Tonka (film)

Tonka, also known as A Horse Named Comanche, is a 1958 Walt Disney Western adventure film directed by Lewis R. Foster and starring Sal Mineo as a Sioux who survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn. It was filmed in Bend, Oregon, and distributed by Buena Vista Distribution, a division of Walt Disney Productions.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byLewis R. Foster
Produced byJames C. Pratt john lasseter
Written byDavid Appel
Lewis R. Foster
Lillie Hayward
StarringSal Mineo
Philip Carey
Jerome Courtland
Rafael Campos
H.M. Wynant
Joy Page
Britt Lomond
Herbert Rudley
Sydney Smith
John War Eagle
Gregg Martel
Slim Pickens
Robert 'Buzz' Henry
Music byOliver Wallace
CinematographyLoyal Griggs
Edited byEllsworth Hoagland
Distributed byBuena Vista Distribution
Release date
  • December 25, 1958 (1958-12-25)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2.5 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)[1]

The film is based on the book Comanche: Story of America's Most Heroic Horse by David Appel, which tells an imaginary story of the Indian and US Cavalry owners of the horse of the title.



Tonka was filmed in Bend and Madras, Oregon.[2]


  1. "1959: Probable Domestic Take", Variety, 6 January 1960 p 34
  2. "Filmed in Oregon 1908-2015" (PDF). Oregon Film Council. Oregon State Library. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
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