Muppet Treasure Island Review

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The Muppet's twist on the classic tale from Robert Louis Stevenson.


When it comes to bringing non-human characters to life on film, the likes of Toy Story's dazzling computer expertise and The Nightmare Before Christmas' ghoulish stop-motion techniques have heightened cinemagoers' expectations to new levels. Therefore, the sight of the Muppets making their first movie appearance since 1992's Christmas Carol - with no technological wizardry or flashy special effects applied to update the simple but effective puppetry techniques - proves to be a sobering experience. And the attempt of Jim Henson's bug-eyed creations to keep up with the times results in a breezily entertaining yet old-fashioned brew.

Kermit and co. once again plunder literature, with the leading amphibian starring as Captain Smollet, heading off on the high seas with his co-stars in search of treasure. Naturally, though, plot quickly takes second place to the ensuing daft romp, with Miss Piggy as long-lost love Benjamina Gunn, Fozzie Bear on hilarious sidekick duties, and assorted other Muppets making cameos.

Meanwhile, human support comes in the form of Billy Connolly, Jennifer Saunders and an excellent Tim Curry playing Long John Silver to the hilt. And the musical numbers are backed by elaborate set-pieces (the best of which, Cabin Fever, dresses the entire cast up Carmen Miranda style) that linger in the memory far longer than the accompanying tunes.

It's business as usual for The Muppets - although the satirical edge that characterised the original TV show is sadly lacking - with impressive sets (especially the pirate ship) and more than enough jokes to please all age ranges.