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Muppet Treasure Island (1996)

aka Muppet Treasure Island

"Set sail for Muppet mayhem!"

Directed By: 
Details: 100 mins · English · G (USA)


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Not as good as I remember.

Muppet Treasure Island was one of my childhood staples, so I recognize how inherently biased I am toward it. Upon my most recent viewing, I felt sad because started to notice its flaws a lot more, like how its humor isn’t nearly as sharp and its songs not nearly as memorable as those from Muppet films before Disney acquired them. That said, there’s still a lot that works, especially Tim Curry in the role of Long John Silver and the heavy emphasis on Gonzo and Rizzo, who are a goofy delight. And if you love Sam The Eagle, like I do, there’s a lot to enjoy too. But no matter how much the movie declines in my mind, I still count on the zany, catchy song “Cabin Fever” getting stuck in my head for days after I see it. So there’s always that.

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Small Long John Silver
No_movie_poster Jim Hawkins
Small Mrs. Bluberidge
Small Billy Bones


Small Hans Zimmer Original Music Composer
Small Frank Oz Producer
No_movie_poster John Fenner Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Michael Jablow Editor
Small Robert Louis Stevenson Novel
Small Jerry Juhl Screenplay
No_movie_poster Brian Henson Director
No_movie_poster Brian Henson Production


"Set sail for Muppet mayhem!"


Jim Hawkins (Kevin Bishop) is a young orphan living with his friends Gonzo and Rizzo at the Admiral Benbow inn in England. Dreaming of sea voyages, Jim only has the tales of Billy Bones (Billy Connolly) to help, Bones telling Jim and the inn patrons of Captain Flint (David Nicholls), his old captain, burying his treasure on a remote island and killing all of his crew, and that no one knows the whereabouts of the map ("Shiver My Timbers"). One night, as Jim, Gonzo, and Rizzo continue to dream of sea voyages ("Something Better"), Blind Pew, a fellow pirate, arrives and gives Bones the black spot. Bones dies of a heart attack but reveals to Jim, Gonzo and Rizzo he had the map all along beforehand. Blind Pew returns with an army of pirates, but the boys escape with the map.

Going to a harbour town, the boys meet the half-wit son of Squire Trelawney (Fozzie Bear) who decides to fund a voyage to find Treasure Island and Flint's fortune. Accompanied by Dr. Livesey (Dr. Bunsen Honeydew) and his assistant Beaker, the boys and Trelawney hire the Hispaniola, commanded by Captain Abraham Smollett (Kermit the Frog) and his overly strict first mate Mr. Arrow (Sam the Eagle). The boys meet the cook Long John Silver (Tim Curry), a one-legged man who Bones warned the boys about before dying. The ship sets sail ("Sailing for Adventure"), but Smollett is concerned by the pirate-like crew, learning they were hired on Silver's suggestion. Jim and Silver bond, but Gonzo and Rizzo are captured by the pirates Polly Lobster, Mad Monty and Clueless Morgan who demand they surrender the map but Mr. Arrow catches them in the act and imprisons them in the brig. Smollett locks the map in his safe upon ordering Jim to give him the map for safekeeping.

Eventually, after all members of the crew battle against starvation ("Cabin Fever"), it becomes apparent that Silver is leader of the pirates and plots a mutiny, fooling Mr. Arrow into leaving the ship to test a lifeboat for safety precautions, and faking his death. Jim, Gonzo and Rizzo learn of Silver's plan and inform Smollett. Smollett planned to leave Long John Silver and those involved on Treasure Island. However, Silver captures Jim upon arrival at Treasure Island (where he tricks him into giving him his crutches) with the other pirates stealing the map from Smollett's safe ("Professional Pirate"). Smollett, Gonzo and Rizzo go to save Jim but are captured by the local tribe of native pigs ruled over by Benjamina Gunn (Miss Piggy), Smollett's ex-fiance who he left at the altar. Jim, Silver and the pirates find the hiding place of Flint's treasure only to find the treasure missing, Silver sending Jim away as a fight breaks out among the pirates. The pirates come across Smollett and Benjamina. Smollett is then suspended from a cliff until Benjamina tells Silver the treasure is hidden in her home, but when Benjamina spits out a kiss from Silver, he leaves the two to dangle, allowing the pair to fall in love again ("Love Led us Here").

Jim, Gonzo and Rizzo find Mr. Arrow who aids them sneaking on board the ship and scaring off the pirates still onboard by posing as his ghost and freeing Trelawney, Dr. Livesey and Beaker, before the figureheads of the Hispaniola (Statler and Waldorf) save Smollett and Benjamina (though Waldorf notes that they "didn't save the movie"). A battle breaks out between the heroes and the pirates where Sweetums defects to Smollett's side by taking out some of the pirates. Smollett then fights Silver in a sword battle but loses. Jim and the others rally to their captain's aid, Silver surrendering honourably. All the pirates are stuffed into the brig but Silver escapes using Mr. Arrow's keys. Jim catches him in the act, but allows Silver to leave for the sake of their friendship. However, Mr. Arrow informs Jim and Smollett that the longboat Silver took was damaged, forcing Silver to abandon ship and swim to Treasure Island. The crew of the Hispaniola sail off into the sunset while some scuba-diving rats discover the treasure.

During the credits, it is shown that Silver is marooned on the island with only a wisecracking Moai head for company as the Moai tells him a joke.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1996-02-16 : United States of America

DVD : 2002-06-04