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Westward Ho, the Wagons! (1956)

Approved  |   |  Western, Family  |  20 December 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 187 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

The adventures of a group of pioneers as their wagon train crosses the West.



(screenplay) (as Tom Blackburn) , (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
John 'Doc' Grayson
Kathleen Crowley ...
Laura Thompson
Jeff York ...
Hank Breckenridge
David Stollery ...
Dan Thompson
Doreen Tracey ...
Barbara Woodell ...
Mrs. Stephen
John War Eagle ...
Cubby O'Brien ...
Jerry Stephen
Tommy Cole ...
Jim Stephen
Leslie Bradley ...
Spencer Armitage
Obie Foster
Anthony Numkena ...
Little Thunder


Wagon master James Stephen leads a wagon train of settlers, including his wife and children, across the vast plains. Prominent among the settlers is Doc Grayson, who though not really a doctor provides what medical care he can to the travelers. The wagon train is beset by Pawnees, determined to make off with the horses. A later encounter with presumably friendly Sioux takes a dark turn when the son of the chief appears to be dying, and only Doc Grayson can help. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Walt Disney tells the real story of the fighting families who won the West !


Western | Family


Approved | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

20 December 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Children of the Covered Wagon  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was Walt Disney's first Western feature. See more »


Westward Ho the Wagons!
Music by George Bruns
Lyrics by Thomas W. Blackburn (as Tom Blackburn)
See more »

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User Reviews

Wagon train stops at Fort Laramie, where Anglo-Indian hostilities break out.
14 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of several westerns that the Walt Disney studio tailored for Fess Parker in the years immediately following Davy Crockett's success. The first half hour is an enjoyable but relatively routine wagon trail tale, involving a stalwart boy (David Stollery, of Spin and Marty fame) who, like the legendary John Colter, must run from hostile Indians on foot. The action-oriented first half culminates in a rugged shootout that action-western fans will enjoy. In the minds of many, Westward Ho slows down there as the train arrives in Fort Laramie and no further big battles occur. In fact, this is where the movie takes off dramatically, promoting the sort of racial tolerance and mutual acceptance so essential to the Disney vision. Parker is a doctor, and along with a Lakota medicine man (Iron Eyes Cody), helps a dying Indian boy. "Two medicines are better than one" is the message, and a beautiful one at that, suggesting that mutual cooperation is indeed possible between the races. Fess even gets to sing several sings, and one of them, "Wringle Wrangle," became a top ten hit. This is a forgotten treat, waiting to be rediscovered.

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