 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 that Steele was lying and shun him.
This is a complete reversal of their roles in 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.
- People assumed that Balto's mom was in fact a wolf as he says that he gots a message for his mother and proceeds to howl. The fact is, he was assuming that as Steele doesn't know ANYTHING about Balto other that he's part wolf.
- Niju, the main antagonist of Balto II: Wolf Quest, is based off of 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.
- After the events of the first film Steele's whereabouts are currently unknown for he did not appear in the other two films.
- Steele was originally gonna die in 'Balto' but was scraped due to how dark it was. This also makes him the first character who's death was planned then scraped.
- Steele is the second tallest while Doc being first.
- Steele is often confused for an Siberian Husky due to him having blue eyes and having similier markings but Malamutes CAN have blue eyes but it's considered a flaw.
- Brendan Fraser was originally supposed to voice Steele, but was discarded.
- Steele has won a lot of races according to the story.
- Steele would've actually died when he fell off the cliff.