The Indian In The Cupboard parents guide

The Indian In The Cupboard Parent Guide

Strange things happen behind the closed doors of an old cupboard.

Overall A-

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.

Release date July 14, 1995

Violence B
Sexual Content A-
Profanity B
Substance Use B-

Why is The Indian In The Cupboard rated PG? The MPAA rated The Indian In The Cupboard PG for mild language and brief video images of violence and sexy dancing.

Run Time: 96 minutes

Parent Movie Review

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.

Directed by Frank Oz. Starring Hal Scardino, Litefoot. Running time: 96 minutes. Theatrical release July 14, 1995. Updated

The Indian In The Cupboard
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Indian In The Cupboard rated PG? The Indian In The Cupboard is rated PG by the MPAA for mild language and brief video images of violence and sexy dancing.

Overall: A-
A young boy is amazed after receiving a small cupboard with a special key for his birthday, and discovers it can bring anything to life that’s placed inside. Bringing an Iroquois Indian and a western cowboy to life, he and his friend begin to realize they are becoming responsible for something far greater than a toy.

Violence: B
Pigeon briefly attacks box containing small Indian—blood later seen on Indian’s legs as a result of the attack, but audience does not see the attack. An old Indian dies from shock. Young boy steals another boy’s money by bumping him on the street. Boy kicks an animal exercise ball, containing a pet rat, down stairs. Various toys come alive in miniature and briefly begin fighting with each other. Cowboy with gun and Indian with bow and arrow fight each other—Indian eventually shoots off cowboy’s hat with arrow. Miniature cowboy with tiny gun shoots full-size boy inflicting very minor injury. Young boys begin verbally arguing in school hallway, requiring a teacher to calm them down. Brief images of native people getting shot by white men in a western movie seen on television. Man is shot with arrow.

Sexual Content: A-
Young boys briefly watch scantily clad girls dancing suggestively in a music video on television. Indian is dressed in traditional attire, which exposes all of his upper body and most of his legs.

Language: B+
At least: 10 mild profanities and 2 terms of Deity used as expletives or profanities.

Alcohol / Drug Use: B-
Cowboy, appearing somewhat drunk, talks about not drinking another drop. Cowboy talks about needing a drink. Cowboy smokes cigarette twice. Cowboy speaks of whiskey. Cowboy refers to “tornado juice,” meaning alcoholic drink. Army medic recommends an injured person take a drop of brandy, injured man excitedly asks if he heard someone say something about brandy.

Page last updated

The Indian In The Cupboard Parents' Guide

This movie is based on the book The Indian in the Cupboard, by Lynne Reid Banks.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Indian In The Cupboard movie is September 22, 2015. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: The Indian in the Cupboard
Release Date: 22 September 2015
The Indian in the Cupboard releases to home video (Blu-ray/Digital Copy) with the following special features:
- Legacy features include commentary from Director Frank Oz
- From the cast of Goosebumps
- Little Bear: A Return to The Indian in the Cupboard Featurette: Litefoot who famously played Little Bear looks back at this iconic role
- Archival Making-of Featurette
- Original Theatrical Trailer

Related home video titles:

Miniature people are also depicted in The Secret World of Arrietty, Night at the Museum, The Gnome-Mobile and The Borrowers.