The Muppets tackle Robert Louis Stevenson's pirate classic with enthusiasm, if not complete success. The movie starts off wonderfully, as Rizzo the Rat and the Great Gonzo—no one knows what Gonzo is, but "great" is the right adjective—set out in search of treasure with young Jim Hawkins (Bishop).
The movie is crammed with all sorts of Muppets (from singing potatoes to a groady mob of pirates) and the jokes whiz by. (Sorting through the trunk of dead Billy Bones, the previous holder of the map, Rizzo discovers a copy of Henry Kissinger's Diplomacy.) But once Rizzo, Gonzo and boy have set sail with Captain Smollett (Kermit the Frog), the action is becalmed for long stretches. Things get back on track when Miss Piggy finally makes a typically flamboyant entrance, but a whole crew of zany puppets wagging their woolly heads and hopping about a ship's deck can wear you down. (G)