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Westward Ho, the Wagons! (1956)

Approved | | Western, Family | 20 December 1956 (USA)
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
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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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?


The script called for an Indian attack on a wagon train, but producer Walt Disney told second-unit director Yakima Canutt that he didn't want it to be a typical Indian attack, as children would be watching the film and he didn't want them to see anyone killed or injured. Canutt objected, saying that in real life people were killed during Indian attacks and one in which no one gets hurt was so unrealistic that it shouldn't be filmed at all. Disney overruled his objection and told Canutt to shoot the attack as ordered. After screening the finished sequence, however, Disney told Canutt that he had been right and the attack looked too phony and unrealistic and ordered it to be reshot in a more realistic manner. Canutt said that it would add at least a week's extra time and several hundred thousand dollars to the budget, but Disney told him to re-shoot for as long as he needed in order to get it right. See more »


Featured in The Mickey Mouse Club: Episode #2.54 (1956) See more »


Pioneer's Prayer
from The Vanishing Prairie (1954)
Music by Paul J. Smith
Lyrics by Hazel George (as Gil George)
See more »

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User Reviews

Fess Parker and the Mouseketeers
23 March 2003 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

This western was Disney's attempt to cash in on the popularity of Fess Parker and the Mousketeers. The lean story is about a wagon train that is obliged to pass through Indian country during a westward trek. The attack on the train is done in fine style by Yakima Canutt. The battle is intense and the Indians display expert horsemanship but seem more content to capture horses than to lift hair. Parker comes through as the hero later in the film as a doctor who must match skills with a medicine man to save a boy's life. The movie has the usual Disney gloss and fine western vistas but seems self-conscious and mannered. The Mouseketeers maintain their wholesomeness through the stress of the battle and tensions at the fort. Kathleen Crowley is pretty as Parker's romantic interest.

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