Tim Burton's first (and best) movie, Pee-wee's Big Adventure follows Paul Reubens' childlike title character as he embarks on a quest to find his stolen bicycle. It's clear virtually from the word go that Pee-wee's Big Adventure is the sort of film that one either loves or hates, as Burton, working from Phil Hartman, Michael Varhol, and Reubens' script, employs a seriously (and unapologetically) broad directorial sensibility that's reflected in the movie's various attributes - from Danny Elfman's irresistibly larger-than-life score to David L. Snyder's eye-popping set design to Reubens' less-than-subtle (yet always engrossing) turn as the cartoonish protagonist. The latter's consistently affable performance plays a pivotal role in cementing Pee-wee's Big Adventure's success, to be sure, as the actor steps into the shoes of his almost unreasonably likable character to an extent that's nothing short of hypnotic - with Reubens' stellar work heightened by an eclectic supporting cast that includes Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton, and Judd Omen. And while the episodic screenplay admittedly does result in a very small handful of narrative lulls (eg there's probably one too many dream sequences here), Pee-wee's Big Adventure closes with a series of immensely captivating sequences that ensure it ends on as positive a note as one could envision - with the perpetually amiable atmosphere confirming the movie's place as a delight that holds appeal for all ages.


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