Aloha my wonderful merfolk!
Today we say a Happy 20th Birthday to Muppets Treasure Island. This movie was one of my favourites as a child. It was one of those movies I could watch over and over and not get tired of it. I loved the characters, the story, the music. I loved everything about it! It’s hard to believe it is 20 years old!
All facts for this blog were found at Disney Wikia.
Firstly, here is a playlist of the fantastic soundtrack from this movie!
- There were many changes made from the original novel in order to fit the Muppets personality or to tighten up the story.
- The Admiral Benbow is no longer run by Jim’s family. Instead, Jim is an orphan, and the inn’s owner is Mrs. Bluberidge, who appears only at the beginning, as a fat, drunken Madame Thénardier-like landlady.
- Jim Hawkins is given two companions: Gonzo and Rizzo.
- Blind Pew appears is shown as bumbling, mistaking Jim for a “little girl” and is oblivious to everything, even to the inn blowing up all around him rather than in extremely intimidating and even a sadistic character in the book.
- Captain Smollett is sympathetic from the first, with a strictness only, it seems, for the consumption of alcohol instead of a stern and forbidding figure.
- By contrast, Mr. Arrow is shown as obsessed with regulations and the correct way of doing things (though he meekly follows Smollett’s orders), as suits a character played by Sam the Eagle.
- Ben Gunn is female, and renamed Benjamina. She has had former relationships with Smollett, Flint, and Silver.
- Squire Trelawney is the “rich half-wit son” of the real Squire Trelawney who takes advice from a man he believes to live in his finger.
- Captain Flint (the parrot) is replaced by Polly, a lobster whom Silver “raised from a fingerling”.
- When Gonzo asks why he doesn’t have a parrot instead, both seem astonished and bemused by the concept of someone actually having a pet parrot, and Polly responds “What an imagination! First pirates? Now talking parrots? What’s next? A singing, dancing mouse with his own amusement park?”, which serves as a direct reference to Mickey Mouse
- An attack on Gonzo and Rizzo by three of the pirates is added; this leads both to the stranding of Mr. Arrow (so Silver can let them out of the brig), and from there to the scene in the book when Jim hears Silver conspiring while in an apple barrel.
- A running subplot, which has very little effect on the main course of the film, involves the ship’s rats, who believe they have signed onto a modern-day Caribbean cruise.
- As in most Muppet movies, the presence of talking animals and bizarre creatures such as Gonzo is treated as normal.
- One of the only indications of fourth-wall-breaking is the comprehension of the songs (as the film is a musical), when Clueless Morgan ask, “Hey guys, what was that song that just happened there?”. No one else seems to understand what he’s talking about.
- The film was a commercial success, grossing $34,327,391 during its theatrical run and surpassing the grosses of The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Muppets Take Manhattan and The Great Muppet Caper.
- Hormel Foods Corporation, makers of Spam, sued the film production company for using the name “Spa’am” for one of the film’s characters.
- Their suit was defeated on September 22, 1995. The judge dismissed it on the grounds that “The American public can tell the difference between a puppet and a lunchmeat.”
Do you enjoy the Muppet movies? Is Treasure Island one of your favourites? Do you have a favourite song from this movie?
a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below