Muppet Treasure Island Review.
The muppets, a group of characters so famous and iconic, they’d probably be one of the first things to pop into your head just by saying their species. Treasure Island, a perfect example of classic literature, solidifying what a pirate is in the public mind. Why not slam these two together! Well, this film is why. For the record, I’ve never actually read treasure island, the only other treasure island thing I’ve ever seen was treasure planet, and I thought it was pretty good actually. Mini-review, watch treasure planet. Anyways, I digress, let’s see if the muppets can pull a Christmas carol and make a good recreation of a classic book.
The film begins with the best part of the film, a musical number! But we’ll be talking about them later so let’s just move on. We transition to some drunkard named billy bones going on about treasure and shit, before the owner of the bar, Mrs. Bluveridge, kicks him out. She then makes out main character, Jim Hawkins, clean it up, along with Gonzo and Rizzo. They sing a song about wanting to get out of their job and go on some adventure.
Suddenly Billy Bones bursts back in screaming about a map or something! Jim tries to calm him down before a blind muppet comes in and gives Billy bones, the black spot. It’s literally just a little black dot drawn on a piece of paper, and yet billy freaks the fuck out! He starts packing, explaining that he has a map to treasure, and the black spot means he was marked for death. He tells Jim where to find the map and to not trust the man with one leg, then he just, falls over dead. I thought for a sec that this black spot was like, magical, like we had some pirates of the caribbean stuff going on, but then suddenly a whole army of pirates storms in, so I guess the death was just a coincidence.
Jim, Gonzo, and Rizzo manage to escape and find Fozzie bear, who agrees to finance their journey to find the treasure! The next day they hop on a ship full of people, including the cook Long John Silver, played by the always entertaining Tim Curry. They talk for a bit, and Jim notices that he only has one leg. Others on the ship include Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beeker, Sam Eagle, the whole band of Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, and of course, everyone’s favorite muppet, Sweetums.
Sam Eagle suddenly tells everyone that the captain is the most ruthless captain on the high seas, but haha it’s just the mild-mannered Kermit. With that, they set off! A few nights after setting off, Long John and Jim, try to have a meaningful moment together, bonding over them both having terrible parents, but it just doesn’t work because there’s no moment where Long John actually seems to care.
While this is happening, a couple of other muppets kidnap Gonzo and Rizzo for the location of the map. Before they kill Rizzo, they’re found out and thrown in the clink. Kermit asks if he can have the map to keep it safe, and so Jim agrees. We also see him longing over a picture of Miss Piggy. Long John learns that Kermit has everything locked up, and manages to trick Sam Eagle into giving him the keys, then into going on a dinghy and then just kinda float off.
Having gotten the keys and the map, it’s time for Long John to spring a trap, he tricks Jim into getting on a dinghy with him and a few of his pirate mates, and they row off towards the island, which they coincidentally happen to be close to. They make it to the treasure island and it’s finally revealed that Long John is, in fact, a pirate! He asks Jim to join him, IN SONG! But Jim says no. Then he reveals that almost the whole crew on the ship is part of long Johns crew! What will happen to our heroes? Who cares!
The characters are, fine. They’re the characters you’ve come to expect from our muppet pals. Fozzie is wacky, Kermit is calm and a bit of a goofball, Sam Eagle is, Sam Eagle. The acting is not terrible, but at the same time nothing worth writing home about. Except for good old Tim fuckin’ Curry. As always, he is giving his all in this performance, which is something I have to commend good old Tim fuckin’ Curry for, no matter how shit a film he’s always giving his all. But apart from him, everyone’s fiiiiine.
The songs in this film are very varied, quality wise. They range from pretty damn great to pretty annoying and terrible. The best song, by far, is “Shiver my Timbers,” which is the intro song. It’s very catchy and memorable. The lyrics are also pretty good, explaining the cruelness of pirates, using such words as, “There are men whose hearts are as black as coal,” and “Those buccaneers drown their sins in rum, the devil himself would have to call them scum.” The song also progressively gets more intense as it goes on. I’m actually listening to this song as I write this, I recommend it.
The worst song in the soundtrack though has got to be Cabin fever. Aside from reminding me of a pretty bad horror movie, it’s just boring. Despite trying to keep a fast beat, it’s the least interested I was while watching. I nearly gave up at that point. Aside from those two songs specifically, the rest of the soundtrack is, serviceable.
Kermit, Gonzo, and Rizzo all depart from the ship in order to get Jim back, since Kermit is suspicious of what’s going on. Just as they leave, Long Johns pirates take over the ship, trapping Fozzie, Honeydew and Beeker! The next day, Kermit Gonzo and Rizzo get kidnapped by a tribe of pigs revealing Miss Piggy to be their queen! At about the same time, Gonzo, Rizzo, and Jim all escape and somehow meet up at the beach, where Sam Eagle also just so happens to appear on the dinghy.
Kermit and Miss Piggy bicker, and Long John finds them. He gets Miss Piggy to tell him where the treasure is, then sets them up to be killed, then they sing a song about how they love each other. At the same time, Gonzo, Jim, Rizzo, and Sam Eagle recapture the ship and they manage to save Kermit and Miss Piggy. More accurately, Statler and Waldorf save them, since they’re the carvings on the front of the ship. There’s a fight on the beach, and in the end Long John gives himself up because he can’t bring himself to kill Jim.
However, Long John still has the keys. He uses them to sneak out of the prison, get a bunch of gold into a dinghy, and is about to leave. Suddenly Jim catches him! Jim however, lets him go, showing that he still cares about Long John, even after all he’s done. This is immediately undercut by seeing the Dinghy sinking meaning that Long John dies. Anyways, Jim, Rizzo, Gonzo, and the rest continue to sail for more adventures, the end.
Ah boy is this not good. I had high hopes given the intro song and Tim Curry being a main character, but most of the film is just really boring. I guess kids would like it but, that kinda sucks. The muppets are a group that appeals to everyone, and the fact that this film only worked for kids was a sign of the end. After this film came Muppets From Space, which was the nail in the coffin for basically the entire franchise until the reboot in 2011. Honestly, I suggest you guys skip this and just watching treasure planet instead. See you guys next week!