Jack Conroy is one of the two main protagonists of Disney's 1991 live-action film White Fang (alongside White Fang), and a minor character in the 1994 sequel White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf.
He was portrayed by Ethan Hawke.
Role in the Film
Jack Conroy arrives in Alaska from San Francisco to look for his deceased father's mining claim. Conroy meets a musher named Skunker and Alex Larson, Conroy's father's buddy, who reluctantly agrees to guide Jack to his father's claim in the Yukon. While on their journey, they are stalked by a large pack of wolves. One night, while resting at a campfire, a female wolf named Kiche manages to lure one of the sled dogs (Digger) away from the group, and another wolf appears and chases the dog into the woods. Skunker uses his ammunition to wound Kiche and gives chase to save his dog, but is killed and devoured by the rest of the pack. Later that night, the wolves return, but are scared off by Jack and Alex using burning branches. The following morning, the wolves attack the two men, but they are saved when another sled team arrives with one of the men fatally shooting a male wolf. His pup (who is half-dog) is left to fend for himself. Jack and Alex reach a town where they plan to stay for the winter. A band of Native Americans, meanwhile, find the pup, and the chief, realizing he is not a (full) wolf from the color of his teeth, names him White Fang.
As spring comes, Jack and Alex resume their quest, but stop off at Grey Beaver's settlement. The chief explains that White Fang has been raised to obey, not to be friendly, but Jack seeks to change that. Jack's chance comes when he is chased and cornered by a grizzly bear. White Fang intervenes, saving Jack's life. Jack and Alex later leave the settlement. Not long after, White Fang is unfairly traded to a brutal dogfighter named Beauty Smith (who previously stole Jack's money); he blackmails Grey Beaver for the wolfdog, saying that ownership of a wild animal is considered illegal. Smith and his gang train White Fang to be vicious in order to enter him into illegal dogfights. White Fang eventually meets his match in a brutal fight against a bulldog, but Jack happens upon the fight and intervenes in the nick of time. Having earlier reached his father's claim and begun the work of digging for gold, Jack returns with White Fang to the cabin where he seeks to transform White Fang's vicious and territorial nature.
Jack's attempts to tame White Fang eventually succeed; both wolfdog and man develop a close and trusting bond. Alex helps Jack mine for gold and they strike it rich with the help of White Fang. One morning, Jack travels to the town to claim proper ownership to the gold when Luke notices White Fang with him. Seeking retaliation and planning to steal the gold, Smith and his men attack the cabin site. White Fang attacks Tinker, who accidentally discharges his gun, wounding Luke. White Fang subdues Smith until he's ordered by Jack to back down. Jack and Alex take their assailants prisoner and force them at gunpoint to haul gold ore into town.
Alex and his wife offer to take Jack back to San Francisco, but he lets Jack know that city life is no place for a wolf; he must let White Fang run free in the wild. Though White Fang cannot understand why Jack is trying to leave him, Jack's efforts by using a stick (which White Fang hated/feared when he was under Smith) finally succeed in scaring the wolfdog off. Later, just as he's boarding the ship back to San Francisco, Jack realizes that his rightful place is in the Yukon and he decides to stay behind alone and live off the land; Alex congratulates him by saying that it is what Jack's father would have wanted. After a short time, White Fang returns to the cabin site where he and Jack are happily reunited.