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Why don't most people like "Muppet Treasure Island"?

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by muppet_fan_1, Apr 29, 2002.

  1. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I was referring only to the Muppet Show cast in the last statement. I tend to do that because I find them to be "The Muppets" I guess because of the title of The Muppet Show and subsequent movies. Does anybody else feel that way? Just wondering.;)

    Back on topic, I really wouldn't peg the "kiddification to the entire 80s. I would have to say it claiming it for the second half would be more correct in my mind. By your inclusion of the Fraggles, then we'd have to include Sesame Steet too and that changes the arguement entirely. I believe the Muppet Babies came along in 85 right? Or at the earliest late 84. That would pretty much chop the decade into equal halves and I really think the two Muppet (TMS cast) films that came out in the 80s and the last year of TMS hold enough weight to keep the entire decade from being labeled as a kiddiefied Muppet era. The second half - sure. Just my thoughts though.:)
  2. Jessie

    Jessie Well-Known Member

    Foz & Jamie

    I'll find a copy of TMM so I can see Fozzie at his best as it were, but where do I find copies of old Muppets Tonight episodes?
  3. Jessie

    Jessie Well-Known Member

    Once again (and I know this subject has been beaten to death) but another reason why MFS stunk was because Clifford? (Clifford? Okay, I can't think of his name at the moment--you know the purple guy who has the dreads and reads his mail and is like, "Ooooo...Shanaynay") was Kermit's new right hand man. It just seemed...out of place. Why was he even there?
  4. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Hiya Jessie!

    DON"T get Muppets Tonight, cause that was right after Jim died practically, no Richard Hunt or Frank Oz really, so Fozzie isn't that big of a deal on that show.

    You want to get copies of "The Muppet Show". Post in the topic "Wanted and Trades" to see if you can swap some copies with someone; OR you can order the Time/Life series.

    Yes! Get TMM, very important film.

    Later on!
  5. Jessie

    Jessie Well-Known Member


    I'm confused--I thought Muppets Tonight and the Muppet Show were the same thing?
  6. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member


    Clifford was hardly in Muppets From Space so I certainly can't say he ruined the film, but since he was in Muppets Tonight it was neccessary for him to make a brief appearanc. I do think it was a mistake for Clifford to push Kermit out of the spotlight in MT, but I eventually came around to enjoying him. I just wish there'd been more Kermit.

    It's good to see that you'll be watching some classic Muppet Show episodes! Muppets Tonight is really not a good representation of Fozzie because he is not on it much. I have seen all the episodes, but I don't have dubbing capabilities at this time. I am sure someone around here does, though. There were some good bits, but nothing near TMS.
  7. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Hiya Jessie!

    The Frogboy's right.

    Muppet Show was back in the 70's; Muppets Tonight came along right after Jim Henson died, in the 90's. They didn't feature hardly any of Jim, Richard Hunt, or Frank Oz's characters durnig Muppets tonight because, of course, they weren't there (as per my knowledge).

    The Muppet Show is the original and the best, it is the show which for 5 years introduced us to Kermit, Fozzie, Piggy, Rowlf (actually he'd been around many years before, on Jimmy Dean show and such), Gonzo...

    If you can, get a hold of The Muppet Movie and The Muppet Show. Y ou can't find anything better.

    Except MuppetFest of course! :)

  8. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Well-Known Member

    Back to the original topic:

    Muppet Treasure Island didn't work for me because the Muppets were again playing storybook characters. I have no problem with that in general, but we saw the Muppets too rarely in the 90's for them to not be playing themselves when we did. I loved Christmas Carol, but when Treasure Island came out, it felt like it wasn't accomplishing anything -- i.e. we weren't learning anything new about the characters since they were all playing someone else. Sure they've played other characters before, but there would always be the backstage segments or the moments where things went wrong and they'd break character. In the end, the true characters triumphed over the story. In the storybook films, though, there is no moment like that. In MTI, Fozzie's just a criminally insane character with no repoire with Kermit at all. Since it adds nothing to the Muppet "mythology," and didn't even have the advantage of being different that MCC had, this one ranks even lower on my list than MFS.

    I should note that I did like a lot about the movie. There were many funny moments and whenever Brian Henson directs, it's a handsome looking film. (I hope he gets behind the camera again soon.) But I haven't even seen it since initially watching it in the theater.

    Other musings:

    As stated, I thought Christmas Carol was great. The original Dickens tale is one of my favorite stories anyway, and again we've got Brian's well-crafted diretion. Also, there are themes of death and life and Kermit's speech about "comings and goings" that were all the more poignant after Jim and Richard's passing. This film also told me in no uncertain terms that the Muppet legacy would live on, and for that I love it.

    I thought Gonzo and Rizzo were great together -- they got overused later, but here it was a surprising pairing that worked marvelously IMHO. Some of the major characters got short shrift, but given the nature of the story, I couldn't imagine them being cast in any other roles. Fozzie was a natural for Fezziwig, both because of the name pun and because both characters are so merry and fun-loving. Kermit HAD to be Cratchit, which naturally put Piggy as Cratchit's wife. I didn't mind that Kermit and Fozzie have no scenes together here. Fozzie's an independent character and is capable of surviving without Kermit for a while. The real problem is that they never got back togther.

    I don't understand why people gush about GMC so much. I guess because they grew up with it and because it's the only one Jim directed himself. Also, maybe if they're a Piggy fan, because this is THE Piggy movie. I don't dislike Piggy, but she doesn't do as much for me as she clearly does for others, so that's not an appeal of the movie for me. At any rate, the movie is horribly bogged down by the who-cares crime plot involving the humans. Everyone complains about MCC being the Micheal Caine movie ... well, GMC is the Charles Grodin movie. Eech. I'd rather watch Caine any day, thanks. Also, while the main characters are all together for most of the film, it's mostly in big group scenes. The film seems overcrowded; individual characters don't really get a chance to shine. Aside from the core 4 (Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo), the other main characters all seem to get about two lines each. (Oddly enough, though, note the large number of lines delivered by Zoot of all people!) Joe Raposo's score is pleasant but nothing up on a level with the other movies. Sure there are some astounding puppet effects, such as the bicycle scene and Piggy tapdancing, but that's about it for me. Even when I was a kid, I rented this one far less often than the others.

    Just to be sure I wasn't wrong, I rented it again last summer when it came on DVD. It actually fell further down my list after that viewing.

    Meanwhile, I can't see why people rag on TMTM so much. It's the Muppets doing what they do best -- trying to put on a show. (Even the Doc Hopper sequences seemed kind of distracting in TMM. Don't misunderstand, though, I love TMM!) It's more realistic than the first movie in that they aren't handed a "standard rich-and-famous" contract when they decide to go to Broadway. They actually have to deal with failure and friendships drifting apart, and as such, it's more emotional and mature than the other films. (Who doesn't cry during "Saying Goodbye"?) Conversely, it's under the expert direction of Frank Oz, so it's by far the funniest movie in my opinion. Plus, there's that whole middle section where each of the characters gets a great scene all to themselves, before the suspenseful and fun reunion at the end. And the songs are all just phenomenal, IMHO.

    I suppose part of my enthusiasm for this film is also that it's the only one I had taped off of TV, so I watched it more than the others. But I figure that's just as legitimate an argument as those who love GMC because they saw it when they were kids. : -)

    So anyway, here's my ranking:

    1. Muppets Take Manhattan
    2. Muppet Christmas Carol
    3. The Muppet Movie (The top 3 are great, the bottom 3 less so.)
    4. Muppets from Space (not a terrific film for a lot of reasons, but at least it had great moments with Pepe and Bobo and expanded the Muppet mythology with the boarding house.)
    5. Great Muppet Caper
    6. Muppet Treasure Island

    Before I get a hundred death threats for this post, I'd like to conclude by saying I actually like ALL of the films on this list. It's just that some could have been more satisfying to me than they were. If I expressed some dissatisfaction too strongly, please don't take it personally -- I respect all of your opinions. And this is, of course, just one more opinion. : -)
  9. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member


    I have to comment on your query pertaining to the popularity of The Great Muppet Caper. Keep in mind that I really love all the Muppet films *except for Muppets From Space which I have learned to tolerate. :) This is just my perspective, of course.

    You refer to it as "the Miss Piggy movie", but I tend to think of TGMG as the "money movie". There were many flawlessly fantastic musical numbers in this film that have not been duplicated since. Think of the spectacular scenes in the film: the opening number, the Happiness Hotel number, Steppin Out number (and none of these has even had Piggy yet), Piggy's dance number, the bike number, Piggy's fantasy number, and the cool closing sequence! I left out the Nightlife number because it was kind of filler.

    Even though Miss Piggy had a sizeable role in the picture, so many of the other characters were prominently featured throughout the film. I actually thought Grodin didn't get much screen time relative to the plot - and I feel this film has more or at least an equal amount of plot compared to the rest of the Muppet pics. Anyway, that's why I think so many people love TGMC, but nothing beats The Muppet Movie in my view.

    Why does The Muppets Take Manhattan get such a bum rap? Well, they must have spent most of the budget by shooting on location in New York because so many of the scenes were underwhelmingly low-budgeted soundstage shots. There were no big musical numbers until the end (which was spectacular, but still all soundstage). Okay, so the Muppet Babies number is thrown in there, but that scene always sticks out strangely to me, though it is enjoyable.

    Miss Piggy had that ugly perm and so many of the Muppets seemed to be either cut out or way in the background waiting to be in the brief "money shot" at the end. The rats were cool though! That's the scene that everybody seems to remember most.

    Just my take on it. I just can't comprehend how you could put TGMC behind MFS, but different views are what make for a cool and interesting world.:cool: (cool and interesting smiley LOL!)
  10. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member


    To me it was a big production where the characters could play themselves being someone else; as if they intended on this being a movie; unlike TMM where they were all themselves, see?

    That's why we have such wonderful musical sequences in it, and the breakaways from the film which accidentally didn't get cut out in the editing room (Kermit and Piggy's fight in the park for example, in real life that would have hit the editing floor...which is what happens when you let the Swedish Chef do the editing, right?)

    YAH YAH!!

  11. Salmoto

    Salmoto Well-Known Member

    What I always loved about the Muppets was that each and every one of them, with few exceptions, were performers. To paraphrase a line sung by Clifford, they each had a job to do, and they did it for you. Everyone had a varying level of talent, from Piggy's world class acting to Lew Zealand's spinning fish, but they were all entertainers at heart.

    What bugs people about MTI was that the characters were somewhat removed from their roles as entertainers. Previous movies had them at least showing a little behind the scenes action, but in Treasure Island, they remained in character throught the entire film, the only exceptions being Gonzo and Rizzo, who played themselves.

    I'm gonna get keelhauled for saying this, but even "Muppets From Space" had more to do about the Muppets being entertainers than MTI. In Space, Kermit says that he's currently on vacation from acting and was planning on relaxing if he didn't have to paint the boarding house, fix the oven and save Gonzo from a top secret military base. He got some free time to play cards with Pepe and Clifford, although he didn't seem to be at Gonzo's jacuzzi party. Piggy, who's never stopped being a ham in any movie to date, tries a new career at journalism while Gonzo gets the Electric Mayhem to substitute him at a bah mitzvah. Of course, this was all realitively minor compared to the rest of the film.

    What is most out of character for the Muppets in the more recent films is that they don't send the message is that they're putting on a show anymore. That was the heart of the whole henson legacy: Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie and Gonzo represented 4 different aspects of showbusiness and they used their talent to both enrich their lives and the lives of the audience. I for one loved Kermit becuase unlike other lead characters, he was intentionally giving his all in order to make me, happy. Maybe not hust me, but at least me and the people sitting with me in the movie theatre.
  12. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I don't see any keelhaulnig in your future...I kinda agree with ya.

  13. Jessie

    Jessie Well-Known Member


    I agree with everything you said about MCC, but I have to agree with Jamie with
  14. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Well-Known Member


    You make some excellent points about Caper. I certainly don't mean to imply that I hate the film at all. The movie has many great moments, including the bit at the beginning where they read the credits (Fozzie: "What does A.S.C. stand for?"), and Gonzo suggests that they try what they're doing without a balloon. Kermit: "Try what? Plummeting?" Gonzo: "Yeah!" I was just left with a feeling of wanting more in some way.

    It's kind of funny, because Foz's comments about why he liked Caper -- that even though they kept their names, they were essentially playing characters -- is a large part of my problem with the movie, I think. In that way, MTI and Caper are kind of linked in my mind. I agree with most of what Sal had to say about MTI, and almost all of it can be applied to Caper as well for me. My love for Christmas Carol is the exception, not the rule.

    Jamie and Jessie,

    I know it may seem astonishing to put Space before Caper. But perhaps it's that I'm overly familiar with Caper too -- Space at least has the advantage of being new. Also, Caper just feels very dated in a late 70s/early 80s way to me. There are many strengths that Space has over Caper (including the camaderie between the core 4, missing from Space). But I guess what I'm saying is that if I had both DVDs sitting at home right now, I'd be far more likely to watch "Brickhouse" or Pepe in a tutu than Piggy's water ballet.

    Finally, why does everyone pick on Piggy's 80s perm? ;) For the time, it was very fashionable. I think Piggy's current 'do is much worse -- it's much too plain. But that's just another one of my strange Dissenting Muppet Opinions. :rolleyes:
  15. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I feel that MFS is more dated than TGMC in that the Muppets were trying so hard to be current in Space while in Caper they gave a much less "forced" performance in my view. When Kermit said "Way to get down with your funky selves," at the end of Brick House, I must admit to sinking in my theater seat. I undersatnd how spme may think new is better, but I guess I just think Caper had that spark that was missing in Space and has been missing for a very long time with the Muppets - except when Pepe brightens up the screen. I stand by the classics I love while I look for new ones. I can understand wanting to watch MFS more than Caper - there's so much to see in the film, but that doesn't mean I feel it is better than Caper. I guess there's a different criteria for what makes a better film. Hmmm.

    Piggys perm. It is terrible and I always found it tacky even when I was a kid - and I lived in Texas at the time, big hair central. LOL! I like her hair fine now, but nothing beats her classic long hair with the slight wave. I guess she's too old for that now, but something similar with more sophistication would be cool!

    And what about Fozzies new psycopathic and abnormal behavior since TMTM? He was barely in TMCC, bizarre in MTI and a compulisve nosepicker/wallflower in MFS. Eeeek!:)
  16. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Them yonder's fightin' words!!

    "And what about Fozzies new psycopathic and abnormal behavior since TMTM? He was barely in TMCC, bizarre in MTI and a compulisve nosepicker/wallflower in MFS. Eeeek!"

    Okay, so, again I agree with you; still, where's my rubber chicken? Head smackin' time again.

    I think it's only due to Oz's abscence. We all know that MTI required him to be so...(insert word here)...crazy acting, and they didn't have many roles for him in MCC cause I don't think there's too many roles to disperse; but I agree that Muppets From Space SHOULD (and could) have had Fozzie doing bigger things, and better roles. I think the nose picking thing was an attempt for "shock value" as was Miss Piggy's running up the stairs, "Oh! I gotta PEE!"

    Who's to blame? The writers. They could do a better job by studying scripts by Jerry Juhl. Plain and Simple.

    I also agree with Chilly, Miss Piggy is much too glamorous for that plain hair do they give her. She's a DIVA! They should hire a professional hair-stylist (my MOM) to do it!! My mom loves the Pig and would do wonders for her. She cuts MY hair (heh heh--inside joke only for those who've seen my pics).

    Anyhow, they SHOULD be getting more of Jim's old characters and Frank's old characters BACK in the limelight again with all the new voice performers they have.

    And Skeeter? Who was it that mentioned Skeeter? NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT!! i won't have anything to do with Muppet Babies' spin-offs because that cartoon confused many of the 80's chilluns who grew up wondering who the Muppets really were when they saw something that wasn't animated. Ew. Like those Ninja Turtles. Who ever thought Donatello would be reduced to a TURTLE??

    Grrrr...Oh, get ready Frogboy, here's my rubber chicken!!
    Wait! My rubber chicken!! It's...it's...*sigh*...something for another thread. :(

    The other thread: See: "The Infamous Rubber Chicken" under General Discussions.
  17. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Ouch. A rubber-chicken lashing!

    I have had the same thought about Skeeter and Muppet Babies, but I think a grown up Skeeter voiced by a seasoned Muppet performer could be a good thing. There aren't enough strong female characters in the Muppets and she could be one of them. My fear is that they'd give her more time than Scooter and that would be very wrong.

    About Miss Piggy - didn't she used to have a stylist? I think she should have a more mature version of her long hair slightly curled in a modern fashion. Simple and elegant. They have made her look a lot fatter and older these days - time for a face lift IMHO!
  18. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I hope you didn't mean OUR Miss Piggy, but rather the puppet. I still say that the new 'molded' puppets are kinda stiff. But, I hear Gonzo likes the molded puppets, and those with fugus and spores as well! WOCKA WOCKA!!

    FOZ :D
  19. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Yeah, I keep noticing the Waldorf syndrome in all the materials I have gone through lately. Eeek. He does look like he was abducted.
  20. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Re: About Muppet Treasure Island

    I don't think that it is weak. I think they should do some of the other clasics as well.

    Imagine Pigy as Cinderella, Snow White, or a Little Mermaid!!!

    Or Kirmet as Philios Frog

    Also I love all the FIRST Muppet movies. TGMC, TMM, & TMTM

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