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Muppet Treasure Island: Buried Treasure

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Ruahnna, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    I just watched Muppet Treasure Island again all the way through, and I have to say that, despite its faults, it's a pretty great movie. (And by watched, I mean I sat and actually looked at the screen the whole time--no sewing, no embroidery, no reading, no editing--just sat there and tried to look at everything.) Here are some of the things I enjoyed:

    Sam the Eagle has cute feet. We don't often see them, but there are some nice shots of him in the lifeboat.

    Kermit's tattoo of Miss Piggy on his chest. His holding onto her picture and sighing while he looks out at the night sea is sweet, but having your chest tattoo'd--now that's commitment!

    Tim Curry, who is usually over the top and always very watchable, turns in an emotionally believable performance. It's easy to imagine that he is really a pirate with a soft spot--a good man with a bad heart, or perhaps a bad man with a good heart. He's one of those actors that can go over the top with little effort, and to great effect.

    Inept muppet pirates--always an intellectual treat. Clueless and Polly and Angel Marie outdo themselves here. The cockroach is an icky little touch--when the cockroaches are bigger than the rats, it's time to find a new ship!

    Seeing Bunsen and Kermit with long hair. It's a nice look for them. (And Beaker with a ponytail makes me think of Steve Whitmire.)

    Piggy's leopard-print dress-with the matching feather-boa. Classic Piggy. Not to mention her plump little legs, which are shown off to advantage by the high heels with feather poufs. (Not that I'm a fangirl, or anything.)

    Lew Zealand knitting a pirate flag while the pirates are lounging around the ship.

    Kermit's sword-play. He is quite dashing in his captain's duds, and I especially liked the pirate shirt he wore. Piggy shows up at the end wearing the same style of shirt (started to say "the same shirt" but realized that had a different connotation!) with a skirt and some flirty black and red-striped stockings.

    Gonzo and Rizzo together. Hard to go wrong there. Gonzo's impossible-to-predict lunacy, and enjoyment of all things odd, and Rizzo's avarice (selling cruise tickets, literally moving into the apple barrell in the kitchen) are a wonderful combination any time. Also, Goelz and Whitmire show off one of the few remaining original muppet pairings. Very nice.

    The wild boars. Piggy is stuck on the island (I started to say "planet") with her pick of wild, big-tusked, bare-chested he-man boars who literally worship her and....the one she wants is still scrawny little Kermit. (Piggy: Hey--who wrote this script anyway? The frog? It was the frog, wasn't it? Kermit!!!) And the sight of her sitting on the log with her arms crossed and her leg jiggling angrily is downright irresistible.
    Kermit's ire and annoyance with Piggy when he finds she apparently dated a whole slew of pirates is nicely tempered by Piggy's swat and, "Well, if you'd married me...! I'm a pig! We need commitment!"

    The playing in the pirate treasure is great. Cabin Fever is also fun to watch--for the costumes alone! But the singing and dancing is good, too.

    Oh, and the BAND! Oooh! The Band! The Electric Mayhem are kickin'--why does it not surprise me that they make such believable pirates? Floyd's "Hey--just play the gig" attitude is hysterical.

    Statler and Waldorf as two petrified old coots is, well, just about right, wouldn't you say?

    But I guess I had forgotten what a nice, measured and sensitive performance that Kermit turned in. It is a pleasure to watch him in this. I was still smarting over the loss of Jim--yeah, like that will ever go away!--but it made me, I don't know, veer away from examining Kermit as closely as I might have at the time the movie came out. And after that, it was just easier to lump him in with the movie as a whole. But it is a fine-tuned and lovely performance by Steve. Kudos.

    Okay--I'll leave some for the rest of you. What say?
  2. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Me say... Love these sorts of reviews... Gives me some added insight since I base my enjoyment more on following the auditive and more or less imagining what's happening on screen based on that.

    Will have to watch this one, still got a backlog of stuff to watch though, maybe during Holy Week or summer vacations.

    Let's see... MTI moments.
    The Swedish Chef shows up with a removable pig's snout. The rats comment as to how else were they to get him into the movie? Classic Muppetism.
    Priceless how Kermit and Gonzo think they're going to meet their doom at the Chef's hands, er um, cleavers.
    Cockroach? Oh, you probably mean Jacques from JHH.
    The segment with the black spot... Very spot on according to pirate lore. It plays on the superstitions of the time/literature and the general fearfulness of the Muppet pirates.
    Blind Pew... Instant fave character.
    Amazed that they got Jennifer Saunders from French & Saunders in this movie... The way she handles her onscreen persona, almost apologizing for whenever she delivers what could be construed as an insult to a patron makes me laugh a little, as she's obviously bending over backwards not to lose what little patronage she has.

    Tim Curry, a great actor whether in person or voiceover animation wise. Would recommend you see him in the movie version of the board game Clue, or if you're brave enough as the embodiment of all manners of fears as Pennywise in Stephen King's It!
  3. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    RE: Tim Curry--and there is always, of course OF COURSE The Rocky Horror Picture Show. And Dragonslayer. He was also in the first (recent) Charlie's Angels movie.

    (And Mr. Curry will be making another guest appearance in Kermie's Girls--but that is, well, a bit in the future.)
  4. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Okay--seeing Sam the Eagle in the fight scene is pretty good, too. Especially with his deadpan expression and shifty eyes. The little pirate who keeps getting knocked into the tree is a funny running gag with Sam.

    The pirate names. I forgot to mention the pirate names! Black-eyed Pea. (I HOPE that's how it's spelled....) Old Tom. Really Old Tom. Dead Tom.

    Okay--you know I'm the ush-gush queen, but I really like the way Kermit takes responsibility for Piggy's series of bad relationships. Smollet's obviously sorry that he didn't follow through on the marriage to Benjamina, and he steps up and tries to make things right. Of course--I'm still glad she smacked him good for leaving her at the altar.

    Was sorry in retrospect that Pepe wasn't around when this one came out. Ditto Clifford. Pepe's general lack of helpfulness would have made him a natural to switch sides again and again. And Clifford could have added some steel drum panache to the EMs cruise music. Now THERE's an album for you: The Electric Mayhem's Music to Cruise By....

    C'mon people--don't make me do this alone!
  5. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Yes... Shame this was before Pepe's addition to the family, as the movie was from 1995 and the little prawn busted in on the scene in 1996 with his pachyderm performing partner, Seymour.
    Clifford on the other hand, was already part of the family. He was in the Jm Henson Hour from 1988/1989, and had a groovy part playing the glockenspiel for the EM when they toured the World Showcase at EPCOT in the Muppets vacation at WDW in 1991.

    The pirate names... Recently found out Big-Fat-Ugly-Bug-Faced-Baby-Eating O'Brien was a human character, and a lady pirate at that.
    Great bit where Sam's still checking on the seaworthiness and safety of the little rowboat when he comes back to the ship on the ocean currents.
    Gonzo's reaction to finding Sweetums fighting on their side: Aren't you with the pirates?
    Sweetums: Nah... I love you guys.
  6. redBoobergurl

    redBoobergurl Well-Known Member

    This is the only Muppet movie I haven't actually seen. After some of the descriptions though I think I'm finally going to watch it. I've been hesitant because I'm just not crazy about the whole Treasure Island concept but I think it's about time I complete the list.
  7. MrsPepper

    MrsPepper Well-Known Member

    Aw Beth you HAVE to see it! Every detail is taken care of... there is muppety goodness sewn into every stitch of this movie. It's my favourite (2nd fav is Manhattan) and it's just so adorable. It's got true spirit, it really does!

    Aw, poor Count, no one told you earlier that this was a visual gag? That's brutal. It's one of my faves because they make him sound so mean... when it's actually a really pretty girl and Sam the Eagle gets all shocked and loses his train of thought for a minute. ^_^
  8. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Mmm... So that's what happened. Thanks Mrs. P. Now if there were some place I could find the actress's name...
  9. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    This is my least favorite of the theatrically released Muppet movies. Too adventurous.

    I wish that more classic obscure characters were used as pirates. Crazy Harry and Beauregard would have made good pirates (Beauregard could be the stupid kind of pirate, who turns nice later). Bean Bunny could have also been a pirate, using his cuteness as a weapon. It would have been great if Clifford was in this movie, though I think he would have looked out of place in it. I especially wish that more full-body monsters besides Sweetums were used... where were Doglion, Timmy, Mean Mama, and the Mutations?

    And Blind Pew looked so much like Uncle Deadley... I wish that Uncle Deadley played the role of Blind Pew. Heck, both characters were performed by Jerry Nelson.

    And I wish that Lips was with the Electric Mayhem in this movie. And that Digit and Leon were part of the crew. And although I like the design of Flubere, I wish that Foo-Foo appeared as Piggy's pet instead (or that Piggy had two pets, a dog and an ant eater).
  10. Speed Tracer

    Speed Tracer Well-Known Member

    I really love Billy Connelly in this.
  11. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    The fight scenes. The fight scenes are just worth watching. Kermit's fancy swordplay and daring, manly (um, frogly) deeds are just endearing. I love it when he cuts up Long John's uniform. Watch for Clueless Morgan to be the worst pirate fighter, like, EVER! (Also watch the other pirates gang up on him!)

    I like the singing and talking trees. If you watch to the very end of the movie credits--which we all do, right?--then you'll see the tree telling a joke to the very unimpressed Long John Silver.

    The ending, with Jim realizing that there is probably some good in even bad people. I liked Smollet's affirmation of his wise decision, and the support that Jim receives from his friends, as well.

    Zanzibarbarians. (Need I say more?)

    Piggy's entrance on the elephant with the chanting boars. Love the boar costumes.

    (Did not like Fozzie's role in this. The whole "little man who lives in my finger" thing was off-putting.)

    I did like the way they handled the story. I just finished listening to "Treasure Island" as a book on tape, and admired again the way they took what they could use and changed other things according to what serves the movie best. Benjamina Gunn has to be the biggest stroke of original thinking, but I also like the way they portray Jim getting ashore with the pirates, and the way he is induced to join them by the taking of his father's compass. Jim's father's compass also provides some sweet moments in the movie.
  12. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hmmm? After diving through Muppet Wiki's articles on the subject, I thought those were the characters identified as "The Island Heads" at the end of the movie.
    And you know the character of Polly Lobster, refered to as "Bad Polly" in the credits? Well, he wasn't the original choice for Long John's confidant. No, the original drafts of the movie called for a female parrot named Amazonia, but she was written out of the story when her character relationship got a bit too adult shall we say. The parrot was however used later, as Stevenson the Parrot in the MTI CD-Rom computer game.
  13. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I've read that every draft had a change in how Polly was portrayed. In one draft, it was a parrot named Robert Louis Stephensen, who regretted writing the book. Also, it was originally considered to have Gonzo play "Jim" and Rizzo play "Hawkins", before casting them as themselves portraying Jim Hawkin's friends (I wonder if the writers ever considered having them narrarate the movie again, like in The Muppet Christmas Carol).
  14. spcglider

    spcglider Well-Known Member

    I have to say that, of everything PJH (post Jim Henson), Muppet Treasure Island is my top pick. Everybody seemed to be settling in nicely with their new characters (especially Steve and Kermit) and they hadn't forgotten the classic, timeless humor that made the Muppets so marketable in the first place.

    But then again, how can you go wrong with a Pirate story and The Muppets? Seems like a natural to me.

    I love the soundtrack. It's actually got some weight to it. The songs are clever and funny. And the orchestral stuff is rich and gorgeous.

    The Muppets that were created specifically for the film (the pirates, mostly) were not only sweet puppets design wise, but were written and performed extremely well and fit in with the overall Muppet idiom.

    I didn't like what turned out to be a lasting effect on the character of Fozzie, though. Since MTI, he's been treated very much like the "idiot son of Squire Trelawney" in every script that's been done. Very similar to what they did with Sallah and Markus Brody in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. They were written as bungling idiots. A shame, since their characters were richer and more interesting than that (as proven by Raiders Of The Lost Ark).

    Fozzie is not an idiot. In fact, he's quite smart. But for some reason, the character that he plays in MTI stuck on him and has haunted him ever since. Even in Very Merry Muppet Christmas. Shame again, really.

    But beyond that, Muppet Treasure Island is my "newest" favorite. My "oldest" favorite, of course, remains The Muppet Movie.

  15. spcglider

    spcglider Well-Known Member

    Now check me on this: The woman they had appearing as Big-Fat-Ugly-Bug-Faced-Baby-Eating O'Brien looked VERY MUCH like "Cutthroat Island's" Geena Davis... was that a purposeful jab at another pirate flick?

    I haven't checked release dates against each other, so it could just be a crazy co-inky-dink... but WHAT a coincidence it would be! Eh?

  16. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    I loved the way that Kermit looks so very vulnerable when he is strung up by the pirates. This is such a, well, costuming thing, but his slim little legs beneath the knickers make him look noble and yet gentlemanly and urbane. Although he certainly frightened and facing certain doom, he exudes strength and demands that Benjamina not give in just to save him. This was very different from Kermit's reaction to almost the same situation in TMM, but then--that was Kermit, wasn't it? And this is Captain Smollet, who is different! Gee--the frog can act! Kermit in captivity doesn't mind to show a little fear and crack wise. But Captain Smollet is a fount of strength and fearlessness. This also makes the song more touching. Any, I was just delving deep and thought I'd share....
  17. Speed Tracer

    Speed Tracer Well-Known Member

    I absolutely love the melon-sized eyes that Kermit's sporting when trying to keep Piggy from falling to certain doom.
  18. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    I liked Piggy's description of her house--pink lawn furniture. I also like the way she says, "He maroooooned me!"
  19. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I love everything about Piggy's voice and look in this movie. She was at one of her best stages (she goes through ups and downs). Her costumes were marvelous (Do you think she got to keep them?) and her hair was perfect.
  20. Beakerfan

    Beakerfan Well-Known Member

    I agree Beau! I loved everything about Piggy in this movie! Her hair, the outfits, EVERYTHING!

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