Muppet Treasure Island

Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Tim Curry, Billy Connolly, Kevin Bishop and the Muppets
Extras: Featurette

As the Muppets discover all sorts of materials for their feature films, in 1996 they made their mark on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic pirate novel "Treasure Island." "Muppet Treasure Island" is an adaptation of the book, featuring the Muppets as well as a live-action cast to bring to viewers a fun-filled, colorful and extravagant take on the story.

Before his death, Billy Bones (Billy Connolly) entrusts a young boy, Jim Hawkins (Kevin Bishop) and his friends Gonzo and Rizzo with the map to a legendary treasure. Soon the three find themselves aboard a vessel in search of the treasure when pirates, led by Long John Silver (Tim Curry) take control of the ship, determined to take the treasure for themselves.

The Muppet movies had their ups and downs and fortunately "Muppet Treasure Island" is one of the highlights of their feature film career. The film is exciting with a solid premise that captivates viewers from the get-go. The movie features wonderful cinematography and an atmospheric production design that is lavish and colorful, making sure to bring out the best of the Muppets in every shot.

All the actors are great but Tim Curry clearly takes the cake as he puts in another wonderful performance as Long John Silver, complete with singing numbers that show off his great vocal skills. But also his facial expressions and his delivery of dialogue remind him, just what a great actor he is.
Complemented by every Muppet there is, the film is furious and flashy, funny and exhilarating as we witness the adventures of Jim Hawkins unfold.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment has created a great transfer for this movie in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio, enhanced for 16×9 television sets. A fullframe transfer is also included on the same disc, accessible through the main menu. The transfer is absolutely clean without a hint of a speckle. Colors are string and vibrant, bringing out the best of the colorful production and its masterful lighting. Black levels are deep and solid, adding to the presentation quality as shadows are solid and deep, giving the image very good visual depth. No edge-enhancement is evident and the presentation is devoid of compression artifacts of any sort.

The audio is presented as a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track that is well balanced and makes good use of the split surround channels. Frequency response is wide and offers good bass reproduction, making sure the presentation always sounds natural and pleasing. Dialogues are well integrated and firmly centered in the front of the sound stage while sound effects are promoted to the other channels, promoting an engaging listening experience.

From the cool DVD menu that has been created specifically for this DVD you can also access the release's only special feature, a featurette entitled "Pepe Profiles Presents: Fozzie Bear," in which Pepe the shrimp takes a closer look at Fozzie's career. Filled with small interview clips featuring other Muppet celebrities that will surely make you smile, so check it out.

"Muppet Treasure Island" is a fun-filled swash-buckling adventure for the whole family. Directed by Jim Henson's son Brian, the film manages to truly capture the essence and the charm that makes the Muppets so special, so make sure to pick up a copy some time.