The Indian in the Cupboard (1995) — PICK
Adapted by E.T. screenwriter Melissa Matheson from the children’s book by Lynne Reid Banks and directed by Frank Oz, the film centers on a 9-year-old boy named Omri (Hal Scardino) who discovers that an old wooden cupboard has the magical power to bring toys to life. A plastic Indian figurine becomes Little Bear (Litefoot), a tiny 18th-century Native American, while a toy cowboy becomes Boone (David Keith), a 19th-century cowboy. Omri learns lessons about power and responsibility as well as history and life in general.
It’s not a masterpiece, but at its best it’s charming and even haunting. Bonus Picks: David Mamet’s The Spanish Prisoner and Neil Burger’s The Illusionist, both new on Blu-ray, are entertaining adult fare.
Caveat Spectator: The Indian in the Cupboard: Brief scenes of televised violence and a music video featuring scantily clad female dancers. Kids and up.