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"THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD"
(1995) (Hal Scardino, Litefoot) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Mild Mild Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Mild Mild None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Minor Minor Minor Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Children's: A boy's cupboard magically transforms toys into real, but miniature live beings.
PLOT:
Omri (HAL SCARDINO) is a typical kid who's given an old cupboard for his birthday. He finds that the cupboard, when used with his great grandmother's antique key, magically transforms toys into real, but miniature beings. A toy Indian, given to him by his friend Patrick (RISHI BHAT), turns into Little Bear (LITEFOOT), a Sioux Indian from the American frontier. Keeping Little Bear's existence hidden from his family, Omni develops a bond with him and soon learns some important lessons from the little man. When Patrick finds out, though, he wants his own live "toy" and creates Boone (DAVID KEITH), a miniature cowboy who's naturally a sworn enemy to his Indian counterpart. As the boys make peace between the two little people, they must decide whether to keep them or allow them to return to their own "world."
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those familiar with the novel and/or younger kids will enjoy seeing this production.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For mild language and brief video images of violence and sexy dancing.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • HAL SCARDINO plays a typical child who finds himself with a magical cupboard and must figure out what to do with it and the people he creates.
  • LITEFOOT plays the Indian who must adapt to his new surroundings.
  • DAVID KEITH plays a wimpy cowboy with stereotypical behavior associated with cowboys of the old West.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 6.5 out of 10
    Directed by Frank Oz (of "Muppet" fame), this is a film that will not only entertain the kids but, surprisingly, also their parents. The plot (based on the novel of the same name) is inventive and is sure to capture the active imagination of younger children. Hal Scardino's surprise and reaction to his discovery seems honest and true and the rest of the characters, while not completely developed and at times stereotypical, fulfill their needs and keep the story moving. In addition, the special effects look great and the interaction between the full-sized and miniature characters looks real and never detracts from the film. This is a thoroughly enjoyable film and we give it a 6.5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    There are a few items of note that you may want to know about, especially concerning younger kids. For some reason, the two boys watch an MTV video that shows scantily clad women dancing on a strip stage. In a fit of anger, Omri kicks a rat exercise ball (with the rat in it) down the hallway and stairs. It's played with lively, comic music that betrays the animal abuse that's occurring. Other than that there's a good amount of gun and arrow shooting with a character being hit in the chest by an arrow (who survives). There are few scenes that younger kids might find rather suspenseful, but that older kids won't. If your children want to see this film, we suggest that you read the category listings to determine if it's appropriate for them.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Boone blames seeing "the giant" (Omri) on some bad whiskey.
  • A toy medic says that "a drop of brandy" will help Boone recover from his arrow wound.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Little Bear has some blood on his leg after a (giant) bird pecked him there.
  • There's a little bit of blood seen on Boone's chest after an arrow is pulled out.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Another kid pushes Omri up against a wall and steals his money.
  • Omri, mad at his brothers, kicks their rat exercise ball (with their rat in it), down the hallway and the stairs.
  • Little Bear is called, by different people, "Redskin," "Injun" and "Stinking savage."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The boys worry about the pet rat that is now under the bedroom floor boards, thinking it might get their miniature friends. When Little Bear goes under the floor to retrieve the cupboard key, things get more tense.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Knife: Used by Little Bear to stab Omri in the finger when he thinks Omri's attacking him.
  • Pistol and Bow and Arrows: Used several times by Boone and Little Bear to shoot at each other.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Suckers," "Shove it," and "Butt head."
  • Omri, mad at his brothers, kicks their rat exercise ball (with their rat in it), down the hallway and down the stairs. The scene is played with light-hearted music in the background and may give the wrong idea (about how to treat animals) to younger kids.
  • Little Bear shoots an arrow that hits Boone in the chest. While it injures him, he does survive.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • There are two such scenes, both involving a pet rat under the floorboards that may or may not be after Little Bear.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There's a mild amount of suspenseful music in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 6 hells, 4 damns, 1 "ass" word, and 2 uses of "God dang," and 1 use each of "Oh my dear sweat Lord" and "Lord" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Omri and Patrick watch an MTV video that shows scantily clad woman dancing on a strip stage.
  • The bare sides of Little Bear's buttocks are occasionally seen in his traditional Indian outfit.
  • SMOKING
  • Boone smokes a cigarette several times.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Little Bear mentions that his wife died.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether toys can come to life.
  • Cowboys, Indians, and the Old West.
  • An older Indian toy dies from what appears to be a heart attack after Omri "made him alive" to get his bow and arrow.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Little Bear stabs Omri in the finger with a knife when he thinks "the giant" is attacking him.
  • There's some action in the cupboard after many toys have been transformed into live creatures. Darth Vader fights a dinosaur while Robocop fires his gun, but no one is hurt.
  • Another kid pushes Omri up against a wall and steals his money.
  • Omri, mad at his brothers, kicks their rat exercise ball (with their rat in it), down the hallway and down the stairs.
  • Boone shoots Patrick with his miniature pistol (nothing worse than a pin prick in this case).
  • Little Bear hunts and kills a deer that Omri created for him (the actual killing isn't seen).
  • Boone shoots at Little Bear who fires back with arrows and an arrow knocks off Boone's cowboy hat.
  • The boys watch an old western movie on TV that shows Indian women and children being shot. Little Bear thinks it's real, and when he sees Boone shoot his gun, he mistakenly shoots him with an arrow that hits him in the chest, severely wounding him.



  • Reviewed January 3, 1997

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