Thursday, July 7, 2016

Movie Review: "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" (1985)

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Movie"Pee-wee's Big Adventure"
Director: Tim Burton
Year: 1985
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

After his prized bicycle is stolen, Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) embarks on a cross-country adventure searching for it.

The character of Pee-wee Herman is the brainchild of comedian Paul Reubens, who created this perpetual man-child for his stand-up routine that presented things in a childlike manner laced with adult innuendo. The character became such an iconic figure that he was always presented simply as Pee-wee Herman playing himself, rather than Paul Reubens offering up a character portrayal. It's hard to know where Reubens ends and Pee-wee begins (and vice versa) at this point because the two are one in the same. This is not a bad thing at all. We both grew up with Pee-wee and his delightfully sunny, unique, and dynamic personality, and have fond memories of watching him as kids. Director Tim Burton brings Pee-wee to the big screen in his feature film debut, and he is just the right weird enough person to make a movie based on this hilarious character. The story for this film is written by Reubens and the late, great Phil Hartman, and is quite simple in its premise. It's about Pee-wee trying to find his stolen, prized bicycle, which takes him on an adventure, meeting an eclectic mix of characters everywhere he goes. At its heart, "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" is all about the charming, oddball nature of the character of Pee-Wee and the comedic talents of Paul Reubens melding to make one unforgettable ride. Though toned down to appeal to younger audiences, the movie is still laced with its fair share of innuendo and adult humor that one may not get when they are kids, but will most likely understand and catch later as an adult.

There is certainly a whimsical nature to "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" that was right up Tim Burton's alley. Aided by Danny Elfman's wonderfully beautiful and weird score, this movie comes together as a zany but endearing adventure as one man-child searches for the greatest bike in the world that may have been stolen. The film is loaded with bizarre, quirky imagery that would become a staple of Burton's films in the years to come. This movie holds a nostalgic place in the heart of BigJ as he watched it in the theater as a child and many more times throughout his life. Even re-watching it now, it's still a very enjoyable, fun, albeit a slightly ridiculous and very silly movie.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "A Deadly Adoption"


  1. Yes! Great review! I had forgotten about my Pee-wee infused youth until the girls caught it on Netflix one day and began watching Pee-wee's Playhouse, then I remembered this movie. It was fun watching it again and they loved the creepy Large Marge scene and watched it over and over! LOL!

    1. Your girls started watching Pee-wee's Playhouse? No way!! That's amazing! It's fun to re-watch shows from your youth, huh!? This movie is so much fun, especially Large Marge! LOL!