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TOBY TYLER takes you back in time to when the day the circus came to town was the biggest day of the year! Now on Disney DVD, Kevin Corcoran stars as the lovable, determined runaway who believes his uncle and aunt no longer want him, and life under the Big Top will put things right. Along the way he meets Ben, Mr. Tupper, and the mischievous Mr. Stubbs -- a playful chimpanzee! Together they fall into hilarious jams and scams more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Get your peanuts, popcorn, and candied apples, and jump into a classic three-ring circus that will have the whole family in stitches!|The final credits for the film read "and introducing Ollie Wallace." This was an inside joke -- veteran composer/conductor Wallace was cast as the circus bandleader.|The Herald Tribune called the film "a minor classic among children's movies."
Straight from the vault of Disneys bygone classics comes this 1960 family film about a boy who joins the circus, based on the book of the same name by James Otis Kaler. Kevin Corcoran (Old Yeller, Swiss Family Robinson) is unsurpassed as the earnest and endearing Toby Tyler, an orphan who lives with his poverty-stricken aunt and uncle until the day he is told hes a "millstone around their necks." When the circus comes to town, Toby runs away to join the vagabond life of the big top. Although his concessionaire boss is a con man, Toby makes fast friends with Ben Cotter (Henry Calvin) and Sam Treat (Gene Sheldon) who protect him and, in the end, receive much more from Toby than they give. The movies best moments center on Tobys camaraderie with a mischievous chimp he names Mr. Stubbs. The final circus scenes of Tobys equine acrobatics with the pretty Mademoiselle Jeanette (Barbara Beaird), and comedic stunts with Mr. Stubbs are well worth the price of admission. The three-ring comedy is sweet and simple, sprinkled with a few wholesome life lessons. Marvelously directed in Disneys vintage style by Charles Barton (The Shaggy Dog), the overall effect will tug on a familys heartstrings and funny bone. (All ages) --Lynn Gibson
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Toby Tyler is a nice young boy who lives with his elderly uncle and aunt, but after his uncle scolds him for a mishap on the farm (saying the boy's a mill stone around his neck) Toby runs away to the circus where a concessionaire had already offered him a job.
While on the road, Toby befriends another circus worker, the tough guy Mr. Cotter who inwardly has a soft spot for Toby and looks out for him.
Then with the help of a kind clown, a curious chimp, and a delightful trick rider, Toby gets a taste of what it's like to be in the circus.
Everything is going fine until Toby uncovers his employers sneaky secret and we're spiraled to a near tragic end.
You'll have to get the movie to find out how they ultimately get to the happily-ever-after.
Overall, this was a nice movie, with lots of animals and a variety of fun characters. I've sometimes felt that old Disney movies could have "dull spots" where they spent just a little too much time on a certain scene, but this movie didn't have that. The plot kept moving and had enough mystery to surprise you at the end. So I give it 4 stars.
Most boys (at least in my class) were at first reluctant to see the film because it's star, Kevin "Moochie" Corcoran, had pretty much ruined the "Spin and Marty" serial when he was added to the cast after the first season. We also had suffered through his "too cute" acting in "Old Yeller". Rare is the child actor who was more irritating to his contemporaries. But "Moochie" was just a hammy kid who did what the director wanted; and fortunately the director of "Toby Tyler" dialed down the standard "Moochie" cuteness for his first staring role.
The film was the perfect escape for boys. Running away with the circus was almost as good as getting to spend the whole summer riding horses on the Triple "R" Ranch. Plus Toby's protector was Ben Cotter, our old friend Sgt. Garcia from "Zorro". Mr. Stubbs the chimp is given the "too cute" supporting role that "Moochie" normally played, which was most likely an attempt to expand the target audience to include pre-teen girls. It worked as the film entertained the entire family.
The story involves Toby's efforts to move from peanut vendor to circus performer. He eventually replaces a snotty boy in a bareback riding act. His partner is Mademoiselle Jeanette (Barbara Beaird), my first crush and most likely the reason that I remember the film so fondly.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.