Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

Tonka (1958 Movie)

“Tonka” is a Disney film released in 1958. The movie is based on the real-life story of Comanche, a famous American military horse that survived the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. In the film, the horse is renamed Tonka.

The story revolves around a young Sioux boy named White Bull (played by Sal Mineo), who dreams of owning a wild horse and becoming a great warrior like his father. One day, he manages to capture and tame a wild horse he names Tonka. The two form a deep bond, and White Bull believes that Tonka will help him become a warrior.

As White Bull and Tonka grow closer, they face several challenges, including conflicts with neighboring tribes and encounters with hostile settlers. Despite the obstacles, White Bull and Tonka’s friendship remains unbreakable. The film showcases themes of friendship, loyalty, and the importance of understanding between different cultures.

“Tonka” received positive reviews for its depiction of Native American culture and its heartwarming story. It also highlights the historical significance of the Battle of Little Bighorn and the impact it had on both Native American tribes and the U.S. Army.

The film’s portrayal of the bond between White Bull and Tonka has made it a favorite among audiences who appreciate stories about the human-animal connection. While “Tonka” may not be as well-known as some other Disney classics, it remains a beloved film for those who have seen and appreciated its heartfelt narrative.

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released:
  • Type of Movie: Live-Action
  • Box Office: $2.5 million
  • IMDB Link


  • Sal Mineo: White Bull
  • Philip Carey: Captain Myles Keogh
  • Jerome Courtland: Lieutenant Henry Nowlan
  • Rafael Campos: Strong Bear
  • H.M. Wynant: Yellow Bear
  • Joy Page: Prairie Flower
  • Britt Lomond: General George Custer
  • Herbert Rudley: Captain Frederick Benteen
  • Sydney Smith: General Alfred Terry
  • John War Eagle: Chief Sitting Bull
  • Gregg Martell: Corporal Korn
  • Slim Pickens: Ace
  • Robert “Buzz” Henry: Lieutenant Crittenden
  • Eddie Little Sky: Spotted Tail


  • Director: Lewis Foster
  • Producer: James Pratt
  • Writer: David Appel, Lewis Foster and Lillie Hayward
  • Music: Oliver Wallace

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and