Bibliography: Kennedy, Kathleen, Marshall, Frank, & Startz, Jane. (Producers). Oz, Frank. (Director). (1995). The Indian in the Cupboard [DVD]. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. 97 minutes. Tr. $10.00, ISBN 978-0-7678-4879-4
Plot: After receiving an old cupboard from his mother and a little plastic toy Indian from his best friend for his birthday, nine year old Omri discovers something amazing. The cupboard has a lock on it, so he goes searching through his mother’s box of old keys and finds a gold key with a red ribbon attached to it. He takes it back to his cupboard and it actually works, the cupboard opens. He wants to put something in the cupboard to lock up and decides to put his new toy Indian. He settles the Indian in and locks him up and goes to bed, However, the next morning he hears a tapping and traces it to the cupboard, when he unlocks it, the toy Indian is now a tiny real Indian, flesh and blood. This is the beginning of an important friendship.
Review: This is a touching story of a few unlikely characters becoming friends. The magic that takes place is subtle, but no less important. After discovering his cupboard can bring toy figurines to life, Omri starts to learn a lot more about his Indian heritage from a little toy Indian named Little Bear. When the cowboy Boone is brought to life, him and Little Bear share some animosity at first, but soon become friends despite their differences, and Omri learns from them and becomes a better person for it. The is a wonderful film based off of the children’s book by the same name by Lynne Reid Banks. A magical friendship is formed within this film.
Interest Level: 5-8 graders
Similar Materials: The Borrowers, Small Soldiers, The Secret Garden
Reader’s Advisory: This is a fantastic movie. I used to watch it over and over again when I was a kid. It is absolutely wonderful that Little Bear and Boone were able to make friends in the end even though they both came from a time when Indians and cowboys were enemies. I highly recommend this book to children.