Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure review

Check out our review of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure - a terrific kids’ film from director Tim Burton

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure poster

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

Certificate: U

Starring: Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily

Release date: 1985

4 out of 5


Before Tim Burton directed Batman, and before Paul Reubens’s career hit a speed-bump following his 1991 arrest for indecent exposure, the pair teamed up to make this terrific kids’ film featuring Reubens’s character Pee-wee Herman.

Reubens first performed as Herman – a childlike, baby-voiced, well-meaning geek – as part of a stand-up comedy routine, and following an airing on TV, this movie went into production and was followed by a TV series, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, and a sadly missable movie sequel, Big Top Pee-wee.

Here, Pee-wee’s big adventure begins when his prized bicycle is stolen. Determined to get it back, he sets off on a bizarre cross-country journey to recover it, meeting a host of quirky people (including escaped cons, bikers and rodeo clowns) along the way. It’s all completely bonkers in a way that kids (and adults who enjoy the slightly strange) will love, and a lot of the enjoyment depends on whether you love the man-child that is Pee-wee (and you should!) or find him squeakily irritating. Watch and decide for yourself…

Is Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...


If you like this, why not try: Bean, The Grinch, One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing, That Darn Cat!, Who Framed Roger Rabbit,