What do Mr. Thimble, Long John Silver, and a marooned temptress swine have in common? You guessed it, Muppet Treasure Island. That was the latest film selection in my home. No, I don’t have kids that have begged for weeks to rent it, rather my wife and I were feeling a little kooky and picked it up.

Allow me to get straight to it, most of the film left me disappointed. It did however have some really strong characters, like the two sarcastic old guys (who were actually figureheads on the prow of the vessal), and as you might have guessed were my favorites. Also, the dramatically overplayed (yes I know it was a kids movie that purposely pulled every cliché for its due turn) Billy Bones was enjoyable with his drunken UK accent. The picture of complex hand puppets interacting with this salty old sailor drowning his fears in rum is frankly hilarious.

Some things I did not enjoy were the numerous hints to Ms. Piggy’s promiscuous past. Is there something wrong with me that I think it seems ill-placed to have a sock puppet drudging up her licentious history? Or am I worse for taking the token sexual references this seriously? Well, the jury is still out on me, but I don’t enjoy our culture’s introduction of these themes into children’s/family cinema.

Another contention for me was Long John Silver’s use of the Bible in a category of foolish superstition. Yes, I know I am talking about a movie full of hand puppets for children, but when the Bible is presented alongside ghosts with all manner of sea-faring folly, I again resent the influence of the post-Christian environs.

I am sure that one can do worse than Muppet Treasure Island, but hopefully, we can do a lot better. In the meantime, I hope I don’t have nightmares of sock puppets attacking me with head-shivering, rubber-limb-gyrating, open-mouth-exaggerated, partial-body-viewing, swashbuckling fury!

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