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Released July 14, 1995
Duration 98 minutes
Director Frank Oz
Written by Melissa Mathison (screenplay), Lynne Reid Banks (novel)
Music Randy Edelman
Studio Columbia Pictures
Rated PG

The Creature Shop's rat in a ball

The Indian in the Cupboard is a theatrical film, geared toward family audiences, based on a 1980 series of children's books of the same name. The story focuses on a young boy, Omri, who receives a magic cupboard through which he can bring his toy figures to life. He does so, beginning with an Indian (Native American) named Little Bear, but soon finds that his "toys" have lives of their own and that there's a great responsibility involved.

George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic supplied most of the visual effects on the film, notably a sequence in which other action figures come to life, among them Darth Vader having a lightsaber battle with a dinosaur (a Cardassian and a Ferengi from Star Trek are also featured, as is RoboCop). Though uncredited, Jim Henson's Creature Shop worked on a couple of sequences involving a pet rat (as acknowledged on the official Henson website and in the company's promotional copy in various film press kits). Julianne Buescher operated the rat.

In audio commentary on the film's DVD, and in interviews, director Frank Oz expressed initial reluctance to helm a family film, hoping to gravitate towards drama:

β€œI'm not a children's director... I wouldn't know how to direct a children's movie. I didn't know what children wanted when I was a child, and I don't know at 50 years old. I just try to make good movies.[1]”


  • Hal Scardino as Omri
  • Litefoot as Little Bear
  • Lindsay Crouse as Jane
  • Richard Jenkins as Victor
  • Rishi Bhat as Patrick
  • Steve Coogan as Tommy Watkins
  • David Keith as Boo-hoo Boone
  • Sakina Jaffrey as Lucy
  • Vincent Kartheiser as Gillon
  • Nestor Serrano as Teacher


  1. ↑ Ryan, James. "Wizardry of Oz Creates Little 'Indian'." The San Francisco Chronicle. July 17, 1995
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