Tonka (aka A Horse Named Comanche)
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Tonka (aka A Horse Named Comanche)

Tonka (aka A Horse Named Comanche)

In the Dakotas of the 1870′s a young Indian brave, White Bull, captures a wild stallion and decides to keep him as his own, naming him Tonka Wakan — The Great One. Yellow Bull, the brave’s cousin, is envious, and through rank acquires the horse but

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3 Responses to “Tonka (aka A Horse Named Comanche)”

  • microjoe:
    18 of 18 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Tonka Wakan means the Great One, October 24, 2005
    By 
    microjoe
    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: Tonka (aka A Horse Named Comanche) (VHS Tape)

    THE STORY: In the 1870′s, an Indian brave named White Bull (played by Sal Mineo) catches a stallion and names him Tonka. White Bull’s more powerful cousin Yellow Bull is jealous and takes his horse away, but then abuses the horse. White Bull frees the horse, who eventually is owned by a U.S. Calvary Captain. The captain rides him into the battle with General Custer, where he is killed by the cousin Yellow Bull of all people, but the horse gets finally gets his chance at revenge. Tonka is retired by the Calvary as the only survivor and hero of the battle of the Little Big Horn. White Bull joins the cavalry, and is the only person allowed to ride Tonka as his exercise groom.

    BEHIND THE SCENES: Originally conceived as a 5 episode television series, Walt Disney decided to use the material for a theatrical release instead. The movie premiered on December 25, 1958. It was directed by one of the Zorro directors, Lewis R. Foster. He also took on the job of writer (Along with Lillie Hayward). Disney was one of the few studios where writers were often allowed to direct or produce their work. The screenplay is based on the book “Comanche” by David Appel. Location filming took place at the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon, where local residents worked as extras and crew. The director utilized the talents of cinematographer Loyal Griggs, famous for his work in westerns such as “Shane”. The scenery is stunning, with wide vistas in Technicolor.
    Disney studio composer George Bruns wrote the song “Tonka” with Gil George, and another studio veteran wrote the background score, Oliver Wallace. The film returned to its original conception in a way when it was re-edited into a two episode film for Disney’s weekly television show, the first episode titled “The Captive Stallion”, and second “The Lone Survivor of Custer’s Last Stand”. It aired on NBC’s “The Wonderful World of Disney” television show on February 18, and 25, 1962, and as a repeat on April 17, 24, 1966, and again on August 29, September 5, 1971. In 1977, Disney decided to air the film as a TV special on January 29, 1977, under the name “A Horse Called Comanche”. It was also edited under that title for serialization for “The New Mickey Mouse Club”. The original film is what appears on VHS, and its running time is 97 minutes, first release on VHS in 1986.

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  • microjoe:
    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Tonka Wakan means the Great One, November 30, 2009
    By 
    microjoe
    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: Tonka (DVD)

    My review is of the VHS of this story from Walt Disney, as we are awaiting this DVD release. I will update it if there are any changes from the VHS.

    THE STORY: In the 1870′s, an Indian brave named White Bull (played by Sal Mineo) catches a stallion and names him Tonka. White Bull’s more powerful cousin Yellow Bull is jealous and takes his horse away, but then abuses the horse. White Bull frees the horse, who eventually is owned by a U.S. Calvary Captain. The captain rides him into the battle with General Custer, where he is killed by the cousin Yellow Bull of all people, but the horse gets finally gets his chance at revenge. Tonka is retired by the Calvary as the only survivor and hero of the battle of the Little Big Horn. White Bull joins the cavalry, and is the only person allowed to ride Tonka as his exercise groom. “Tonka Wakan” means the Great One.

    BEHIND THE SCENES: The movie has a running time of 97 minutes in its VHS release. Originally conceived as a 5 episode television series, Walt Disney decided to use the material for a theatrical release instead. The movie premiered on December 25, 1958. It was directed by one of the “Zorro” show directors, Lewis R. Foster. He also took on the job of writer (Along with Lillie Hayward). Disney was one of the few studios where writers were often allowed to direct or produce their work. The screenplay was based on the book “Comanche” by David Appel. On location filming took place at the “Warm Springs Indian Reservation” in Oregon, where local residents worked as extras and crew. The director utilized the talents of cinematographer Loyal Griggs, famous for his work in western films such as “Shane”. The scenery in the movie is stunning, with wide vistas in Technicolor.
    Long time Disney studio composer George Bruns wrote the song “Tonka” with Gil George, and another studio veteran wrote the background score, Oliver Wallace. The film returned to its original conception in a way when it was re-edited into a two episode film for Disney’s weekly television show, the first episode titled “The Captive Stallion”, and second was titled “The Lone Survivor of Custer’s Last Stand”. It began airing on NBC’s “The Wonderful World of Disney” television show on February 18, and 25, 1962, and as a repeat on April 17, 24, 1966, and again on August 29, September 5, 1971. In 1977, Disney decided to air the film as a TV special on January 29, 1977, under the new name “A Horse Called Comanche”. It was also edited under that title for serialization for “The New Mickey Mouse Club”. The original film is what finally appeared on VHS in 1986. Looking forward to DVD release, and glad they are taking it off the shelf.

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  • T. L...Settle "Doc":
    10 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    TONKA ON DVD, November 12, 2005
    By 
    T. L…Settle “Doc” (New Jersy) –
    This review is from: Tonka (aka A Horse Named Comanche) (VHS Tape)

    I saw this in the movies when I was a kid. Tonka is one of those great Disney classics. We need this on DVD so I can see it again before I die of old age. How about it Disney? Get on the ball and release it on DVD.

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