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Still shot from the movie: Muppet Treasure Island.

Muppet Treasure Island

Putting the "rat" in pirate, the Muppet characters infest the classic tale of Treasure Island with their unique style and characters.

Overall Grade: B-
Violence: C+
Sexual Content: A-
Language: A-
Drugs/Alcohol: --
Release Date: 15 Feb 1996
Run Time: 100
MPAA Rating: G

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In-Depth Review

Over 400 Muppets and more humans than any other Muppet movie are gathered together for Muppet Treasure Island, the latest Henson offering. As usual, the Muppets cash in on their enviable marketing ability, appealing to adults as much as children, with their corny puns and tongue-in-cheek humor woven into the serious themes presented in Stevenson's original story.

Long John Silver (Tim Curry) was the ultimate temptation to young Jim (Kevin Bishop) as he tried to lure Jim to give him the treasure map. This confrontation creates many threatening scenes, with men trying to kill Jim while other segments depict mass murder and torture. The Muppets do their best to help you laugh your way through the bad guys with the frogs, rats, and pigs obscuring the more serious content, however younger children may be frightened as they won't understand some of the humor.

For the big kids (including the parents), there are enough sight gags and asides to always keep the story interesting. One favorite of mine was the ongoing Pirate Cruise, featuring the Muppet rodents in full tacky touristy outfits and miniature cameras. "We put the RAT in Pirate," announces the cruise director as they pile onto the ship. As usual, a place has been found for all the Muppet regulars, including the Swedish chef making cannibal soup, with the introductory line of, "How else could we fit him into this movie?"

The beauty of Muppets is they don't have egos. Even Miss Piggy can't bite the hand that moves her, as she only plays a small part at the end of the movie. On the other hand, their human counterparts seem to be taking themselves much too seriously, especially Curry as Long John. Part of the problem is Treasure Island is anything but a comedy, and often the humor seems misplaced. At the same time, there is still some fun entertainment here, and with every scene shot inside the huge Shepperton studios in England (including the beach!), Muppet Treasure Island is worth digging for.

Video alternatives

Other movies from this franchise that we have reviewed include: The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Muppet’s Wizard of Oz and Best Of The Muppet Show.

Home Video Notes

Home Video Notes: Muppet Treasure Island & The Great Muppet Caper: Of Pirates & Pigs Collection

Release Date: 10 December 2013

Disney has paired together the movies Muppet Treasure Island and The Great Muppet Caper, in an Of Pirates & Pigs Collection. This Blu-ray package includes:

- Frog-E-Oke Sing-Along: Sing, howl and croak along with Kermit and the gang.

-Muppet Treasure Island – “Cabin Fever”

-The Great Muppet Caper–“Steppin’ Out With A Star”

DVD Release Date: 29 November 2005

In commemoration of Kermit’s 50th Anniversary, Buena Vista Home Entertainment is releasing to DVD in a restored and re-mastered format The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Muppet Treasure Island. Sold individually, each film offers a Pepe Profiles Present interview with one of the Muppet stars. The Muppet Christmas Carol also features a gag reel, a Christmas Around the World music video and audio commentary by Brian Henson. All of the discs provide the movie in full and wide screen, with audio tracks in English and French.

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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