Indian in the Cupboard

Indian in the Cupboard

Synopsis of Movie

“You should not use magic that you do not understand.”

You know the feeling. The moment that three-inch action figure slips out of its package, you become the god of its plastic world. Limbs contort, battles are won and lost, romances are kindled and broken, all at your whim. The Indian in the Cupboard asked an intriguing question: “What if they started playing back?”

Omri’s ninth birthday brings many gifts, including an antique cupboard from his teenage brother and a small plastic Indian from best friend Patrick. His mind on other playthings, Omri locks the Indian up in the cupboard with a key given to him by his mother. The boy is awakened in the night by a scratching noise from inside the cupboard. Unlocking the door, Omri is shocked to see a living, breathing Onandaga scout named Little Bear hiding in the corner.

Once Little Bear realizes the enormous white being is not a god, the two begin to form a close friendship. Omri experiments with other figures, bringing to life such luminaries as Darth Vader and Robocop, but they prove more difficult to manage. Unable to resist showing off his new pal, Omri invites Patrick over for a look. Things start to go badly when Patrick decides to animate a toy of his own, a cowboy named Boone. Suspicions and animosities flare up, compelling the boys to learn a valuable lesson on responsibility.

Lynne Reid Banks’ best-selling children’s book provided the basis for E.T. screenwriter Melissa Matheson’s script. Muppeteer Frank Oz directed (his work as Yoda likely made it easier to sign Darth Vader, who, by all reports, is very finicky about his projects). Educational without being overbearing, The Indian in the Cupboard was a quiet hit, the serene and thoughtful yin to Toy Story’s fast and funny yang.

Movie Release History

1995 - Indian in the Cupboard

Movie Sub Categories


Movie Studio

Scholastic Prods., The Kennedy-Marshall Co., Reliable, Columbia Pics., Paramount Pics.


Omri Hal Scardino
Little Bear Litefoot
Jane Lindsay Crouse
Victor Richard Jenkins
Patrick Rishi Bhat
Tommy Steve Coogan
Boone David Keith
Lucy Sakina Jaffrey
GiRon Vincent Kartheiser
Teacher Nestor Serrano
Adiel Ryan Olson
Baby Martin Leon Tejwani
Baby Martin Lucas Tejwani
Purple Mohawk Christopher Conte
Emily Cassandra Brown

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