1996, 90's, adventure, billy connolly, brian henson, cabin fever, clueless morgan, dave goelz, Disney, disney muppets, disney review, frank oz, gonzo, island, jerry nelson, kermit, kermit the frog, kevin bishop, kids, lew zealand, love led us here, mad monty, miss piggy, movie review, muppet, muppet treasure island, Muppets, musical, piggy, pirate, pirate ship, pirates, pirates of the caribbean, polly, polly lobster, professional pirate, puppet, puppeteers, puppets, review, rizzo, rizzo the rat, sailing for adventure, sam the eagle, ship, something better, statler, statler and waldorf, steve whitmire, sweetums, sword, swords, tim curry, treasure, treasure island, waldorf
“Hoist the sails and sing –
Sailing for adventure on the big blue wet thing!”
– Best. Lyrics. Ever.
Before I start I have a confession to make. The reason why it took as long as it did to get this review out largely has to do with what I was going through at the time with my then-boyfriend. He adored the Muppets and got me to love and appreciate them again after years of seeing them as only kiddie stuff or nightmare fuel (those gdamned martians…) I envisioned this review as a meaningful discussion between two fans who have differing viewpoints on this film (I love it, he hated it for his own pigheaded reasons). Unfortunately by that point things between us were rapidly falling apart. Our relationship was already a sinking ship, something that took me longer than it should have to figure out, but some much needed soul-searching on top of the most recent bout of drama made me realize that I needed to bail out as fast as possible. After enduring seven long years of emotional abuse, cutting all ties with the man I believed I had a future with was one of the hardest things I ever done. I needed to let go of the dreams I thought we once shared, learn who I was without him overshadowing every opinion and action I made, and step away from a number of things that I associated with him. This review was one of them.
On the plus side, going back to doing it solo means I have nobody apart from the comments section to answer to, explain what I already know back to me, tell me what I think is wrong, or throw a tantrum and go pout in the corner for twenty minutes when I don’t agree with them.
In other words, suck it, you lying manipulative walking meatloaf lover. Your thoughts don’t mean jack shit here or anywhere else.
Getting back to the topic at hand, The Muppet Movie is arguably my favorite of the Muppet films, but the one that I watched the most growing up which often comes close to dethroning it? That would be Muppet Treasure Island. I’m not alone in that regard as many a 90’s kids waxing nostalgic on the internet will tell you how awesome and hilarious it is. Some have even gone as far to say it’s the best adaptation of Treasure Island (I can’t comment on that since the only versions I’ve seen are this and Treasure Planet, both of which are coincidentally made by Disney).
Still, all childhood nostalgia aside, does it still hold up? Yes, though I have noticed a growing opposition to that in recent years. Most of the arguments amount to, “It doesn’t match the charm of the original films or Muppet Christmas Carol. THAT was a better book adaptation with Muppets” with one or two more quibbles thrown in that I’ll address later. While it is pretty obvious that the films were straying a bit from the usual Jim Henson formula by that point, I still think it captures most of the humor and heart the Muppets are known for, and takes a few more risks as well. It follows the success of the formula utilized a few years prior in The Muppets’ Christmas Carol – telling a classic story with a well-known human actor playing the lead/villain role – and it feels like a natural continuation of that idea instead of a retread.