‘Muppet Treasure Island’ at age 21: a journey of self-discovery

For my first post here, a trip down memory lane. Last Saturday, I was on a Tim Curry binge, and for someone of my generation, no Tim Curry binge is complete without Muppet Treasure Island. By my calculations, it had probably been over ten years since I had last seen this movie, so re-watching it now proved to be quite a journey of self-discover. Here are some of the things I learned, both about the movie and myself.

  1. I was, am and always will be vaguely scared of Animal.

    I get scared easily at the best of times. I also have a tendency to get creeped out by weird things that aren’t really that creepy. I think Animal falls under that category. I think I am to constantly haunted of that scene in The Muppet Movie where he grows and grows and grows and emerges out of the roof of… that building (it’s been a while). I actually had a couple of dreams after seeing The Muppet Movie for the first time that involved houses collapsing and people emerging through the roof. I know, not scary at all, right? Hey, I was five at the time! As I said, it’s been a while, so I thought perhaps I would be over this silly phobia. Apparently not. When Animal screamed, “Politics! Politics! Politics!” and banged on the drums on Saturday evening, I found myself feeling just as creeped out by him as I always had. Clearly, there are some things you just don’t grow out of.

  2. I will never be able to watch a Star Wars movie without hearing Miss Piggy’s voice every time Yoda speaks.

    It makes me a bad sci-fi fan, I know, but the only Star Wars film I have seen all the way through is the first one. I started watching The Empire Strikes Back one day whilst making cupcakes, but the cupcake-making took less time than the movie, so I didn’t get as far as the end, and I haven’t had a chance to go back and catch up. However, the thing that really struck me the first time Yoda appeared on screen was just how much he sounded like Miss Piggy when he was yelling at Luke. A quick text message to my boyfriend, Muppets aficionado, confirmed that yes, both characters were voiced by Frank Oz.  Please insert the aural equivalent of “cannot unsee” (“cannot unhear?”) here.

  3. Just because a boy in a movie is attractive when you’re nine years old, it doesn’t mean you’ll still find him attractive now that you’re older.

    Well, you would think this one would go without saying. Really. But apparently I needed it confirmed. Jim Hawkins, aka British actor Kevin Bishop, was one of the reasons that I watched MTI many, many, many times when I was about nine. I thought he was pretty cute. And for some reason, I expected that I would still feel this way about the fifteen-years-old-but-looked-eleven version of him. There was actually a sinking feeling in my heart upon discovering that this wasn’t so (and also that his not-quite-broken voice was kind of annoying). Now, I just did a Google image search and Kevin Bishop, who is now 30, has turned out not too badly, aethetically speaking (though some images were better than others). It just doesn’t feel the same, though. Sigh.

These were the main three things that occurred to me during my Saturday night in, apart from realising that Long John Silver does not fall for psychological threatening and will in fact turn it back around on you if you try, and finally getting those few jokes that go right over the heads of the younger viewers and are in there for the parents. Anyone else ever had moments like these upon rewatching movies from childhood?

2 thoughts on “‘Muppet Treasure Island’ at age 21: a journey of self-discovery

    • Emily Witt says:

      Um, that would be because I just changed them from private to public so that I wasn’t getting different total posts numbers depending on where I was looking. I didn’t think it would then tell everyone about them (in fact, I was kinda banking on it not doing that).


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