The Indian in the Cupboard
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Time Out saysA delightful adaptation of Lynne Reid Banks' children's classic: Omri (Scardino), whose parents (Crouse and Jenkins) are sufficiently well off to afford kids' bedrooms large enough to be film sets, receives an old lock-up cupboard for his ninth birthday, and does swapsy for a plastic model of an 'Indian' with his pal Patrick. After a night in the cupboard, the model becomes Little Bear, an 18th century Onondaga-Iroquois brave (Litefoot). Once Little Bear realises Omri is no 'Great Spirit', they swiftly make friends and explain each other's worlds, until, that is, sole confidant Patrick 'brings to life' a 19th century cowboy (Keith), and their game becomes a matter of life and death. The film's conceit ('you should not do magic you do not understand') is prompted by the heart attack from fear of an old Native American chief, which is typical of the neatly (and lightly) concealed moral thrust of Melissa Mathison's screenplay, which teaches respect for people, knowledge and technology. Fine enlarged production design and effects, and appealing acting from the little and the large.