July 15, 2024

THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD – Outdoors and Free in Memorial Park, Nyack

Showing: August 26, 8:00 PM
Year: 1995
Country: USA
Genre: ,
Actors: ,,,,

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A children’s fantasy that acknowledges the power of media and the danger of stereotyping. Appropriate for ages 7 and up.

On Omri’s ninth birthday, he receives a skateboard, a helmet, a Skeleton Warrior action figure, an old wooden cupboard, and a miniature plastic Indian. Omri soon discovers that the cupboard can transform all his inanimate objects–dinosaurs, knights, a WWI medic, Darth Vader–into flesh and blood. One, Little Bear, a member of the Onondaga nation of the Iroquois confederacy, comes from 1761, a time when his people are in danger of extinction – and he’s 3 inches tall. Omri hides Little Bear from his family but shares this secret with his best friend, Patrick. Ignoring Omri’s warnings, Patrick places a plastic cowboy inside the cupboard and another small being emerges–the cowboy Boone, who’s from the 1870s, when the modern world is fast encroaching. Omri and Patrick will soon discover the many consequences of their actions. 1995, USA, 96 minutes, rated PG.

8:00 PM. It can cool off by the river in the evening, so bring appropriate clothing.  The lawn is being replanted in the fall, but much of it is gravely now. For the best comfort, bring a lawn chair!


“A delightful adaptation of Lynne Reid Banks’ children’s classic.” – Time Out

“A GREAT BIG-HEARTED movie.” “The Indian in the Cupboard is a faithful, clever adaptation of Lynne Reid Banks’s award-winning children’s book. A sort of blockbuster in reverse, with its action and adventures played on a very small scale”
Washington Post

“A startlingly explicit metaphor (and mea culpa) for the connection between on- and off-screen violence.” “An engaging and touching flight of fancy.” – Newsweek

“Surprisingly well-done nearly all the way around, this neither plays down to its target audience, nor fumbles the inherent childhood fantasy of the story.” – Austin Chronicle

“The story is sensitively told, reminding young moviegoers that history is made of real people, not the caricatures who inhabit Hollywood myths.” “Delightful, caring, imaginative.” – Christian Science Monitor

The book on which this film is based was reviewed in the 1981 New York Times article “BOOKS: Best For Children” where it was called “the best novel of the year”. At one time it was widely available in libraries and used in classrooms, to the point that it was part of the teaching curricula for children at the novel’s recommended reading level.

For parents of young children:

Parent Previews says:
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, how white settlers felt about the native people they found on this continent, and how the native people felt about their new neighbors.

Common Sense Media says:
Parents need to know that The Indian in the Cupboard is a tender and compelling fantasy about friendship and compassion that tweens will thoroughly enjoy. It does have some potentially upsetting moments: the 9-year-old boy grieves when he brings an aging figure to life who subsequently suffers a fatal coronary. Little Bear (the Indian in the title) explains that he is mourning his wife. Both Little Bear and Boone (a cowboy) explain to Omri that it is time for them to find wives and have children. Little Bear and Boone fight before becoming friends and one scene shows a violent massacre of Native Americans on TV, which causes Little Bear to shoot Boone with an arrow, though he later recovers.