‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure’: Still Packing A Punch After All These Years

The summer of 1985 was a good one for movie fans — ushered in over Memorial Day weekend with Rambo 2 and the latest James Bond film, A View to a Kill, it produced a number of beloved blockbusters, including Fletch, The Goonies, Cocoon, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, and Back to the Future. Then, in the first week of August, came an odd little movie from an unheralded director making his big-screen debut, Tim Burton, and a character Paul Reubens had conceived on the improv stage, Pee-Wee Herman. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure followed the oddly optimistic man-child in his quest to find his missing bicycle and, in the process, won over plenty of fans. Over the next several years, the character not only got a sequel — Big Top Pee-Wee — but also a Saturday morning kids’ TV show. And while that initial burst of fame came to a screeching halt with Reubens’ 1991 arrest, Pee-Wee Herman’s legacy has managed to survive to this day. As the film celebrates its 35th anniversary, Reubens reflects on his character’s enduring popularity. (Click on the media bar below to hear Paul Reubens)

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure is available for streaming rental or purchase on most digital platforms, and it’s available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

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