The Muppets

Muppet Treasure Island [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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As the second post-Jim Henson era Muppet film came to theaters, there was the sense that the Henson family were afraid to be too daring. Instead of new scripts, the films were being based on classic books. Luckily the Muppets were still singing original songs, but the songs were more predictable. On Muppet Treasure Island, you know that the opening "Shiver Me Timers" will be a pirate song to set the stage for events, "Sailing for Adventure" will be a big ship song in which the crew prepare to board, and "Cabin Fever" will be the tune in which the Muppets get sea sick and lose control on the ship. The predictability does not make them any less of a song -- in fact, they would not even be predictable if the Muppets were starring in an original film, which is where they belong. It is fun to imagine Kermit as Captain Smollet and Miss Piggy as Benjamina Gunn, but only to an extent. After a while, we want them to take off their costumes and get back to their business of being a muppet, instead of being a muppet acting like classic book characters whose personalities are accessible to the muppets who are acting them out. Here, Grammy award-winning songwriters Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann and Academy award-winning composer Hans Zimmer (The Lion King) bring a sense of daring adventure and thrill to the soundtrack. While Ziggy Marley adds the reggae "Love Power" to the mix, along with Helen Darling and John Berry's "Love Led Us Here" a closing credit ballad which was sung better in the film, not surprisingly, by Piggy and Kermie.

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