Pee-wee's Big Adventure
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Co-written by Paul Reubens and Phil Hartman, Pee Wee's Big Adventure marks the debut of director Tim Burton, who stamps the entire film with his quirky trademark style. The premise: Pee Wee (Reubens), an overgrown pre-pubescent boy sporting a molded Princeton cut, blush, lipstick, and a shrunken gray flannel suit, lives an idyllic life in his bizarre home (some have compared the remarkable set design to the expressionistic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) until someone nabs his most prized possession: a fire engine-red customized bicycle. He then embarks on an epic cross-country search to find… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Reubens always lets us feel superior to his creation, and when his character slips, as it does more than once in this first feature outing, his own condescension shows through."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Fed by comic tributaries perhaps, but Pee-Wee Herman comes over as a delightful original."
‑ , Time Out
"The film's inventiveness is on display from the get-go."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"It's surreal, funny, clever and disarming in equal measures."
‑ , Film4
"The filmmakers create a zany and surreal world for Pee-wee yet it all seems perfectly natural and credible. Plus, it's all infused with a subdued yet rampant silliness that's enchanting."
‑ Beth Accomando,
"Fair warning: this movie could induce terminal boredom in adults and rot the minds of the young."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"You have been warned."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Chiefly successful because of its commitment to an artistic ideal: make something that looks, talks, feels, and moves like a cartoon."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Two stars were born with the release of this film -- one in front of the camera and one behind it."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Tim Burton's visual imagination proves a perfect match for Pee-wee's fanciful exploits."
‑ Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal
"Children should love the film and adults will be dismayed by the light brushstrokes with which Paul Reubens (one of three credited screenwriters, but star-billed under his stage name, Pee-wee Herman) suggests touches of Buster Keaton and Eddie Cantor."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Burton demonstrates his knack for building seemingly dynamic meta-worlds inside our own world, depicting Pee Wee's own journey as exciting, harrowing, and often times scary."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"A purely creative movie that one must admit has no equal in cinema history (for better or worse). [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"Burton's first feature revels in the weird, the unpredictable, the infantile and the absurd. A dazzling debut."
‑ , Empire Magazine
"Goofy, silly, and just plain funny."
‑ Cole Smithey,
More reviews for Pee-wee's Big Adventure on Rotten Tomatoes

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