Parents' Guide to

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure

By Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Just as charming and curious as it was in 1985.

Movie PG 1985 90 minutes
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 7+
age 13+

wierd and scary for 7 year old

I didn't catch it in '85. I found it silly-funny but the kid wasn't amused and was scared by the dark imagery. Asked us to turn it off and not watch it again. Nervous on way to and at bedtime. Also the humour was over his head. I dk if a preteen would appreciate. Maybe not till college age.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14 ):
Kids say (22 ):

Those who found Tim Burton's feature film debut a charming curiosity when it hit the big screen in 1985 will find it just as charming -- and just as curious -- today. Children and open-minded adults unfamiliar with Pee-wee Herman are in for a surprise. The movie's success, which paved the way for the Saturday morning show Pee-wee's Playhouse, is due in large part to Pee-wee himself. As personified by comic Paul Reubens, the smooth-faced, childlike man with the infectious chuckle has a unique appeal that elevated him briefly to the status of cult icon.

Reubens' sensibilities work well with Burton's equally bizarre artistic vision. The movie's wild production designs, a bit of claymation, and lots of unusual toys and props demonstrate what ingenuity can do on a tight budget. Pee-wee isn't regarded as abnormal in this movie -- as he was in the less successful follow-up, Big Top Pee-wee -- rather, he's just an innocent man-child in a red bow tie who would rather find his stolen bicycle than go to the drive-in with the persistent Dottie. Kids can certainly identify with that.

Movie Details

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