I never watched Pee Wee’s Playhouse on CBS back when I was younger. I was never much of a fan of the character. Yet, I had watched Pee Wee’s Big Holiday one year and found myself loving it. Who knew?
So as the next Memorial Day Movie Binge Watch, I chose to watch the first of Pee Wee Herman’s movies, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.
I am consistently surprised at how entertaining and charming these films can be despite starring a character who is anything but. Pee Wee Herman is not without his good points, but it seems to me that a little goes a long way.
In this movie, Pee Wee has his beloved bike stolen and he goes on a cross country adventure to try and retrieve it. He finds himself in one troublesome situation after another, only to come out of it because of his likeability and friendliness. I’m not sure there is a great message here for children, but there is certainly plenty to laugh at.
By the way, this is a Tim Burton film. Yes, that Tim Burton.
Paul Reubens plays the iconic childlike Pee Wee and he is completely in on the jokes. When something happens to Pee Wee, you can see the light in the eyes of Reubens. Pee Wee is actually much like many of the old slapstick comedians of the past, trading in appearance for the jokes. And most of them work very well.
“Be sure and tell them Large Marge sent ya!!”
A high level of goofiness marks this film and really sets the tone for what we see. Tim Burton continues to make weird films like this, his first one.