Movies like indian in the cupboard
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid BanksApparently many people feel that this book is full of racist stereotypes. I can see where theyre coming from, starting with the outdated term Indian, as opposed to Native American (or Iroquois, in this case). Not only that, but the Indian in the book, Little Bear, speaks in very broken English, and he has a seemingly simplistic, stereotypical outlook.
However...its hard to be mad at a book for being racist when it portrays the Indian as the wisest, bravest, most hard-working character in the book. Yes, in the beginning Omri doesnt realize that Little Bear is a PERSON. But the book is partly about Omri coming to see that Little Bear IS a person, and that to have him as a toy or a possession is completely inappropriate.
Little Bear has more self-respect in his 2.75 inch body than the vast majority of full-sized people. He wastes no time on self-pity and instead focuses on how he can create a life in which he can take care of himself in the very strange circumstances in which he finds himself. He wants to hunt for his own food, build his own home, etc. I think its obvious to Omri, as well as to the reader, that Little Bear has a very strong system of values that include intelligence, skill, self-reliance, courage, and hard work, among other things.
Its hard for me to see how having an Indian as a toy is racist, when there is also a (caucasian) cowboy, a (caucasian) English soldier, and others who are in the same position. And perhaps its stereotypical to have the Indian and the cowboy dislike and fight each other...but is it racist to have the Indian show himself to be smarter, braver, stronger, more skilled, more stoic and even more hygienic at every turn? Little Bear even teaches Omri (and the reader) that an Indian isnt an Indian, and that as an Iroquois brave, to use a teepee, especially one with Algonquin markings, is unthinkable.
As for the broken English...Little Bear is the only character in the book for whom English is not his first language. I actually liked the way he spoke, and was amazed at his way of cutting right to the heart of the matter with a very limited vocabulary. I could see how Little Bears way of speaking might seem like baby talk, which would infantilize him, but I didnt take it that way. Instead I was impressed at the way he had learned enough English to get his meaning across and meet his needs. Little Bears way of speaking did not make him seem any less intelligent, mature, or sophisticated to me.
In fact, Little Bear was portrayed as such a paragon for much of the book that one could almost find that racist -- as if Little Bear was more than human -- but he does have some weaknesses that he displays occasionally, such as his stubbornness and quickness to judge. So while Little Bear has many admirable qualities, he is not saintly.
Im sure that there are dated, inaccurate and stereotypical elements in this book. Since Im not Native American, Im certainly not in the best position to judge. But if this book contributed to my image of Native Americans at all, it was in a positive way. I do think that this books heart was in the right place, and that the author approached the Iroquois character with respect and the intention to portray him very positively. Overall I loved the book for its clever, original, exciting plot, its complex characterization, its high-quality writing, and the messages it sends about what qualities are to be admired in people.
90's Family Movies
Rated PG. For some young viewers, these and other nuggets of Native American advice weigh down the story of the mutually astonished Omri and Little Bear like a canoe full of rocks. Some, like Nicholas J. The adorably ordinary Omri played by Hal Scardino gets to live out the fantasy of nearly every child when he receives a cupboard from his brother for his ninth birthday and activates its magic with an old key that belonged to his grandmother. The toys he places inside are as shocked and not nearly as pleased as he is to find themselves out of their era and dwarfed by the rest of the world. He is lonely, misses his people and needs a wife. He also activates a deer for Little Bear to hunt and kill in the back-yard grass and another toy Native American figure to provide Little Bear with a weapon.
Earn points on every ticket you buy. Get your swag on with discounted movies to stream at home, exclusive movie gear, access to advanced screenings and discounts galore. We know life happens, so if something comes up, you can return or exchange your tickets up until the posted showtime. Looking for movie tickets? Enter your location to see which movie theaters are playing The Indian in the Cupboard near you. A magic cabinet brings to life a boy's action figures, including an Indian named Little Bear.
The Indian in the Cupboard is a American family fantasy drama film directed by Frank Oz and written by Melissa Mathison , based on the children's book of the same name by Lynne Reid Banks. He later discovers that putting toy figures in the cupboard, after locking and unlocking it, brings the toys to life.
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