Muppet Treasure Island



Hilarious high seas adventure with lots of pirate action.
  • Review Date: August 10, 2005
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1996
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

This movie is meant primarily to entertain. It is very loosely based on Robert Louis Stevenso's Treasure Island and introduces characters and situations from that book. Some terms are defined (i.e. "helm, "North star").

Positive messages

People may not be what they seem at first. Long John Silver appears to be a friend to Jim and his friends initially, but turns out to be a dastardly villain. Young orphan Jim who feels as though he has no family finds out that the concept of family isn’t easily defined: a family can be made up of people (or Muppet creatures) who aren’t necessarily related to you, but love you, protect you, and have your best interests at heart.

Positive role models

Jim Hawkins, the adventurous human child at the center of the story, is "honest, brave, and true" throughout. The key authority figure, the ship’s captain played by Kermit the Frog, is reliable, trustworthy, and compassionate. The overblown, comic villains are greedy, destructive, and suffer the consequences of their misbehavior.

Violence & scariness

Cartoon action throughout involving both Muppets and humans. Included are: villainous pirates and other ruffians, explosions, fire, gunshots, chases, and captures, narrow escapes, swords in combat, skeletons, knife threats, puppets who are tied up and suspended over a precipice, cannon fire, references to torture and death, wild tribal pigs. It's all exaggerated and meant to be funny, not really scary.

Sexy stuff

Miss Piggy makes a slightly sexual comment to Long John Silver.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Rowdy men are seen drinking from pewter mugs in a tavern. A drunken pirate requests rum. A ship's captain announces that there will be "no drinking on this ship."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know this comedy is filled with cartoon action throughout and is best for kids who already know the difference between real and make-believe violence. It's a pirate swashbuckler with swords, knives, gunshots, captures, and exaggerated villains (including the outrageous one-legged Long John Silver). Many of the beloved Muppet characters are in comic danger over the course of the movie. Setting the tone, one puppet early in the film asks in disbelief: "He died? And this is supposed to be a kids' movie!" But no one actually dies in the film, although one character is an orphan who is still grieving for his father. In an early scene some characters are seen drinking in a tavern and one is intoxicated.

What's the story?

The Muppets take to the high seas in this lively version of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel. The adventure begins when pirate Billy Bones (Billy Connelly) gives a treasure map to young orphan Jim Hawkins (Kevin Bishop) and his friends Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat. After a narrow escape from map-seeking pirates, the three manage to get on board the ship of Captain Smollet (Kermit the Frog). But trouble brews when nasty pirate king Long John Silver (Tim Curry) and his monster Muppet minions appear, dead set on getting the map and treasure. Wild comedic adventure ensues, including a narrow escape from a gang of wild boars and their very beautiful queen (Miss Piggy), who's livid at the frog captain for abandoning her at the altar.

Is it any good?


This loose adaptation of the classic tale is full of the kind of humor the Muppets are famous for, from jokes about Disney to a pirate with a talking lobster instead of a talking parrot. Tim Curry has a blast as the pirate Long John Silver, and Kevin Bishop is believable and earnest as young Jim Hawkins. There are funny songs, zany characters, and an entrance by Miss Piggy that's right up there with Elizabeth Taylor's in Cleopatra.

Through all the joking, though, the message of loyalty, friendship, and finding your destiny comes through loud and clear. This is a very funny movie that both kids and adults will enjoy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the violence in this movie. Did anything seem too intense for a kids' movie? What's the difference between funny and scary action?

  • How does this Muppet movie compare to others? What makes a movie endure through time?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 26, 1996
DVD release date:June 4, 2002
Cast:Jennifer Saunders, Kevin Bishop, Tim Curry
Director:Brian Henson
Studio:Buena Vista
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Book characters, Pirates, Puppets
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:all audiences

This review of Muppet Treasure Island was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bynduns February 25, 2010

Compared to other muppets stuff...

This one's a little intense for the children, and that's why this remains my favorite to this day. Again, it seems people only review this film based not off of what THEY thought of it but rather what they think all kids will think of it. This, imo, was the most well-written of all the muppets films and remains my personal favorite to this day.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old August 23, 2011

A golden movie

Best muppet movie ever!!!!!!!!! Sort of violent sort of scary and pirate attacks this is by far the most action packed muppet movie ever.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written by4kidshater June 16, 2010
I like this movie. It is a very funny movie. It is very hilarious. I like it. I recommeded it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models


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