Pee-wee's Big Adventure
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: July 26, 1985
DVD Release Date: May 2, 2000
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Critic Score: 89% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Pee-Wee's Big Adventure brings Paul Reubens' famous character to the big screen intact, along with enough inspired silliness to dazzle children of all ages.

Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

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.

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Brian Case
Time Out

Fed by comic tributaries perhaps, but Pee-Wee Herman comes over as a delightful original.

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David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

It's a true original -- a comedy maverick that looks and feels like no other movie I know.

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TIME Magazine

Fair warning: this movie could induce terminal boredom in adults and rot the minds of the young.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

You have been warned.

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David Parkinson
Radio Times

It's a bold attempt to do something dazzlingly original, although some of the gags are spectacularly unfunny and Pee-wee's nervous prattling can become irritating.

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Variety Staff

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.

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David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

Tim Burton's first (and best) movie...

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Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed

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.

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More reviews for Pee-wee's Big Adventure

Flixster Audience Score: 79% Flixster User Reviews
Thomas Bowler
Often too juvenile to bear, but for the other moments it's mostly just pure, exuberant fun. Full review later.
Chris Weber
In three words: manic goofy weirdness. This marked Tim Burton's directorial debut, and, not only was it a big breakthrough for him, but a big stepping… More
KJ Proulx
Tim Burton's "Peewee's Big Adventure" is arguably scarier than it is funny, blending the darkness and lightness together, and I absolutely… More
Michael Edwards
One of my earliest memories of childhood is when my sisters told me to come in to check something out when they were watching this movie with me having no… More
Eric Shankle
The start of Tim Burton's great directing career. "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" is odd, funny, and entertaining. So many iconic moments, from… More
Eric Alvarez
Fun and clever. Great film for anyone.