Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) Tim Burton
Warner DVD – library (1:30)
I watched a lot of movies in the mid-80s, but Pee-wee’s Big Adventure wasn’t one of them. Maybe that’s because I was hearing “Tequila” on the radio every five minutes or watching one of my junior high band students doing the Pee-wee dance as they were walking down the halls. But after hearing about the new movie Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, I decided to try the original, 30+ years later.
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (and Pee-wee himself) is charming in a weird sort of way. Tim Burton’s direction and look of the film (largely due to art direction by David L. Snyder) are nowhere near as bizarre as Burton would get in later years, but here the elements are just odd enough to get your attention, from Pee-wee’s kitchen to the strange (but often lovable) characters he encounters along the way as he tracks down his stolen bike. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is essentially a road picture and a quest story and whether you know anything about the character of Pee-wee, there’s lots to enjoy here and some genuine laughs.
To be perfectly honest, I watched the film, enjoyed it and thought I could simply cross it off my list and move on. But I confess… I’d kinda like to see it again.