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Moxie Flix: Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)

When eccentric man-child Pee-wee Herman gets his beloved bike stolen in broad daylight, he sets out across the U.S. on the adventure of his life. (PG, 91 min.)


Saturday, February 17, 2024

12:00 PM

These FREE screenings are part of MOXIE FLIX, a monthly series focusing on essential films for kids to see before they turn 13. This series was made possible by a grant from the Missouri Arts Council and the Springfield Regional Arts Council.

Synopsis: When Pee Wee's beloved bike is stolen, he goes on a cross-country trip to the Alamo because a "physic" tells him it's there. On the way, he finds himself in one oddball encounter after another, from posing as an escaped convict's alibi girlfriend to dancing his way out of a biker brawl in a bar to riding in a big-rig with cackling Large Marge (one year after her death). With so much going on, Pee Wee's adventure could be a Hollywood movie. [Metacritic]

Starring: Paul ReubensElizabeth DailyMark Holton
Director:Tim Burton
Genre(s): Adventure, Comedy, Family

A thorough, spoiler-filled Parent’s Guide can be found here.

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"Revisiting this gloriously anarchic, ceaselessly inventive bliss machine (which I saw bits and pieces of a gazillion times in first run, working concessions at a multiplex where it played) made me realize how un-daffy—or perhaps un-Daffy—American film comedy has since become."

— Mike D'Angelo, Listen Eggroll

"PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE is of course the feature debut of Tim Burton, who is perhaps the perfect directorial match for Reubens' funhouse comedy, and the film offers the curious objects, candy colors, and spoiled suburban malaise that have since become the hallmarks of Burton's all too successful career."

— Liam Neff, Cine-File

"[Pee-Wee's Big Adventure] remains [Burton's] most emotionally-honest and just plain funnest movie. Its plot is a skeleton upon which, in best silent comedy fashion, vignettes stuffed with gags are draped. The end result is an unlikely fusion of BICYCLE THEIVES and PORKY IN WACKYLAND, Buñuel on laughing gas, Raymond-Scott-by-way-of-Danny-Elfman and Rube-Goldberg-meets-Ronald-Reagan."

— Rob Christopher, Cine-File