Indian in the Cupboard [1995]

Young Hal Scardino stars as a sensitive boy who discovers a way to bring plastic toys to life in a locked cupboard. One of those toys, a 19th-century Iroquois warrior (played by actor Litefoot), was actually a real warrior now only several inches tall. A bond eventually develops between boy and warrior, and a six-shooting toy cowboy (David Keith). As with E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Indian in the Cupboard (which was written by E.T. scribe Melissa Mathison) is about a magical visitor connecting with a lonely child. But director Frank Oz (In & Out) has made the film far too stiff and dramatically flat to get across the enchantment necessary to make the fantasy work. Watching this is like listening to someone who can't tell a good story to save his life, yet who is trying to captivate your attention and heart. --Tom Keogh

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