Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

Director: Tim Burton

1985, 92 min, PG, Common Sense Media Rating: Age 7+

Cast: Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton

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.

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 his lost love, not to mention more than a little adventure. Along the way, he makes friends with various oddball characters, visits the Alamo, endures various hallucinatory nightmares, and has a supernatural run-in with a spectral trucker.


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