ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Movies & Movie Reviews

Film Review: Muppet Treasure Island

Updated on February 29, 2016
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.

Background

In 1996, Brian Henson released Muppet Treasure Island, based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novel, Treasure Island, as the fifth feature film to star the Muppets. Starring Kevin Bishop, Tim Curry, Jennifer Saunders, Bill Connolly, Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Sam the Eagle, The Great Gonzo, Sweetums, Statler and Waldorf, the film grossed $34.3 million at the Box Office. Not only did the film spawn a video game, but there was a lawsuit surrounding it by the Hormel Foods Corporation because of the name Spa’am for a character. It was dismissed for failure to prove damages.

Synopsis

Jim Hawkins and his friends Gonzo and Rizzo are warned of a legendary pirate captain and the treasure that he hid. But after their employer’s inn is burned down by the captain’s crew, the treasure map ends up in Jim’s possession so they set sail on the Hispaniola to find the treasure.

Review

Muppet Treasure Island is one of the funniest Muppets films that have come out of the franchise, utilizing a lot of the darker points of Treasure Island to their humorous advantage. In doing so, the film is quite a bit darker than other Muppet films, with some characters dying, getting tortured, delivering threats, drinking, falling overboard and even the first song with talks about greed, murder, and alcoholism and even references Satan. But even with the somewhat darker tone, the Muppets are able to counteract it with some great comedy. Take the torture scene with Rizzo and Gonzo, the latter is getting racked, but he not only stretches much to the perpetrators’ disbelief, but he enjoys it and evens says he can join the NBA. It even leads to a scene where Dr. Bunsen and Beaker shrink him down by using what they call the “window curtain” method. There’s also the death of Dead Tom, but it’s not much of a death because as soon as he’s mourned, it’s pointed out that he’s always been dead. Cue the skeleton being discarded without any flair. Billy Bones also dies early on in the film and not only does it lead to some humor, it leads to one of the fourth wall breaks the Muppets are known for.

The fourth wall breaks start early and keep going, but aren’t used too much to overstay their welcome. The first one is quite good where Rizzo yells about Billy Bones’ death and the fact that they’re in a kid’s movie. And during the song, there’s a quick line where one of the singers mentions getting his hands on whoever wrote the script along with Long John Silver calling “Professional Pirate” his “only number.” There’s also the rat tourists being told they’re on location for the movie, and actually name the film. But none of these bring Statler ad Waldorf into play and while they don’t have a lot of screentime because they’re the masthead of the ship, they still do what they do rather well, stating that the only worse thing about being stuck on the front of the ship is being stuck in the audience and that they saved Kermit and Benjamina because it was too late to save the movie.

The characters of the film are also pretty good, even the characters who don’t spend very long in the film. While Jim Hawkins is your average Jim Hawkins who spends the film acting like every other Jim Hawkins, this film’s Long John Silver stands out, namely because of his portrayal by Tim Curry, who’s able to take the standards of the character and make them his. It’s obvious he’s annoyed at almost every other character except Jim, seen when he’s guilting the other pirates about using a page of the bible for the black spot, rolling his eyes when they’re trying to plead for forgiveness. Also, gender-flipping Ben Gunn as Benjamina, played by Miss Piggy is also interesting, making her an old flame of Kermit, Long John Silver and Flint. Further, this is the only adaptation of the novel to let Mr. Arrow live and doing so helps to continue in the fun when Sam the Eagle gives his usual deadpan delivery as a fake ghost.

4 stars for Muppet Treasure Island

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinion

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)