tek's rating:

Muppet Treasure Island (G)
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Caution: spoilers.

So, of course this is based on the book by Robert Louis Stevenson. I reckon I must've read it when I was a kid, though I don't really remember it. I'm sure I've seen any number of adaptations over the years, so the story is reasonably familiar. Naturally, the Muppets give it their own amusing and zany twist, as well as several musical numbers (I liked "Cabin Fever" and "Professional Pirate," but didn't care about the other songs).

The movie starts with a scene of pirates burying treasure, which segues into a scene at the Admiral Benbow inn, where an old pirate named Billy Bones is telling the story of this treasure, and how Captain Flinty had killed those of his men who'd buried the treasure, to keep its location secret. Billy had been his first mate, I guess. And he's told this story many times, but on this particular night, one of his former crew mates comes in and gives him "the black spot," which signifies that his former crew will be coming to kill him that night. He plans to escape, but dies before they get there, giving a treasure map to young Jim Hawkins, who works at the inn.

Shortly after receiving the map, pirates show up looking for Billy, and Jim barely manages to escape, along with his friends Gonzo and Rizzo. They go to see a shipbuilder, Squire Trelawney, but instead find his rich halfwit son (played by Fozzie Bear), who agrees to finance a voyage to search for the treasure. So, they become cabin boys on the Hispaniola, where they immediately meet the ship's cook, Long John Silver. They're a bit worried at first because he's missing a leg, and Billy had warned them to beware of the one-legged man. But of course, this feature isn't exactly unique to Long John, so there's no reason to assume he's the man Billy had spoken of. And later, Jim ends up bonding with Long John (to the occasional exclusion of Gonzo and Rizzo).

They also soon meet the ship's first mate, Samuel Arrow (played by Sam the Eagle), and the ship's captain, Abraham Smollet (played by Kermit the frog), who says he knew Jim's father. After setting sail, Mr. Arrow does role call, and Captain Smollet is concerned that the crew seems pretty seedy. It turns out they were hired by Mr. Bimble (the imaginary man who Trelawney believes lives in his finger). Mr. Bimble had been advised by Long John Silver, apparently. Smollet wants Jim to give him the treasure map for safekeeping, but Jim refuses. However, later, three members of the crew abduct Gonzo and Rizzo, torturing them to reveal the location of the map. They're stopped by Mr. Arrow, and after that, Smollet orders Jim to give him the map.

Not long after that, Long John gets rid of Mr. Arrow and obtains his keys, to steal the map. But Jim and his friends overhear him talking to his men about his plans, and they inform Captain Smollet. So Smollet sends Long John and his men to the island, once they've reached it, to obtain provisions, planning to abandon them there and return in a year. However, Long John is suspicious, and abducts Jim. So, Smollet, Gonzo, and Rizzo head to the island to rescue him. But they end up being captured by wild boars, whose queen turns out to be Benjamina Gunn (played by Miss Piggy). She had been engaged to Smollet years ago, but he'd left her at the altar, and since then taken up with Flinty, who had marooned her on this island.

Anyway, there's some conflict between the pirates and the good guys, but I don't really want to give away any more about the plot. So I guess all that's left to say is that it's a reasonably fun movie....

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