- This is about the film. For the 1880 book see Toby Tyler; or, Ten Weeks with a Circus. For the musician previously known as 'Toby Tyler', see Marc Bolan.
Toby Tyler is a film directed by Charles Barton and starring Kevin Corcoran, Henry Calvin, Gene Sheldon, and Richard Eastham. It was produced by Walt Disney Productions and distributed by Buena Vista Distribution Company on January 21, 1960. It is based on the 1880 children's book Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus by James Otis Kaler.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Charles Barton|
|Produced by||Bill Walsh|
|Written by||Lillie Hayward and Bill Walsh|
|Based on||Toby Tyler; or, Ten Weeks with a Circus|
by James Otis Kaler
|Music by||Buddy Baker|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Distribution|
|January 21, 1960 (Sarasota, FL)|
|Box office||$3,100,000 (US/Canada rentals)|
After his stern Uncle Daniel describes him as a "millstone" for neglecting his chores, ten year old Toby Tyler runs away from his foster home to join the circus. There he soon befriends Mr. Stubbs, a frisky chimpanzee. However, the circus isn't all fun and games. His employer Harry Tupper, the candy vendor, is dishonest and greedy. He convinces Toby that his Aunt Olive and Uncle Daniel don't love him nor want him back and hides their letters. Toby resigns himself to circus life, even scoring himself a much bigger role, when he replaces the uppity, self-centered boy bareback rider after an injury. When Toby discovers, with the help of Mr. Stubbs, that Harry lied to him about his aunt and uncle he departs the circus for home. Mr. Stubbs follows him and Toby decides to take the chimp home with him. Soon after, though, Mr. Stubbs is chased by a hunter's dog. The hunter, Jim Weaver, accidentally shoots Mr. Stubbs just as Harry arrives to haul Toby back to the circus.
Back at the circus, Toby finds his aunt and uncle in attendance, leading to a tearful reunion. When Harry tries to pursue Toby, he's obstructed by Ben, who confronts him for tampering with Toby's mail and warns him to leave him alone. Joyfully, just before Toby's performance, with his family in attendance, he discovers that Mr. Stubbs has survived his wounds, having been brought back to the circus by Jim. Relieved, Toby begins his performance on horseback, only to have Mr. Stubbs jump down from the trapeze to join him, thus creating a wonderful new act for the circus.
|Toby Tyler||Kevin Corcoran|
|Harry Tupper||Bob Sweeney|
|Sam Treat||Gene Sheldon|
|Ben Cotter||Henry Calvin|
|Colonel Sam Castle||Richard Eastham|
|Jim Weaver||James Drury|
|Mademoiselle Jeanette||Barbara Beaird|
|Monsieur Ajax||Dennis Olivieri|
|Aunt Olive||Edith Evanson|
|Uncle Daniel||Tom Fadden|
|Circus Cook (uncredited)||Henry Rowland|
|Bit Role (uncredited)||Kermit Maynard|
|Drummer (uncredited)||James MacDonald|
|Bandleader (as Ollie Wallace)||Oliver Wallace|
|Downtown Parade Organist||James Dietrich|
|Jailbird (uncredited)||William Challee|
|Roustabout (uncredited)||John Cliff|
|Ringling Brothers Clown (uncredited)||'Eddie Spaghetti' Emerson|
|Ringling Brothers Clown (uncredited)||Abe Goldstein|
|Townsman (uncredited)||Sam Harris|
|Ringling Brothers Clown (uncredited)||Duke Johnson|
|Ringling Brothers Clown (uncredited)||Harry C. Johnson|
|Sheriff (uncredited)||Jess Kirkpatrick|
|Wife in Audience (uncredited)||Ruth Lee|
|Townsman (uncredited)||Herbert Lytton|
|Ticket-Taker (uncredited)||Howard Negley|
|Jailbird (uncredited)||William Newell|
|Circus Cook (uncredited)||Henry Rowland|
|Husband in Audience (uncredited)||Robert Shayne|
|Townsman (uncredited)||Guy Wilkerson|
Howard Thompson of The New York Times wrote, "The kids will love 'Toby Tyler' and his circus world. Leave it to a shrewd old master like Walt Disney to package a simple, warm and sentimental little yarn about an orphan boy and the big top." Variety called it "a warm-hearted, chucklesome film" with a script that "has a number of good laughs, and consistently maintains interest even for the more sophisticated adults." John L. Scott of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Disney's knack of taking a simple theme, usually a small boy and his pet animal, and building it into a box-office product is again exemplified in 'Toby Tyler' ... Mr. Stubbs, it must be said, just about steals the movie, too." Harrison's Reports wrote, "The Disney brand of cinemagic has been applied to a tested and true circus story and the result is a whimsical, delightful film for the youngsters and those adults who like their entertainment nostalgic and nonsensical." The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote that the story, though familiar, "should still give pleasure to children. On the other hand, there is little sense of the real circus; and not enough fantasy or natural child charm (Kevin Corcoran is merely efficient) to make up for this lack."
The film issued on DVD on August 2, 2005.
- "Toby Tyler (1960) - Music". TCM.com. Turner Classic Movies.
- "Toby Tyler - Details". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
- "Rental Potentials of 1960". Variety. January 4, 1961. p. 47. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
- Thompson, Howard (April 20, 1960). "The Screen: 'Toby Tyler'". The New York Times. 45.
- "Film Reviews: Toby Tyler". Variety. January 13, 1960. 6.
- Scott, John L. (February 11, 1960). "'Toby Tyler' Colorful Tale of Circus Life". Los Angeles Times. Part III, p. 11.
- "'Toby Tyler' with Kevin Corcoran, Henry Calvin, Gene Sheldon and Bob Sweeney". Harrison's Reports. January 16, 1960. 10.
- "Toby Tyler". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 27 (316): 73. May 1960.