Pee-wee's Big Adventure - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pee-wee's Big Adventure Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 2, 2009
Often too juvenile to bear, but for the other moments it's mostly just pure, exuberant fun. Full review later.
Super Reviewer
½ October 1, 2010
Tim Burton's "Peewee's Big Adventure" is arguably scarier than it is funny, blending the darkness and lightness together, and I absolutely loved that contrast. The odd visuals and the bubbly soundtrack make this film a joy to watch, even though sometimes it forgets what kind of film it is trying to be, throwing in random jump scares. The story is simple, Peewee's bike is stolen and the film is his journey to bring it back. It is a very fun tale that many films after have clearly been influenced by. Some people may be turned off by it's two-sidedness, but I loved that about it. The art direction is really commendable and is what I'll remember this film most for, and of course, the Peewee character. This is an extremely fun movie!
Market Man
Super Reviewer
½ August 22, 2012
The start of Tim Burton's great directing career. "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" is odd, funny, and entertaining. So many iconic moments, from the Alamo to Large Marge to Pee-wee's trek through Hollywood. I also love how Danny Elfman's score perfectly syncs to the film. The screenwriters did a great job with the script by creating truly memorable characters and scenes. Add Burton's quirky directing skills and what we get is one humorous adventure.

Mickey: Well, I lost my temper and I took a knife and I uh-. Do you know those "Do Not Remove Under the Penalty of Law" labels they put on mattresses?
Pee-wee: Yeah.
Mickey: Well I CUT one of them off!
Super Reviewer
½ February 21, 2008
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 stone for co-writer and star Paul Reubens (credited as Pee-wee Herman) and composer Danny Elfman.

The story follows the adventure of Pee-wee Herman, a lovable goofy man child who sets out on a cross country trip to recover his beloved bicycle that was stolen from him. Along the way he meets a wide variety of zany colorful characters, gets into some nutty situations, and truly does have a big adventure.

The film is extremely offbeat, but that's probbbaly why it has become such a beloved cult classic. It's also an exercise in style and genre hopping, from road movies to German expressionism, with bits of surrealism and a whole lot more. This is an utterly wacky and lovable movie, and I can't beieve it took me so long to finally see it.

I always sorta dug Pee-wee, even though a little bit of his shtick goes a long way. You really have to admire Reubens for his dedication to keeping in character, which isn't easy to do, especially with someone so delirious off kilter as Herman. Elizabeth Daily is good as Pee-wee's friend (who wants to be more than friends) Dottie, Diane Salinger is fun as a waitress named Simone who longs to see Paris, and Judd Omen is great as Mickey- the criminal on the lam who Pee-wee hitches a ride from.

Lots of Tim Burton trademarks started here, from the misunderstood social outcast protagonist, to the partnership with Elfman, the offbeat style and crazy art direction. Speaking of all of that: it's top notch, especially Elfman's delightful score.

All in all, this is a real gem. It's definitely not for all tastes, but if you crave something wacky, and odd, but still pretty harmless, then this is the film for you.
michael e.
Super Reviewer
½ February 5, 2012
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 context to the film. Pee Wee was in a truck with an old lady and then she goes "it looked like THIS" BLAAAAHAHHAHAHAHa! From then I jumped three feet in the air and ran into my room. Now that I have that trip on memory lane out of the way, lets talk about Pee Wee.

Everyone in the 90s grew up with Pee Wees playhouse, because it had things that every kid would see when they're on sugar high and can enjoy it even with the adults can enjoy it. The character of Pee Wee I think is one of those perfect embodiment's of how we all acted when we were very little and it is put in an adult body, which we can all enjoy, and with Pee Wee's big adventure, director Tim Burton exploits the heck out of it.

Paul Reubens plays his trademarked character and he does a fantastic job at playing this character as usual and makes him both a likable character and an off the wall character. One of the best things about this character is that this film is just his comedic development with other characters he meets along the way when he tries to find his lost bike, he meets a girl who wants to go to France with a mean boyfriend, a group of thugs at a bar who he befriends when dancing to the song Tequila, and even an escaped convict. Many of these characters lead to many hysterical moments and to some of the most memorable scenes in the movie.

The comedy in this film is quite possibly some of the best I've ever seen and it is brilliantly pulled off with some of the best slapstick and comedic lines of all time. Again, the Tequila scene is one of the funniest scenes when he entertains a group of biker thugs at a bar. But one of the funniest scenes in the movie is the pool fight with Pee Wee and his rival Francis who he thinks stole his bike. Pee Wee has some of his funniest moments when he fights with Francis just because of how these two adults act like 6 year old kids. Another one of the funniest scenes in the film is a scene involving Pee Wee hitchiking with a criminal who he is running from the cops, but when they run across the cops, Pee Wee gets the idea to dress up themselves as a traveling couple. But one of the funniest (And strangest) scenes is when Pee Wee finds his bike on a film set and takes it in the middle of a film shooting and rides through several different sets including a Godzilla style set, a Santa Claus set, and even a Twisted Sister music video.

To conclude this review, all I can say, is that it is what really started to make Pee Wee a phenomenon and led to his TV show and being considered one of the strangest shows of all time, and I definitely agree. And if you are in the mood for a great and bizarre comedy, definitely check this out.
Super Reviewer
October 2, 2011
Fun and clever. Great film for anyone.
Super Reviewer
March 9, 2011
My favorite film of all time and the most entertaining film of all time.
Super Reviewer
May 13, 2008
This to me is the one movie that never gets old. i could watch it every week. And its a different experience seeing it with other people, than it is by yourself. I wish i loved a woman like he loves his bike.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
I love this movie, it's hilarious and so much fun! Even if you've never seen Pee-Wee's Playhouse, you'll laugh and love this movie. I highly recommend it.
Super Reviewer
May 6, 2007
Colorful, quirky and highly original. Oh, this sure is a Tim Burton movie all right, no mistake about that. What was less obvious, however, was how I was gonna rate it. I mean, it's so random and childish, that there are as many annoying parts as there are amusing ones. The kind of film that you really need to be in the right mood for, or you might end up hating it. As for my opinion, I stand a little conflicted. Overall, I liked it though, even if it won't land a position on my Top 10 Movies by Tim Burton list.
Super Reviewer
½ May 7, 2010
This was a must see at some point. It's a Tim Burton film after all...
I think what cracked me up the best was the Hollywood interpretation of his adventure at the end. LOL! Very clever. Even his ride through WB studios. Funny!
Didn't see a lot of the Tim Burton style, but he was still a youngin at this point. The portrayal of Texas hurt my heart a little...
Super Reviewer
½ November 25, 2009
A completely bizarre and hilarious take on the character of Pee-Wee. Paul Reubens is priceless and just makes the role so much fun. While it has almost no relation in form to the show (besides Pee-Wee himself), it is an amazing ride that could only be helmed by Tim Burton. The comedy is like no other and has an extremely sarcastic tone to it.
Super Reviewer
March 13, 2008
When you think about a movie starring Pee Wee Herman nothing really springs to mind except crap. Another movie that milks a 15 minute wonder for some quick cash. Amazingly Pee Wee Herman's first film Pee Wee's Big Adventure is an entertaining trip through the real world in an over grown kids eyes.

Pee Wee (Paul Reubens) is like Peter Pan. The guy never grew up from a fireman's pole in his bedroom to the mouse trap like device that cooks him breakfast Pee Wee lives in a kids fantasy world. His most beloved possession is his bicycle, an ornate affair with all the bells and whistles and P.A. system. It's kept under lock and key and security system. The bike is his life.

So on a trip to the magic shop his bike ends up getting stolen. This is the catalyst for Pee Wee the over grown kid to travel the real world searching for his bike. He rides with an escapee, runs into a biker gang, hitches a ride with a ghost all in the name of saving his beloved bike.

What sets this film apart from what it might have been is direction by Tim Burton. Burton directs the film like a cartoon, echoing his previous work and giving us a glance of what he was capable of during the next ten years. Burton's creative eye gives the film a much needed push from being Viva Kineval.
Pee Wee Herman may be dead, but his film is still a great piece of entertainment. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a classic but it has definitely out grown it's star. A fun film.
Super Reviewer
March 25, 2007
Another movie I never get tired of watching.
Super Reviewer
April 27, 2008
Funniest thing ever!!!!!
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2008
Bowtied man-child Pee Wee loses his bike, and travels across America to find it, encountering a bizarre cast of characters. Pee Wee's voice and mannerisms can be grating to adults, but debuting director Tim Burton manages to keep things interesting for all ages with incredible detail, visual style, and sophisticated two-layer humor.
Super Reviewer
½ June 7, 2007
A masterpiece of independant filmmaking! Pee-Wee is a fantastic boy, who has a BIG adventure across America to find his stolen Bicycle. The things he does and the people he meet are truly memorable and hilarious. I love this movie so much. Awesome stuff. Great music from Danny Elfman too.

Favorite Scenes: the spectacular bike race dream and breakfast machine
Super Reviewer
½ March 7, 2007
Once Tim Burton emerged as a respectable director, I no longer had to be ashamed for liking this movie.
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2007
Hillarious. Tim burton at his best
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