NR | 98 min | Thursday, December 25, 1958
Adapted from the book "Comanche" by David Appel, the Walt Disney presentation of Tonka, released in 1958, stars Sal Mineo as a young Native-American boy who captures and tames a magnificent horse he names Tonka.
The adventure film surprisingly depicts Native-Americans in an unusually (for the era) sympathetic light as it follows White Bull (Mineo) in his "coming-of-age" adventures. The film uses historical events as background, including General George Custer and the infamous Battle of Little Big Horn.
White Bull's cruel cousin sells Tonka to the U.S. Cavalry, and the horse is taken to the fort. White Bull, unable to accept the loss of his horse, sneaks into the fort and is captured. A cavalry captain befriends the boy, and their shared love for Tonka draws them close. When the battle begins, the captain rides Tonka into the fateful event and the horse turns out to be the only survivor. White Bull regains his horse and later is made an honorary cavalry member.
Disney Movie Rating:
57.34 out of 100. Total of 73 votes.
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