Making the Grades
Omri (Hal Scardino) is a young boy who receives an unusual present at his birthday: An old cupboard that magically transforms plastic toys into small human beings. At first, Omri simply sees this as a way to add new life to his tiny toys, however he soon discovers that these miniature beings present responsibilities and challenges he never dreamed of.
Don't be fooled by the toys included with this video. What seems to be a children's story actually offers many ideas that are just as relevant to adults. The sanctity of life, no matter what shape or size; respect for others and the way they live in spite of our personal prejudices; an appreciation for freedom to choose our own destiny; and how our actions can effect the lives of all those around us are just a few of the themes explored in this film.
Each of the little characters come from a different social background and place in history. With the help of a parent, children can be assisted in understanding why the characters interact the way they do. Parents should be prepared to offer a knowledge of the fate of the Iroquois Indians, why a British soldier fighting in the First World War would rather be dreaming, and how white settlers felt about the native people they found on this continent.
Some scenes may be disturbing for younger children. Little Bear, the tiny Indian, shoots Boone the cowboy with an arrow while watching a violent western on television. Later, in probably the most frightening scene, Little Bear risks his life against the family's pet rat to save Boone. Language is limited to minor profanities, and the only moment with questionable sexual content is a rock video Omri and his friend watch on television.
The realistic portrayal of children in this movie (thanks mainly to Scardino's natural abilities to look and sound like a real child) and the sensitive script help make The Indian In The Cupboard a worthwhile entertaining and educational experience for the entire family.