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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top flight entertainment for "tween" aged children
"The Indian in the Cupboard" is an excellent movie for tween-aged children (i.e., children between their pre-school and teen years). In this movie a boy discovers that he can bring small action figures to life by using a small, old, wooden cupboard. The first figure he brings to life is a Native American. As the story progresses, the boy learns important...
Published on February 8, 2001 by Alan R. Holyoak

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inappropriate Content
I was so excited to have my children watch Indian in the Cupboard after we finished the book. I remember loving it as a child. As a parent I was really surprised by the swear words and brief pornographic clip where the boys are watching TV late at night in a slumber party. It ruined the whole movie. We did not keep it for our movie collection.
Published 19 months ago by Jessica


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top flight entertainment for "tween" aged children, February 8, 2001
"The Indian in the Cupboard" is an excellent movie for tween-aged children (i.e., children between their pre-school and teen years). In this movie a boy discovers that he can bring small action figures to life by using a small, old, wooden cupboard. The first figure he brings to life is a Native American. As the story progresses, the boy learns important lessons about life from his new friend, "Little Bear."
The story is exciting without being frightening, educational without being stuffy, and fun without being extreme. "The Indian in the Cupboard" presents an excellent entertainment offering for pre-teens who often see too much programming centered on overstimulation of sight, sound, and action (e.g., Pokemon...).
I also like the fact that the boy in the story doesn't look like he stepped right out of an advertising agency, or off of the cover of a magazine. He is a regular guy...his hair is a little messy, his teeth haven't gone through an orthodontic program, and he wears normal clothes.
All in all, this is top-notch entertainment for the whole family. It's one of my children's favorites (girl, 10 yrs; boy 8 yrs; boy 6 yrs).
A definite keeper for your family's collection!
Happy viewing...and watch out for the rat!
Alan Holyoak
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Toy Story Comes To Life...., August 3, 2000
This review is from: Indian in the Cupboard: Gift Set (includes 5 figurines) [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This video made it to our family library long ago. Entertaining, enjoyable for adults and children, with relatively little violence (there are some battle scenes), it opens up avenues for dinner time conversation about reality, fantasy, Native Americans, friendship and bullies. In addition, watching this movie led us to the book series, which my then 6 year old listened to intently.
What we liked - fantasy mixed with reality, much like Small Soldiers or E.T. (though not nearly as good as E.T.) With the help of a magical key and cabinet, our hero, Omri, brings a figurine, Little Bear, to life (in miniature form). He watches Little Bear build a home and finds a wife for him. Omri's best friend, Patrick, doesn't quite understand the difference between play and real lives, and brings Boone, a cowboy and his horse to life, setting off a small battle between the two people.
Boone brings a touch of comic relief to the film, which deals with some serious issues. Death is lightly touched on, when Omri's first attempt to find a friend for Little Bear pushes an elderly figurine into cardiac arrest, with serious effects on Omri's comprehension of his 'toys.' War, too, is addressed slightly when he brings a tiny World War I medic back to care for a miniscule character's real life wounds.
Parallel to this story is Omri's move into a new neighborhood, away from his best friend and into some slight confrontations with bullies (further developed in the sequel to this video).
We started with the video, which led us to the book series (by Lynne Reid Banks). The video is almost as good as the book, with convincing special effects, good acting, entertainment and more meaningful after-movie talk than most children's. A good view, and if you get the version(s) with the figurines, they are very close to the movie miniatures!
Thumbs up from all of our family members - hope you enjoy it (and read the books!!!)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie., July 3, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Indian in the Cupboard (DVD)
When you first see Omri, a kid who's short, has messy hair and not the greatest teeth in the world, you don't think anything interesting can happen to him. But something does. His best friend, Patrick, gives him a toy Indian for his birthday. At his party, his brother gives him an old cupboard that he found in the crawlspace of their house. Omri's mother tells Omri that if he can find a key out of her collection, he can have it. He does. It was a key that his great-grandmother gave to his mother.
When Omri carelessly puts the toy Indian into the cupboard and locks it, the toy comes to life.
At first, the Indian (Little Bear) is scared, but eventually learns to trust Omri. Omri gives Little Bear whatever he desires, tools, food, and a hatchett from a knight! However, when he was getting a bow and arrow from an old Indian, the Indian is scared to death--literally! Omri realizes that these "Toys" have real lives and that they aren't something to fool around with. When Patrick discovers Omri's secret, he brings back a Cowboy named Boone. Little Bear and Boone eventually become friends. Omri takes Boone and Little Bear to school (Patrick wanted him to) and Omri displays that he has learned that the "toys" were people by saying "You can't! They're people! You can't use people!" When Patrick was going to show them to friends. Omri's brother takes Omri's cupbaord as a cruel joke and the key gets lost! What's worse, Boone is seriously wounded, and without medical attention, he will die! Omri realizes that Little Bear and Boone's safety and hapiness meant more to him than the novelty of having them. So Omri declares that when the key was found, they were sending Boone and Little Bear home.
The key is eventually found, and Omri is forced to let Little Bear and Boone go. Little Bear and Omri share one last moment, and then he sends them back.
This was a very good movie, at least fo me, and it's a good movie for kids to watch.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Omri" One Of The Most Likable Kids Ever On Film, April 30, 2006
By 
Craig Connell (Lockport, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Indian in the Cupboard (DVD)
I'm a sucker for nice kids, not those snotty ones seen so often in films from the '60s to the present. In here is a wonderful neat-looking little kid, Hal Sardino, who is unusual in that this is the only movie he ever starred in. To his credit, Scardino went on to live a "normal" life after this film, eventually going to college as a regular student like you and me with no celebrity status.

The film is anything but "normal," a fantasy about a young boy who receives a cupboard that transforms little toy figurines - in this case, an Indian and then a cowboy. - into miniature real-life people. Each time he opens or closes the box with the figures in them, they change to either real or back to plastic.

Scardino, who plays Omri," is fun to watch, if for no other reason than the great expressions on his face. He has to be one of the most likable children I've ever seen on film. Meanwhile, his best friend "Patrick" is the only villain, so to speak, only because he's a bit "defiant," as his mother labels him and he almost spoils everything for "Omri."

It's a solid family film that is fun for both the parents and kids to watch at the same time. Both will get a lot of entertainment out of it. With just a bit of profanity early on and a bit of obvious political correctness, there is nothing in here which should offend viewers. Critics didn't seem to care for it, so you know it truly was a nice, wholesome film....and fun to watch.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You Should Not Do Magic You Do Not Understand", August 12, 2005
This review is from: The Indian in the Cupboard (DVD)
Omri receives a rather unusual gift from his older brother for his birthday, an old two-shelf cupboard he found in the trash. The cupboard has a lock, but no key. Fishing through a pile of keys belonging to his Mother, Omri finds one that fits the lock. It turns out to be a special key given to his Mother by her Mother just before she died. Omri iis allowed to keep it and so the adventure begins.

You see something special happens to any toy locked away in this strange little cupboard, they come to life once unlocked. Conversely, toys that have been brought to life can be returned to their inanimate state when returned to the cupboard.

At first it all seems great fun. Omri tests his magical box with various toys, a dinosaur and Darth Vader, but when he unlocks a small replica of an Iroquois Indian from the cabinet he discovers he's not just playing a game anymore. A living, breathing 19th century Indian warrior named Little Bear emerges. Little Bear is not just an animated toy, he is a real person with a real life that has been mysteriously plucked out of his 19th home and deposited in miniature form into Omri's twentieth century bedroom.

Little Bear teaches Omri the meaning of being a warrior and taking responsibility for your own actions, scolding him for tampering with the lives of others he tells the young boy, "You should not do magic you do not understand."

This is great family entertainment containing a message we should all take to heart. It's a message of tolerance and understanding towards cultures and people different from ourselves.

The entire cast is terrific! The British medic (Steve Coogan) and the cowboy Boo-Hoo Boone (David Keith) were perfect in their supporting roles, while the two main characters Omri (Hal Scardino) and Little Bear (Litefoot) were absolutely magical together. Their goodbye scene is sure to bring tears to your eyes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies in the 90's, November 30, 2002
By 
Stephen Verhaeren (Palos Park, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Indian in the Cupboard stars Hal Scardino and Litefoot. It is about a boy who turns 9 years old and gets a magical cupboard as a birthday present. And the cupboard brings to life toys. As the movie opens, Omri (Hal Scardino) got a cupboard as a birthday present. But there is no key. So his mom (Linsay Crouse) promises Ormi if he finds a key that works the cupboard she will give it to him. And the key that works is a key that his mom got for her dying grandma (when her grandma had nothing to leave her). Ormi puts in a liitle indian he also got for his birthday for his best freind Patrick (Rishi Bhat).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A captivating and rewarding film for adults and children., December 9, 1998
By A Customer
This is a wonderful story of a slightly awkward young boy discovering the deeper meaning of friendship, honor and loyalty. The themes are explored through a thoroughly enchanting fantasy in which the boy's toy indian comes to life when placed in a cast-off cupboard given to him as a birthday gift. It is captivating, charming and filled with genuine warmth and wonder. A truly rewarding film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inappropriate Content, April 23, 2013
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This review is from: The Indian in the Cupboard (DVD)
I was so excited to have my children watch Indian in the Cupboard after we finished the book. I remember loving it as a child. As a parent I was really surprised by the swear words and brief pornographic clip where the boys are watching TV late at night in a slumber party. It ruined the whole movie. We did not keep it for our movie collection.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars beautiful book, horrible movie, February 5, 2004
By 
Michael Sutcliffe (Morristown, New Jersey United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Indian in the Cupboard (DVD)
I remember rushing out to watch this movie when it first appeared in theaters, since I was an enormous fan of the Lyn Reed Banks books. Alass, this movie took what could have been a wonderful adaptation, and turned it into a dumbed-down pile of insipid script and mostly forced acting. When I first saw it, I loved everything about it and immediately fell in love with the boy playing Omri, but now, I realize that his acting is horrible, but it's not his fault. The script is below mediocre; it's pitifully babyish. Lyn Reed Banks's stories had a charm of old-fashioned nostalgia to them, not so with this film. It has been completely modernized, including a few curse words, a relocation to the US, and a total emphasis on stereotyping the characters and making as many comical gags at their expense as possible. I will admit that there are several very touching moments, and even a little educational value to this, since Litefoot plays his character perfectly, and Frank Oz did feel inclined to at least include a song and a few sundry bits of the Iroquois language here. But overall, I would recommend the books over this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Delight, January 1, 2006
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The Indian in the Cupboard is a movie all kids should see. Based on the beloved children's book, the story is about a sweet boy named Omri who is given a small wooden cupboard for his birthday. He soon discovers that a magical key will bring any toy locked inside the cupboard to life. Omri selects an Indian brave from his large collection of figurines. This Indian brave is a REAL person named Little Bear. Little Bear at first believes that Omri is the Great Spirit. One of the best moments in the film is when Little Bear exclaims, "You are not the Great Spirit. You are a boy!" At that moment, the tiny warrior becomes a father figure to Omri.

All would be well except for Omri's insensitive chum Patrick. Patrick does not share his friend's caring side, and wants to use the cupboard without reverence for the people it brings to modern times. Little Bear is soon joined by a miniature cowboy - and horse. Boo-Hoo Boone does not like "Injuns."

This movie is so wonderful. Native American dancer Litefoot plays Little Bear with passion. I always cry at the end, at Omri's parting words to his friend.

The only thing I don't like about this film is that Omri's boorish older brothers call each other "butthead," and Omri kicks a rat in a play ball down the stairs.
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Indian in the Cupboard: Gift Set (includes 5 figurines) [VHS]
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