The Indian in the Cupboard

6.01 h 36 min1995X-RayUHDPG
A little boy's world changes when he's given a small cupboard with a key that brings a small toy Indian to life.
Frank Oz
Hal ScardinoLitefootDavid Keith
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Lindsay CrouseSteve Coogan
Robert HarrisMarty KeltzBernard WilliamsKathleen KennedyFrank MarshallJane Startz
Kids and Family
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices


4.7 out of 5 stars

4092 global ratings

  1. 84% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

BeachReviewed in the United States on December 31, 2018
1.0 out of 5 stars
Not as kid friendly as you think...
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I loved this book and so did my kids when they were small. Bought the dvd to share with my grandkids. Glad I previewed it. in the middle of this wonderful and imaginative story the two sweet little boys that I was 'rooting for' ended up diving in to some porn for awhile, being completely taken by it. Out of the blue, gratuitous and disgusting!!!! This makes me very angry on behalf of all of our little boys 'out there' as well as the actors who were used to film the scene. We need to take better care of them!! :-( I threw it away.
98 people found this helpful
JohnicaReviewed in the United States on June 7, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Why is Hollywood so insistent on sexualizing children?
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We enjoyed the movie generally speaking. But why, WHY, did they throw in a scene with the two boys watching scantily clad women on the TV? The actors were 10 or 11 at the time. Their characters were going through the most amazing adventure of their lives. What is supposed to be imaginative, innocent, and adventurous is interrupted by the exact opposite. Even if you aren't opposed to pornography and women being objectified in principle, perhaps you can agree with the fact that young boys should be encouraged to dream about talking to a girl, holding her hand, perhaps their first kiss, to experience butterflies in their stomachs and curiosity about what makes girls so fascinating, rather than fantasizing about grown women strutting around shaking their thangs in high heels and bikinis. Also the main character says "damn" to his mom and she just smiles at him like an idiot rather than correcting his bad language. It was kind of funny how he said it, but it contributed to it not being a perfectly clean kid movie, imo and fyi.
10 people found this helpful
V. GirardReviewed in the United States on February 27, 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
Bad language not necessary
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After having read this book as a read aloud we were looking forward to the movie and comparing it to the book. We watched it, but was not happy with the language/swearing that really was not needed to move the story along at all.
24 people found this helpful
apoemReviewed in the United States on July 11, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Movie.
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This is a true classic. It was written maybe 25-30 years ago and the movie was made several years after that I believe. This is a family friendly video and a great read along book. It stirs the imagination and teaches some great lessons.

In this story a little boy named Omri who is gifted a cupboard and discovers that when he puts little plastic things in it they come alive. This starts with a little Indian named Little Bear who is an Iroquois. Later Omri's best friend Patrick puts a cowboy (Boone) into the magic cupboard who also comes to life. Omri learns that he can't just have a live human as a toy. He also learns that he has some responsibility for this new found friend of his and also Boone.

The part that is so touching and that makes this movie (and book) so meaningful is that Little Bear is willing to teach Omri. He's angry and frustrated to be where he is (a tiny person in a big world, in a different time period etc). He doesn't just get angry and stay angry though. He uses this as a teaching moment and begins to teach Omri about manhood and responsibility. Omri must help Little Bear with the physical things- food, housing, etc while at the same time Little Bear must teach Omri about growing up.

While Boone and Patrick are a part of this story they are really a side of this story while the bulk of the story centers around Omri and Little Bear. And in fact they are, in some ways, opposite of Little Bear and Omri. Boone is not as able (or willing?) to teach Patrick about his situation. He is also quick to anger and stay angry rather than using that moment to teach. Additionally, it is Omri who must mostly take care of Boone and make the tough decisions even to the point of sending Little Bear and Boone back home.

By todays standards of being worried about offending everyone and avoiding any and all stereotypes this book might never get published and this movie never get made. That would be a shame.

There is a reason that many of us who read this book or watched this movie as a child are bringing it back into our lives for our children is that it is a classic. One of the things that makes a book a classic or a video a classic is that it has life lessons in it. In this case lessons about responsibility, strength of character, growing into adulthood, respect and more. It is more than just an imaginary story about little people or big people taking care of little people- there are plenty of books like that out there. This book is different because it sparks the imagination and it teaches life lessons and that is what keeps bringing people back to this story.
15 people found this helpful
Hamilton HayesReviewed in the United States on January 24, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Greatest Native American Story Of My Childhood
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This is the story of A Young White Boy, learning and discovering the meaning of being respecting One's Culture that is not their own. A story of a Magical Cupboard that when used correctly and you have the Correct Key to Unlock it's Magic. You will see Wonderful Things happen before you. Beyond all Imagination. A story of a Little Warrior Indian Toy who will come to Life and live in the world of this Young boy's reality, Learning more and more about how the Life will change for his people as well as his way of life. A story about a White Cowboy who will make a difference by being more compassionate and understanding of Native Americans and their culture.

In The End. This story unlike every other story ever told, has a moral value and a hard life lesson to teach to all children, young people and even adults. Young or Old. It doesn't matter your age unless your a Baby.

This Beautifully Written and Powerful Captivating Tale of Native American Culture. My Culture. I am not Iroquois like Little Bear in this movie but because of this Great Children's Film. It is one of the reasons why i wanted to know more about my Tribe, The Great Seminoles and be more aware of Who and What i am inside. Back when i was kid i knew that i was Native American from my Mom's side but i never really got into what my Native roots came from or who. Not until this film. But as time went by i forgot again but recently i am glad i will keep my tradition of my People going on and also be proud that this Cherished movie of the 90's showed me the way. A Long time ago.

Also Indian is the White Man's term for people who were really Native American and Indigenous, which is the correct term to call us and the people. Indian people come from India. But since the name of the story is called what it is called. That is what is. For now. This is the Great Beloved Children's Movie of the 1990's based on the beloved children's book by Lynne Reid Banks.

The Indian In the Cupboard
efrain riveraReviewed in the United States on July 1, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
This movie is still so good! Family friendly
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This movie is still so good!
Family friendly, great kid story, draws a kids imagination and has a fun kid drama, with great ambient audio and the actors dont even feel like kid actors they just feel like kids being kids.
Great movie, stands the test of time.
8 people found this helpful
Megan DReviewed in the United States on May 15, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Indian InThe Cupboard: Book vs. Movie
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I work for an after school program and I have read the book several times (once a year) out loud to a group of 40-56 children, ages 5-11. As well, I have been present when, after completing the book, the children have watched the film version.
I have this to say - Any story(both book and movie)which can hold the attention of a large group of children that age is nothing short of a MIRACLE!
There is enough action to engage the older kids, but not so much that the younger ones are frightened.
The screen adaptation held to the book very well, with little deviation. One thing I did notice was that Omri of the book is quite obviously British, whereas Omri of the movie is an American. Aside from that, I can actually picture the scenes from the movie when I read the book to the children at work. This story, whether you choose the DVD or the book, gets 56 thumbs up - one from every child in our care group!
stuffedmangoReviewed in the United States on June 30, 2009
4.0 out of 5 stars
Not the Book, But Good Enough for Entertainment Including Motley Crue
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Beautiful soundtrack accompanies this film and brings to life the magic of the Indian in the Cupboard. Children, unlike adults, will not notice the stilted acting as they will be so caught up with the thought of the power of the cupboard and seeing a beloved book on screen.

Two things that caught me by surprise were Motley Crue's music video of Girls, Girls, Girls added to the TV watching scene where Little Bear shoots Boone in the heat of the "cowboy and Indian" battle. I'm sure it was meant to contrast Omri's era with the era from which the tiny men came, but I wish they had used a different clip because it made it so I couldn't show it to my class. The other small difference was that the setting was in America as opposed to England, but that's a detail that can be overlooked.

Overall, children will find it an enjoyable portrayal of the book and will allow you to discuss and compare differences and similarities between literature and film.
3 people found this helpful
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