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Pee-wee's Big Adventure
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Reviews & Ratings for
Pee-wee's Big Adventure More at IMDbPro »

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63 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

Masterpiece from maligned genius

10/10
Author: refill from Edmonton, Canada
16 June 2000

Okay, so it loses a bit of steam in the final third, but that's true of most movies. It still rates a ten. The first film by Paul Ruebens, Tim Burton and the incomparable film composer Danny Elfman, it bubbles with the pure joy and exuberance of three talented people playing with a brand new toy. No film has ever been more fun to watch.

Reubens' media crucifixion in the early 90's was a crime against pop culture. America's snickering sanctimony stifled and virtually silenced one of the few original voices in the entertainment industry. I'm only thankful that Pee-wee lives on in video-land, so that my children and I can continue to enjoy his film and television work (the new DVD of "Big Adventure", by the way, is a treasure).

Pee-wee Herman, it's time to come back! Your loyal fans await your triumphant return. And to all those sicko name-callers out there, we have only one thing to say:

"I know you are, but what am I?"

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43 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

One of the better pure comedies.

10/10
Author: kevino-4 from Seattle
15 May 2003

My favorite Burton film, the only one under his direction I've seen where there is no heavy handed attempt to create a mood or an effect. In fact this is as straight a comedy as the Marx Brothers created in their films, totally without seriousness and with no opportunity to just do something funny passed by. Ruebens was inspired, well supported by cast, pacing and minimal props. His Pee Wee appears as a genuine person which gives the comedy enough bite to stick. This is a vastly underrated movie in my opinion and worth the consideration of anyone who likes to laugh.

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30 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Good fun if you're in the mood for it

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
30 November 2003

Man-child Pee-wee Herman lives a magical life but has one possession that he treasures over all the others – his bicycle. The envy of the neighbourhood, his bike is his life and he is horrified when he finds it stolen. With the police unwilling to start a statewide search, Pee-wee sets out on an adventure to try and find his bike.

Pee-Wee Herman is a fairly acquired taste and won't please all audiences. I quite liked him here but couldn't have watched his show on a weekly basis. In this film though his `man-child' style and outlandish sense of humour really work out well. The plot is fairly pointless and just sparks off a road trip, which has a series of bizarre characters and adventures along the way.

Tim Burton's darkly comic imagination certainly helps and he gives the whole film an other-worldly feel to the whole thing, whether it be in the delivery of Herman's dreams or just the look of the film as a whole. Not all of it works of course, some of it misfires and isn't as funny as it would like to think that it is, however much of it is weirdly amusing and will be entertaining if you like Herman's style.

Herman can be annoying but here he stays on the right side of irritating and he is amusing in his delivery. He certainly suits the material and his OTT/hyper style helps the audience get into the very silly plot! Support is good and has lots of small roles that are weird and funny.

Overall this film is very much a matter of taste. If you like Herman then you should enjoy this film as it is very well done and is blessed with a real other-worldly touch by a great director in the making.

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29 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

An overall success of laughter and class combined!

10/10
Author: Chris Hewitt (thepianomaniac@gmail.com) from Brentwood, California
23 December 2002

Some people may think that this movie is silly, pointless, and has ridiculous scenes. But I, however, find it to be entertaining, very funny, and a good family movie made back in the 80's. It has a lot of jokes that are mostly the ones that are funny because they are weird and never seen anywhere else, but it does also have some one-liners that make even the most stern of audiences laugh. What I liked about this movie was that it had a lot of people involved in it. There were also a lot of locations that were shown in this film, even if the places were not the initial location that they intentioned of in the movie.

All of the characters gave pretty good performances that were done at optimum level of expectation. To be honest, I cannot think of any reason off the top of my head that could make "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" better. There are plenty of jokes as I have already said that make you laugh . The camera angles that they used also coordinated with the way that the jokes went together. The camera might be having a close-up frame and behind the character's back Pee-wee might do something to make that character turn around with the camera behind it. The things like that are what make this movie good.

My other favorite parts of this movie are the scenes of Pee-wee's house, that had a very creative touch to it, and how Pee-wee had such dedication to his "magical" bike. To see if I am right, you should go out and rent "Pee-wee's Big Adventure". I guarantee at least five long and hard laughs. With all of it's silliness combined, I give this movie ****/****, a 10/10. It was really a good experience to me.

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25 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)

7/10
Author: ManhattanBeatnik from Waynesville, OH
20 January 2004

Pee-wee's Big Adventure (the first full-length feature by acclaimed film-maker Tim Burton) is the kind of movie you'd have to force yourself NOT to like. Adapted from Paul Reubens' hit children's (and adult's) television show, it is a delightful fantasy that is bound to entertain. The tagline for the film describes it as "the story of a rebel and his bike," and that really about sums up the entire movie, but there's something about Pee-wee that taps into everyone's inner child and captures the care-freeness of youth, making his adventures irresistible and utterly captivating ... because -- afterall -- Pee-wee is still the coolest man-child out there (take THAT, Michael Jackson!). The plot (which is really rather insignificant) revolves around Pee-wee's prized bike, which is tragically stolen while he's shopping for novelty toys at the mall (who DOESN'T wish they had this man's life?). After deciding that the police couldn't possibly help him in his endeavors, he "takes the law into his own hands" and sets out on a quest to find his bicycle -- which a phony fortune-teller has told him is in the basement of the Alamo. The film can be enjoyed on a number of levels: while there is always the sheer fun and hilarity of Reubens comic genius, there is another genius at work here -- Burton's. One of the many pleasures of watching a Burton movie is that you can tell you're watching a movie by a man who's watched a lot of movies, and each feature of his is drenched with homages, parodies, and inside jokes: Pee-wee's Big Adventure features references to beach blanket movies, horror movies, Godzilla movies, Tarzan movies, and even The Wizard of Oz. The other great thing about Burton is that he always adds a dark edge to his work, regardless of how flippant the work may be: when Pee-wee's bike is stolen, it's a moment of almost Hitchcockian intensity. Burton's playful use of shadows and cartoonish set pieces conveys a sense of simultaneous lightheartedness and malice; his films accomplish that rare feat of creating a world entirely of their own. But even if all of this film-geek babble means absolutely nothing to you, you can still have fun on this adventure, because Pee-wee is one of the most likable characters in the history of entertainment: anyone who claims to find Reubens obnoxious or unfunny is either lying to you or has no sense of humor. The screenplay for Pee-wee's Big Adventure was written by Reubens and Saturday Night Live alumni Phil Hartman, and its combination of childish humor ("I know you are, but what am I?") and unexpected insight is absolutely charming. With top-notch direction and full-blown hilarity (the "Tequila" scene is one for the time capsule), it is one of the most purely enjoyable films ever made; it's that rare cult movie that's just as good as its fans would tell you it is. So go on: give into your temptation and watch it. As Pee-wee himself would say, "I triple-dog-dare ya" not to like it.

Grade: B

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29 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Why it's my favorite Tim Burton movie

10/10
Author: Psycho86 (pharaoh129@msn.com) from Gilbert, AZ
22 September 2002

I absolutely love everyone of Tim Burton's movies, but if I had to pick which one was my favorite, this would be the one. Why you ask? Well, first of all, this movie has everything. And I do mean everything. Horror, comedy, family fun, you name it. This movie scared me so much when I was a kid. I mean come on, that scene when you see all those clowns and the dinosaur, not to mention the "Large Marge" scene, were scary.

Simply put, I could pop this one in and easily watch it for lots of fun. Not saying that Tim Burton's other movies aren't fun, but this one can be watched under any circumstances. It's like the reason BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA is my favorite John Carpenter movie.

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25 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Pee Wee Herman + Tim Burton = MANIC FUN!!

10/10
Author: InzyWimzy from Queens, NY
12 September 2002

Wow, deja vu.

I haven't seen this one since....years ago back when wearing wrist bracelets was popular. It brought back all these memories of the fun I had watching this a kid. Surprisingly, this is Tim Burton's first movie and he did a great job. His unique directing, visual design, and dark comedy just work superbly as a whole. I can never remember being so affected by clowns in hospital smocks.

Let's not forget Pee Wee as well. He was definitely a character who I enjoyed watching because he was so carefree, happy, and it was hard not to like him. There are so many great scenes in this one like breakfast time, the Alamo, Pee Wee's nightmares, any scene with Francis "YOU'LL BE SORRY PEE WEE HERMAN!" Buxton, Mickey the con, the Warner Bros lot and so many more. The characters are great too and from their performances, you can tell they had fun doing this film cause it shows. With a the limited budget, Pee Wee's wacky nature, and Tim Burton's imagination, it all adds up to a really entertaining film. Oops, can't forget Danny Elfman's great soundtrack which sets the tone rather nicely.

The DVD has great commentary from Paul & Tim and provides great insight into the film. Watch this one and remember:

"Be sure and tell them Large Marge sent ya!!"

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18 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Recommended for people who like colorful visuals and absurd characters.

7/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
24 June 2006

Not ever being a fan of "Pee Wee Herman" (Paul Reubens), I found myself very surprised that I enjoyed this movie when it first came out on VHS and several viewings since (including on DVD.)

Despite Pee Wee's stupid character he's still a likable guy and the movie is outrageously funny, a tribute in part to the visuals of director Tim Burton. This is one of his earliest films and his first "hit." It began to stamp him as someone who could make stylish films with a good sense of the absurd.

It took four viewings until I finally got sick of Pee Wee's stupid laugh, which he overdoes and finally made me reduce the rating of the film from '9' to '7." This is another one of these films for kids and adults.

Once Pee Wee gets on the road looking for his missing bicycle, the films gets rolling and has some memorable stops on the way (large dinosaurs, his famous "Tequila" dance, "Large Marge" and other assorted strange scenes, all of which are very entertaining.)

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19 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

A man and his bike and Burton in the middle

10/10
Author: Pimpin` Critic 69 from Your Critic of Critics
29 June 2002

Tim Burton in his directorial debut directs a masterpiece of a comedy. This movie which has Pee-wee Herman (Paul Rubens) in search of his stolen bike is hilarious and full of gags. Burton does a terrific job creating the world of a man-child which proves that Burton is one of the greatest directors of all-time. How many directors have struck gold in their first picture? This is a movie not to be missed and check out for E.G. Daily, the voice of Tommy in Rugrats, as Dottie a/k/a Pee-Wee's love interest.

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28 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Much more entertaining than Star Wars!

7/10
Author: robot-cat from Llano, TX
18 February 2004

i'm appalled at the rating for this classic. what i gathered from the few negative nellies is that they were (a) not Pee Wee fans or (b) obsessive burton fans who think of this as one of his films, when really the comedy stylings of pee wee & phil hartman, both former groundlings, who are the heart and soul of this movie. i'm not saying burton didn't contribute, but that it was a collaboration between the three.

10/10

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