Tonka is a 1958 Walt Disney Western adventure film about the US cavalry horse that survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn; it stars Sal Mineo as a Sioux who fought there. It was filmed in Bend, Oregon and distributed by Buena Vista Pictures.

The film was based on the book Comanche: Story of America's Most Heroic Horse by David Appel. It tells an imaginary story of the Indian and US Cavalry owners of the horse of the title. It has also been released under the title A Horse Named Comanche.


In Dakota territory in the 1870s, White Bull, a young Sioux, proves his manhood by catching and training a wild colt he names Tonka. When a cruel cousin claims the horse as the privilege of rank, White Bull lets Tonka go. The horse ends up in the hands of a captain in the US cavalry about the time that Sitting Bull gathers the tribes to confront the growing US presence, epitomized by the bigoted General Custer. All paths, including those of White Bull and Tonka, lead to the confluence of the Little and Big Horn rivers.


  • 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



  1. "1959: Probable Domestic Take", Variety, 6 January 1960 p 34
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at Tonka. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Disney Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+