|Following in the footsteps of 1992’s The Muppet Christmas Carol, this 1996 outing of Jim Henson’s beloved puppet creations took an established and oft-filmed classic and Muppetized it. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island got the treatment this time, with Kermit, Piggy and the rest of their felt-covered pals taking most of the good roles. Human players were limited to Tim Curry as Long John Silver, 14-year-old Kevin Bishop as Jim Hawkins, and a handful of others.
The film opens in a dark, dank tavern, where Billy Bones gives young Jim Hawkins a map to buried pirate treasure. Together with Muppet chums Gonzo and Rizzo, Jim charters an oceangoing vessel for a treasure hunting expedition. Captain Smollet (Kermit) pilots the craft, and the crafty Long John Silver is the ship’s cook.
Silver charms the young Jim into revealing the location of the map, and soon Silver’s pirate shipmates engineer a mutiny. Landing on the island, the pirates set off to seek the treasure, while Smollet and the loyal crew members escape to the island themselves, finding treasure, danger and a tribe of warthogs presided over by one very lovely pig (who happens to be an old flame of the Captain’s).
The essential ingredients of a Muppet movie were all present-the in-jokes, the famous Muppet cameos, and several show-stopping production numbers (“Cabin Fever,” “Shiver My Timbers” and more). The characters proved to be as popular as ever, keeping the Muppet franchise alive for years to come.