Even though Jack London wouldn’t recognize any of it, White Fang 2 should attract a respectable percentage of the family audience that made Disney’s White Fang (1992) a noteworthy b.o. performer.
Ethan Hawke, who starred as young prospector Jack Conroy in the previous pic, shows up here only for a brief, unbilled cameo at the start to plausibly introduce Henry Casey (Scott Bairstow) as the new human companion of the titular half-dog, half-wolf. When Casey and White Fang nearly drown while paddling up-river for supplies, Casey is saved by a Haida Indian princess, Lily Joseph (Charmaine Craig).
Even after he’s dubbed White Wolf, Casey insists he is just a regular guy who happens to keep a wolf as a pet. But tribal leader Moses Joseph (Al Harrington) calmly contends that Casey is indeed the one who will help his hunger-ravaged community by finding out why the caribou no longer graze nearby.
There wasn’t much time for lovey-dovey stuff in the first White Fang, but the sequel develops a chaste romance between Casey and Lily, and even allows White Fang to find a mate. Actor-turned-director Ken Olin (thirtysomething) handles these elements with the same sure hand he applies to the action scenes in his feature helming debut.