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Toby Tyler or Ten Weeks with a Circus

Toby Tyler or Ten Weeks with a Circus (1960)

January. 21,1960
| Drama Family

Angered at stern Uncle Daniel, Toby Tyler runs away from his foster home to join the circus, where he soon befriends Mr. Stubbs, the frisky chimpanzee. However, the circus isn't all fun and games when the evil candy vendor, Harry Tupper, convinces Toby that his Aunt Olive and Uncle Daniel don't love him or want him back. Toby resigns himself to circus life, but when he finally realizes that Tupper lied to him, and that his aunt and uncle truly love him, Toby happily returns home once again.


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Wonderful Movie


A lot more amusing than I thought it would be.

Murphy Howard

I enjoyed watching this film and would recommend other to give it a try , (as I am) but this movie, although enjoyable to watch due to the better than average acting fails to add anything new to its storyline that is all too familiar to these types of movies.

Rosie Searle

It's the kind of movie you'll want to see a second time with someone who hasn't seen it yet, to remember what it was like to watch it for the first time.


James Otis Kaler's book becomes too-glossy Walt Disney saga of a spotless, overly-polite orphan boy from a rural town who runs away from his uncle's farm and attaches himself to a traveling circus. He makes himself useful as a concessions salesman before joining the horse-riders in the center ring, garnering friends for the first time (some of whom only see dollar signs in the lad's untapped potential). Disney skimps a bit on the big top fun while loading up the plot with various characters, including a hateful uncle who manages a complete change of heart by the finale (what is the message of this movie...that success is the best revenge, particularly if you're an orphan?). We do get clowns and a parade, plus a chimp who reacts to everything like a human would; however, the central figure is played by the leaden Kevin Corcoran, a Disney favorite, who can barely read a line. The youngster has a consistent look of bewilderment on his face and is generally unable to carry the more dramatic scenes proposed by the tale (if you do watch, see if you can count how many times Corcoran stumbles over the name "Mr. Tupper"). There's a regrettable moment wherein the audience is made to think an animal is killed by a hunter's rifle, while the subplot about Toby Tyler's financial worth is never quite resolved. A few scenes of color and merriment, but the elements of the story (basic as they are) are bungled. *1/2 from ****


I loved "Toby Tyler"!!! I can remember it being my brother's birthday treat movie and mine was "Pollyanna". My memories of seeing "Toby Tyler" at the local cinema are vivid. We drove across Taren Point Bridge to the Oakley Picture Theatre on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Having a Golden Book and also a Whitman comic helped keep Toby Tyler in my mind . Also when it was shown on Disneyland but I had not heard of it for about 40 years. Then a cable station we had called the Disney Channel showed it and I was able to view it. The bright vivid colours of those Disney films bought memories flooding back.Kevin Cochran came from a family of actors - his sister Donna had had minor success in films and Noreen was in the TV series "Bachelor Father" with John Forsythe. May be that explains why such an irritating child actor could be such a success.When the circus comes to town Toby Tyler (Kevin Cochran) has stars in his eyes. He runs away to join the circus after his Uncle tells him he is "no kin to us - nothing but a millstone 'round our necks". He is taken on by Harry Tupper, who runs the refreshment stand, and gives Toby the princely sum of 50 cents a week. Harry Tupper has the reputation of treating his helpers mean so Ben, the strong man, keeps a look out for him. Toby meets a clown with a family of dogs and a lovely bareback rider, Jeanette and her uppity partner Ajax.Mr. Stubbs, the chimp, raids Toby's refreshment box and gets sick. Against orders Ben lets Mr. Stubbs ride atop the wagon when the parade goes into town. When there is an accident Ben is sacked and Toby rescues Mr. Stubbs - he is in the sheriff's office shooting up the town. After disarming him Toby is given full responsibility for the chimp.When Ajax is showing off (riding without his safety harness) he falls off and Toby, who has bragged that he has ridden horses on the farm is ordered to take his place. After some funny rehearsal scenes he goes on at the next town and is a big hit. He also finds out that Mr. Tupper has been hiding letters that his Aunt Emma has written. His uncle is sick and the farm is too much for them - they want him back. Toby runs away from the circus and Mr. Stubbs follows him. When Toby thinks a passing hunter (James Drury) has killed Mr. Stubbs he is taken back to the circus where he is reunited with a much nicer Uncle Daniel and also his Aunt Emma.It was a very entertaining film and in those times there were no forgettable songs to slow down the action.


If you do a search using the phrase "Toby Tyler on VHS" you will find an ebay site that has some Toby Tyler DVDs on sale. I purchased a VHS copy of Toby Tyler a few years ago and still enjoy watching it. It is one of my favorite Disney movies. I agree with the other comments that this movie was done very well with a minimum of background music. Disney movies such as this might also be available on Amazon.com. I have been successful in obtaining other Disney movies on VHS or DVD such as the 40th Anniversary DVD of Mary Poppins, The One and Only Genuine Original Family Band, etc. I hope this helps. Good luck with your search.


Michael Eisner seemed to market every Disney film on video then he re-leased them again on DVD. This is one of the films that I love but it just hasn't been released.Hey, Robert Iger, this movie is special to LOTS of people. Please release it to the new generation of children who have never seen "Toby Tyler."I saw this movie first in Lake Tahoe, CA, while on vacation with my parents. I am 49 now and I would still watch it many times--if I could only find it.Classic Disney--family oriented, familiar cast from other Disney films, great storyline. If it ever comes out on DVD, I will run to buy it as soon as I know about it.