Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus (1960)

Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus
Directed by Charles Barton
Written by Lillie Hayward and Bill Walsh from a novel by James Otis Kaler
Walt Disney Productions
Netflix rental

Toby Tyler: My name’s not Sonny, it’s Toby Tyler

For some reason, circus movies and anything with a chimpanzee have never appealed to me.  That said, this is OK I guess.

Orphan Toby Tyler (Kevin Corcoran) has been adopted by his impoverished aunt and uncle who count on him to help out on the farm.  One day, Toby is in town and sees a circus parade pass by.  He is mesmerized and the next thing he knows he has followed the parade to the big top.  He has no money for a ticket but is befriended by a concessionaire with ulterior motives.  Toby dutifully returns to the farm where his enraged and overworked uncle tells him he is a millstone around their necks.

This is all Toby needs to run away to the circus.  At first, he is exploited by the concessionaire but eventually he is given the job of looking after a chimpanzee, Mr. Stubbs.  Then when the male half of a horseback riding act is injured, he is trained for the job.

This is a good family movie and I suspect small children would really go for it.  There are a lot of kind people in it and some fun circus acts.  It is no Pollyanna, however.