A young boy receives a magical cupboard for his birthday that
brings his toys to life, which he uses to befriend an Indian toy.
The Indian in the Cupboard (1995)
Directed by Frank Oz
Written by Melissa Mathison
Starring Hal Scardino, Litefoot, Lindsay Crouse, Richard Jenkins, Rishi Bhat, David Keith, Steve Coogan, Vincent Kartheiser
Based on the novel by Lynne Reid Banks
The Indian in the Cupboard is a heartwarming story of friendship, bravery, and growing up. It's a highly original tale adapted from a terrific novel, starring an assortment of likable characters. The idea of bringing one's toys to life is a dream almost every kid in the world has had at least once, myself included, and this film shows the causes and consequences of that dream.
This film is, at its core, a coming of age story. Young Omri learns the trials and tribulations of growing up from his Lilliputian Indian friend Little Bear. The dramatic score and expert storytelling transforms this light family movie into a drama about the responsibilities of manhood. That's pretty strong stuff for a film about bringing toys to life and the message fits snugly into the film.
I've always been a fan of this 90's fantasy drama that failed to launch a franchise, despite its quality. If this had been made ten years later, it would have found its target audience much faster. Still, it's a great film and remains a firm favorite of mine.