Pee-Wee's Big Adventure

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure

4.7 16
Director: Tim Burton

Cast: Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton

     
 

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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 (someSee more details below

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Overview

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 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. In this reprisal of his popular standup routine, Reubens is wonderful as the nerdy man child; he plays it silly, yet he manages to imbue the role with some sensitivity without ever seeming maudlin. The score by Danny Elfman is terrific -- as is the case in nearly every film Burton has directed -- and the script is fresh and inventive. Some of the most memorable moments: the opening sequence involving Pee Wee's morning activities is a stroke of genius (note the bunny slippers and talking breakfast), as are the scenes at the truck stop, and the "Hollywood" version of Pee Wee's story at the end (starring James Brolin and Morgan Fairchild in surprise cameos). In all, Pee Wee's Big Adventure is a delightful film, enjoyable for children as well as adults.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Director Tim Burton's first feature film already displayed his distinctive visual style. The absurdist comedy has a look reminiscent of German expressionist movies of the 1920s, filtered through a pop-art sensibility of cartoons, horror serials, and Gothic fairy tales. The result is a surreal, mystical world, yet one very close to our own. Much like Burton's subsequent heroes, Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood, Pee-Wee (Paul Reubens) travels through this dreamy world as an unabashedly quirky, innocent outsider. The character of Pee-Wee Herman was the creation of comedians Reubens and Phil Hartman, and it had been a staple of Reubens' nightclub act for years before the film. Reubens selected Burton to direct the Pee-Wee feature on the basis of his Disney-produced short Frankenweenie, which the studio had deemed unacceptable for kids. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure propelled Burton to many opportunities, including the first Batman, even as it predictably typecast Reubens.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/04/2008
UPC:
0883929004157
Original Release:
1985
Rating:
PG
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:30:00
Sales rank:
13,327

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by Paul Reubens and director Tim Burton; Additional scenes; Production sketches and storyboards; Music-only track with commentary by Danny Elfman; Production notes; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Reubens Pee-Wee Herman
Elizabeth Daily Dottie
Mark Holton Francis
Diane Salinger Simone
Judd Omen Mickey
Jon Harris Andy
Carmen Filpi Hobo Jack
Tony Bill Terry Hawthorne
James Brolin "P.W."
Morgan Fairchild "Dottie"
Gregory Brown BMX Kid
Lou Cutell Amazing Larry
Wallis Nicita Actor
Bill Richmond Highway Patrolman
Toru Tanaka Butler
Twisted Sister Themselves
Irving Hellman Neighbor
Monte Landis Mario
Damon Martin Chip
David C. Glasser BMX Kid
Mark Everett BMX Kid
Daryl Roach Chuck
Bill Cable Policeman
Peter Looney Policeman
Starletta DuPois Sgt. Hunter
Ed Herlihy Mr. Buxton
Ralph Seymour Francis' Accomplice
Raymond Martino Gang Member
Erica Yohn Madam Ruby
Alice Nunn Large Marge
Ed Griffith Trucker
Simmy Bow Man in Diner
Jan Hooks Tina
John Moody Bus Clerk
John O'Neill Cowboy
Alex Sharp Cowboy
Chester Grimes Biker
Luis Contreras Biker
Lonnie Parkinson Biker
Howard Hirdler Biker
Cassandra Peterson Biker Mama
Jason Hervey Kevin Morton
Bob McClurg Studio Guard
John Paragon Movie Lot Actor
Susan Barnes Movie Lot Actress
Zachary Hoffman Director
Lynne Stewart Mother Superior
George Sasaki Japanese Director
Richard Brose Tarzan
Drew Seward Kid
Brett Fellman Kid
Bob Drew Fireman
John Gilgreen Policeman at Pet Shop
Noreen Hennesey Reporter
Phil Hartman Reporter
Michael Varhol Photographer
David Rothenberg Hobo
Sunshine Parker Hobo
Gilles Savard Pierre
Patrick Cranshaw Hobo
Milton Berle Himself [uncredited]

Technical Credits
Tim Burton Director
Richard Gilbert Abramson Producer
Paul R. Baxley Stunts
Danny Elfman Score Composer
Charles Gaspar Special Effects
Frank Griffin Makeup
Phil Hartman Screenwriter
Rick Heinrichs Animator
Peter Hliddal Musical Direction/Supervision
Victor J. Kemper Cinematographer
William E. McEuen Executive Producer
Marjorie Stone McShirley Production Designer
Paul Reubens Screenwriter
Aggie Guerard Rodgers Costumes/Costume Designer
Thomas Roysden Set Decoration/Design
Robert Shapiro Producer
David Snyder Production Designer
James Tocci Set Decoration/Design
Michael Varhol Screenwriter
Billy Weber Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
1. Credits [1:04]
2. Leader of the Pack [1:41]
3. Good Morning [5:33]
4. A Boy and His BIke [4:56]
5. Cool Stuff/Mario's [2:59]
6. Horn With Dottie [2:20]
7. Gone! [2:36]
8. Bath At Buxton's [4:28]
9. Evidence of Crime [4:27]
10. Mayhem Ruby [2:49]
11. Riding With Mickey [4:47]
12. Convertible [2:21]
13. Large Marge [6:15]
14. Dream in Dinosaur [2:40]
15. Dinosaur in Dream [:54]
16. Angry Andy [1:20]
17. Railcair Singalong [1:03]
18. What Alamo Lacks [2:35]
19. Simone/Dottie [4:07]
20. Fancy Riding [2:28]
21. Biker Bar Fun [4:54]
22. Devil Nightmare [2:28]
23. Invade Warner Bros. [3:12]
24. All Over the Lot [3:45]
25. Geronimo! [1:30]
26. Creature Rescue [3:25]
27. His Big Adventure [7:09]

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