Omri (Hal Scardino), a young boy growing up in Brooklyn, receives an odd variety of presents for his birthday: a wooden cabinet from his older brother, a set of antique keys from his mother Jane (Linsday Crouse), and a tiny plastic model of an Indian from his best friend Patrick (Rishi Bhat). Putting them all together, Omri locks the Indian inside the cabinet, only to be awoken by a strange sound in the middle of the night. Omri opens the cabinet to discover that the tiny Indian has come to life; it seems that he's called Little Bear (Litefoot), and he claims to have learned English from settlers in 1761. Omri hides this remarkable discovery from his mother but shares it with Patrick; as an experiment, Patrick locks a toy cowboy into the cupboard, and soon Little Bear has a companion, Boone (David Keith), though predictably, the cowboy and the Indian don't get along well at first. Omri comes to the realizations that his living and breathing playthings are also people with lives of ...
An excellent film exploring complex themes lightheartedly
This film was special. It's not to say it ranks high amongst the worlds films technically (which is not to say it fails in this regard it simply does not depend upon special effects), but the underlying theme is gentle and beautifully presented. The child actors' performances are solid. Especially the lead 'Omri', and his friend (whom I really liked and really disliked respectively - (hence his acting ability)). It's an innocent story with great imagination, and doesn't take itself too seriously. The relationship and growth that the main character develops with Little Bear (the Indian in the cupboard) is special. It eventually takes on a father/son dynamic after a role reversal or sorts from the Creator/created dynamic the boy has with Little Bear at first. I was touched by this relationship and by Omri's innocence. Frank Oz imagination is conveyed well through this work. I can easily imagine being in Omri's shoes and enjoy this film each time I watch it. Whether you watch this with kids or not, odds are you'll enjoy it.
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