Richie Rich (stylized as Ri¢hie Ri¢h) was the 1994 film version of the classic Harvey Comics character of the same name, starring Macaulay Culkin in his last official role as a "child actor".Richard "Richie" Rich, Jr is the 13-year-old son of the world's richest man, billionaire business magnate and investor Richard Rich Sr. While the caring, jovial Richard Sr. and Richie's mother Regina are dedicated parents who have always provided him with the best of everything, his sheltered upbringing has cut him off from some of life's simplest pleasures — other than his loyal butler, Herbert Cadbury (Jonathan Hyde), Richie's only friends are the spoiled children of other billionaires, who have little interest in down-to-earth pursuits like his passion for baseball. When Cadbury arranges for the local children of blue-collar factory workers to come play at the Rich estate, Richie is overjoyed.... until the news breaks that his parents are missing and presumed dead following a plane crash.Unbeknownst to Richie, the Riches' plane was bombed by their greedy CFO Laurence Van Dough (John Larroquette), who seeks to gain control of their empire, plunder their famed family vault and inherit their vast fortune. Van Dough's plan, however, immediately hits two snags - first, Richie's parents survived the crash and are merely lost at sea, and second, Richie himself(who was originally supposed to be aboard the same plane) has decided to step up and run the Rich business empire until his parents are found, with Cadbury serving as his legal guardian.Richie immediately proves to be a business dynamo, achieving even more fame and fortune while bringing in his young friends as "research consultants" on the company's various kid-targeted products. The tide shifts again though when Van Dough has Cadbury framed for the bombing, removing the underage Richie's by-proxy authority over the company and essentially leaving him a prisoner in his own mansion.Richie's only hope of getting his butler, his parents, his family business and his life back ends up being his live-in research scientist, Professor Keenbean, who devises a way to spring Cadbury from prison and attempt to locate Riches' liferaft. Richie and his friends must then infiltrate the now highly-secured Rich manor, but meanwhile, Mr. Van Dough has discovered that Richard and Regina are still alive, and that he needs their voiceprint to unlock the door to the legendary family vault....
This film contains examples of:
Actor Allusion: A sideways one: When Ferguson blasts the nose off of Regina's likeness on Mount Richmore, she reacts by exclaiming, "I look like Michael Jackson!" You wonder how Macaulay Culkin reacted to that line before it was shot...
Adaptational Attractiveness: Richie is a teenager played by Macaulay Culkin instead of a prepubescent boy. His mom Mrs. Rich is slim while plump in the comics. Oddly the reverse is true for Professor Keenbean. Cadbury is made a little younger and gets a Love Interest.
Benevolent Boss: Richard Rich Sr.; later Richie. Rich Sr. claims to have never fired anybody in his life. He makes an exception with the Big Bad, after he tries to murder him and his family
Not Only that it's implied he hasn't Laid anyone off.
Big Eater: Professor Keenbean. One scene shows him ordering multiple Quarter Pounders and boxes of fries from Richie's personal McDonald's, and sheepishly claiming he's working on analyzing the Secret Sauce. Also, Pee-wee to an extentnote Read: Pee-wee entirely lacks personality traits aside from his eating habits.
Book Ends: At the beginning after growing up, Richie is seen playing baseball. At the end of the film, he is playing baseball again, this time, with his new friends and with Cadbury as coach.
The movie also opens with a giant green vault door opening and ends with it closing again.
Gadgeteer Genius: Prof. Keenbean, whose inventions are truly world-changing, from a spray-on nanofluid that renders any material completely bulletproof to a prototype of an early Matter Replicator that rearranges the molecules of garbage into useful everyday items.
Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Many gold-plated versions of everyday objects turn up throughout the film, from rattles and pacifiers to a set of socket wrenches presented to the Riches by a tool and die factory whom they saved from bankruptcy.
Good Parents: Richard and Regina make sure they spend time with their son, even as they are working.
Grade School CEO: The definitive example. Richie takes over the company with Cadbury's backing after his parents' plane crash. This lasts one highly successful montage, until Cadbury is framed for the Rich's murder.
Happily Married: Richie's parents, very much so. Even when they're stranded in a liferaft with dwindling rations they remain completely at ease with each other and positive about their prospects.
Actually, it seems he's perfectly aware of what Van Dough is like, as his wife pointed it out. Yet he's hesitant at first to fire him.
Regina: Oh Richard, wake up and smell the seaweed!
Humiliation Conga: Both villains get one. Ferguson has a towel superglued to his face, is knocked out, and gets stung in the ass by a robotic bee. Van Dough is left hanging for dear life on a sheer rock face, is fired by a 12-year-old boy, whose father has never fired anyone in his life, and gets punched in the face by the mother.
And then both are reduced to blue-collar groundskeepers.
Lonely at the Top: The movie's quick to point out that money doesn't buy happiness and the only thing that Richie dosen't have are real friends even the classmates he's close to make excuses to not hang out. Though this it's hinted they mean nothing Malicious. It's funny that the kids he does become friends with had to be bribed by Cadbury to hang out with him in the first place. They do quickly become friends with him.
Male Gaze: Richie Rich has Claudia Schiffer for an aerobics teacher. One scene shows Richie and Cadbury behind her, obediently following along with her instructions and mirroring her movements until she bends over to touch the floor, at which point Richie and Cadbury both stop and stare...
A Minor Kidroduction: The beginning of the film starts with the birth of Richie, all the way up to his current age.
Mugged for Disguise: Well, actually, Cadbury was the one being attacked, but he still ends up with the thug's clothes anyway.
Nice to the Waiter: Richie and his parents's relationship with Cadbury and the other Rich staff. Averted greatly with Van Dough.
Especially averted with Richie's spoiled classmate Reginald, who screams at a servant who brought him the wrong kind of coffee, irritating Richie who causes him to spill said coffee all over his fencing uniform. The servant can't help but giggle at Reginald's misfortune.
Punny Name: Laurence Van *Dough*, Professor Keenbean.
Reality Ensues: In the movie, the villain's gets hit with this. After hearing about the "Rich Family Vault", he immediately assumes that it's where he'll find the family's fortune. Astoundingly enough, the Riches didn't get rich by locking up all their wealth in a private, zero-interest vault (which turns out to be full of family heirlooms of low monetary worth). Their actual money is in banks, stocks, real estate and other interest-generating assets.
Smart People Know Latin: Cadbury is seen to be skilled in reading Latin. Richie himself apparently knows enough Latin to send him a secret message in a greeting card. This may also count as a Chekhov's Skill.
Worthless Treasure Twist: The Rich family vault has only heirlooms that the family treasures, with no real value. This, of course, leads to Van Dough's Villainous Breakdown. Completely justified in that the Riches aren't stupid to keep all their money in a zero-interest vault.