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Brian Henson
Tim Curry, Frank Oz, Kevin Bishop
Writing Credits:
Jerry Juhl, Tom Patchett, Jack Rose, Jay Tarses

Having heard the legend of Captain Flint's massive treasure, young cabin boy Jim Hawkins - along with The Great Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat - set out on a frantic search for it on a mysterious island.

Box Office:
$31 Million.
Opening Weekend:
$7,906,689 on 2070 screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated G.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.0
French Dolby 2.0
Spanish Dolby 2.0
German Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $26.50
Release Date: 12/10/2013
Available as 2-Pack with Great Muppet Caper

• Audio Commentary with Director Brian Henson, Gonzo and Rizzo
• “The Tale of the Story” Featurette
• Music Video
• 1 “Frog-E-Oke” Track
• Sneak Peeks
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Muppet Treasure Island [Blu-Ray] (1996)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 16, 2021)

Although 1979’s The Muppet Movie didn’t break box office records, it became a decent little hit, one that immediately spawned a sequel via 1981’s Great Muppet Caper. After that we got occasional Muppet flicks, and the fifth in this series comes to us with 1996’s Muppet Treasure Island.

An adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, we meet cabin boy Jim Hawkins (Kevin Bishop). Grizzled pirate Billy Bones (Billy Connolly) tells the lad about Captain Flint’s buried treasure.

Intrigued by this potential fortune, Jim convinces Squire Trelawny (Fozzie Bear, voiced by Frank Oz) to hire a boat and crew so they can search for it. Led by Captain Smollett (Kermit the Frog, voiced by Steve Whitmire), Jim and company embark on an epic journey, one dogged by treachery from ship’s cook Long John Silver (Tim Curry).

While the first three Muppet movies provided original stories, the franchise first adapted an existing classic via 1992’s Muppet Christmas Carol. That became an enchanting affair, one so good it left me with high expectations for Island.

Unfortunately, Island couldn’t live up to those expectations. While it created decent entertainment, it became the weakest Muppet film up to that point.

What changed? For one, Island shifted its focus from the usual Kermit/Miss Piggy/Fozzie axis to Rizzo/Gonzo.

This would continue with even weaker results via 1999’s Muppets From Space, and it seems like a flawed choice. Rizzo and Gonzo work fine as supporting characters, but they don’t seem able to act as primary roles in a satisfying manner.

Of course, Kermit, Piggy and Fozzie play parts here, but Island largely finds them relegated to the background. Fozzie becomes most interesting as the half-witted Trelawny, but even he can’t stand out as memorable.

Island also suffers from a weak lead human, as Bishop’s Jim feels utterly forgettable. Perhaps to compensate, the movie avoids him as much as possible, but Jim still turns into a lackluster emotional and narrative core.

Curry tries to enliven matters as Silver, and he brings an appropriately broad performance. He can’t balance out the other weaknesses, though, and he sometimes seems to try too hard to fix the problems on his own.

Nothing about Island ever makes it a bad movie, and it manages to keep our attention for 100 minutes. The usual Muppet silliness brings occasional mirth to the proceedings.

However, a lot of the humor and merriment comes across as more forced than usual. We don’t get the sense of inspired creativity and lunacy that we expect from the Muppets.

All this leaves Island as a passable Muppet mix of comedy and adventure but not a great one. The film simply lacks the spark and pizzazz I expect from the Muppets.

Footnote: a brief tag scene appears midway through the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Muppet Treasure Island appears in both an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a respectable presentation but not one that excelled.

Sharpness usually worked fine, as the majority of the film provided fairly positive delineation. Some softness crept in at times, but nothing extreme, so the movie came with largely appealing delineation.

Neither jagged edges nor moiré effects became an issue, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain felt natural, and I witnessed no print flaws.

Colors seemed pretty good. The movie’s opening came with a heavy orange orientation, but matters turned more natural at that. Though the hues rarely appeared impressive, they showed reasonable vivacity.

Blacks looked deep and dark, while shadows seemed smooth and clear. This was a more than watchable image.

In terms of audio, Island came with a DTS-HD MA 5.0 soundtrack that lost some points due to the absence of the expected LFE channel. Though general fidelity felt good, the absence of dedicated low-end left this as a slightly anemic mix.

Still, audio quality worked fine otherwise, as speech remained natural and concise. Music and effects both appeared accurate and clear, with only the relative dearth of bass as an issue.

The soundscape opened up pretty well, with music from the various channels and a nice sense of place and action. Given the story’s occasional action orientation, the soundfield managed to create some vivid moments.

These used the five speakers to create a fairly involving presence. This added up to a good but not great mix that would’ve benefited from a dedicated subwoofer channel.

A few extras fill out the disc, and we open with an audio commentary from director Brian Henson and Muppets Gonzo and Rizzo. Henson sits for his own running, screen-specific chat, while the Muppets provide their own, and the end product edits together the pair.

Henson tells us about story/character/adaptation, cast and performances, sets and locations, effects, and Muppet-related material. Gonzo and Rizzo chime in occasionally to tell us about their experiences on the set.

Of course, that means the Muppets play their part for comedy. They pop up sporadically and offer mildly amusing remarks.

Gonzo and Rizzo also offer a 49-second intro to the commentary that comes from an old DVD. However, that earlier release also included branching footage that fails to reappear here.

This creates odd moments from Gonzo and Rizzo. For instance, after “Cabin Fever”, Rizzo goes “oh oh oh – you got to see this” and then Gonzo immediately utters “time to go back to the movie”.

When the DVD cut away to other material, these statements made sense. Now they seem perplexing. It’s unclear why the Blu-ray fails to use the same branching abilities of the DVD.

Henson gives us a straight “director’s commentary” and does okay in that regard, as he provides a decent level of information about the film. However, he goes MIA a bit too often, and this never turns into a memorable track. It merits a listen but don’t expect a lot from it.

The Tail of the Story runs 21 minutes, 40 seconds. Narrated by Rizzo and Gonzo, it offers notes from Henson, writers Jerry Juhl and Kirk Thatcher, production designer Val Strazober, and actors Kevin Bishop, Billy Connolly, Tim Curry, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, and Bill Barretta.

“Tail” looks at the source and its adaptation, the integration of the Muppets, cast and performances, music, sets and various effects. Though most shows of this sort offer little substance and plenty of happy talk, “Tail” differs.

We get a surprising amount of complaining, mainly about the challenges related to puppeteering the Muppets. This turns into a good little discussion.

A music video for “Let the Good Shine Out” lasts three minutes, 23 seconds. This song doesn’t appear in the movie, but it uses Island characters so it becomes a fun clip.

A sing-along comes via Frog-E-Oke, a segment that allows you to croon alongside “Cabin Fever”. It seems fairly harmless but pointless.

The disc opens with ads for The Jungle Book, Muppets Most Wanted and Mary Poppins. Sneak Peeks adds promos for Planes: Fire and Rescue and Gravity Falls. No trailer for Island appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Island. It lacks any of the Blu-ray’s extras.

The fifth Muppet movie, Muppet Treasure Island delivers the franchise’s weakest effort to that point. While it manages decent entertainment, it lacks the charm and creativity I expect from the Muppets. The Blu-ray comes with generally good picture and audio as well as some useful bonus features. Island seems mediocre.

Note that Muppet Treasure Island comes packaged with Great Muppet Caper. As of 2021, neither can be purchased individually – indeed, they come on the same Blu-ray Disc.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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