Galactic Theater

Welcome to the Galactic Theater, where we'll explore the works of master manipulators of light waves, examine the themes brought to play, and critique the final products of months of hard work.

W A R N I N G !

This review does not represent the opinions of the general public. It reflects my personal thoughts and opinions on the movie.

That said, on to the review!

Now Showing: Muppet Treasure Island
Broadcast Dates: 1994
Format: Video cassette

You know that whenever the Muppets are involved, things are sure to go wacko...and when they're unleashed upon Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, you're practically guaranteed an epic of comic proportions!

To begin with, this is the story of young Jim Hawkins and his search for the legendary treasure of Captain Flint the pirate. Along the way he runs afoul--sort of--of the one-legged man, Long John Silver. Amid the search for the treasure and the danger of the pirates there is ample opportunity for humor and comedy, and the Muppets take advantage! From the safety obsessive first mate (Sam the Eagle) to the unassuming but past-haunted Captain Smollett (Kermit the Frog) to the stupendously wild Benjamina Gunn (Miss Piggy) to the totally neutral asides by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem (who play background music for both the heroes and the pirates) you have nothing but fodder for laughter.

Newcomer Kevin Bishop plays Jim Hawkins, orphan, who with Gonzo the...Whatever...and Rizzo the Rat work in a tavern. Bishop does a good job of imbuing his character with emotion, especially when the scene involves references to his dead father. Of course, much of his time is spent with Gonzo and Rizzo, which somewhat reduces his chances to shine. Despite being one of the main characters, Bishop must inevitably take a back seat to the ravenous, profit-minded Rizzo and the strange, confusing Gonzo. Still, his role looks to be one of the more enjoyable ones, since he gets to have some of the best lines of the movie...at least, when compared to those the other human characters get.

Tim Curry does a fine turn as Long John Silver, moving easily from conniving blackheart to humor-minded sailor and back. He gets to inject a great deal of humor into his parts, especially since his role as the leader of the pirates gives him great opportunities to initiate the follies among his own band. He fills in as a sort of father-figure for Jim Hawkins, but it is a temporary thing. Still, it's interesting to watch as he finds himself protecting Jim from the other pirates, even though it is his fault that Jim is with them to begin with.

It's amazing how much fun the Muppets can have with names. What would you think if you had a crew consisting of such characters as Old Tom, Older Tom, Dead Tom, Clueless Morgan, Angel Marie, and others with similarly indicative names? You'd think that there was plenty of opportunity for mishaps, and there are! Clueless Morgan provides the most fun because he's...well, clueless. Totally clueless. It's really amazing how he manages to be a pirate when he's so...clueless. The others are scarcely better. I mean, "Dead Tom"? And then Clueless Morgan later moans that Long John killed Dead Tom, who was already dead to begin with!

Oh, and I musn't forget the high priestess of the Boars who live on Treasure Island: BOOM-Sha-ka-la-ka, a.k.a. Benjamina Gunn, a.k.a. Miss Piggy. And I'm sure you can imagine how she knows Captain Smollett (Kermit)? Her reaction to seeing him on her island is thoroughly in character with her real character. Oh, Young Squire Trelawney (Fozzie the Bear) who relies heavily upon the person living inside his finger, who's, er, confusion is nearly the end of them all. Oh, and the Swedish chef...who they just had to include in the feature.

There are few movies I can watch and lose myself in so totally that I laugh uninhibitedly at the humorous scenes. This is definitely one of them. I know the story itself isn't a comedy, but the Muppets work their usual magic on it and make it one! And what a one it is! But don't take my word for it: see it for yourself!

You can purchase Muppet Treasure Island on videotape at just about any video store and, since it's distributed by Buena Vista Home Video, possibly any Disney Store as well.

Interested in buying this video? You can! Just follow the link to order the VHS version. You can also visit the Stellar Video Store for other titles.


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