Richie Rich

Richie Rich

For many a year, Richie Rich, the always kind and friendly “poor little rich boy” appeared in hundreds of Harvey comics. A Saturday morning cartoon was first attempted in 1980 but proved to be short-lived. It would take another 14 years before the mega-wealthy lad was brought to the big screen in the 1994 live-action film, Richie Rich.

Casting agents apparently decided to find the wealthiest kid available for the title role, because Home Alone megastar, Macaulay Culkin’s bank account balance likely rivaled that of the fictional character by the time he landed this role (perhaps a slight exaggeration). At his side, a supporting cast of familiar faces that included Edward Herrmann, John Larroquette, Christine Ebersole, Michael McShane and Jonathan Hyde.

Richie is the eventual heir to Rich Enterprises, a monumentally successful company run by his father, Richard Rich – with an estimated value of $70 billion. And yet, all that money can’t buy Richie what he wants the most, a decent set of friends. The prep school students are too snobby and local kids consider him an outcast.

Lending a hand to ease the lad’s loneliness is ever faithful family butler and trusted confidante, Cadbury. He grabs an assortment of inner-city kids and puts together a play date for his young master and they are mesmerized by the surrounding gadgets toys and other amenities including his very own McDonalds and personal indoor roller coaster.

Meanwhile, trouble is brewing and his name is Laurence Van Dough, an employee of Rich Industries who is plotting a takeover. Soon after, word is received that the Rich family private jet has gone in the middle of the ocean, the fate of the parents unknown. As a result, the young tycoon steps in to assume control of the company with the help of Cadbury. But Van Dough has more sinister surprises up his sleeve. He frames Cadbury and holds Richie captive. It is up to his new friends, his faithful butler and an eccentric inventor, Professor Keenbean to come to the rescue and save the day.

There were plenty of special effects and sight gags to keep kids entertained by Richie Rich, including cameos by Claudia Schiffer and Reggie Jackson as the boy’s personal trainer and batting coach, respectively, and the appearance of a memorable hi-tech robotic bee. The film enjoyed a moderate box-office success, enough to spawn a sequel in 1994, the direct-to-video Richie’s Christmas Wish, although this time around, David Gallagher was given the title role. Perhaps Culkin became too old for the role, or perhaps he simply had his own mountain of wealth to occupy his time and no longer needed to pretend.

If you have fond memories of dreaming of your own incalculable wealth while watching Richie Rich on the big screen, we’d love to hear all about it in our comments section below, as we tip our hats to the immortalized “poor little rich kid.”

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