Muppet Treasure Island

Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy, Action/Adventure; Starring: Tim Curry, Kevin Bishop, Frank Oz; Director: Brian Henson; Author: Jerry Juhl; Runtime (in minutes): 99; MPAA Rating: G

Tim Curry makes a fine, flashy Long John Silver, and charming newcomer Kevin Bishop is a lively, toothy young Jim Hawkins, but it’s Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat who make Muppet Treasure Island, the Muppets musical adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson, novel a hoot. The chatty pair play Jim’s chums as he tries to keep a treasure map from Silver aboard a ship commandeered by Captain Smollet, played by Kermit the Frog in a dainty Napoleonic uniform. As directed by Brian Henson (The Muppet Christmas Carol), the film is notably handsome in a dark, foreboding way. The Muppet action blends seamlessly with the human actors, and adults will be kept giggling with wittily anachronistic jokes about codependence, water-skiing, and Henry Kissinger. A few of the songs could have been shorter (but, as written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, probably no more clever), and the young audience is restless whenever that overrated windbag Miss Piggy (as, natch, Kermit’s love interest) is on screen. B+

Originally posted February 23 1996 — 12:00 AM EST

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