After the delightful Muppet Christmas Carol, this fourth Kermit and pals star vehicle comes as a slight disappointment, but it's a treat all the same. The format's unchanged. The pre-puppet warm-up, with black-toothed Saunders, slovenly 'kerchiefed Connolly and the rest of the sea dogs, is all slopped ale, menacing curses and roisterous yo-ho-ho, served up just short of Python-esque pastiche. The heart only leaps with the dockside arrival of Kermit's Capt Smollett and his kaleidoscopic crew of woolly friends as the movie sets sail for the usual ahistoric musical extravaganza. There's bad news. Kermit's role is upsettingly minor and underwritten. Worse, Miss Piggie's superstar status is becoming a crashing bore: her South Sea queen of the warthogs (Benjamina Gunn) favours ostentation over dignity. Yet Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil's musical numbers have more than enough goofy lyrics to cheer the cockles. Bishop comes off well, too, with his contemporary Jim Hawkins, sensible, winsome but thankfully not cute. The new star, and about time, is Rizzo the Rat. He's not as bright, witty or charismatic as Kermit, but what courage, what staying power!