Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Indian in the Cupboard (1995)

An American fantasy directed by Frank Oz, starring Richard Jenkins, Steve Coogan and David Keith.
A boy receives an antique cupboard and a toy Indian for his birthday. When he puts the Indian into the cupboard, closes and re-opens the door, the Indian is alive.
Standard, classic kids' flick. The simple premise of the plot was expanded a little bit by the interactions of the child, Indian and other characters. The characters themselves did not develop very much. The boy supposedly learned respect and responsibility by the misuse of his magic cupboard. The video had good special effects. It looked like forced perspective and compositing combined with creative framing and editing to me. I was unable to easily find an explanation of how the small and large characters were combined. The audio was not so great. I could hear all of the dialogue, but the soundtrack music was way over the top. The gigantic symphonic piece that plays when the Indian first comes to life was too early for such "magical" music to be used. This theme continued throughout the duration. The pacing was way too fast, with hardly any setup time before the cupboard is opened on a living toy character. It almost left nowhere to go. They built it up too quickly and made the rest of the film seem inconsequential. I know it was based on the book and that's how the story was written. The theme that disturbed me most was theft. This kid is a kleptomaniac, stealing anything and everything to give to his little friend. Overall, a little too hokey and lacking in plot development. I rate it tolerable.

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