Jacques Marin's Captain Brieuax is ruthlessly Gallic and heavily accented (naturally, Marin's a native Frenchman), yet his courage and resourcefulness are at least as great as his colleagues, and the exact same can be said for Mako's Oomiak, who, while reconizably an Eskimo and inarticulate, is portrayed just as heroically as the rest, and with great sympathy on all fronts.
What a refreshing look back this movie is, with its superb special effects and interesting plot twists. I wish they DID still make them like this anymore.
Of interest: The great airship _Hyperion_ was actually built for the filming, and I believe it is on display even now at Euro-Disney. It actually flew, and was flight-tested by two Goodyear pilots.