THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD Add To My Top 10

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Release Date: July 14, 1995

Starring: Hal Scardino, Litefoot, Lindsay Crouse, Richard Jenkins, Rishi Bhat, & David Keith

Genre: Fantasy

Audience:

Rating: PG

Runtime: 91 minutes

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Content:

(B, NA, FR, L, V) Moral worldview with a fantasy, nominalistic ontology & minor elements of native American religions; 7 obscenities (mild) & 2 exclamatory profanities; minor action violence including arrow; and gunfire with one arrow hitting man & kicking a rat

Summary:

Nine year old Omri discovers that he has a real live miniature INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD named Little Bear. Together they learn acceptance, personal growth, responsibility, and ethical treatment of our fellowman. Except for very few offensive words and violence, this picture is an anecdote to the other summer children's fare.

Review:

In the charming family picture, THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD, Omri receives a skateboard, a helmet, an action figure, an old wooden cupboard, and a miniature plastic Indian for his birthday. When he puts the last two together, the Indian turns into Little Bear, a 18th Century Iroquois man. Amazed, Omri decides to keep him. Omri discovers that anything plastic placed in the cupboard becomes real, so Omri gives Little Bear a teepee. Little Bear rejects the teepee and asks for materials to make a long-house. In time, Omri becomes overwhelmed with meetings Little Bear's needs and so he tells his friend Patrick about the cupboard. Patrick wants to turn his plastic cowboy and horse into real creatures. He does and creates Boo-Hoo Boone, a crying cowboy. Boone and Little Bear start fighting, but the boys become peacemakers, and the figures become friends. Omri and Patrick realize that taking care of friends requires responsibility. After great challenges involving a school teacher, a rat and an injury, the boys decide to send Little Bear and Boone back to their own times.

The story works because it refuses to condescend to children and accepts them as creative persons who face personal decisions everyday. Except for very few obscenities and exclamations and mild violence, this film provides a marvelous anecdote to the violent or New Age summer fare.

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