Toby Tyler

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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
Toby Tyler poster.jpg
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
Starring Kevin Corcoran
Henry Calvin
Gene Sheldon
Richard Eastham
Music by Buddy Baker[1]
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date
January 21, 1960
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $3,100,000 (US/ Canada)[2]

Toby Tyler is a film 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.

It stars several actors best known for their work on the two pioneering Disney television shows of the late 1950s: Kevin Corcoran (better known as Moochie) from the Spin and Marty serials on Mickey Mouse Club, and Zorro co-stars Henry Calvin and Gene Sheldon. Sheldon, known for playing mute characters, speaks in this film.

This was shot at Golden Oak Ranch in Newhall, California.

The film later aired on the Walt Disney anthology television series.


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 cruel and greedy. He convinces Toby that his Aunt Olive and Uncle Daniel don't love him or 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.


Role Actor
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
Michael McGreevey
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
(uncredited) Kermit Maynard
Ticket-Taker (uncredited) Howard Negley
Jailbird (uncredited) William Newell
Circus Cook (uncredited) Henry Rowland
(uncredited) Barry Seltzer
Husband in Audience (uncredited) Robert Shayne
Townsman (uncredited) Guy Wilkerson

DVD release[edit]

The film issued on DVD on August 2, 2005.


  1. ^ "Toby Tyler (1960) - Music". Turner Classic Movies. 
  2. ^ "Rental Potentials of 1960", Variety, 4 January 1961 p 47. Please note figures are rentals as opposed to total gross.

External links[edit]