The Indian in the Cupboard
Most of all, he's a tiny, powerless plaything whose fate a giant white boy controls. It's a great metaphor for the historic paternalism of Anglos toward Indians.
One could find a few specifics to complain about also. The Indian is half-naked, though he comes from a place with a summery climate. His name "Little Bear" is blatantly symbolic: Yes, he's little, but he's still a bear of a man.
But if you overlook the paternalistic setup, there's a lot to like. Little Bear reaches for his weapons first, but it quickly becomes clear he's a thoughtful man of peace. He teaches Omri (and the audience) a bit about the Iroquois; for instance, that they live in longhouses, not tipis. Omri brings "white" toys to life too, so it's hard to see The Indian in the Cupboard as a statement about Indians.
Most important, Little Bear ends up imparting simple but valuable lessons. Lessons along the lines of "humans aren't toys" and "it's dangerous to play with things you don't understand." Even at his small size, he begins as a naive pupil but eventually becomes a moral guide or teacher.
Overall, I'd put The Indian in the Cupboard in roughly the same category as Disney's Pocahontas. If you can't get past the cartoonish premise, you probably won't like either film. But if you can, you'll find The Indian in the Cupboard an enjoyable family film with a decent take on Indians. Rob's rating: 8.0 of 10.
For more on the subject, see Litefoot Dispels Stereotypes and The Best Indian Movies.