- Title: ENGLAND / USA: 'MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND' IS SHOT IN LONDON
- Date: 25th February 1995
- Summary: LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (RECENT) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) KERMIT THE FROG WELCOMING EVERYONE TO THE SET OF THE FILM (ENGLISH) RIGGING OF SPECIALLY-CONSTRUCTED SHIP ON SET FOZZIE BEAR CLEANING CAMERA LENS CREW FILMING "CABIN FEVER" SONG WITH MUPPETS AND PIRATES ON BOARD SHIP KERMIT SAYING I AM HAPPY TO WORK WITH MISS PIGGY ANYTIME SHE WANTS TO DO IT. CAN YOU CUT PLEASE? THE TRUTH IS, I'M SCARED TO DEATH (ENGLISH)
- Reuters ID: LVA8JII9TMLCQP6ME197ZIXLJ6KM
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM/ LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:01:06
- Story Text: The Muppets are back in a rollicking musical rendition of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale, Treasure Island.
Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and a host of new Muppet characters join the treasure hunt in the film, shot largely at London's Shepperton studios.
"Muppet Treasure Island" roughly follows the storyline of the original novel. Young Jim Hawkins (Kevin Bishop) is an orphan working in a seaside tavern frequented by a scurvy lot.
The blustery, now landlocked, Billy Bones (Billy Connolly) spins yet again the saga of a fabulous treasure buried on a remote island by Capt. Flint, who murdered his crew and died before he could return to dig it up.
One night, Bones is sought out by an ex-mate who gives him the "black spot" -- the sailor's kiss of death. His last desperate act is to give Hawkins the treasure map.
Joined by tavern co-workers Gonzo the Great and Rizzo the Rat, Hawkins starts looking for a ship to carry him to the remote atoll.
Enter Kermit, in the guise of Captain Smollett. Together they set off in search of riches, only to fall victim to the mutinous Long John Silver (Tim Curry) and his band of less-than-savoury Muppet ruffians.
Miss Piggy finally makes her entrance as Benjamina Gunn, the leader of a band of war-like hogs. They protect the island where the treasure lies buried.
After being jilted by Smollett at the alter many years before, Benjamina is only to keen to renew her acquaintance with the nervous frog.
The film is the fifth made by the Muppets. It was directed by Brian Henson, son of the Muppets creator, the late Jim Henson.
A huge galleon was erected on rollers on one stage, simulating the ocean waves so well it left some cast and crew feeling seasick.
An island, complete with palm trees and sandy shores took up most of another stage.
Henson says he has great fun working with the Muppets and the crew, adding the relaxed atmosphere was apparent in the film itself. Tim Curry agreed, but said Miss Piggy did try to steal the show.
Newcomer Kevin Bishop was picked from hundreds of auditions for the role of Jim Hawkins. Joking with the warthog warlord Spa'am on set, Bishop said he was amazed to win the part.
Spa'am himself almost caused a last minute hitch when the makers of Spam luncheon meat took Jim Henson Productions to court, objecting to the use of the name.
The Muppets eventually won, and the film is due for release in the United States on Friday (February 16). It should open in Europe this summer.
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- Embargoed:12th March 1995 12:00
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